Friday, September 2, 2011

Star Wars - Power Of The Force II (Kenner/Hasbro)



Kicking off our month long Star Wars Extravaganza, we start where what many people consider to be the return of Star Wars (though I never personally got the memo that it had left to begin with) - 1995's Power of the Force II line. The series ran through 2000, and saw a total of twenty-five waves of figures, and several sub series, vehicles, playsets, and accessories.

The series went out of its way to gouge the pockets of happy collectors around the world. Variants, variants, variants was the name of the game, and Kenner/Hasbro and collectors seemed eager to play. From card changes to figure resculpts, to even more miniscule changes such as Collection number or UPC code, the series made more variants than any toy line in history to date.


BASIC FIGURES

Wave 1 launched in 1995 and became infamously known as the "red card" versions - and was also refered to as "orange cards". The red cards lasted for six waves, or twenty-six figures if you didn't personally count them in separate waves.

While most of the figures were readily available, Princess Leia and C-3PO quickly became valuable and difficult figures to find. Packed only one per case, they were often times gobbled up by second hand dealers, or collectors who simply couldn't buy enough. It was because of this that a lot of stores such as Toys R' Us and Target posted signs in the isles that stated "One Figure of Each Type Per Customer". This was their way of trying to get the toys into the hands of as many people as possible, and to discourage scalpers from stalking their isles daily. It didn't work well, and after numerous complaints from parents with multiple children who wanted the toys, most stores removed the signs.

The figures were surrounded by mixed reviews amongst fans. Some thought they were great, while others frowned at the overly muscular sculpts. While Kenner later addressed this issue with more accurate scuplts later down the line, it certainly didn't stop people from buying them up in the meantime.


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Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader
Stormtrooper, R2-D2, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, C-3PO, Princess Leia Organa


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Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot Gear)
Han Solo (Hoth Gear), Luke Skywalker (Dagobah Fatigues), Yoda, TIE Fighter Pilot


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Han Solo in Carbonite, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker
Death Star Gunner, Greedo, Sandtrooper


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Jawas, Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise
Momaw Nadon, R5-D4, Tusken Raider


This was the end of new figures on red cards, which ran from 1995 - 1996.

After releasing wave's one through three, Kenner decided that the sabers were too long, and trimmed them by about 1/3 the size. This caused one of the most difficult variants to find in the series - the short saber in the long saber package. While Kenner switched to a smaller saber, they decided that it wouldn't be cost effectible to throw out or recycle all the bubbles that they had already produced, so they packed the smaller sabers inside the large saber casing of the bubble. After running out, they crafted a bubble suitable to the size of the smaller saber.

In addition to these wave one variants, there was also a change to the card back of Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi. A combination of variations can be found with one of the two different card backs, known to collector's as half body and full body picture on the bio card. Combined with the various saber sizes and bubbles, this makes for a whole lot of possible variants.


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Luke Skywalker (short saber in long saber package), Luke Skywalker (short saber), Darth Vader (short saber in long saber package), Darth Vader (short saber), Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (short saber in long saber package), Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (short saber)


The originally released Boba Fett figure had two half circles on his gloves, while a variant version had a full circle.


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Boba Fett
Luke Skywakler (X-Wing Pilot Gear) (short saber in long saber package), Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot Gear) (short saber)


Han Solo in Hoth Gear was originally sculpted with an open right hand. After realizing that this made it impossible for the figure to hold his included weapons, a second sculpt was created with a closed hand.

The original TIE Fighter Pilot card didn't include a warning label printed on the package. To get around this, Kenner used adhesive warning stickers on the package. The second version includes the label printed on the card.


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Han Solo in Hoth Gear, Luke Skywalker in Dagobah Fatigues (short saber in long saber package), Luke Skywalker in Dagobah Fatigues (short saber)
TIE Fighter Pilot (printed warning label)


While there were no variants for wave five, waves four and six made up for that with two variants from each.

The original Han Solo in Carbonite listed the figure as coming with a "Carbonite Freezing Chamber". It was quickly realized that the actually included item was a "Carbonite Block", and not the chamber itself. Thus Kenner quickly removed the figure from shelves as to avoid a lawsuit for false advertisement, and replaced it with the "Block" figure.

Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker saw a variant by way of production error. Somehow the black used for the plastic of the vest didn't get enough color, and ended up being brown. This is a rare variant to find even today.

Wave six saw the same error and changes that wave three saw. The first Momaw Nadon figure was produced without a warning label, and was supplemented with a label. When the second print was run, the label was printed on the card.

The Tusken Raider figure saw a resculpt of his closed hand to now be open, and be able to hold his weapon.


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Han Solo in Carbonite Block, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Brown Vest)
Momaw Nadon (printed warning label). Tusken Raider


Prior to wave seven hitting shelves, Kenner produced a test run of sorts of variants. These were red carded figures from the first wave with holofoil stickers on them. There are very few known to be in existence.


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Stormtrooper, R2-D2
Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, Princess Leia Organa


Wave seven through twelve (or, the following twenty-eight new figures) introduced the green card era of the Power of the Force II. The series was essentially produced in two different print runs. The first being with adhesive holofoil character labels on the fronts, and the second being with color photos (much like the red card waves).

Kenner now categorized the figures into "collections". There were three total collections, and each figure was numbered at the top as Collection 1, 2, or 3. I have never personally figured out the rhyme or reason to this.


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2-1B, AT-ST Driver, Bossk
Hoth Rebel Soldier, Luke Skywalker in Hoth Gear


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Bib Fortuna, Emperor Palpatine
Han Solo in Endor Gear, Lando Calrissian as Skiff Guard


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4-LOM, Admiral Ackbar, ASP-7 Droid, Dengar, Garindan
Grand Moff Tarkin, Ponda Baba, Rebel Fleet Trooper, Weequay Skiff Guard


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Bespin Han Solo, Emperor's Royal Guard
Princess Leia Organa as Jabba's Prisoner, Snowtrooper


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EV9D9, Gammorean Guard, Malakili (Rancor Keeper), Nien Nunb, Saelt Marae (Yak Face)
Luke Skywalker in Ceremonial Outfit


The green cards ran through 1997.

While the variants in this collection mainly comprise of figures recarded with different collection numbers (listed in the top right section of each card), the most notable change is to the Han Solo in Endor Gear which pants change from brown to blue.


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Han Solo in Endor Gear (blue pants)


Kenner repacked twenty-two of the original twenty-six red card figures on the new green cards with holofoil stickers to give new collector's an opportunity to get the earlier figures, or chase down more variants for the absolute completest. Below each figure is broken down by their original respective wave from the red cards.


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Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Stromtrooper
R2-D2, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, C-3PO, Princess Leia Organa


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Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot Gear)
Yoda, TIE Fighter Pilot


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Han Solo in Carbonite, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker
Death Star Gunner, Greedo, Sandtrooper


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Jawas, Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise
Momaw Nadon, R5-D4, Tusken Raider

***UPDATE***

We had an anonymous commenter point us to a related article to the green carded holofoil figures. It's definitely worth a read if you're looking for further information on the subject.


To meet with supply and demand, Kenner produced a "second print" of figures. Either because they wanted to cut costs, or because they wanted to distinguish between the two print run, Kenner did away with the holofoil labels. Every prior green carded figure was re-released for this run.

Worth noting is that a two versions of the R5-D4 droid are known to be in existence. While a minor change, the button on the side of the figure which activates the "exploding action" can be found in both a "J" shape, and a straight rectangle one. A few have been found on all card variation types, including red cards.


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Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Stormtrooper
R2-D2,Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, C-3PO, Princess Leia Organa


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Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot Gear)
Yoda, TIE Fighter Pilot


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Han Solo in Carbonite, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker
Death Star Gunner, Greedo, Sandtrooper


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Jawas, Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise, Momaw Nadon
R5-D4, Tusken Raider


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2-1B, AT-ST Driver, Bossk
Hoth Rebel Solider, Luke Skywalker in Hoth Gear


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Bib Fortuna, The Emperor
Han Solo in Endor Gear, Lando Calirssian as Skiff Guard


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4-LOM, Admiral Ackbar, ASP-7 Droid, Dengar, Garindan
Grand Moff Tarkin, Ponda Baba, Rebel Fleet Trooper, Weequay Skiff Guar


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Bespin Han Solo, Emperor's Royal Guard
Princess Leia as Jabba's Prisoner, Snowtrooper


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EV-9D9, Gammorean Guard, Malakili, Nien Nunb, Saelt-Marae
Luke Skywalker in Ceremonial Outfit


Much like the holofoil variants, various figures can be found in various collections. Also like the holofoils, the one stand out variant is Han Solo.


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Han Solo in Endor Gear (blue pants)


Wave 13 launched in 1998 with a slightly modified look to the card. Instead of sporting a photo of the character to the left with the name underneath, it was now packaged in with a slide. Each slide came numbered, and had various scenes from the movie, sometimes not even pertaining to the character in the package.

Kenner once again utilized the collection number method on the cards, but this time designated them with a colored bar at the bottom of the package (red, blue and yellow).

Twenty-seven new figures were released for waves thirteen through twenty, now making the Power of the Force collection nearly as large as ALL the figures released in the vintage collection at eighty-one figures (with more to come).


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Endor Rebel Solider, Lando Calrissian in General's Gear, Bespin Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa in Ewok Celebration Outfit


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Biggs Darklighter, Ewoks (Wicket and Logray), Lak Sivrak
Captain Piett, Darth Vader with Removable Helmet, Ishi Tib, Zuckuss


Wave 18 quickly became the most elusive and most expensive figures to find on the secondary market. For whatever reason, Kenner simply didn't release the figures in large quantities. A set of the two would fetch upwards of $150.00 just weeks after they were released.


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C-3PO with Removable Limbs, Luke Skywalker with Blastshield Helmet, Princess Leia (All New Likeness), R2-D2 with Datalink
8D8, Ughnauts, Death Star Trooper, Ree-Yees


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Chewbacca as Boushh's Bounty, Lobot, Mon Mothma, Orrimaarko
AT-AT Driver, Death Star Droid, Pote Snitkin, Princess Leia Organa in Hoth Gear


Before calling it quits on the freeze frame packaging, Kenner re-released 28 of the prior released figures from the green and red cards. Rather than produce all of them, Kenner instead opted to only produce figures that were the most popular amongst buyers in the past.


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Han Solo, Darth Vader
Stormtrooper, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi


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Boba Fett
TIE Fighter Pilot


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Han Solo in Carbonite
Sandtrooper


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Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise
AT-ST Driver, Hoth Rebel Soldier


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Emperor Palpatine, Han Solo in Endor Gear
Lando Calrissian as Skiff Guard


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Grand Moff Tarkin, Admiral Ackbar
Garindan, Rebel Fleet Trooper


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Bespin Han Solo, Emperor's Royal Guard
Princess Leia as Jabba's Prisoner, Snowtrooper


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EV-9D9, Gammorean Guard, Malakili
Nien Nunb, Saelt Marae


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Luke Skywalker in Ceremonial Outfit


There are numerous variants to the freeze frame figures, but all comprise of slide combinations being packed in. It's difficult to tell just how many variations are out there as several dozen have been confirmed. Oddly enough, the most difficult, and most valuable freeze frame packaged figure to find is the Weequay Skiff Guard.

The end of 1998 wrapped up with wave 21 which introduced a new package design to the Power of the Force II series. Keeping the Vader in the top left scheme, the card now sported a green lightsaber which ran up the card vertically behind the figure and sparked behind the logo.

Released mainly to hype the upcoming Episode I film to theaters this new series included a pull tab card known as a "Flashback". With the tab in the up position you would see a photo of the character from the Original Trilogy. Pulling it down would reveal a photo of the character from the upcoming film, The Phantom Menace. Though this unfortunately wasn't the case with most of the figures as some of them were not in the film, and their flashback card revealed a different character.

This selling point was not popular amongst fans, and only eleven figures were produced between 1998 and early 1999 with the flashback cards.

This card design was probably a result of Kenner Toys being purchased by Hasbro Toys which took over producing Star Wars toys, and still retains the rights to do so as of today.


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Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, Hoth Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine
Luke Skywalker with Blaster Rifle, Princess Leia Organa in Ceremonial Outfit, R2-D2, Yoda


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Anakin Skywalker, Aunt Beru, C-3PO


There are no known variants for these cards.

The final waves of the Power of the Force II series ran from 1999 to 2000. By this time, Hasbro was well into production of the new Episode I toy line, and Power of the Force II line was slowly but surely being phased out of existence. Only nine new figures were produced over the course of a year and a half before the series was cancelled, and all but one (and a half) were mere resculpts of prior figures.

These final three waves (which now brought the total figures to 101 total – not including pack ins with vehicles) were released with the Comm Tech figure stands, which Hasbro was hoping would be a high selling point of not only this series, but Episode I. Needless-to=say, it wasn't. The Comm Tech devices were little figure stands with chips inside that when used in combination with the reader would produce sounds and voices from the film. The sound quality was poor, and the chips were difficult to make work.


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Greedo, Han Solo, Jawa with Gonk Droid, Luke Skywalker


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Darth Vader, R2-D2, Stormtrooper
Admiral Motti, Princess Leia Organa


There are no known variations from these final three waves. The most difficult figure to find at the time was R2-D2 which came packed only one per case. It immediately quadrupled in price, selling for upwards of $50.00 on the secondary market within days of its release.

MAIL AWAY FIGURES

Kenner and Hasbro both found wide success with their mail away offered figures which were exclusive to various companies.

Considered to be part of the red cards, Kenner released two mail away figures in 1996. The figures were mailed to each recipient in a plain white box.


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Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise (Kellogg's Exclusive)
Spirit of Obi-Wan (Frito Lays Exclusive)


In 1997, Kenner doubled their mail away to four (but technically six since two were two packs). This time however, they created two, two packs which came in their own unique package design as opposed to the standard plain white box.


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B'Omarr Monk (Kenner Website Exlusive), Cantina Band Member (Star Wars Fan Club Exclusive)
Oola and Salacious Crumb (Star Wars Fan Club Exclusive), Kabe and Muftak (Star Wars Fan Club Exclusive)


Hasbro released two exclusives between 1998 and 2000. Much like the last two Kenner ones, these came in a unique box. Mace Windu was designed as a Sneak Preview figure for the upcoming new film.


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Mace Windu (Sneak Preview) (Hasbro Exclusive)
Wuher (Star Wars Fan Club Exclusive)


GIVE AWAY FIGURES

Kenner even went as far as to give a figure away. In 1997 when Return of the Jedi was re-released in theaters as the Special Edition, Kenner provided specific movie theaters with a recarded Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. The only difference with the figure was the sticker on the front of the package. While each theater was instructed to give one figure away to the first few people in line for the first showing of the film, it is questionable as to how many of those actually made it into the hands of ticket holders.


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Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Movie Theater Edition)


DELUXE FIGURES

Being given a certain artistic license, Kenner took the opportunity to create deluxe figures. These figures came with large accessories that (for the red card series) had nothing to do with actual films, and were rather disappointing to collectors.


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Han Solo with Smuggler's Flight Pack, Luke Skywalker with Desert Sport Skiff
Crowd Control Stormtrooper


The second wave, green card deluxe figures were much better, and consisted mainly of things seen in the film - Though they did manage to make a Boba Fett with a jet pack designed to take him to the moon and back.


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Boba Fett with Missile Firing Backpack, Hoth Rebel Soldier with Anti-Vehicle Laser Cannon
Probe Droid, Snowtrooper with E-Web Heavy Repeating Cannon


ELECTRONIC POWER FX FIGURES

The Electronic Power FX figures were nothing but a fancy way of saying, "Figures with Batteries". Beyond having light up hands that lit sabers or lightning bolts, and sound effects, these were not that impressive, and showcased very little FX. Each figure was packed with a small plastic background piece which doubled as a frame/holder for a cardboard cut out background. The idea was that you would put two of the backgrounds together to create a scene from the film - With the exception of R2-D2 and Emperor Palpatine which came with a stand alone background.

These figures quickly became the first of what would be many Star Wars toys relocated to the clearance isle of most toy stores.


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Darth Vader, Luke Skywakler, Emperor Palpatine
R2-D2, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi


MILLENNIUM MINTED COIN FIGURES

In 1998, Kenner was finding all sorts of ways to repackage figures in hopes of getting collector's to shell out every penny they had. One idea they had was to produce a small line of figures packed with an exclusive coin. To give the set a sense of rareness, it was made an exclusive release at Toys R' Us.

The figures themselves were nothing more than repacks of older ones in the long run. The only stand out figures from this set were both Luke and Leia in their Endor gear which was previously only available as a pack in with the Speeder Bike vehicle. While collectors bit hard at first, the Millennium Minted Coin sets would also be destined for the clearance isle.


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C-3PO, Chewbacca
Emperor Palpatine, Bespin Han Solo


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Luke Skywalker in Endor Gear, Stormtrooper, Princess Leia in Endor Gear


COMPLETE GALAXY FIGURES AND GAME PACK INS

Probably the two biggest flops to come out of the Power of the Force II line were the four Complete Galaxy figures, and the three figures packed in with the two games.

The Complete Galaxy figures were designed as showpieces, and poorly at that. The figures were meant to stay inside the globes they came with, and even if you wanted to remove them, you would first have to make your way through numerous rubber bands. If you did that, good luck getting it back inside.

Both Kenner and Hasbro flopped hard when they released the Escape from the Death Star Action Figure Game (Kenner), and the Millennium Falcon CD-ROM Playset (Hasbro). The only draw to these two were the figures, and both companies knew that. Being expensive, only the most die-hard collector's purchased them.

The figures were slightly modified re-releases of prior figures. The Death Star game included a Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise with slick back hair as if he was in the trash compactor, and a Darth Vader with removable dome. The Millennium Falcon CD-ROM Playset included Han Solo with Flight glove and a headset as seen in A New Hope when the group flees the Death Star only to find themselves going head to head with a squad of TIE Fighters.


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Dagobah with Yoda, Death Star with Darth Vader, Endor with Ewok, Tatooine with Luke Skywalker
Escape From The Death Star Action Figure Playset, Millennium Falcon CD-ROM Playset


THE PRINCESS LEIA COLLECATION AND MAX REBO BAND PAIRS FIGURES

For some odd reason Kenner thought if they released a set of figures focusing on Princess Leia that boys would go crazy for them. They also thought that if they went the extra step and repackaged the same figures again but this time added cloth clothing that collector's would get excited. Kenner was wrong on both fronts. The Princess Leia Collection was a short and not so sweet sub set to the already vast sized Power of the Force II collection. Each Leia figure was packaged with a second figure relatable to the clothing she was wearing, I.E. Bespin and/or Endor clothing.

Fortunately all sub sets from Kenner weren't destined to be flops. The Walmart exclusive Max Rebo Band pairs were widely received, and swooped up quick. Walmart had an extremely difficult time keeping up with the supply and demand for these two packs, often going for days before more stock would arrive. Each two pack contained all new figures, and one original band member was packaged with one new figure as seen in the Special Edition of the film Return of the Jedi.


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Princess Leia and Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and R2-D2, Princess Leia and Wicket the Ewok
Barquin D'an and Droopy McCool, Max Rebo and Doda Bodonawieedo, Joh Yowza and Sy Snootles


GUNNER STATIONS

The Gunner Stations was Kenner's attempt to make a playset/action figure combination that would provide a fun playing experience for children while at the same time be affordable for most people. It was a neat concept, and truth be told was a lot of fun to play with (even as an adult), but was no match or replacement for the actual full size vehicles.


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Millennium Falcon with Han Solo, TIE Fighter with Darth Vader, Millennium Falcon with Luke Skywalker


CLASSIC EDITIONS

I personally wish that Kenner would have made more of these...As in ALL the original figures. Sure they were just reproduced renditions of the vintage line, but how can you go wrong with that? It was affordable, and honestly who cares what the date on the figure is as long as you can get it, and at a good price, right?

Sadly, Kenner only made one classic four pack. If anything, it stood as a homage to the original figures that started it all.


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Classic Edition 4-Pack


CINEMA SCENES

Kenner and Hasbro both released wonderful three packs known as Cinema Scenes. Each one depicted a scene from the films, and three newly sculpted figures. The box had a background on it that you cut out, and insert into the slot on the bottom plastic figure stand.

The three packs also offered a way to get figures that at the time had not been released such as Uncle Owen, several cantina figures, and Jabba's dancers. Of course, most of these figures would be released on cards in future series.


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Death Star Escape, Mynock Hunt
Cantina Showdown, Purchase of the Droids
Final Jedi Duel, Jabba the Hutt's Dancers



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Cantina Aliens, Rebel Pilots
Jabba's Skiff Guards, Jedi Spirits


MULTIPACKS

There were numerous multipacks released which encompassed three figures. They were packaged in a much larger box, side by side, and showcased the figures inside through a window which housed the bubbles of the packages. There was a set created for each film in the Original Trilogy, and a handful of others that were solely compiled under the Power of the Force banner.

While most of these sets contained a combination of figures widely available at the time, the Return of the Jedi set is much more unique. This set includes the only version of Princess Leia in her Boushh disguise on a green card. We know of no other way that this figure can be obtained - With the exception of individually through sets that were broken down and sold on secondary markets. The figure can be found both with and without a hologram sticker on the package.


These sets were most likely sold in wholesale stores such as Sam's, Costco and BJ's.

Special thanks to reader azentz01 for pointing this figure out to us.

VEHICLES, PLAYSETS, CREATURES, AND CARRY CASES

Kenner and Hasbro both took a very cheap route in producing the vehicles for the Power of the Force II line. They simply reproduced ones made from the molds of the vintage series of toys. Slapping a new coat of paint on them, sometimes throwing new stickers in, and boxing them up in new packaging was a pretty rotten way for them to produce vehicles cheaply, but at the same time you can't really fault them. After all, these were pretty cool vehicles.

Fortunately both companies took a stab at newer vehicles that hadn't been produced before, so the line offered some unique new items to seasoned collectors.


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TIE Fighter, Electronic X-Wing Fighter, Electronic Snow Speeder
Electronic Millennium Falcon, Landspeeder, Imperial AT-ST
Imperial Speeder Bike with Biker Scout


Two unique playsets were created for the series, but offered little enjoyment to them. Basically cheaply designed mini playsets, they were designed to capture two action scenes from A New Hope.

The original C-3PO carry case was reproduced for the series, but this time included voice sound effects. A cheaper rectangular box carry case was also produced.


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Detention Block Rescue, Death Star Escape
Carry Case, C-3PO Carry Case


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A-Wing Fighter with Pilot, Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, Luke's T-16 Skyhopper
Boba Fett's Slave I


The Cruisemissile Trooper is an interesting toy. It's rumored that it was a prototype for a toy line that never went into production. Rather than waste the design, it was incorporated into the Star Wars series. Whether or not this is true or not is unknown.


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Speeder Bike with Luke Skywalker, Speeder Bike with Princess Leia, Power Racing Speeder Bike
Cruisemissile Trooper, Radio Control Speeder Bike with Luke Skywalker
Imperial AT-AT Walker with AT-AT Commander and AT=AT Driver, Electronic Power FX X-Wing Fighter


The Wedge Antilles figure which was packed in with the Millennium Falcon carry case has been verified to have two different versions. The first is has the figure wearing Luke Skywalker's helmet, while the second has a more accurate design of Wedge from the film.

The Imperial Scanning Crew Trooper with the Millennium Falcon carry case was a very difficult piece to come across. They showed up in stores, but then quickly disappeared, never to surface again for months to come. This caused the figure to skyrocket in price on the secondary market.


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Hoth Battle, Endor Attack
Millennium Falcon Carry Case with Wedge Antilles, Millennium Falcon Carry Case with Imperial Scanning Crew Trooper


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Jabba the Hutt with Han Solo, Ronto with Jawa, Dewback with Sandtrooper
Bantha with Tusken Raider, Rancor with Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker with Tauntaun, Han Solo with Tauntaun, Wampa with Luke Skywalker


Much like the Mace Windu figure, the Stap with Battle Droid was released with a "Sneak Preview" header. However, unlike Mace Windu, it wasn't an exclusive, but rather mass released across retail stores.


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Y-Wing Fighter with Pilot, Stap with Battle Droid (Sneak Preview), Tatooine Skiff with Luke Skywalker


The Cantina and Jabba's Palace playsets were cheaply made cardboard cutouts that were fitted together with tabs. The only saving grace to them were the exclusive figures inside, but even those were just repainted prior releases.


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Cantina at Mos Eisley with Sandtrooper, Jabba's Palace with Han Solo


MAIL AWAYS

In 1997 Kenner offered a mail away Cantina playset. It was the same as the one above, but released many years before it.


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Mos Eisely Cantina


To coincide with the freeze frame figures, Kenner produced a mail away sleeved holder for them as well as a battery powered projector.


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Freeze Frame Slide Holder, Macrobinoculars Slide Projector






***BONUS***BONUS***BONUS***

SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE

In 1996 Kenner produced a sub series based on the book Shadows of the Empire. The figures saw mild success, but eventually the majority of them would be moved to the clearance isle of most stores.




Chewbacca, Dash Rendar, Leia, Luke Skywalker, Prince Xizor
Boba Fett Vs. IG-88, Darth Vader Vs. Prince Xizor





Boba Fett's Slave I, Dash Rendar's Outrider
Swoop with Rider


EXPANDED UNIVERSE

1999 saw a second sub series known as the Expanded Universe. The series went in two different directions. The first was the figures which were based off of books and comics. The vehicles were based off of the concept designs for the films.



Clone Emperor Palpatine, Imperial Sentinal, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker
Dark Trooper, Kyle Katarn, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, Spacetrooper



Airspeeder, Speeder Bike
Cloud Car


Join us September 5, 2011 for an in depth look at the toys of Episode I!

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42 comments:

  1. you forgot to add princess leia on shadows of the empire card usa version with collection 1 miss print.its a rare version.the 1 you have showen is from canada.

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    1. Good catch. We've updated the post with the USA card. Thanks!

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  2. Great history (as I have the Lee's 2002 guide showing all of this in historical order) but there should be made mention also of: green cards (hologram) collection 1 to collection 3 cards and same thing with Freeze frames card collection and version cards differing. Also with the Princess Leia two-packs there were .00 to .01 Kenner subtle card changes (as also in the 1999 Phantom Menace cards with revision numbers stated on cards)! These are just immaterial card changes to most collectors but a few other serious GOTTA HAVE THEM ALL COLLECTORS!

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  3. I was wondering if anyone could direct to some where I could get replacement parts for a Power Of The Force II AT-AT. I need the head canopy and two head side mounted guns. other than that, my toy is mint condition and I would like to get it back to completion as it was given to me by my grandparents for christmas way back when it was new.

    Email me at evanmcneilage@live.ca if you can help :)

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  4. what about the LPC [long picture cards = front of pack has extended character picture] cards on the potf2 line? they were released in germany only in very small quantities, the weequay lpc is supposed to worth as much if not more than the US freeze frame packaged weequay, can you confirm or deny? thanks

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  5. I have two different variants of the shadows of the empire figures. They are Xizor and Dash Rendar. They are on power of the force red card with tri logo. Are these rare?

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    1. These aren't variants, but rather foreign releases. Thanks to the internet - or more specifically, sites like eBay, no, these are not rare. Currently they sell for between $5 and $10.

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  6. are there only two colors of toys, green and red. I was told that there was also a yellow one but have been unable to find any record of it and need to know for sure before I call them on it.
    thanks

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    1. If you're referring to the cardbacks, we have never seen or heard of any that were considered to be "yellow". However, there are some figures that have a yellow strip at the bottom which reads contain the text "Collection 2". See the repacked wave 11 of Freeze Frames for that example.

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  7. I have a Ben Kenobi POTF red card figure in its store bought condition. It never came with a lightsaber...nothing in the tray. Would this error make the figure valuable/rare? I have looked on the internet and haven't found another story about one like that. Please help!

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    1. There is a niche of collectors who look for things like this, but in terms of it being valuable - Probably not.

      Had you sold this figure in the prime of the red card craze (1995 - 1996), you probably could have raked in a fair amount of cash for it. These days we dare say unless you set your price extremely low, you probably wouldn't even fair much of a chance of selling it at all.

      You have to keep in mind that things like acetate and clear drying glue have made it incredibly easy to make "errors" such as this, and as such, people are more skeptical of them than excited. A perfect example of this is how people like to remove figures from cards and then reinsert them on the wrong card and claim that they found it in the store like this. Sure, factory errors like this happen, but not often.

      Unfortunately at this point, you've probably missed the boat on finding a collector who would pay top dollar for something like this.

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  8. Hi a friend has an Obi wan figure sealed film cell style card missing light sabre. wants to know if its valuable

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    1. There are people out there who collect error items, but in terms of it being valuable - There is no definitive yes or no answer. To the right buyer it could be. To someone like us, no.

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  9. Hi my friend has an Obi wan figure with filn cell sealed but missing light sabre wants to know if it would be more valuable was this a factory error ? Thanks

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  10. Thanks for the article. I loved reading it. Have you hear of a Dash Rendar in a red/orange box?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, this is a foreign version, also known as a Tri-Logo release.

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  11. Wrong card /Luke in dagobah outfit card with Hoth luke

    G day!. I found 4 figures which were carded wrongly. 1990s poth, red card, for example a Luke in dagobah outfit card with Hoth luke. How much would that be worth?.
    Thanks!

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    1. There is no definitive answer to your question.

      There is a niche market for collector's of error cards, but as we have said time and time again, that market is dwindling due to various reasons - Mainly the overabundance of fakes - I.E. error cards that are made at home with a little glue and a lot of patience, then passed off as the real deal.

      Until you find a buyer willing to make you an offer, it's only value is what you paid, and that value is limited to you. Someone could pay you more, the same, or potentially less for it. There's just no way to say until you find a buyer.

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  12. Is this item worth anything ? Picture is in link-http://prntscr.com/8a7vw5

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    1. To be honest? No. The figure has been listed for as little as $3.00 on sites such as ebay, and doesn't sell. They are in abundance to say the least. Pretty much anyone that wants one has one.

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  13. I have a lot of most of these in the boxes still and haven't touched. Where would you recommend finding a buyer? Or what value do you think some of these will carry with the episode 7 releasing next month?

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    1. There are numerous sources for finding buyers - Ebay, yard sales, local flea markets, etc. As to whether or not they will hold any value now or in the future - I don't think they will. That's just my personal opinion though, and not necessarily a fact.

      These particular toys have oversaturated the market leaving supply high and demand relatively low. Will that change in twenty years? Maybe. Maybe not.

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    2. I would be interested in buying from you, depending on which figures and where you're located. Email me if you're still looking to sell! thenantuckettriumph@yahoo.com

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    3. We don't sell any of the items shown on our site;

      This website and its pages herein are designed for educational purposes only. No items shown are for sale.

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  14. Hi I have a couple of items was just wondering if they are of any value one is of the Han Solo in Carbonite with the Carbonite freezing chamber on packaging and the other is of the Princess Leia SOTE in Boushh Disguise Collection1 on packaging. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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    1. They hold value - Just not much. The window for cashing in on the POTF2 and SOTE lines passed in the late 90's, early 2000's.

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  15. Greatly appreciate the depth of this article, but even more so, your responsiveness to comments! I have just one question for you... I bought a ton of POTF2 figures, like many vintage collectors, and have watched the value of those figures plummet in spectacular fashion. Rather than sell for a loss, I'm just letting my son and daughter grab a figure or two every few weeks and rip them open and have fun with them. It's pretty darn fun! I just heard though, that there are a few chars that actually HAVE held their value, or increased in value. For example, Weequay freeze frame seems to be fairly rare and worth hanging on to.

    Are there any other figures from this time period (POTF2 thru E1) that are worth more than face value? Obviously there may be SOME buyers that are looking for a half circle Fett or long saber/short tray variations, but I'm talking about just straight up figures that have been found to be rare.

    Would appreciate your offhand advice, or if you know of a site that keeps good listings like this, a referral over to it! Thanks again. Thoroughly enjoyed browsing through this page.

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    1. You somewhat answered your own question. The original Luke Skywalker on the orange card with short saber / long package is a fairly valuable one. The most recent listing for one ended at $750.00.

      Weequay with the Freeze Frame Slide packed in has always been one of the rarer figures to find. Today it still sells for $250.00 to $300.00.

      The Theater Give-Away version of Jedi Luke Skywalker sells for around the same price as Weequay.

      Oddly enough, the original orange card R2-D2 can also sell for a couple hundred.

      These are just a handful of some of the more valuable figures we've seen from the line. However, as you said, most of the series has plummeted in value.

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    2. Back when I was in 7th grade in Detroit, Mi. My father and I used to go to all the stores early in the morning to get these figures to sell at the Gilbrator Trade Center.

      Im actually going through them now... I have over 200 carded figures..

      So wanted to give you some insight on the rarety and what not back in the day.

      -The long sabers sold more than the Short saber long trays.
      -The non hologram figures came out first and next wave of those came with holograms. Most resellers would remove the holograms and garner about 10$ more for them. You'd sell them all over the floors after packing up. (I even have a ToyFair article to back that up).

      We used to go to toys r us before school started and one of the other resellers elbowed me in the face (im like 12?) while I was grabbing for a hammerhead. Good times. It was a fun bonding experience and im now going through the 200 plus carded figures to post up on ebay.


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    3. also let me know soon if you need pictures of these variants and which ones before I sell them.

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    4. Greatly appreciate that. Next time I dig the collection out, I'll check for that short/long saber and the R2 on orange. Do you have a particular site you recommend for estimating values of a series? Or just manually searching that auction site?

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  16. When we were selling these back when they were coming out.. I was in 7th grade.. and to make money my dad and I would go to the stores early in the morning before school and scope out the latest trucks. I even got elbowed in the face by another reseller while reaching for a hammerhead when that wave came out.

    When they were selling, the long sabers were selling more than long saber short long packaing.

    Green cards without holos were selling more.. so i'd actually take googone and remove the holograms and they'd actually sell for more by about 10 dollars.

    I even have a Toy collector magazine that talks about the holograms and how they are basically worth the same because you can remove the holograms easier... and that the non holos came out first. If you want a scan I can send it to you.

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  17. What a great article! I remember going crazy trying to find the variants with the long & short sabers, JK Luke with brown vest, Han in "Carbonite Freezing Chamber". We found most of them over time. Was at TRU almost every weekend looking. Any info about the SW Buddies (plushes)? I got Yoda back in 1997 (still have it), I knew there was Chewie, Jabba, Max Rebo, R2, C3PO also in the line.

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  18. I appreciate the extensive time you put into all the pictures and descriptions of the waves as they were released, it sure brought back memories! I hope my comments add to your post.

    I found this blog post (from over four years ago) searching for pictures of one of those variants - Collection 1 SOTE Leia Boushh. Unfortunately your answer to a question incorrectly identifies those as selling for $3.00. I would be glad to buy as many as you can supply at that price. They truly are very rare, and still hold good value.

    Regarding the 3-pack figure sets available at warehouse clubs: These were produced over two years. The first year showed red cards, and the second year showed green cards. The rare figure that was sought after was available in the ESB Green card pack. It showed the regular Lando Calrissian figure (not skiff guard or general) on a green card. You state, ironically, Leia Boushh on the green card was the rare figure. Not true.

    Also, there were some rare vehicles. Two different Outrider's (Dash Rendar's vehicle), a green boxed X-Wing (not the Electronic large version), and the Super Star Destroyer, to name a few.

    There ultimately was a methodology to Collection 1, Collection 2, and Collection 3. Collection 1 was used for the heroes (those on the side of the rebels), Collection 2 for aliens and other on screen characters that were neither good nor evil, and Collection 3 for figures depicting the Empire and bad guys. Unfortunately Kenner/Hasbro eventually got to that designation, they didn't start with it. That is why so many of the early green carded waves had figures with a collection number that was then changed - and the bubbles changed from a square bubble to a slanted bubble, making for even more variations.

    I do agree with your primary assertion that those in search of those unique variants would have gotten them at the time, and you have done a good job of highlighting what is still truly valuable. Those that have held the most value to this day are actual variations to the figures such as Tan Vest Luke Jedi or Grey Beard Ponda Baba, not the packaging variations (with the exception of SS/LT lightsaber figures or the rare ones I mentioned above).

    Thanks for all the work and time you put into this post, I will bookmark it as a resource.

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  19. any idea if the r2d2 Canadian orange potf w/holofoil has good value? I have a few of these mint that I was suprised to see that I still had.

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    1. We've seen the holofoil versions sell for between $15.00 and $20.00 for mint condition cards. However, as is the case when selling anything - Step one, find a buyer.

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    2. Perfect! Thanks for the update :)

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  20. Hello, a little while ago I found a PotF2 3pack in a white mailer box in one of the boxes my collection is stored. Must have been there for ages. It contains 3 figs, SotE Luke, Red Card Han Carbonite, and Red card Vader short saber. Box print says 69566.43 and "Made in China". Figures are not bootlegs. No one I ask has ever heard of this 3pack nor can I find anything in the web. Have you guys ever heard about this set? Could it be it was a dealer promotion? 69566 in Lukes number, but I have no idea what the 43 could mean? Any help would be highly appreciated ... many thanks!

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  21. Hello, a little while ago I found a PotF2 3pack in a white mailer box in one of the boxes my collection is stored. Must have been there for ages. It contains 3 figs, SotE Luke, Red Card Han Carbonite, and Red card Vader short saber. Box print says 69566.43 and "Made in China". Figures are not bootlegs. No one I ask has ever heard of this 3pack nor can I find anything in the web. Have you guys ever heard about this set? Could it be it was a dealer promotion? 69566 in Lukes number, but I have no idea what the 43 could mean? Any help would be highly appreciated ... many thanks!

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    1. Sorry, but we don't have any information on that. Perhaps our readers can help.

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    2. Sears and JCPenney offered 3 packs in their holiday wish books. I cannot say for certain but I believe this was the only way to have a SOTE Luke offered with Vader and Han.

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