Box Front (Second-Issue ESB Box)
During the time that the Millennium Falcon was on toy store shelves, two elections for U.S. President were held; Star Wars evolved from an obscure sci-fi film into a cinematic institution; and Kenner, the modest company of Sit 'n' Spin and Easy Bake, was vaulted into the upper echelon of U.S. toy makers. No doubt about it, the Millennium Falcon was a significant toy-- maybe the most significant of its era. Much like the film vehicle it was based on, it flies through the memories of most of the kids who grew up in that period and played with its toys. It's iconic.
But, romantic sentiments aside, the Millennium Falcon packed a whallop as a toy. As the above catalog description states, it came with several of the elements associated with the vehicle in the film: a gaming table, gunner's chair, training ball, even the smuggling compartment inside of which our heroes hide from the Imperials on the Death Star. It also featured a battery-operated "battle alert" sound, which wasn't much more than an irritating whine.
Although it's always been evaluated highly in price guides, loose Falcons are anything but difficult to find; tons of them were sold, and tons are still out there. However, finding a complete, working example isn't the easiest of tasks. In particular, the small training ball and the arm which was meant to support it are almost always missing from loose examples. In unused, boxed condition, however, the toy remains a hotly sought item on the collector market. Original Star Wars-logo examples can pull down some pretty hefty prices.
Since it was available for such a long period of time, the Falcon can today be found in a few different styles of packaging. The first package change occurred in 1980. It was that year that saw the debut of The Empire Strikes Back, and Kenner slightly modified their Falcon package, replacing the Star Wars logo with the new ESB version. The 1981 issue of the toy utilized the ESB logo as well; but it also featured an entirely new photograph of the vehicle within a setting inspired by Cloud City. 1983 saw the release of Return of the Jedi, as well as the final revision to the Millennium Falcon package. For their ROTJ release of the toy Kenner chose a photo with a setting reminiscent of the desert planet Tatooine. The Falcon is shown within a sandy environment, surrounded by a host of ROTJ figures.
It should be noted that, throughout these various packaging revisions, the Falcon toy itself remained unchanged. In 1995, however, Hasbro issued a new Millennium Falcon toy, which was virtually identical to the vintage model in terms of molded detail. It's complicated paint job and expanded range of electronic features make it hard to mistake for its forerunner.
First Issued: 1979 (SW packaging)
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Ron Salvatore|
|Film:||A New Hope|
|Category:||Toys / Action Figure Related / Vehicles|