Along with pioneering incredible special effects and bringing an alien universe to life, the Star Wars movies also offered the biggest, most mesmerizing toy catalog ever. From the largest Imperial cruiser to Princess Leia’s hair buns, everything was replicated in detail to satisfy children and adults alike who longed to be part of this far, far away galaxy.
The first movie’s phenomenal success in 1977 came as a bit of a surprise to all concerned so the merchandising campaign was slow off the ground. The toy company Kenner likewise didn’t expect such box office returns but once they realized the gold mine they had on their hands, production went into light speed.
By that year’s holiday season, Star Wars toys didn’t even exist yet were being sold. Kenner offered Early Bird Certificate Packages that promised the owner delivery of the first four action figures—Luke, Leia, Chewbacca and R2-D2—some time in the near future. The figures eventually arrive and brought many friends with them. In 1978, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO, Darth Vader, Jawas and Stormtroopers joined the throng and the following year, the bizarre creatures from the Mos Eisley Cantina first made an appearance.