1978 Kenner Star Wars Catalog

1978 Kenner Star Wars Catalog

1978 Kenner Star Wars Catalog

If you were a kid under ten in the late seventies, you witnessed one of the toy industry’s biggest game changers, the Kenner Star Wars line. Even though it was late for Christmas of ’77, Kenner came out with both barrels blazing the following year, utilizing their master toy license to the maximum with pages of product that made my seven-year-old heart flutter.

Click on the images below to be transported again to the 1978 Kenner Star Wars offerings:

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog Action Figures

Even though I’m what you consider a SW dabbler at best, even I can’t resist that wonderful counter display. SWOON!

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog Action Figures

In my memory, that vinyl-caped Jawa came later but the catalogue disagrees with me. I remember seeing it and thinking it was a cop-out compared to mine. Tusken Raider and Death Squad Commander are two of my favourite figures, although I admit they were odd choices for an opening wave.

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog Store Displays

Any of these merchandisers full of products could likely put a kid through college, maybe not graduate school though.

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog land speeder

The Landspeeder was really innovative and one of my favourites, it really looked like it was floating if you squinted, the droids always fell off the back but who cared?

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog X Wing

The real reason Kenner made the figures 3 3/4″ was to sell us kids higher price point vehicles, what can I say other than “Thank You, Kenner”! I had pretty much every vehicle of this first wave, the primitive light and sound seemed really high-tech back then but wouldn’t even be found on a dollar store toy today.

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog tie fighter

I got the tie fighter for my eighth birthday, and my mom marched me down to the local ShopRite to get it, I remember they had the Comic Action Heroes Batmobiles on clearance and I almost waffled. I then proceeded to completely screw up the stickers on this thing ( I still suck at that!) which bothered me for the next four years.

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog diecast

Diecast vehicles were something every kid had to have, even though you had the larger versions.

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Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog light sabers

I’m perplexed why they made Luke’s sabre yellow, the colour it’s never been.

 

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog Death Star

Possibly one of the most overused toys in my room, the Death Star pretty much captivated me as a kid with its levels, trap doors, elevator and wonderful, wonderful trash compacter. Which is the only thing that survived my childhood. It may have been my favourite because I never really had a playset before, I don’t know but man was I hooked on them after this, it carried onto my adulthood and ate up most of my space.

 

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog Death Star

Han and Chewie look seriously screwed in that picture, Vader is on top of them Saber drawn and they’re stuck in a doorway like the Three Stooges..

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog Head Set

Kenner did a little label slap with a six-million-dollar man head set here.

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog 12" luke and Leia

Kenner also offered a 12″ line that wasn’t as popular as the 3 3/4″ figures, the big selling point to Leia was that girls could do her hair. Also, is calling her hair-do “Star Puffs” canon? 

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog 12" luke and Leia

That’s not Chewbacca, it’s a Big foot from the Six Million Dollar Man line of toys taking is place. That is so awesome.

 

Kenner 1978 Star Wars Catalog Remote Control R2 D2

Remote-controlled R2 D2 broke, I swear by January in my house and ended up being a fill-in for the 12″ figure.

 

Check out my Star Wars collection, it’s modest!

 

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About The Author

Mantooth
AKA Brian Heiler author of "Rack Toys: Cheap, Crazed Playthings" and co-editor of "Toy-Ventures Magazine". Co-Host of the "Pod Stallions" podcast. Host of the Brick Mantooth Youtube channel, painter, designer, writer, mental health advocate, toy collector, Mego, and Mego Knock-Off enthusiast. I have large feet, ADHD and I live in Canada. Talk toys, not others.

3 Comments

  • DBenson on January 10, 2023

    “The Toys That Built America” had a season two episode titled “Masters of the Toy Universe”. That included the history of the Star Wars toys, from Kenner taking the license Mattel turned down through the scaling decision and the Christmas 77 mania, followed by the line’s unexpected legs.

  • Max on January 10, 2023

    I remember how bad the inflatable light sabres were. There was a knock off light sabre that came out before the Kenner stuff. It was a plastic tube on a flashlight, I thought that was great.
    I met one the guys involved in putting that out decades later. I wish I remembered his name. But I did thank him.
    Wouldn’t we all like to have heard his story.

  • TRA on January 23, 2023

    A friend of mine said to me, + I agree with her, that-
    The two things, that most kids of the 1970s + 1980s, share as a common culture, or as a common pop-culture, are:
    the first, three Star Wars films…(meaning- those 3 films that started in 1977), and seeing Bugs Bunny + Looney Tunes cartoons on TV.

    (In the USA anyway, in part of the 1970s + 1980s, a TV channel ran a 1 or 2 hour block, of Looney Tunes cartoons, every Saturday morning. All of us, or most of us US kids, would run to the TV, + see them every Saturday. That was fun!)
    Cheers!

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