Monday, October 27, 2014

Cashin' In

Ron writes:

During the vintage era, Kenner ran a number of rebate programs. These encouraged retailers to participate in advertised rebate campaigns designed to drive sales.

The kits distributed through Kenner's sale force typically contained a brochure and a folder. The latter item housed a number of clip-art sheets, which allowed retailers to design their own print ads.

Here you see the folder for the 1980 "Cash In With Kenner" campaign.

And here's a clip-art sheet providing a number of graphics as well as some numerals. Retailers would use the numerals to add their own prices and combined rebate values to their advertisements.

Here you see a sheet that provides line-art images of the action-figure toys on which rebates were offered.

Finally, here's an actual ad, which ran in the Sunday comics section of a Memphis, Tennessee newspaper on November 2, 1980. You'll notice that it utilizes some of the elements from this rebate kit.

It's pretty cool to see a full-page retailer ad devoted entirely to Star Wars toys.

Of course, a lot of the items being advertised were not part of the rebate program; they were just regular old Star Wars products. The line-art for these likely came from Kenner's repro art books.

A couple of interesting details:

1) The Yoda figure is spotlighted. Yoda would have been the newest action figure in the line at that point in time.

2) Earlier, Star Wars-logo products, like the large-size versions of Darth Vader and Chewbacca, the Death Star Space Station, Land of the Jawas, and the Creature Cantina, were still available.

3) The die-cast TIE Bomber makes an appearance. You sometimes hear that this item was only available in a certain, very limited area, but that's not my sense based on the evidence of price stickers, ads, and old collections. It seems to have been available fairly widely, albeit for a limited period of time and in limited numbers.

Any readers remember shopping at the Memphis Toy City? One of my fave websites, Plaid Stallions, has some shots of interiors of Toy City locations here and here.

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