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11 Forceful 70s Star Wars Toys that Started It All

Who could have known the impact ‘Star Wars’ would have on American culture when the George Lucas masterpiece hit theaters in 1977? Maybe not even the man himself, and certainly not toy makers, as it was a mad scramble to get Force-focused playthings on store shelves when the movie turned out to be a hit. And, as these classic 70s Star Wars toys can attest, the love affair rages on even after all these years.

Uncertain Start

This is the era of Star Wars toys that started it all. Back then, there were very few toy manufacturers who had any experience working on films – so licensing deals for movie tie-ins weren’t a given. Kenner, however, was one such manufacturer and they managed to get their hands on the rights to produce toys based off ‘A New Hope,’ just in time for its theatrical release.

Don’t (Force) Choke!

The first Star Wars toy the company produced was a Darth Vader action figure, and it soon became their best selling item of all-time—of course considering there wasn’t much competition back then either! The original Kenner figures were made from PVC plastic with articulated joints, which allowed for some pretty impressive poses.

It’s important to note that Kenner’s SW products were the first mass-market toys based on a science fiction property, which paved the way for similar toy lines in years to come—with Star Wars paving the way of course!

On to the list …

Darth Vader

This movie tie-in toy was the first Star Wars product Kenner produced, and it quickly became their most popular item of all time.

Rebel Blockade Runner

This small vehicle went through multiple revisions as better versions were released.

Action Figures – 12-inch scale

The original line included Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-PO, and R-O.

Death Star Space Station

The design of the toy accurately reflected its onscreen counterpart from A New Hope with some notable exceptions: it was much more colorful than the movie model and had a small hole in one side for children to place Rebel pilots.

Star Destroyer

This toy, like the Death Star Space Station before it, was scaled to be accurate relative to other action figures. It came with four Action Fleet pilots and a display stand.

Droid Factory

Kids could put together a robot droid or “factory” with various parts that they would assemble themselves.

Naboo Starfighter

The toy included two Rebel pilots with the “battle” cry: “It’s payback time!” The back of the box proclaimed that it was to be used for either ground patrol by Rebel forces on Tatooine or in space by the Naboo Starfighters.

Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter

This toy was larger and more complex than most other action figures of that time, but its size didn’t stop kids from playing with it! As they manned this ship they would shout out phrases like “Lock S-foils in attack position!” or “We’ll show them who’s boss!”

Star Wars Action Fleet – Rebel Assault Vehicle/Tank and Imperial Shuttle

The toy package labels proclaimed: “You can create your own battles!” These two sets included two action figures, weapons, and a vehicle or spaceship.

Imperial Shuttle

The toy was released with the first Star Wars movie, and is basically an upright version of Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter. It came with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia action figures as well as a display stand for Kenner Products’ “Battle Action Play Set.” The back of the box proclaimed it to be used in space by “Outer-Space Rebels.”

Rebel Assault Vehicle/Tank

The toy was released with the first Star Wars movie, and is basically an upright version of a Stormtrooper’s Imperial Walkers. It came with Luke Skywalker action figure as well as two other figures – one who appears to be Princess Leia in disguise. The back of the box proclaimed it to be used on land by “Earth Rebels.”

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