Star Wednesday: Vintage Kenner Catalogs

It’s becoming difficult to remember a time when we weren’t constantly being bombarded with electric advertisements. The websites we visit, the applications we use, the television shows we watch, and the digital billboards on every corner display images and pitch products 24 hours a day. These printed Star Wars catalogs from Kenner seem old-fashioned in comparison.

Kenner included one of these catalogs inside every Star Wars vehicle and playset sold. The catalogs were updated to reflect new toys in Kenner’s toy line, and the covers were updated with scenes from the most recent movie.

If you wanted to know my inspiration for photographing my “Star Wednesday” items on solid-colored backdrops, now you know where I got the idea from.

I don’t know if the catalogs included pictures of every single toy available in the Kenner line, but it sure contained a lot of them — not just the ships and playsets, but everythign from electronic board games to the miniature diecast vehicles. Each catalog also contained an application for the Star Wars Fan Club which could be cut out and mailed in (along with $5).

I don’t know how many different catalogs were produced — maybe a dozen or so — but I still own three of the ones I had as a kid. Like so many other things, they weren’t considered to be collectible or, to some kids, even worth saving. Me? I loved looking through these mini-catalogs. They were the pictures that held you over until the Christmas edition of the Sears Catalog arrived in the fall. If you’re interested in revisiting these catalogs, they can be purchased on eBay for $10-$20 each, depending on condition.

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