The Empire Strikes Back Wave 2 (1980)

The first wave of toys to hit the store shelves after the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the second wave of Empire toys was able to reveal the vitally important character of Yoda (which was also the smallest of the original Kenner Star Wars figures, smaller than even R2-D2, Wicket, or the Jawas). Technically, Yoda was released in the first wave of figures, but was not promoted heavily to preserve the surprise of the character’s nature in the film. Continue reading

The Empire Strikes Back Wave 1 (1980)

1980. New wave was in. Early video games were about to reach their apex. And best of all, Star Wars was back – not the original, but a new movie following up on the original, taking us to new places and new adventures. Life was truly good. And so were the first figures from that sequel.

The Empire Strikes Back had such a diverse spread of locations and climates and environments that the first figures – released just prior to the movie – left you wondering just what the heck was going on if you, like me, were a kid whose only bona fida spoiler about Empire consisted of the TV commercials advertising the movie. Continue reading

Star Wars Flashback & Classic Commtech (1998-99)

Star WarsAt around the same time as the first theatrical trailer from Episode I hit theaters, Hasbro started riding the Phantom Menace horse very hard – including the new Flashback figures, which not only included the classic trilogy characters in new molds, but also a “flashback” photo which, depending on whether or not you pulled out the paper strip, would show each character either as he appeared in the Episode I era, or alongside the closest character (for instance, Princess Leia is compared to Queen Amidala, and Aunt Beru to Shmi Skywalker). Continue reading

Star Wars: Wave 1 (1978)

1978 Kenner Star Wars action figures - photo copyright 2007 Earl Green / theLogBook.comThese puppies were the beginning of my toy collecting fetish, all those 21 years ago. And now, despite the fact that I am allegedly an adult, they still sit proudly on a display shelf in my home.

By default, they’re also the best-known and researched line of toys in history, with the possible exceptions of Barbie. G.I. Joe and Hot Wheels, so I’m not going to waste space repeating the facts everyone knows so well, but just show off my collection instead. Continue reading