Welcome to The Kenner Cameo Chronology!
Here it is our goal to provide a guide for every time a Kenner (and Hasbro) concept or design has been showcased, outside of the action figure line, in Star Wars collectibles, publishing, animation and so on. The reason for this guide is simple, over the last almost four decades Star Wars action figures have become a popular nostalgic touchstone for many designers, sculptors, artists and directors and here is where we want pay tribute to their work.
Now this timeline is by no means complete as we are planning to add a new cameo each week throughout 2015.
For those who are looking for a list of actual Star Wars action figures appearances in film and television then you’ll want to check out our Star Wars action figure filmography, “Lights! Camera! Action (Figure)!”
And as always, if you know of a Kenner (or Hasbro) Cameo you would like to see featured here, make sure to lets us know on either our Facebook or Twitter feeds or by sending an email to 4LOMKUSS@gmail.com.
Before we begin, we would like to acknowledge Tim Veekhoven and his “Offscreen, but Not Forgotten: Mini-Rings, Body-Rigs and other Kenner Vehicles” as inspiration for this guide. His amazing work at StarWars.com is a major highlight of the official site and if you are an action figure fan and haven’t read all of his articles you are missing out!
– 1983 -
On June 12th, L. Neil Smith’s novel Lando Calrissian and the Mind Harp of Sharu saw release and featured a cover by artist William Schmidt. The cover clearly features a Kenner Millennium Falcon design as obvious by the enlarged cockpit and stumpier design.
- 1985 -
Ewok Battle Wagon
On November 9th, the episode of Star Wars: Ewoks animated series entitled “Wicket’s Wagon” featured the Power of the Force line’s Ewok Battle Wagon. In the cartoon Wicket looses his newly created battle wagon to his rivals the Duloks.
- 1996 -
Millennium Falcon, X-Wing Fighter, Slave 1 (Boba Fett’s Ship)
In 1996, Topps produced trading cards for Shadows of the Empire and this 90-card set was entirely painted by The Brothers Hildebrandt. One can tell by the detail and portions of these ships that the Hildebrandts for many of their cards used the vintage action figure toys as reference. For more on these, “In 1996 Kenner Ships Ruled the Card Art Modeling World“
- 2011 -
Millennium Falcon Cargo Handler & Mini-Fighter
The Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual (Haynes) by Ryder Windham, Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas gives you a detailed in-universe look at a couple of vehicles associated with the famous Modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighter.
This Kenner Cameo may not appear to be too familiar at first glance as it is based on a concept Kenner originally had for their follow-up line to the their 1985 Power of the Force line. In the Haynes Manual this vehicle is renamed the F-LER (Freight-Loading External Rover) and finally given a proper place in Star Wars canon.
In addition to the Cargo Handler’s inclusion they also looked at the massive Millennium Falcon vehicle/playset that was released in 2008’s The Legacy Collection. This BMF (Big Millennium Falcon) included a Mini-Fighter which shot from the side of the two and half foot ship. Haynes rechristened this Mini-Fighter as the YT-XC and described that it, “became popular with pirates and smugglers, who did not hesitate to add blaster cannons and concussion missile launchers that transformed the craft into a miniature starfighter.” For more on these “Kenner Cameos Present: The F-LER & The YT-XC“
– 2013 -
On January 5th, the episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars titled “Missing in Action” debuted. The episode appeared in the fifth season and was part of a four episode story arc featuring D-Squad (a team of astromech droids featuring R2). As D-Squad enters a town on the void like planet of Abafar, they pass a nameless Aqualish dressed in the familiar Kenner blue and orange.
– 2013 -
On September 29th, the episode “Revival” began Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ fifth season. In the episode which centers around the Nightbrothers Maul and Savage, Obi-Wan begins his search the Sith by chatting up a Snivvian Space station Superintendent by the name Morlimur Snugg. Snugg wears what now can be classified as a pilot uniform but long time collectors will recognize his outfit as belonging to the Sear’s exclusive Cantina Adventure Set Snaggletooth.
- 2014 -
Hasbro’s toy line Star Wars Command depicts the Kenner Stormtrooper blaster on its Imperial Officer figurines. For more on this see “New Hasbro Toys use Vintage Kenner Designs!“
- 2014 -
On the final page of issue #4 of Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars: Rebel Heist comic book features a clear nod to Kenner’s Hammerhead in his blue grandma swimsuit. For more on this, “The Spinner Rack is Back“
- 2014 –
On the cover of issue #18 of Brian Wood’s Star Wars title appears an X-Wing which by all accounts should be very familiar to both vintage and modern Star Wars action figure collectors. Pictured to the right of Chewbacca’s head is none other than a Kenner action figure version of the X-Wing Fighter.
It’s Kenner origins are obvious due to its shorter fuselage, depressed R2-D2 dome (which causes the S-Foils to open) and shorter laser cannons. This mold was originally produced in 1978 and has seen multiple repaints and remolds in both the Kenner and Hasbro lines over the years. The particular paint scheme on this version hails from 1995’s The Power of the Force 2 Electronic X-Wing Fighter. For more on this “Kenner X-Wings in Star Wars #18“
– 2015 -
On January 14th, Marvel reentered the Star Wars comic world with its record setting Star Wars #1. The first issue featured over 100 variants and one of the most popular was the amazing cover by artist John Tyler Christopher is a great tribute to Kenner’s vintage packaging. The image of the figure itself has more of a modern sensibility yet still retains the vintage 5 points of articulation. For more on this, “Marvel & Hasbro – Could There be More to Come?“
Marvel has continued to release an Action Figure Cover Variant every month. For a complete database of every cover released to date see our Marvel’s Action Figure Cover Checklist.
– 2016 -
In mid-January, Starwars.com released a trailer for the second half of Rebels Season 2 which featured a glimpse of Yoda’s appearance in the episode. This was followed by an interview with Dave Filoni where he admitted to basing the Jedi Master’s animated design on Kenner’s figure.
– 2016 -
Random House Kids began releasing a new series of Star Wars Little Golden Books. The book entitled “Star Wars: I Am A Droid” written by Christopher Nicholas and illustrated by Chris Kennett featured a vintage Kenner Power Droid.