One thing missing from the latest round of Star Wars toys is the miniature catalogs that were included in playsets and vehicles back in the 1970s and 1980s. These were not only features of Star Wars toys. Other lines, such as LEGO brick sets, included similar booklets. As a kid you either learned about the next round of Kenner toys from commercials tucked between Saturday morning cartoons or the big deal for all kids each year–the Sears and JC Penney Christmas catalogs.
Along with the inserts and catalogs, kids would learn about new toys from other sources, like advertisements in comic books, magazines, and even local newspapers. It’s these advertisements that Star Wars fan and chronicler Philip Reed has collected for his next book about toys. Now fully funded is his latest Kickstarter campaign, A Galaxy of Action Figure Savings–a companion to last year’s Collect These Figures and Accessories–a 96-page hardcover book loaded with more newspaper ads, toy photos, commercial screenshots, and images of related marketing materials.
We’ve read Reed’s eighth of now nine books on the history of toys, last year’s Collect These Figures and Accessories, an unofficial overview interspersed with trivia and close-up photos of marketing materials and the actual trilogy tie-in toys spanning 1977 to 1986. It’s easy to spend hours gawking at these artifacts of the past again, comparing prices, and studying those items that may or may not have made it to store shelves. But fair warning, comparing the costs of action figures to today’s prices is a bit depressing.
Reed is including more than two hundred images within A Galaxy of Action Figure Savings, providing a closer look at Kenner’s Star Wars line as it existed when first available in stores. This includes actual sale prices for the toys and follows through to the end of Kenner’s successful run with the franchise.
The Kickstarter campaign is open until month end and includes digital options and bundles with Reed’s prior books. Check it out at the project’s Kickstarter page here.