|Factors Standees Used as Kenner Store Displays|
|One of the fun things about collecting store displays: new things are always surfacing. This is true even in the realm of Kenner sales material, where knowledge of what is out there is pretty widespread.
What you see here is some of the earliest Star Wars display material issued by the Kenner toy company. Yes, they are the standees produced by Factors in 1977. But if you look closely at them you'll notice the blue Kenner stickers close to the base of each.
What I believe happened here: Kenner, needing to get product to market quickly, and without adequate time to develop appropriately eye-popping signage, struck a deal with Factors to purchase some of their character standees, co-brand them, and send them to stores along with the earliest Kenner Star Wars products. I and some others were told as much many years ago while speaking to former Kenner employees in Cincinnati.
That story was confirmed in three different ways. First, Kenner-branded Factors standees were discovered, both with former employees who knew what they were and with random sources who weren't even aware of the Kenner connection. Second, a cache of vintage store photos that surfaced a few years ago proved the Factors standees were fixtures of toy aisles in the '70s. Finally, a marketing image exists which shows an in-store promotional kit containing the Kenner "May the Force be with you" button, some early signage, and standees just like these. Was something like this kit sent to stores around the country? I think it's likely.
Aside from the Kenner stickers, nothing about the standees is unusual.
This raises concerns about fakes. Provenance is key when buying something like this. You need to know what you're getting is vintage Kenner-branded and not someone's weekend scam project.
Only a few of these have turned up. It's hard to say how many more are out there.
Here's a frame from a vintage toy-store commercial which shows a kid standing in a toy aisle beside some Factors standees. Were they Kenner-branded standees? I wouldn't bet against it.
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Ron Salvatore|
|Film:||A New Hope|
|Category:||Store Displays / Toy|