The Saga of Star Wars' Toys Is Almost Better Than the Actual Movies

As much as the original Star Wars was a revolution in filmmaking that gave birth to the summer blockbuster, it was also responsible for the idea of marketing and merchandising the crap out of a film property. It all started with a hastily-designed line of action figures and toys that collectors are still desperate to snatch up. And if you were young enough to remember a Boba Fett figure that never actually fired rockets, you'll probably love Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys.

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The documentary talks to die-hard collectors, designers and executives at toy company Kenner who created the original toy line, and even folks associated with Lucasfilm to tell the story of how a merchandising empire was born. Did you know that kids back in 1977 could only purchase a cardboard certificate that guaranteed them a set of four figures months later, since Kenner secured the rights so late in the game and didn't have toys ready for the first Christmas? These days that would put an end to a franchise before it even hit theaters. [Vimeo]

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DISCUSSION

true story. a former Kenner employee was told that they were clearing out a warehouse when Kenner was bought out by Hasbro. they said "we're tossing all this stuff in the trash.. come get it if you want it."

he went and stuffed his station wagon with all sorts of pre-production material, drawings, art work, prototypes, etc.... a lot of one of a kind items. he thought "hey star wars was a big deal... surely someone will want this later on."

i saw him sell this stuff for hundreds of thousands of dollars later on in life. talk about being in the right place at the right time.