While scanning in some old photographs over the weekend, I ran across this little slice from my childhood:
Although Star Wars was released in May of 1977, no one knew what a box office smash the film was going to be. As a result there were no Star Wars toys for sale that Christmas, only the infamous “Early Bird Package” that included a certificate that could be mailed in to Kenner and redeemed for action figures. It wasn’t until the following year, 1978, that Star Wars toys began appearing in department stores. Along with the Cantina set, several ships including the TIE Fighter, Land Speeder, and X-Wing Fighter also found their way into stores.
This is me, Christmas morning of 1978, with my TIE Fighter, Land Speeder, and X-Wing. If you look carefully you can see Darth Vader in the TIE Fighter, Leia in the Land Speeder, and Luke, C-3P0, R2D2, Han Solo, and Obi-Wan Kenobi all hanging out in front of the X-Wing.
When people ask me if I ever wonder whatever happened to those old toys, I say no, because I know. They’re sitting on a shelf in the hall right outside my office.