ESB Kenner Action Display Stand: This is probably one of the rarest production pieces made, if it was indeed released which is unclear at this time. It was shown in the 1980 Department Store Program and part of Kenner's Special Offer promotion. This promotion basically entailed packaging an existing toy with one or more action figures and noting it on the box which was usually shown in sticker form. This Empire box is neat because it was printed up especially for the toy. Kenner had their Special Offer toys for many years including 1979, 1981 and 1982. The above photo shows the box in an empty, flattened state. It's actually just big enough to hold the stand because the figures actually fit in the hollow space underneath the stand and don't require additional space in the box.

The display is exactly the same as the Star Wars one widely offered via mail-in offer through Kenner in 1978-1979 as well as the Star Wars boxed store version . The sticker which goes on the front of this stand lists 6 ESB figures instead of the original 12 Star Wars Figures. Only one stand is known to exist that has the black sticker on it. The figures shown on the box match the black sticker and are Luke, Leia, Lando, Bossk, Stormtrooper and FX-7. Kenner didn't make provisions to use the remaining 6 platforms as they didn't print any other names on the sticker. All the figure names are foreshortened like that and without the accompanying box photo you really wouldn't know which version of a figure they meant. The choice of figures doesn't appear to have any significance other than the fact that they're all ESB characters.

The particular stand shown above has sticker on it that was printed up for Toy Fair display. It's a mock-up sticker of sorts. The names printed on this sticker are: Rebel Commander, Dengar (Bounty Hunter), AT-AT Driver, Leia Organa (Hoth Battle Gear), Han Solo (Bespin Outfit), Yoda, Imperial Commander, Lobot, 2-1B (Medical Droid). Of course the number of figures named on the white label is 9 while the box clearly states 6. I don't know the reason for this, but since it was a Kenner mock-up of sorts there's no telling. Of the three boxed stands known to exist all came from Kenner sources so they very likely may have never been released to the public. Even though the Star Wars logo is shown on the backdrop, one of the stands actually has an ESB sticker covering up the Star Wars logo. Again, since they were Toy Fair mock-ups, the use of stickers over old logos was commonplace.

Description: Chris Georgoulias
Photo: Rob Godwin & Tom Derby IV
From the collection of Rob Godwin and Chris Georgoulias