Early Bird Gets The Figures

For many kids in 1977, it was an odd gift. A wrapped piece of cardboard? Huh? I can't help but think it would have been confusing, yet exciting at the same time. I have to think this because personally I was too young that year to receive my own Early Bird Certificate Package. Though my love for Star Wars wasn't far behind, and would come very soon thereafter.

Those lucky kids who did receive one were treated to this oversized cardboard envelope advertising the mail away offer.

Flipping the kit over, you could see further information on the offer, as well as instruction for what the envelope could be used for.

Folding it open reveals that the envelope also served as a backdrop and display stand for the twelve figures soon to be released in the Kenner Star Wars line.

Inside the envelope was also the most important part for the kit. The Early Bird Certificate for actually ordering your figures. This would need to be filled out and mailed in to ultimately redeem your set of four action figures.

Lastly, there was also a set of stickers.

When the figures finally arrived, they came in a plain white box with a label adhered to the front.

But inside was a true delight. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and R2-D2, along with a set of stand pegs for inserting into your early bird kit display piece. Fans of the original Early Bird kit are particularly keen on the rare telescoping lightsaber included with Luke.

Also inside the kit was an offer to mail away for a plastic display stand with cardboard backdrop. On the back of the form was the instructions for using the stand pegs, which also included a blurb on the all new action figures.

The last item included was a catalog showcasing all the upcoming new figures and Star Wars related toys from Kenner.

All and all, this was one exciting kit, and a Holy Grail in very select Star Wars collections these days. But how about you? Were you old enough to receive your very own Early Bird Kit? What was your reaction not only for the kit, but the figures when they finally arrived? 

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  1. I did get one! I don't remember the kit so much as getting the figures. I think they were the first ones I ever had in that scale. I don't have specific memories playing with the First Four but seeing them in the tray just brings a nostalgic happiness that was the start of my Star Wars collecting.

    1. That's awesome, man! I wish I got one as a kid, but way too young at the time.

  2. I was six when these came out but never knew about it until years later. My first Star Wars figure was Chewbacca which my parents had with them when they picked my brother and I up from a week long summer camp. He got a Stormtrooper. That was the beginning. The whole Early Bird set was brilliant.

    1. My first four figures were a four pack from Sears or JC Penny.