I'm going to revisit this thread and rank the figures by card designs.
Return of the Jedi - this is my favorite of the vintage card designs, mainly because it's the one that holds the most memories for me. 90% of my Star Wars collection as a kid came attached to these cards.
The ROTJ line tends to have the best cards designs IMO, since by the time Kenner started planning out this line, they had already developed a great working relationship with Lucasfilm and pretty much got everything they needed. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if most of the ROTJ card photos were taken by Lucasfilm specifically for the action figures.
1. Biker Scout - the best combination of a cool character and a great reference photo.
2. Wicket - an iconic Star Wars character and a great photo, my only complaint is that yellow field behind Wicket is a little large and Wicket almost gets lost in it.
3. Jedi Luke - an interesting choice of a reference photo, considering the Jedis' dislike of blasters; but it's still a very action charged shot with lots of cool alien characters in the background (each sold seperately ). This figure MUST be remade in the current vintage-style line, it's just too iconic for Hasbro to overlook it.
4. Weequay - I love the photo with nothing but sky in the background, it gives it an almost ethereal quality and has a completely different feel when compared to some of the overly dark Jabba's courtiers' photos.
5. Boba Fett (desert scene) - I like this one much better than the flamethrower shot, and really wish that Hasbro would rerelease the VOTC Boba Fett with this photo.
There are tons of other great card designs from ROTJ, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind the most.
Star Wars - this is the most iconic of card designs and really should be number one; but it just doesn't hold the same place in my heart, since most of the 1977-79 figures I got as a kid were secondhand and I never saw the cards until I was in high school.
1. Han Solo - as I mention before, the best combination of a cool character and a great reference photo.
2. Artoo-Detoo - this was the only Star Wars figure I ever got on the card and it was actually the very first toy that I was allowed to pick out for myself (I was four years old). The best of the vintage Artoo card designs.
3. Luke X-Wing - full body shots are always a plus for reference photos and this one just has great colors. Blue and orange are contrasting colors and they energize each other when they are combined, which is what gives this carded figure a sense of movement and excitement.
4. Snaggletooth - the only figure with a Holiday Special reference photo, how can you not love it?
5. Sand People - these guys scared the crap out of me when I was a kid, so I don't think I would have liked the card back then, but it's still a great one.
Empire Strikes Back - The main reason that this one gets third for me is the shape of the logo tends to eat up too much of the reference photos.
1. Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) - ESB was, IMO, Han Solo at his absolute best and this reference photo conveys his cocky and irreverent attitude perfectly.
2. Princess Leia (Hoth Outfit) - while some consider this to be Leia's worst outfit in the films, I always thought that the "buttoned-up librarian" look was a perfect contrast to Han Solo's scoundrel attitude. It's my favorite of the Leia reference photos and, to me, is probably the sexiest if you like that "uptight girl who's really wild at heart" look.
3. AT-AT Driver - I love the close-up of the helmet in the ref photo, it's just too bad that it is placed in such a way that the special offer stickers almost always end up smack dab in the center of his face, making a displayable carded figure very hard to find.
4. 2-1B - no real reason just a great photo
5. Ugnaught - see #4
Power of the Force - the shrunken reference photos really hurt this one for me and I was never to crazy about the POTF logo either.
1. Barada - I wouldn't have named myself after him if I didn't really like the figure. I always really liked the design of the Barada character in the film, it's just too bad that the figure didn't really capture any of that. This is also when we started to see the early signs of steroid-use that became as clear as day in the POTF2 line. Still my favorite, warts and all.
2. Amanaman - just because the figure looks HUGE on that card and he really stands out when displayed with the rest of the figures.
3. Han Carbonite - another huge looking figure (even though it's really just a huge accessory) and I think it's funny that they put Han behind the carbonite block... probably trying to conceal his steroid pumped body (especially that neck!) and lack of eyebrows.
4. A-Wing Pilot - I don't usually like the reference photos that just show a vehicle and not the actual character, but this one is different to me for some reason. I think it's just the combination of colors and the fact that I like the A-Wing design so much.
5. Luke Battle Poncho - there was a noticeable downturn in quality with the POTF line and it was never more evident than when you looked at Endor Luke. Still something about the combination of the figure and the card photo has something that I really like. Even though that reference photo is almost like rubbing salt in the wound when you realize that Luke's helmet is molded onto his head.
Droids/Ewoks - Not really much of a category here.
1. A-Wing Pilot - I just love that drawing, I could write a whole story based on that picture.
2. Boba Fett - same reason, great artwork.