Kenner Products[1] 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.[2]

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.

History

"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[src]

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, 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.

After several changes of ownership, Kenner was purchased by the toy company Hasbro in mid-1991. 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.

Collections

Table of Kenner Star Wars action figures

The table below takes information as given on the cards with which each action figure debuted. After the debut of an action figure, details in the packaging, the shape of the action figure, and the name of the action figure were subject to change. No one characteristic (name, shape, or product number) completely defines the list, rather all the characteristics taken together form a clear list.

There are 96 action figures listed below, though the final card back promoted a full line of 93 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.

The identical name "Bespin Security Guard" is given to two action figures. The first figure (No. 39810) is white, the second figure (No. 69640) is black. On card backs, the two Bespin Security Guards are shown separately, but labeled with the same name.

"Wave" Debut package card Action figure (verbatim from debut package) Product no. (on card) Debut year
Aa 12-Back "Star Wars" Luke Skywalker No. 38180 1977
Aa 12-Back "Star Wars" Princess Leia Organa No. 38190 1977
Aa 12-Back "Star Wars" Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) No. 38200 1977
Aa 12-Back "Star Wars" Chewbacca No. 38210 1977
Ab 12-Back "Star Wars" See-Threepio (C-3PO) No. 38220 1977
Ab 12-Back "Star Wars" Darth Vader No. 38230 1977
Ab 12-Back "Star Wars" Stormtrooper No. 38240 1977
Ab 12-Back "Star Wars" Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi No. 38250 1977
Ab 12-Back "Star Wars" Han Solo No. 38260 1977
Ac 12-Back "Star Wars" Jawa No. 38270 1977
Ac 12-Back "Star Wars" Sand People No. 38280 1977
Ac 12-Back "Star Wars" Death Squad Commander No. 38290 1977
Ba 20-Back "Star Wars" Greedo No. 39020 1978
Ba 20-Back "Star Wars" Hammerhead No. 39030 1978
Ba 20-Back "Star Wars" Snaggletooth No. 39040 1978
Ba 20-Back "Star Wars" Walrus Man No. 39050 1978
Bb 20-Back "Star Wars" Luke Skywalker: X-Wing Pilot No. 39060 1978
Bb 20-Back "Star Wars" R5-D4 No. 39070 1978
Bb 20-Back "Star Wars" Death Star Droid No. 39080 1978
Bb 20-Back "Star Wars" Power Droid No. 39090 1978
C 21-Back "Star Wars" Boba Fett No. 39250 1979
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) No. 39720 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" FX-7 No. 39730 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) No. 39740 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Rebel Soldier (Hoth Battle Gear) No. 39750 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Bossk (Bounty Hunter) No. 39760 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" IG-88 No. 39770 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) No. 39780 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Han Solo (Hoth Outfit) No. 39790 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Lando Calrissian No. 39800 1980
D 31-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Bespin Security Guard No. 39810 1980
E 32-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Yoda No. 38310 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Ugnaught No. 39319 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Dengar No. 39329 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) No. 39339 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Lobot No. 39349 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Leia (Hoth Outfit) No. 39359 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Rebel Commander No. 39369 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" AT-AT Driver No. 39379 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Imperial Commander No. 39389 1981
F 41-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" 2-1B No. 39399 1981
G 45-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (with Sensorscope) No. 69420 / No. 69590 1982
G 45-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" C-3PO (Removable Limbs) No. 69430 / No. 69600 1982
G 45-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Luke Skywalker (Hoth Battle Gear) No. 69610 1982
G 45-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" AT-AT Commander No. 69620 1982
G 45-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" (Twin-Pod) Cloud Car Pilot No. 69630 1982
G 45-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Bespin Security Guard No. 69640 1982
H 47-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" 4-LOM No. 70010 1982
H 47-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Zuckuss No. 70020 1982
I 48-Back "The Empire Strikes Back" Imperial Tie Fighter Pilot No. 70030 1982
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Admiral Ackbar No. 70310 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight Outfit) No. 70650 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Princess Leia Organa (Boushh Disguise) No. 70660 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Gamorrean Guard No. 70670 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Emperor's Royal Guard No. 70680 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Chief Chirpa No. 70690 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Logray (Ewok Medicine Man) No. 70710 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Klaatu No. 70730 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Rebel Commando No. 70740 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Weequay No. 70760 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Squid Head No. 70770 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" General Madine No. 70780 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Bib Fortuna No. 70790 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Ree-Yees No. 70800 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Biker Scout No. 70820 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Disguise) No. 70830 1983
J 65-Back "Return of the Jedi" Nien Nunb No. 70840 1983
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" Nikto No. 71190 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" 8D8 No. 71210 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" Princess Leia Organa (in Combat Poncho) No. 71220 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" Wicket W. Warrick No. 71230 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" The Emperor No. 71240 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" B-Wing Pilot No. 71280 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" Klaatu (in Skiff Guard Outfit) No. 71290 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" Han Solo (in Trench Coat) No. 71300 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" Teebo No. 71310 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" Prune Face No. 71320 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" AT-ST Driver No. 71330 1984
K 77-Back "Return of the Jedi" Rancor Keeper No. 71350 1984
L 79-Back "Return of the Jedi" Lumat No. 93670 1984
L 79-Back "Return of the Jedi" Paploo No. 93680 1984
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Luke Skywalker (in Battle Poncho) No. 93710 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) with pop-up Lightsaber No. 93720 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Romba No. 93730 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Amanaman No. 93740 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Barada No. 93750 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Imperial Gunner No. 93760 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Han Solo (in Carbonite Chamber) No. 93770 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Luke Skywalker (Imperial Stormtrooper Outfit) No. 93780 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Anakin Skywalker No. 93790 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" EV-9D9 No. 93800 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Warok No. 93810 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Lando Calrissian (General Pilot) No. 93820 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" A-Wing Pilot No. 93830 1985
M 92-Back "Power of the Force" Imperial Dignitary No. 93850 1985
N 93-Back "Power of the Force" (Not sold in U.S.) Yak Face No. 93840 1985
E1 6-back "Ewoks" King Gorneesh No. 71120 1985
E1 6-back "Star Wars: Ewoks" Dulok Shaman No. 71150 1985
E1 6-back "Star Wars: Ewoks" Dulok Scout No. 71160 1985
E1 6-back "Star Wars: Ewoks" Urgah Lady Gorneesh No. 71170 1985
E1 6-back "Star Wars: Ewoks" Wicket W. Warrick No. 71250 1985
E1 6-back "Star Wars: Ewoks" Logray No. 71260 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars Droids" Boba Fett No. 39260 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) No. 71560 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" See-Threepio (C-3PO) No. 71770 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Thall Joben No. 71790 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Kea Moll No. 71800 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Jord Dusat No. 71810 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Sise Fromm No. 71820 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Tig Fromm No. 71830 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Jann Tosh No. 71840 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Kez-Iban No. 71850 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" Uncle Gundy No. 71880 1985
D1 12-back "Star Wars: Droids" A-Wing Pilot No. 93830 1985
D2 Glasslite "Star Wars: Droids" (Sold in Brazil only) Vlix No. 77750/ No. 5176.15 1988

In popular culture

In the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars action figures are included in a scene in which Elliot introduces E.T. to objects in his everyday life. The scene begins with Coca-Cola and extends to fish, PEZ candy, a peanut bank, money, and a Hot Wheels car:

Elliot: "Coke. You see, we drink it. It's a, it's a drink. You know, food. These are toys. These are little men. [Elliot 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. [Elliot has the action figures shoot each other.] Look, fish...."

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.

Bibliography

Notes and references

External links

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