Star Wars Vintage Toy Line
The Star Wars Vintage Toy Line was the first Star Wars Toy Line. Made by Kenner, the line lasted from 1977 to 1985, and millions were sold. The line included toys from all three original trilogy movies and an additional line, The Power of the Force, was also released. The line ended around 1985, when sales began to drop.
The phemomenon began in 1977 with the release of the Early Bird Set. The Early Bird Set was a set that could be bought at local stores. It allowed Star Wars fans to mail in for four action figures from the movie. Those figures were:
The figures were released to the public in the spring of 1978. The response was amazing. People started to buy the figures by the thousands.
The Empire Strikes Back
In 1980, the next wave of the figures came out, just in time for the release of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The response for the figures was once again amazing. More vehicles were released for the toy line, as well as figures. Unlike the previous toy line, no 12-inch action figures were released.
Return of the Jedi and the decline of the toy line
The Return of the Jedi wave of the toy line was released in 1983. There was once again an amazing response to the line, with many people buying the toys. However, the popularity of the line started to decline, due to the fact that interest in Star Wars had started to decline greatly in the mid to late 80's. Kenner knew that they had to come up with a great idea, and fast. So they came up with a last resort: The Power of the Force.
The Power of the Force line (no relation to the article Power of the Force, which deals with a later Star Wars toy line), was released around 1984-85. The line was very unpopular and met its demise around 1985-86, with The last seventeen.