During the 1970s, marketing and toys took a huge turn with the introduction of "Star Wars" action figures. These action figures introduced popular characters from the films and made millions of dollars for the toy companies and George Lucas himself. For the past 25-plus years the figures have appeared on store shelves, and new versions are still released today. Collecting Star Wars action figures remains popular.
Kenner 1977 Series
This original series was released in 1977 and was based off of characters from the original "Star Wars" movie. The collection included 21 figures with popular characters like C-3PO, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2. Lesser known characters included Boba Fett, Snaggletooth and Greedo.
"Empire Strikes Back" Series
The release of "Empire Strikes Back" brought a three-year toy series that was just as popular as the first series. This series included new versions of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, but it also expanded the Star Wars toy universe with first issue releases of Yoda, Lando Calrissian and a Bespin Security Guard.
"Return of the Jedi" Series
The third sequel to the Star Wars saga filled toy shelves from 1983 until 1984. Popular toys in this series included the Emperor, Teebo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Weequay.
"Power of the Force" Series
The success of the figures continued long after the first trilogy was released. The "Power of the Force" series featured some of the most popular characters from the movies including Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, R2-D2, and Han Solo in a Carbonite Chamber.
"Power of the Force 2"
Hasbro bought the Kenner toy company and released its first line of Star Wars toys in 1995. This series lasted for 5 years and featured dozens of figures from the Star Wars universe. Highlights among this series were special edition figures that came with film slides and flashback figures that were used with the release of "Star Wars: Episode I."
"The Phantom Menace"
The new Star Wars movie in 1999 came with its own set of Star Wars action figures. This set includes characters from the movie including Anakin Skywalker, Padame, Jar Jar Binks, Darth Maul and Mace Windu.
"Power of the Jedi"
In 2000, the "Power of the Force" series was replaced with the "Power of the Jedi" series. This series consisted of 57 figures that included characters from every Star Wars movie released at the time. The figures were more detailed than previous editions and included rare characters that were never created before.
"Clone Wars" and "Revenge of the Sith"
Episodes II and III of the trilogy each received their own action figure series that featured characters from both movies. This included Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, Yoda, Obi Wan Kenobi and others. Sets of multiple figures were also packaged together to feature key scenes from the two movies.
"30th Anniversary Collection"
One of the newest collections is the massive 30th Anniversary collection that was released in 2007. All of the major characters from all six movies were created for the series as well as other characters like Stormtroopers, Jawas, Pilots, Boba Fett, Clone Troopers and Droids.
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