Shipping Box for Theater Promotion Involving Early Bird Figures
Shipping boxes for original Kenner action figures are fairly rare, but turn up from time to time. Shipping boxes for baggied figures have also been found, but primarily from the ROTJ and POTF era. Mostly these shipping boxes were used to get product from the factories in Asia to the United States. Most of them were for the mail away offers such as Nein Numb, the Emperor, or Anakin. Up until this box was discovered in late 2016, no shipping cartons for any Star Wars baggie figures had ever been found.

As is clear from the photos, this is a shipping box for baggie Luke Skywalker figures. The carton would have contained 200 pieces. Another interesting thing to note is the Maple Plains shipping address. Kenner hired a company in Maple Plains to handle all their mailer promotions. So this box was shipped from that facility. The interesting thing is where it was shipped. It was mailed to a movie theater chain in Oregon, along with R2, Leia, and Chewbacca (notice anything special about that list?). Found with the box were several dozen baggied action figures left over from the promotion. They were the four figures that came with the Early Bird kit, placing this box as the very first shipping carton that would have ever been mailed for Star Wars.

The movie theater used these figures as a promotion to give away to children attending the movie. As best as we can piece together this would have happened sometime in mid-1978, so the speculation is that this was possibly a promotion used in conjunction with the 1-year anniversary. Itís possible that Kenner had some left over boxes of EB kit figures and didnít have anything to do with them so they donated them to some theaters as give-aways.

One last interesting thing of note here is that the box strongly suggests that the EB kits were not assembled in Asia. The figures were probably made there, put into baggies and shipped to the U.S. where workers would have dropped them into the plastic tray and boxed them up.

Itís not often that brand new discoveries like this come along in the hobby these days, so despite the poor condition, this box is something special.

Description by: Chris Fawcett
Photo: Chris Fawcett
From the collection of: Chris Fawcett
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Licensee:Kenner
Year:1978
Category:Toys / Action Figure Related / Action Figure Accessories


  


Checklist by Duncan Jenkins, Gus Lopez, and the Star Wars collecting community
Software by Chris Nichols

All information © 2014 Star Wars Collectors Archive