Mini-Action Figure Collectors Case



insert side 1 (click to enlarge)  insert side 2 (click to enlarge)
Case Insert Sides 1 & 2 (click to enlarge)

variation insert with mock-up Boba Fett (click to enlarge) sticker (click to enlarge)
Variation RocketFett Insert and Sticker (click to enlarge)

first-issue ESB case (click to enlarge)
First-Issue ESB Case (click to enlarge)

ESB insert side 1 (click to enlarge) ESB insert side 2 (click to enlarge)
ESB Insert Sides 1 & 2

Catalog Entry
Catalog Description:


The Collector's case holds up to 24 STAR WARS action figures in two plastic trays. The reverse side of each tray has 12 foot pegs so action figures can stand in action poses. Featured on the case front are many STAR WARS characters in full color. Action figures not included.

Source: 1980 Kenner Toy Fair Catalog

Every action figure line needs a carrying case, and Star Wars was no exception. Kenner's first such case was issued in 1979, when the line included just 20 figures (the 21st, Boba Fett, followed soon afterward). Although it was a simple thing, composed of a vinyl exterior, some name stickers and two plastic storage trays (which, when flipped over, could be used as display stands), the artwork used on the frontal insert was terrific, and unlike some of Kenner's later carrying cases, it actually held the figures!

At the time of its release, the 24-figure capacity of the Mini-Action Figure Collector's Case was just peachy; with only 21 figures in the line, it was actually a bit excessive. In later years, of course, this situation would change as more and more figures were added to the line. But Kenner kept their vinyl case on the market through 1983, updating it every year or two with a new logo or fresh artwork.

In 1980, with the release of The Empire Strikes Back imminent, Kenner issued a modified version of their original vinyl case. It utilized the same artwork (derived, of course, from the first Star Wars film) but updated the logo to the new ESB version. Cases with entirely new frontal designs were issued in 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Although the original Star Wars-logo version of the vinyl case is quite common in used condition, it's downright hard to find an unused example. This is significant because, if the item has not remained sealed, it's extremely unlikely that it will have retained the colorful sticker that adorned its reverse. These stickers were placed on the clear strips of cellophane that were wrapped around the cases before they were shipped to stores.

Another important component to the vinyl storage case was its insert-- a piece of flimsy cardboard printed with a photo showing what the case's trays would look like when filled with figures. These inserts were updated regularly to include newly released figures. Interestingly, a significant variation occurs with respect to the first Star Wars case insert: it shows an early mock-up prototype of the Rocket Firing Boba Fett figure. It was quickly replaced with a photo showing the widely-released version of the toy.

First Issued: 1979 (SW graphics, SW logo)
Re-issues: 1980 (SW graphics, ESB logo)

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore
From the collection of: Ron Salvatore
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Category:Toys / Action Figure Related / Action Figure Accessories


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