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  1. #1

    How hard was it to find your figs....wave by wave

    With Jaff's thread in the saga forum being quite popular, I figured I'd start one up for the 12" line. I'll try to update every other day, depending on how well people react to the thread.

    September, 1996

    Luke Skywalker
    Ben Kenobi
    Han Solo
    Darth Vader

    The initial release proved to be a far cry from the vintage 12" line, merely setting the stage for what was to come. Excellent, more realistic sculpts with non-sculpted clothing and accessories made these figures quite popular among collectors. The packaging was the best in the line up to that point as well - the flap over a window box made it perfect for the MIB collector. Initially supposed to include Chewbacca (the figure was repeatedly postponed for reasons I am still not sure of), the set was not particularly hard to find, with the notable exception of Kenobi. Kenner's reasoning for this was that Vader would be most sought after, and so one extra was packed at the expense of Obi-Wan (who IMO was the best figure of the 4). As if this wasn't bad enough, collectors also had to deal with the belt buckle variants, making this figure even harder to find. Luke was also released in two versions, one with dark blonde hair (more movie accurate), and the more prevalent version, that with "blonde" that looked frighteningly pink. Packaging variants also existed, with earlier versions having a dark blue insert instead of the later light blue ones.

  2. #2
    When these figures first came out, I had no interest in collecting them. While they looked great, I just didn't wanna spend the money on them. That changed when I started working at KB that October. The assistant manager asked if I was a SW fan, and if I'd be interested in buying the last Luke figure they had. It was the correct hair version, and since I now had an employee discount, I jumped at it. I bought Han and Vader from there a week later, but no sign on Obi-Wan. In TRU a few weeks later, I asked an employee if they had gotten anymore in stock - little did I realize I was asking one of the managers! She asked me which one I wanted, and went in back. She brought out a full case, and I got my Obi-Wan. I asked if Chewie was in there, but found out then that he hadn't been released yet.

  3. #3
    I remember buying sets from catalogs and that how I got my Chewy. The very 1st release of luke had the blue insert as you stated and had the binoculars on his belt and the second was blistered on the inside of the box. All in all this wave wasn't hard to get.
    [FONT=Tahoma]I was born at night, but not last night.[/FONT]
    You Shouldn't believe everything that you read.
    (Like my posts)

  4. #4
    Ahhh, the good old days of Collector's Series. . . the best packaging of the modern star wars line by far.
    I, too, wasn't interested in the line at first. I finally decided to get the Luke & Vader to keep MIB. After getting the luke, I couldn't resist opening it, and BOOM, he sprang to life! Since then, I never missed a new 12"er to add to my collection.
    I had no trouble getting the first wave, though.

  5. #5
    1/97
    Bespin Luke
    Lando Calrissian
    3/97
    Tusken Raider (w/Gaffi Stick)
    Tusken Raider (w/rifle, binoculars)

    Ahhhh......the crazy wave of the 12"....and not in a good way. I found Luke and Lando in KB by accident....I was looking around, and there they were. Asuming Chewie and the Raider were simply gone due to popularity, I figured I'd wait it out. TRU ran a promotion that "The Force would arrive" on a specific day in January. I went in expecting to find tons of new stuff, including the new 12" Chewbacca that was finally released.....or so I thought. All they had were tons of Lukes and Landos (and nothing in the way of the new green carder figures either - all they did was take all the old stuff and re-set it).

    I learned shortly after that Chewbacca was delayed yet again, and would be replaced with a second Tusken Raider, idiotically packed with a gun and binoculars instead of the gaffi stick (that version being rumored to be rare at the time). Luke and Lando were shipping 4 each per case, and stores were swimming in them. By the time they started packing the Tusken Raiders, stores likely weren't ordering these new cases. And when I finally found a Raider in March, it was the rifle version. I passed up on it several times, until a dealer at my local flea market finally had one with the gaffi stick. It cost me $40, but I didn't see the supposedly rare Raiders at retail until months later in TRU.

  6. #6
    The first wave of Luke with Vader, Ben and Han I did not get until June 1997 when I first bought a specially rare Kay Bee Exclusive with two guys in stormtrooper disguise. I was so amzed by this set that I backtracked and collected every single 12" up to that point in less than a month. Talk about hundreds of dollars.

    The first wave I puchased through one of my dealer contacts. I used credit to get all Dark Blue backs but in the end I just opened them all up. Talk about a waste of credit.

    The second wave was pretty common in the stores. The Lando and Tuskin are among my favorite figs to date. They were awesome.

    Thanks for getting this thread going Tagmac. You the man!
    After 11 months The BEST/WORST figure poll is still going strong.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    I remember finding Bespin luke at TRU and leaving Lando. Soon after that I picked him up. I got both of the Tuskens at a KB. Yeah there was lots of money to be spent!!. In fact I just put my SW collection up in my computer room and can't believe how much stuff I have. It's sick!!
    [FONT=Tahoma]I was born at night, but not last night.[/FONT]
    You Shouldn't believe everything that you read.
    (Like my posts)

  9. #9
    July 1997

    The newest, and best wave of 12" figures hits (to date), as well as the first of many exclusives to come.
    Princess Leia
    Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Gear
    Boba Fett
    Stormtrooper
    1997 Commemorative Limited Hong Kong Edition with Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader

    I had gone to my local flea market to see if the dealer I bought from had any of the new 33/4" figures, and to my surprise, he had all 4 of the new 12" figures! He only charged me $35 for Fett, and $30 each for the rest (not bad considering FAO was regularly $30), so I bought them right away. I did end up seeing these at TRU once about a month later, but that was it. To this point, Boba was definitely the best, with Luke a close second.

    The Hong Kong Exclusive I simply wasn't interested in. The dealer had gotten one in, but I felt it dumb to spend money for 3 figures I already had.

  10. #10
    I found Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Gear and Stormtrooper at the same time at TRU. I then found a case of Fetts at the top of the shelf, that's right a whole case of them. At the time I wanted to buy all of them, but didn't have the cash, so I put them out and everyone went crazy!! BTW, Fett was done poorly. His head is way to small. As for the 1997 Commemorative Limited Hong Kong Edition with Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader I had to have it! It's still one of my favs. Not because of the figures, but the way they were packaged. Remember the JCPenny 4 pack with AT-AT driver, Snowtrooper, Luke and Han? When I saw that one I was so happy to see that there were going to to be packaged together. I thought from that time on that they would all be like that. No such luck. Anyways the best from that wave has to be X-Wing Luke!!:happy:
    [FONT=Tahoma]I was born at night, but not last night.[/FONT]
    You Shouldn't believe everything that you read.
    (Like my posts)

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