Who has fond memories of playing with their (original) Star Wars models or toys? Who still wishes they had them – and not just so they could be sold on eBay for tons of cash?
For many, the answer is yes to both questions, and I absolutely have some great recollections of when the Star Wars toys first hit the market. I personally had every action figure I could get my hands on, along with the Darth Vader carrying case, the whole shebang, as did millions of other kids.
I was recently reminded of something I’d forgotten a long ago from Jay West, who’s a toy collector.
West just did a piece for the L.A. Times where he mentioned “the hottest Christmas gift for 1977 was the one that wasn’t available.”
As you may recall, Kenner wasn’t ready for the crush of orders that came in for Star Wars toys, and they sold the “Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Package.”
West writes that this is “the most coveted empty box in the history of retail.” The package promised you’d get your toys in the mail sometime between February and June 1978, and West also mentions if you have the Early Bird Package unopened, it can be worth thousands of dollars today.
One of my babysitters was smart and left all the Star Wars toys unopened because he knew they’d be valuable some day. But I just couldn’t imagine having those toys without being able to play with them.
Then I go on Facebook, and in a funny bit of Star Wars toys serendipity, a friend of mine posted a story from Geekologie with the comment, “This is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.”
What’s so sad? A Star Wars fan’s ex-wife threw out all his toys, and there’s a photo of all of them on the corner waiting to be picked up by the trashman to prove it. ”Oh the Humanity!,” read Geekologie’s headline. And we concur!