Name: Early Bird Figures
Collection: The Saga Collection
Number: N/A (Exclusive)
Source: A New Hope (Replica Of Vintage Early Bird Figures)
Availability: September 2005
Back in 1977, Kenner celebrated the launch of the original Star Wars movie with a truly unique item: the "Empty Box" promotion. With the runaway success of Star Wars and no time to produce their now-famous figures in time for the holidays, Kenner offered Star Wars fans an alternative: an “Empty Box” that included no figures, but instead contained a mail-in certificate that fans could redeem for four 3.75” Star Wars action figures by mail-- the very first Star Wars figures ever made.
Now, to celebrate the May 19th launch of the last Star Wars movie, Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Hasbro has created a near-exact replica of that 1977 “Empty Box” with a certificate that offers updated versions of the first four original Star Wars action figures from 1977: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2, and Chewbacca. Get yours while supplies last – only 50,000 will ever be available, far fewer than in 1977!
The Early Bird Set includes four sturdy 3¾ inch scale, plastic poseable figures (see photo below):
Luke Skywalker - with a lightsaber which slides out of its hand-held case ready for action
Princess Leia - with her special star puffs hairdo, and laser pistol like the one she used in the movie.
R2-D2 (Artoo-Detoo) - with movable legs and a head that "clicks" as it turns around.
Chewbacca - with his special laser rifle and ammunition belt across his chest.
There remains debate on the official beginning of The Saga Collection. Loosely known as the “collection of 2006,” the line actually really spanned from 2005 through 2007. And when the Revenge Of The Sith collection was released in April of 2005, Hasbro assured Original Trilogy collectors that they weren’t forgotten and along with the new ROTS line they also released the Early Bird Certificate Package. What better way to hold a grasp on the old time collectors, huh? Hasbro promised us that later in the year they would send us the four figures, just like they did in 1978, to our homes and the delivery was one of the most anticipated of all time. And it really was the perfect opening act for The Saga Collection. Since The Saga Collection was going to be the first collection to span across all six films and various Expanded Universe sources so what could be better that starting it off with the first four figures that started Star Wars collecting from the very, very beginning? We thought it was a perfect start and so did many other collectors. Although not all of the figures included were super-articulated, there was still enough in the small mailer box to make most everyone very happy. Overall, the Early Bird Certificate Package may be the more impressive replica here, but getting four Early Bird Figures is pretty remarkable too.
Perhaps the included Luke Skywalker figures pays the most homage to the original vintage Kenner figure. Hasbro built in a real functioning telescoping lightsaber (in blue this time) that slides up and down a cavity in his arm. It’s cute, but not really necessary or warranted. This is gimmicky at best, but it will definitely stroke the heartstrings of hardcore collectors. We think the coloring of Luke Skywalker is off and we’re not sure why he looks so bizarre. But he is too dark and Hasbro should have spent more time getting the palette correct. Princess Leia is a great figure if you don’t mind miniature statues. Limited with only four points of articulation, she is a one pose wonder and not a figure you’ll be able to do a lot with thanks to her very limited mobility. The proportions are great and her hood up look splendid, but instead of giving us an “ultimate” version of Princess Leia, we get this type of figure instead. Chewbacca is awesome. Hasbro took the 2004 VOTC figure and gave him an Episode IV specific head. It looks incredible. And R2-D2 (Artoo-Detoo) is a retool of the 2004 VOTC version as well and the droid comes with a lot less accessories and a glued down front panel. R2-D2 still has a shiny dome and until this is resolved we will still say a definitive update is needed.
Assortment Number: 85868
Retail: $0.00 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Luke Skywalker is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 7 points
Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, swivel left arm, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: telescoping lightsaber
Date Stamp: 2005
Status: Princess Leia is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 4 points
Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 swivel shoulders, swivel waist
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: blaster rifle
Date Stamp: 2005
Status: Chewbacca is a retool of 2004's VOTC Chewbacca figure. This time the figure has an all-new head.
Articulation Count: 15 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, ball-jointed torso, ball-jointed mid-section, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: bowcaster (2 pieces)
Date Stamp: 2004
Status: R2-D2 is a retool of 2004's VOTC Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Extension Arm) figure. This time the figure doesn't come with all of the accessories and the front panel has been glued down.
Articulation Count: 5 points
Articulation Details: swivel dome, 2 swivel arms, 2 swivel "ankles"
Accessory Count: None
Accessory Details: None
Date Stamp: 2004
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