Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1978
1978 - the first year Kenner released toys. Chewbacca was my favorite character, and I had to have him! R2D2 was my first figure though. Then I got the stormtrooper and Chewie.
Luke I got loose, from a friend, for a birthday (not even wrapped, just in a brown paper bag with a ribbon - but I didn't care).
I got Han, Leia, and the Death Squad Commander all together, but I think I got the rest of them before then. I can't recall.
I liked the Die-Cast vehicles then too - the X-wing and Vader's TIE were my first. I couldn't wait until I got the regular TIE Fighter, because even then I knew Darth Vader couldn't lose. Once I had that white die-cast fighter, adventure started to explode. But I wanted the (die cast) Millennium Falcon more than anything!
I think I had the landspeeder that year too (for the regular figures). It was more than fun to make it haul-butt over the tile floor!
Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1979
My uncle helped me get the Death Star Playset and the Millennium Falcon for the regular sized figures.
These were always in the top 3 of my all-time favorite toys.
The droid factory provided hours of amusement, while finally, at long last, new colorful figures like Greedo, a favorite character, saw entry into my collection. The cantina aliens and droids like R5D4 made my day! The catalogs started coming with the vehicles and playsets, so I would rush into them as soon as the box was open, to see what else was new.
I got the mail-away figure stand that rotated and displayed my collection, too. I also got the cantina playset with the plastic and cardboard, and that saw a lot of use too.
12" interest came as soon as they made Chewbacca. I had to have him. Soon I had C-3PO and Han Solo as well. Han eventually became my favorite, as he was so detailed.
Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1980
Every day I was checking the mail for that send-away Boba Fett.
The Hoth Ice Battle playset really blew because I so much wanted a plastic AT-AT and not more cardboard.
I wasn't old enough to read, so I didn't believe my Mom when she told me "the lady in red" was Princess Leia. I told her Leia always wore white, and I didn't know what to make of Lando (these came out before I saw the movie).
Bossk was really cool. As was getting Luke that could hold things in both hands and not always have a lightsaber (Bespin - my early favorite Luke figure). Han Hoth rocked because he had a holster. I was into TaunTauns more than any previous Star Wars creature, so that was awesome.
The Imperial Attack Base playset, which really was supposed to be the Hoth Rebel Trenches upped the bar on playsets (though it didn't out-do the Death Star).
Slave-One was interesting, but once I saw the movie, I was really afraid of Boba Fett and fear led to anger...etc. So I just couldn't take to bounty hunter products like others could.
Finally Han Solo Bespin became my favorite Han figure for all the vintage years.
Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1981
In the face of getting the AT-AT, everything else pales. This toy rounds out my top 3 of all Star Wars vehicles and I nearly slept with the thing, I loved it so!
The AT-ST was pretty innovative, and I can't recall if I got it this year or not. But it proved to be a lot of fun, and I really liked my AT-AT Driver figure.
Getting a C-3PO I could take apart was really cool, also. The Cloud Car didn't do too much for me, but I obsessed with having two pilots for it, but Mom didn't understand.
Leia Hoth and the Imperial Commander were also cool. How I still wanted General Veers... (and I thought they should do a proper Piett back then too).
I think the Dagobah playset came out then as well, and I really liked making Luke levitate stuff, and having lightsaber duels.
I was very practiced in talking like Yoda.
Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1982
I can't recall what came out this year, versus the other one, save that Luke Hoth was a very good figure, I finally got General Veers (though they've never called him that save for the Canadian Cardback) and I loved the periscope R2.
The Turret and Probot Playset might have been from the year before, but it was cool nevertheless.
I sent away for Admiral Ackbar - but he was no surprise. He looked too friendly to be anything but a Rebel.
Oh, I also remember getting Yoda as a mail-away. It is not widely recalled or known, but he definitely was. By this time, my Mom was telling me these could be valuable, and I think she still has a Yoda she sent away for - and save for the white box, it's sealed. I remember this because I'm not certain, but I think it was a brown snake and I was constantly begging her to open that Yoda, but she took it away and said "when you're older..." I had the orange snake that looked fake, and had to live with it.
Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1983
Getting Luke Jedi, my favorite Luke, with a cloth cape, was so cool! I loved his gun, too.
All the cloth they used this year was exciting, as were many of the disguised figures, some of the best "Kenner" ever did.
Gamorrean, Leia Boussh, Lando Skiff, Klaatu, Weequay, Bikerscout, Bib Fortuna, Royal Guard! Wow! You name it.
I mailed away for the Emperor, got a Y-wing fighter (which I loved the toy, though it never did anything for me in the movies...)
And I think my favorite thing was the Ewok Village. I was really into Ewoks as a small kid that year. OK, so Endor Rebel Soldier grew on me, and I appreciate "my old AT-ST" even more.
The speederbike was darn fun. I wished my Mom would buy me more. I had to settle for only one.
Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1984
I had an accident and was in the hospital when my mom brought me Han Endor (with that cloth cape again, rivaling my favorite Han Bespin), and I also got Wicket and the B-wing pilot then, too.
I got better quickly, so I could go home and fill my Ewok Village for new adventures. Leia Endor was also a superior figure with all her accessories and removeable helmet. The skiff guards kept getting better and better, too. That got me into Jabba, and I had to get him and Salacious also.
I started seeing the shuttle Tyderium in Toys R Us, but Mom said no. It was around $50 then, I think. Maybe more. It was too expensive, but way too cool.
I never was able to get the B-wing either, back then, and my friend had it - of which I was most envious. I'm not sure how, but I think I had a Rancor. Easily the ultimate of the beast collection!
Yes I did have him, and the monster and Malakali its keeper used to have their own adventures, eating my Jawas and Sandpeople!
The Dewback proved too large of meal...
[and it was great fun, when the Rancor went to Cloud City - that's how I bent my cardboard....]
Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1985
It was almost time for me to be heavily into Voltron and Transformers (others were already started)
But Luke Stormtrooper was so sweet! I longed for my then and still-at-present favorite, Han Solo, in his shiny, white armor.
Lando with a cloth cape rocked, for The General. Amanaman was fun, too. He used to have adventures eating people! The Dignitary was fun, because I made him the new Emperor so the battles could continue. I got Anakin's ghost from a mail-away offer.
I never saw the skiff or A-wing in stores. I collected all the Droids and Ewoks stuff that were available, but I yearned for more 'adult Star Wars.'
I also thought the gun size the A-wing pilot and Death Star Gunner etc. were coming with was more realistic, and though I was constantly paranoid about losing the tiny pieces, I loved 'em all. Luke Endor was again a great figure. Why he never had a removeable helmet like Leia, I'll always wonder. By this time, Speederbikes were gone, or I would have really gotten another.
Good Memories - A history of collecting: 1991
Does this year count? I think so.
Timothy Zahn's novels hit the store, and Dark Horse was rumored to follow with Dark Empire. I was so much back into Star Wars (and my VCR tapes had never collected dust anyway - from so much use during 'The Dark Years'). I almost went out and collected those Bend'ums figures.
Star Trek the Next Generation came out with figures the following year, and because I so much had loved collecting Star Wars, I started getting 'just 10 Trek figures,' and that got me in the toy stores.