I just watched Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys on Hulu. This hour-long documentary covers the Kenner toy company and the development of the very first Star Wars toys in the 1970s and early ’80s, interviewing collectors, experts, authors and former Kenner employees. I enjoyed seeing so many of the toys from my childhood.
Back in 1977, I had the Early Bird Certificate Package — nothing but a cardboard diorama display stand and a certificate you mailed to Kenner to receive the first four Star Wars action figures when they became available later in 1978.
I can still remember opening the little white box on our dining room table and seeing those first four characters. I loved the way the lightsaber came out of Luke’s arm. That was absolute MAGIC.
When my mom tried to get me interested in Barbies, I asked her, “What do they do?” and she said, “They dress up and change their clothes.” BOOOOOOOOOR-ING! How did girls play with that garbage when there were robot friends, Death Stars to escape and bad guys to kill with lasers and light swords? I preferred my 12-inch Leia, Luke and Darth Vader dolls. They had many adventures swinging around my canopy bed from Luke’s grappling hook, with Darth Vader in pursuit.
I also had the Landspeeder, X-wing, Tie Fighter, and Death Star toys.
Did you grow up with any of the original Star Wars toys in the 1970s? What were your favorites?
~ J.L. Hilton