Toys 'R' Us Star Wars Feature Area Displays: The release of the Trilogy Special Editions in early 1997 saw a huge marketing push on the part of Toys 'R'Us, as they launched a campaign to promote Kenner's Power of the Force product. Suddenly, for the first time since the mid-1980s, collectors were astounded to see entire "feature areas" of their favorite toy stores devoted entirely to Star Wars, with peg upong peg of the latest action figures, ancillary merchandise, and the requisite point-of-purchase displays setting the area apart from competing merchandise. Most TRU locations situated their Star Wars "feature areas" towards the front of their stores, and embellished them with large installation displays, including the huge, now-famous Millennium Falcon display, which was usually seen hanging overhead. Above is pictured the center piece of these Star Wars areas, a cockpit-like assembly equipped with an LED sound box and flashing lights. The design of this display was so striking that I don't believe most even noticed that the characters seem to be facing in the wrong direction!

On either side of this cockpit piece within the Star Wars feature areas, were large "cut-out" figures of Luke and Darth Vader, meant to work together in the simulation of their Empire Strikes Back duel. This Luke figure has been constructed from foam core, and features raised belt and arm details, a translucent blue lightsaber, and a heavy cardboard base. It stands over four feet tall when fully assembled.

Though a lot of collectors drooled over these display pieces upong seeing them in stores, few were lucky enough to acquire them. Those cotton-pickin' TRU employees took them all home! ;^)

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