6:21am PT by Ryan Parker
Vintage 'Star Wars' Empty Toy Boxes Go for Thousands Online
It seems everywhere you look right now, there is some mention of Star Wars. And it makes sense — the latest franchise installment, Rogue One: A Story Wars Story, opened in theaters last night and fans are once again losing their minds.
To mark the occasion, Heat Vision thought it would be fun to take a stroll down memory lane, way back to Christmas time 1977, when kids were just as obsessed with Star Wars as they are now, but because A New Hope was such a surprise hit, had to settle for an empty box that promised a few action figures in perhaps six months down the road.
It was called the "Star Wars Early Bird Kit." The box, or actually more of a large envelope, included a cardboard stand for action figures, some stickers and a certificate that was redeemable by mail for four figures: Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, and R2-D2. The figures would arrive between February 1 and June 1, 1978, according to the (epic) TV commercial.
The company licensed to make Star Wars toys, the since defunct Kenner, was caught off guard by the overnight massive demand for products, specifically action figures. The company, not wanting to miss out on holiday shoppers, came up with the early bird kit, according to the official Star Wars site.
The kit is pretty cool looking. The figure display is awesome. But damn, six months for figures?!
It's almost unfathomable now. Seems like there are figures everywhere you go. "Give me $20 on pump No. 9, and oh, is that a Jyn Erso?"
For collectors, those empty kits are still available for sale on auction sites. And they only go for hundreds, up to thousands, of dollars ... And why not, it's not like they cost $8.99 originally. (Psst. That's exactly want they sold for in '77.)
So fans, parents, sit back and enjoy the ease at which you can get Star Wars figures these days. Oh, and just for fun, check out the vintage commercial for the Star Wars Early Bird Kit.