You’re looking for vintage Star Wars figures.
Like Emperor Palpatine would say, “Gooooood”.
Before we dive in on the subject, let me tell you something about me. Maybe you can relate to what I’ll say.
I can write in english and in french. And I do a very good job I must say (I’m proud of it too!). It’s kind of a great thing and a nice skill to have because of the opportunities it brings.
To get the inspiration to write this post, I surfed the net for something interesting, an article to help me get my creative juices flowing.
I looked at a couple of Star Wars sites. They were all written in english except one.
I thought to myself, this is interesting, I wonder if I could find an article in french and get creative ideas from it.
As it turns out, I found a new way to get ideas for posts.
So the post you’re currently reading got its inspiration from a french site.
Pretty cool, right?
Moving along to the subject at hand…
I used to own some vintage Star Wars figures when I was young. I carried them in a suitcase my parents gave me as a present. I’d play for countless hours reenacting scenes from the movie.
I had R2D2, C-3PO, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader and a couple others. For some strange reason I ignore, those figures were lost. I say lost but maybe they were given away or put in the trash.
If I were able to keep those figures they would have made me a little fortune.
Oh well, it’s probably just illusions of grandeur of mine…
In Spring of 1977, Kenner, an american based toy company, signed an exclusivity contract to make Star Wars figures to represent characters from the movie.
There was a problem. Kenner didn’t have enough time to satisfy fans demands and build the figures. The contract was signed between Kenner, Fox and Lucasfilm in April. The movie was to be released in May of the same year.
Designers had to find a solution.
Star Wars wasn’t a movie with only one or two heroes. It had all these ships and a plethora of characters.
The norm at that time was to make 12 inches figures. Imagine for a moment what it would have been like having a 12-inch Han Solo having to sit in the Millennium Falcon. The ship would have been gigantic.
So making 12 inches figures was out of the question.
Bernie Loomis, president of Kenner at that time, suggested to downsize the figures from 12 inches to 3,75 inches.
A new standard was born for building action figures.
Downsizing the figures meant new prices.
That in terms would mean young fans buying more than one figure, even buying the whole collection; 12 inches figures had a higher price tag. In average, you could only buy one or two 12 inches figures.
The new size also meant figures would fit into ships and playsets.
We have a lot to thank Kenner for. They were the first ones to manufacture figures of that size. They we’re the ones who brought us these vintage Star Wars figures in the first place.
And at that time nobody knew the success of selling those figures would have.
If you want to read more about the story of how Kenner started making these vintage figures, click on the link below. It’ll take you to a Wikipedia article about it:
A long time ago, in a blog far, far away…
Dominic Paré, a Star Wars fan