The amazing galactic toy empire: the story of the original Star Wars action figures.

You simply cannot underestimate the power of the action figure. Collectors worldwide, mostly grown men, empty out aisle after aisle of toy stores just to get their hands on plastic ‘gold’. Often it’s “Hey kid get out of the way !” Like Sean, when I was 8 or 9 years of age, I discovered Star Wars (Who didn’t ?) and fell in love with “a galaxy far, far away”. I, too, was given Star Wars action figures for birthdays, Xmas and occasionally as a treat. We could only afford to buy one or two figures every now and then. I appreciated what little I had and kept them safe for years. By the time I was 11 or 12, I put them away for safe keeping. In total I had around 50 figures including the original 12. Years later as an adult I rediscovered them lost in a shoe box and was determined to collect as many as I could possibly find. Tucked in another shoe box today I have around 90 original action figures that spanned the first trilogy movies. My son is just as obsessed with Star Wars action figures, though nowadays they are Lego figures. Please enjoy Sean Munger’s short history on the original plastic wonder toy!

starwars figures

If you grew up in the late 1970s or during the 1980s in America or many other countries around the world, chances are very good that you had Star Wars action figures. If you were a boy between the ages of 6 and 13 at any time during the run of the original Star Wars films (1977 to 1983), they were probably your favorite toys. Certainly they were mine. I had seemingly hundreds of Star Wars action figures, and in fact many of them still reside in a box in my parents’ garage, awaiting that magical day (for which most of my age-peers are also waiting) when they’re suddenly worth a fortune to collectors. This article is not about that, but rather, how this little toy empire got started, and how it grew seemingly as large as the galaxy it depicted.

You must understand first that almost nobody anticipated the…

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