Kenner Film Transparencies: As a toy company involved with the production of a huge volume of packaging and promotional materials, Kenner relied on a vast array of photographs to accompany the production and marketing of its Star Wars line. Film-like "transparencies," such as those pictured above were at least one of the ways in which these photographs were stored and reproduced for use in catalogs, advertising, packaging, and general reference. The photographer's role in the toy development process is one which is frequently overlooked in favor of more hands-on prototyping of the actual toys. In reality, however, nearly everything produced at Kenner, whether conceptual model or full production toy, was sent off to be photographed at one time or another, and much of it was stored in the form of these transparencies.

Photographic material provided by Lucasfilm, such as the production stills seen on vintage figure packaging, were also kept in the transparency format. Above, for instance, is pictured a transparency for the image used on the Stormtrooper blister card. The other image--that of Luke and Leia preparing to swing across the Death Star chasm--may never have been used on a product at all, or may have turned up in a catalog or on a puzzle box. While not the most glamorous of internal Kenner items, this is the kind of stuff that people who are interested in the development of the Star Wars line find fun to acquire. These particular transparencies were thrown out, probably some time in the late-'80s, along with a great many others. I do not know if duplicates of these two were created or still exist at Kenner, though it is true that not all transparencies were thrown away.

Description: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore
From the collection of Ron Salvatore