Back when the original “Star Wars” action figure line was going, every vehicle, creature and playset that came in a box also had a “Star Wars Collections” booklet included.
The booklet was a basic catalogue showing all the toys and do-dads that Kenner was producing for the toyline. The 20-page booklets had a movie scene on the cover and the back page was a sign-up sheet for the Star Wars Fan Club.
The booklets evolved over time, featuring the newest items and re-issues. The one I have, shown above, featured twelve new figures:
- B-Wing Pilot
- Han Solo in Trench Coat
- AT-ST Driver
- Prune Face
- Wicket W. Warrick
- The Emperor
- Rancor Keeper
- Princess Leia Organa in Combat Poncho
These figures were some of the last to be produced by Kenner under the Return of the Jedi banner. The original Star Wars line continued for another year or two under the “Power of the Force” banner, but interest was slipping away.
Of course, the line rebounded in a big way by the mid-1990s and even now, a year after the final Star Wars movie was released, the line is still a good seller.
Back to the neat booklets, each page is filled with product info about Star Wars toys and accessories. Here, a fan can get a good glimpse of the wide variety of collectors cases, mini-vehicles and toy variations they made.
Included in this booklet was the “battle-damaged” X-Wing, a fad for kids who couldn’t imagine that something was damaged, and the extremely rare B-Wing fighter, which had a gyro-scope like device in it that kept the pilot level to the ground no matter how “he flew” his ship.
Also shown is the Ewok Village Playset. I bring this up because the entire design was swiped by Kenner when it used it to recreate the Merry Men’s hideout for the “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” action figure line.
Another quirky item is the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Play-Doh PlaySet. The ad copy says that you can make “detailed figures like … Princess Leia Organa” from the Jabba Palace scene. Hey, isn’t that when she wore the infamous slave girl outfit?
Suddenly, I’m in the mood for Play-Doh!