Monday, June 7, 2010

Star Wars Dolls (Kenner)

Star Wars figures. Star Wars vehicles. Star Wars dolls?

Oh yeah, that's right. Star Wars dolls.

In an attempt by Kenner and Lucasfilm to make Star Wars a franchise for young girls as well as boys, 12 inch, or in the case of the smaller characters, 5 inch dolls were produced. But, unlike your typical Barbie doll, these dolls appealed to both boys and girls.

The detail allowed for a 12 inch doll was incredible as compared to the popular 3 and 3/4 inch figures. Not only were the figures exceptionally sculpted, but so were the weapons that each character came with. The clothes were nothing to frown at either.

Eleven dolls were produced under the "Star Wars" banner. The initial concept was to create the main characters, and then simply design and market clothing for each of them as the series progressed, and outfits changed. Had the dolls been a huge success, it's probable that even clothing not seen in the films would have been designed.

However, by the time The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters, it was very apparent that while girls were interested in what was to become the Star Wars Saga, the toys themselves had little to no draw for them. Due to poor sales, the line was eventually dropped, but not before IG-88 was released under "The Empire Strikes Back" banner, as well as a handful of the originally released dolls (not all pictured).

A revision attempt at the 12 inch line during the Star Wars boom of 1995 (AKA when the general public took interest again) was tried. It was moderately successful, but not enough to constitute a "regular" series of dolls. However, this revitalized series continues to have releases. They are marketed more towards hardcore collectors, and are often produced in very limited numbers as most are exclusives to particular stores or events (conventions, SW Celebration, etc.).
If there's one thing that I personally enjoy about these types of series is that they're really just fun to look at. That's part of the reason I enjoy doing these little posts. It's like a mini museum of a particular series.

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