1980 / Wall Display (1 of 8)
This is the principle portion of Kenner's 1980 Star Wars showroom. As you can see, that year's products were carefully set up along an entire wall, which was decorated with stars, planets and spacey-looking rock formations. Compared to the showroom spreads from the previous two years, this one is quite elaborate. And rightfully so-- 1980 was the kickoff of Kenner's Empire Strikes Back line, a line that marked the transition of Star Wars from a popular movie property into a perennial toy favorite. On the back wall of this display are arranged several of the toys available that year. There is an odd mix of Star Wars and ESB boxes. It was, after all, a transitional year: several new toys had been developed, but Kenner was also planning to carry on many of their older products. It's interesting to note that, although the TIE Fighter is still in its Star Wars box, the X-Wing is the scarce version in the updated ESB box. In front of this wall are several tables on which are displayed examples of toys such as the then-new Darth Vader's Star Destroyer. Kenner Salespeople would have stood in back of these tables, demonstrating the toys' action features and offering free ESB catalogs (visible on the leftmost table's corner) to passing buyers. The TV on the back wall was used for screening commercials. Keep in mind that Toy Fair 1980 took place a good 4 months prior to ESB's debut in theaters. This would have been the first time many attendees had seen or heard about things like Hoth or Darth Vader's meditation chamber (located in the aforementioned Star Destroyer playset).