On episode #12 of J.B.T. Kenner toy design legend Jim Swearingen joins Criz Bee for an hour to talk about the origins of Star Wars action figures. Jim Swearingen designed the first eleven (not twelve) Kenner Star Wars figures, he designed the Kenner Death Star playset, the Kenner X-Wing and Tie Fighter vehicles, and he came up with the concept for the trap doors for the Dewback and TaunTauns. He also designed the very first iteration of the Kenner Boba Fett figure! Listen to the episode and learn what it was like working at Kenner in the 70s, and find out why Star Wars figures are 3.75" tall. All of this and more on JBT episode #12, stream it for free now!
We've recveived a nice surprise from Hasbro! They sent a large envelope in the style of the original Kenner Early Bird Kit from 1977 which included a reproduction of the original 1977 Star Wars stickers. We'd like to say thank you to Hasbro for this fun piece and for sending it our way. We are looking forward to the Star Wars Retro Collection in a few weeks (the single carded figures are exclusively available at Target stores), and if you've been around the website then you already know that Grand Moff Tarkin has already been reviewed here on J.B.
For a look at what figures Hasbro has planned have a look at the photo gallery from this year's New York Toy Fair.
Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 had a fantastic selection of Star Wars action figures on the show floor. Every Star Wars action figure line since 1978 was represented in one way or another. Here are select images of Star Wars figures which we came across at Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019. Click on the image or follow this link to check it all out!
For this episode of JBT Criz Bee went to the archives and pulled out an interview with Kenner photographer Kim Simmons, a.k.a. The Man Who Shot Luke Skywalker! Join Criz Bee and Tom Berges (IGrewUpStarWars.com) on their adventure to learn more about the iconic Kenner Star Wars toy images which dominated their childhoods. Click on through and listen to the interview!
JBT - Jedi Business Talk is currently on spot #34 in the iTunes TOP PODCAST CHARTS! Please subscribe and help the show by leaving a review. On this episode of JBT we learn from Gus Lopez about the Star Wars Droids WHITE WITCH vehicle, he also shares his thoughts about the up-coming Star Wars Retro Collection and some details about Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019! Check it out, listen and subscribe please!
One of the most amazing Star Wars auctions is about to take place on February 28, 2019 at 11am PST. The auction is organized by the PropStore and it features some of the rarest and most expensive Star Wars action figures and toys available in the hobby. We've looked through the entire catalog and picked out some of our favorite items, listed the pricing for you and uploaded a photo gallery. Have a look at this amazing auction!
The White Witch vehicle was featured in the very first TV episode of Star Wars: Droids - The Adventures Of C-3PO And R2-D2 from 1985. Even though we knew of photography which showed the vehicle and Kenner's intention to produce it, it was unfortunately never released. After years of research not even prototypes were found, until now!
We were quite surprised to find a lot of Kenner content in Germany's official Star Wars magazine which is currently available on newsstands. There are two small posters included, one which features the classic line-up of Kenner Star Wars figures with the yellow background, and one which depicts the Battle Of Hoth with several Kenner vehicles and action figures. Both images were captured by Kim Simmons who is interviewed over five pages talking about his history with Kenner in the 80's and his experience photographing Star Wars toys.
Needless to say that if you've grown up with Kenner Star Wars back in the days it's nice to see those toys being featured heavily in a current Star Wars magazine, that's something which we haven't seen in the U.S. version since Chris Fawcett's Jedi Toy Box column. Editorials like this help the new generation of 3.75" Hasbro Star Wars action figure collectors learn about the 40+ year history and it keeps the collector segment within the Star Wars fandom engaged.
The official German Star Wars magazine costs €4.60 (which is currently 5.21 USD) and is available on newsstands until December 20, 2018.
If you don't speak German, you can listen to our own interview with Kim Simmons here.
The May The Toys Be With You exhibition keeps on touring through the UK and the next stop will be Leicester!
"One of the UK's finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys and original cinema posters is going on display in a stunning new exhibition at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery. Coalville was the base for Palitoy - the British company behind the iconic vintage toys – and this Summer Star Wars is coming home!"
May The Toys Be With You is both a celebration of the now highly collectable vintage toy line and also of the iconic design work and art of the Star Wars movies. From X-Wing Fighters to lightsabers, these fantastical designs have fired our imaginations and stamped their place on our cultural landscape. For little kids and 'big kids' alike this is an unmissable opportunity to view many rarely seen Star Wars treasures, and young Jedi may even have an opportunity to dress up and wield a lightsaber themselves!
Look out for an exciting events programme to complement the exhibition including a special opening day event on Saturday 21 July!
For more information about the exhibition you can listen to our Toy Run Podcast where we interviewed the owner of the collection, Matt Fox. For more information about the exhibition have a look at the official museum website please.
It looks like we have a new favorite actress! Thandie Newton wore a custom Vivienne Westwood Couture gown, printed with images of Thandie’s personal Star Wars action figure collection at the Cannes Film Festival. Each character was photographed by Christian Hogstedt and was layered over the iconic Vivienne Westwood ‘Absence of Roses’ print. For the full article take a look at Red Carpet Fashion Awards!
It's amazing to see such a high-profile actress show her love for Star Wars action figures while attending the SOLO: A Star Wars Story film premiere in France at the Cannes Film Festival. The figures which we've made out are Saw Gerrera, Finn, a Kenner Skiff Guard Lando and Captain Panaka!
It's amazing that after all those years we are still seeing Kenner Star Wars action figures on brand new products. The latest find is a diary for 2018/2019 from Danilo, Europe's No 1 official licensed calendar publisher.
The diary costs £9.99 and the description reads as follows:
This premium A5 diary runs from July 2018 to August 2019 and features vintage action figure artwork with quotes from the renowned Star Wars movies. There is plenty of room for notes/appointments and also includes week-to-view ruled pages, timetables, note pages, lined, graphed & plain paper, address pages, list of notable dates, year to view calendar alongside an easy reference tab system and a handy elastic band closure.
No word if it will be available in the United States. Thanks to Matthew Dickens for informing us about the diary. If you are in the UK you can order it here.
Matt Fox's May The Toys Be With You Exhibition is coming to the Experience Barnsley Museum & Discovery Centre in the UK. Vintage Kenner Star Wars toys, original Star Wars posters and prop replicas will be on display between April 21, 2018 - July 15, 2018. The entrance is free.
We recommend that you attend the exhibition on opening day where there'll be a talk from the owner of the collection Matt Fox at 11am and 12 noon.
The description from the museum website reads:
"A touring exhibition of one of the country’s finest Star Wars collections of memorabilia, toys and posters owned by collector Matt Fox. The toys and collectables from this period, including X-wings, lightsabers, posters and figures will all be on display in this magical exhibition for families of all ages to enjoy together."
For opening hours and more information have a look at the official museum website: www.experience-barnsley.com
If you are interested to learn more about Matt Fox and his collection, please listen to Toy Run - The Star Wars Action Figure Cast where we interviewed him.
Entertainment Earth is currently taking preorders for Kenner Salacious Crumb figures and hookah pipes with slave collars. Originally those items were acccessories for the 1983 Kenner Jabba The Hutt action playset (that was 35/36 years ago!). We've reached out to them to see what was going on with that and it turns out that there was a warehouse find and Entertainment Earth will make those items available for purchase in May 2018. So don't miss out on those, they are very reasonably priced at $3.99 each!
Gentle Giant has sent out an email newsletter ahead of New York Toy Fair announcing a variety of enamel pins, including pins based on Kenner's Star Wars action figure line from the 70's and 80's!
"Enamel Pins - The enamel pin craze has swept the planet and once again pop culture fandom is on the forefront of that trend. Gentle Giant Toys is beyond excited to step into this arena with the biggest juggernaut license in the galaxy – Star Wars!
We are launching our new enamel pin program with 2-D enamel pins representing arguably the most popular toy line of all time – vintage Star Wars figures! Subsequent waves will feature current films and characters from movies such as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi as well as looking back across over 40 years of the Star Wars Universe!"
We'll post updates to pricing and availability as it becomes available, please check back!
The Toys That Made Us is a new documentary series on Netflix which focuses on the history of some of the most iconic and important toy lines in history, including Star Wars, Barbie, Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, and more. We are happy to have contributed to this project a tiny little bit by providing some Star Wars action figure photography. Check out the trailer below and watch the entire series on Netflix!
Joal Ryan has updated an article on Yahoo! Entertainment from 2015 where they go back to 1977 and analyze the only Christmas in Star Wars history which didn't have Star Wars action figures on store shelves or under Christmas trees. Our good friend Gus Lopez, who has been a guest on several of our podcast episodes, is featured in the story along with some photography from his website The Star Wars Collectors Archive. It's a a good read, even if you've heard the story countless times over the years. Have a look here!
Target has been selling storage bins with the vintage Star Wars logo and the double race track on them for some time, and they've finally shown up online on their website with free ship-to-store. Those bins are a great storage option for your loose Star Wars action figures, check them out below. You can oder them on the Target website.
Kim Simmons, a.k.a. the man who shot Luke Skywalker, has announced that the vintage Kenner Star Wars action figure calendar is now available for pre-order. Kim Simmons was one of three people who worked on toy photography for Kenner in the 1980's and his photography is featured on a variety of vintage Kenner Star Wars packaging. If you are interested in learning more about Kim Simmons, please listen to our interview with him on Toy Run - The Star Wars Action Figure Cast episode 36.
Below are some images of what the calendar looks like, it will cost $25 plus shipping. More information about how to order can be found on Kim Simmons Facebook page. Tell him that JediBusiness.com sent you!
Gentle Giant is now taking pre-orders of the Kenner Early Bird Kit, which is a remake of the classic Kenner 3.75" Eary Bird Kit from 1978, but with larger sized figures (about 12" tall). The 4-pack will cost $279 and ship towards the end of 2017. You can get your set here.
TMZ.com has posted an article about the up-coming Carrie Fisher Estate auction, which also includes some vintage Kenner Star Wars action figures.
Todd Fisher, Carrie Fisher’s brother and Debbie Reynolds’ son said, “My mother and sister were magnificent collectors, they amassed an amazing and diverse collection in their lifetimes. The size and scope of their collection rivals most museums. So in keeping with my mother’s wishes we have decided to share part of their magnificent collection with all their friends and fans.”
Unfortunately, some items have made it into the auction which were purchased after Carrie Fisher's passing. You can read the entire article on TMZ here: Carrie Fisher's Personal Property Auction
We've been moving some older articles and photo galleries back onto the website and you can now find Pablo Pulido's fantastic Vintage VS. Modern Star Wars action figure photography on the website again. Pablo photographed the opening scenes from Return Of The Jedi with vintage Kenner Star Wars figures and then re-created the exact same scene with modern Hasbro Star Wars figures. Have fun browsing around those photos: