Star Wars: Large Scale R2-D2 (1978)

Star Wars R2-D2As has been mentioned before, the size and scale of the Millennium Falcon as a toy vehicle made Kenner reinvent the wheel where character-based action toys for boys were concerned. To keep the price of the Falcon down, both for the company making it and for the people buying it, the figures were scaled down to 3 3/4″, whereas the previous industry standard had been set by foot-tall G.I. Joe figures with more points of articulation, interchangeable costumes and accessories, and so on – basically the boys’ equivalent of Barbie dolls, at roughly the same size (and price point). Continue reading

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

Star Wars Episode II – Wave 1 Droids (2002)

Star Wars Episode IIAnyone who’s read Toybox for any significant amount of time knows that I’ve got a thing for droids. Be they R2 units or Daleks, there’s something fascinating about little plastic robot replicas. And this wave of Star Wars Episode II figures certainly fits my droid collecting bill.

Of course, you can’t kick off a new range of toys for a new Star Wars movie without R2-D2 and C-3PO, and this line of figures is no exception. Continue reading

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Wave 4 (1999)

Star WarsReleased in the summer of 1999 around July, the fourth wave of Episode I action figures included some long-awaited characters, as well some dramatic improvements on characters who had already been released. 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