Leia holo

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

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Kenner Products[2] was a post-World War II era American toy company founded in 1947 by brothers Albert, Phillip, and Joseph L. Steiner, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Under subsequent ownership of the General Mills Group Kenner Products acquired a master license from Lucasfilm Ltd. to produce all toys, games, and crafts based on the 1977 Star Wars film.[3]

Kenner, named after the street where the original corporate offices were located, manufactured a wide range of Star Wars–branded toys, with the most popular being their line of basic 3¾-inch action figures. In 1995, new Kenner brand owner Hasbro, Inc. reintroduced the Star Wars basic figure line, which has been in constant production since. Hasbro closed the Cincinnati offices of Kenner in 2000, and Kenner's product lines were merged into Hasbro's.[1]




"Nathan, who is sixteen now, the first word I think he learned was 'Kenner'."
―Mark Hamill, on the preponderance of Star Wars toys in their home, during an episode of the television show Personal FX[4]

As a division of CPG Products Corporation, a subsidiary of the General Mills conglomerate, Kenner Products created several lines of Star Wars toys during its run, the most popular being a unique set of 96 colorful 3¾-inch (approx. 95mm) action figures, produced between 1977 and 1985, modeled after characters appearing in the original trilogy. Kenner acquired the license to produce Star Wars toys when the Mego Corporation rejected it in 1976[source?], and upon the success of the line, popularized the 3¾-inch scale, which became an industry standard that dominated the action figure toy market for years. In addition to producing action figures based on Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, the toy company also produced more-stylized figures for the Droids and Ewoks cartoon series.


A Klaatu figure

There were 96 action figures released in the movie figure lines, though the final card back promoted a full line of 92 action figures. This is because when Kenner produced new versions (with new, unique product numbers) of R2-D2 and C-3PO action figures, they discontinued previous versions. Two versions of R2-D2 were discontinued. One version of C-3PO was discontinued. Also the Yak Face figure was never available in the United States and was not pictured on the card backs.[5][6]

In addition to their toy lines, they released games including the Star Wars: X-Wing Aces Target Game in 1977 and Star Wars: Electronic Battle Command in 1979.[source?] By 1985, Kenner had sold over 250 million figures.[7] In 1985, Kenner Products merged with Parker Brothers to create Kenner Parker Toys, and Kenner Parker Toys was subsequently acquired by the Tonka Corporation in 1987.[8]

On February 1, 1991, Hasbro Inc. acquired the Tonka Corporation, including Kenner,[7] and let the Star Wars license lapse due to a perceived lack of interest in Star Wars.[9] Following a long hiatus, Hasbro relaunched its Star Wars line under the Kenner brand in 1995, with the release of a revived The Power of the Force collection.[1] After that collection and other subsequent releases, the Kenner logo was finally replaced with Hasbro branding in 1999. In later years, Kenner branding was revived for products with packaging reminiscent of the original toys, including Star Wars: The Vintage Collection and other series.

In popular culture[]

"These are toys. These are little men. [He shows E.T. several Star Wars action figures.] This is Greedo, and then this is Hammerhead. See, this is Walrus Man, and this is Snaggletooth and this is Lando Calrissian. See? And this is Boba Fett. See.... and look, they can even have wars. Look at this. [He has the action figures 'shoot' each other.]"
―Elliot in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[10]

In the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars action figures are included in a scene in which lead character Elliot introduces the alien "E.T." to objects in his everyday life.

In the 1994 The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Rival," Ralph Wiggum says "I bent my Wookiee" when he falls on his figure of Chewbacca. Ralph also enters a diorama of repackaged Star Wars action figures in a contest. His collection includes Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Chewbacca.


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