Early Bird Figures: Shown here are the very first Star Wars figures that were ever sold. They were available only with redemption of the certificate available in the Early Bird Certificate Package. The package included a few stickers, a cardboard display stand, and the certificate which was mailed to Kenner and allowed the bearer to receive the first four figures when they were available. This package was devised as a means of taking advantage of the Christmas holiday season even though Kenner's shipments were still months away from reaching U.S. shores.

The figures arrived individually bagged and came in a white plastic tray inside a white mailer box. Also included were plastic pegs for the display stand and a small sheet explaining the figures and the use of the pegs. The first small Kenner toy catalog was usually included as well. This catalog mainly showed the papergoods that were the only items that Kenner was able to manufacture before the 1977 Christmas season. Two figures differed from their widely released counterparts. Chewbacca's gun was molded in a dark green plastic instead of the normal black/blue. Luke has the biggest difference because his lightsaber is telescoping. That is, it's made of two pieces which cause the extended saber to nearly touch the floor. The latest versions of this Early Bird Set had the regular Luke (with a non-telescoping saber) and the normal color Chewbacca gun.

Description: Chris Georgoulias
Photo: Steve Hoffmann
From the collection of Steve Hoffmann