Thursday, May 4, 2017

MINICATS! - A Guide to Kenner In-pack Mini Catalogs

Steve writes:

 Our old pal Yehuda is back with a thorough review of the in-pack product catalogs and flyers produced for the vintage Kenner Star Wars line. I dare say this may be best titled "Mr. Kleinman's Opus."



Yehuda writes:

From the initial marketing of Kenner's first available Star Wars toys in 1977 with the "Early Bird Set" mailer to the conclusion and final releases of the Droids and Ewoks lines in the mid 1980s, mini catalogs were an included staple along with the packaging of the toys. These insidious little booklets filled the wish lists of millions of children, often portraying the full line of available Star Wars figures, vehicles, playsets, and other available Star Wars goodies as well as frequently debuting upcoming expected releases, which at times were portrayed in interesting early prototype form. Kenner perpetuated the idea that children should "collect them all" and the minicats became a blueprint for kids to try and achieve that difficult, dreamlike goal.

This article will review the many different types of minicats that were released in the United States and throughout the world during the vintage Star Wars run. Since this is an area in the hobby that has been less reviewed over the years, this article is meant as a preliminary but hopefully relatively comprehensive list for much of what was produced. The list is likely not complete, and I encourage any other collectors to add any other information not contained in this initial discussion to the comments.

Included will be a category rating for scarcity based on my experience which is subjective and should be used only as a rough guide to collecting, with Category 1 being the most common with increasing scarcity to Category 4.

Below is a guide as to how the classification system is used.

Category 1 - Wide market release catalogs included in many different toys.

Category 2 - Less common variants of Category 1 catalogs.

Category 3 - Wide market release catalogs only available with 2-3 different toys; rare variants of Category 1 catalogs; more common foreign to U.S. books.

Category 4 - Wide market release only available in one toy; most foreign to U.S. books; other rare oddities.

The list will go in chronological order and will differentiate between domestic and foreign catalogs as well as notable variations such as binding differences, year of release and the number of figures listed in the catalogs. The number of pages includes both the front and back covers.

UNITED STATES RELEASES 

STAR WARS

1. Star Wars (1977) -  Kenner - Hildebrandt Art (Category 4) - Archive Database Entry 
Small Early Bird catalog. Glued; 8 pages. 12 actor pictures shown instead of the upcoming figures which were not ready for photography.

2. Star Wars (1977) - Kenner - Hildebrandt Art (Category 3) - Archive Database Entry
Large Early Bird catalog. Glued; 8 pages. First 12 figures pictured.

3. Star Wars (1978) - Kenner - X-Wing Cover (Category 2) - Archive Database Entry
Glued; 12 pages. First 12 figures pictured.




4. Star Wars (1978) - Kenner - X-Wing Cover (Category 2)
String bound; 12 pages. First 12 figures pictured.




5. Star Wars (1978) - Kenner - X-Wing Cover with Pink Banner (Category 2) - Archive Database Entry
Glued with insert; 20 pages. 20 figures pictured.




6. Star Wars (1978) - Kenner - X-Wing Cover with Pink Banner (Category 2)
String bound with insert; 20 pages. 20 figures pictured.




7. Star Wars (1979) - Kenner - Death Star  (Category 1) - Archive Database Entry
Glued; 16 pages. 21 figures pictured (including Boba Fett).

8. Star Wars (1979) - Kenner - Large Figures/Cash Refund Cover (Category 2) - Archive Database Entry
Glued; 8 pages. Given out at movie theaters.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

9. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Kenner - Empire Strikes Back Logo (Category 1)
Glued; 16 pages. 2 lines of copyright info on front cover. 32 figures pictured (including Yoda).

10. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Kenner - Empire Strikes Back Logo (Category 1)
Archive Database Entry
Glued; 16 pages. 5 lines of copyright info on front cover. 31 figures pictured.

11. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Kenner -  Empire Strikes Back Logo (Category 1)
String bound; 16 pages. 5 lines of copyright info on front cover. 31 figures pictured.



12. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Kenner - Luke & Yoda Cover (Category 1) - Archive Database Entry
Empire logo on back. Glued; 12 pages. 41 figures pictured.


13. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Kenner - Luke & Yoda Cover (Category 1)  
Empire logo on back. String bound; 12 pages. 41 figures pictured.


14. Empire Strikes Back (1981) - Kenner - Luke & Yoda Cover (Category 1)  
Toys displayed on back. Glued; 12 pages. 41 figures pictured.

15. Empire Strikes Back (1981) - Kenner - Luke & Yoda Cover (Category 1)  
Toys displayed on back. String bound; 12 pages. 41 figures pictured.

16. Empire Strikes Back (1982) - Kenner - Star Wars Collections Silver Cover (Category 1) 
Archive Database Entry
Stapled; 20 pages. 48 figures pictured.

17. Empire Strikes Back (1982) - Kenner - Star Wars Collections Silver Cover (Category 1)
String bound; 20 pages. 48 figures pictured.

18. Empire Strikes Back (1982) - Kenner - Star Wars Collections Gray Cover (Category 1)
String bound; 20 pages. 48 figures pictured.

RETURN OF THE JEDI

19. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Kenner - Vader and Royal Guards Cover (Category 2) 
Archive Database Entry
Stapled; 24 pages. 65 figures pictured (two Ewoks blacked out).


20. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Kenner - Vader and Royal Guards Cover (Category 1)
Stapled; 24 pages. 65 figures pictured.

21. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Kenner - Vader and Royal Guards Cover (Category 1)
String bound; 24 pages. 65 figures pictured.

22. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Kenner - Jabba the Hutt Cover (Category 1) - Archive Database Entry
String bound; 20 pages. 77 figures and sketch of Imperial Shuttle toy pictured.
23. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Kenner - Jabba the Hutt Cover (Category 1)  
Stapled; 20 pages. 77 figures and actual Imperial Shuttle toy pictured.

24. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Kenner - Jabba the Hutt Cover (Category 1)
Stapled; 20 pages. 79 figures and actual Imperial Shuttle toy pictured.



25. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Kenner - Jabba the Hutt Cover (Category 1)
Glued; 20 pages. 79 figures and actual Imperial Shuttle toy pictured.

26. Power of the Force (1985) - Kenner - Planetary Map (Category 3) - Archive Database Entry
Tatooine foldout map. 93 figures pictured (including Yak Face).

27. Power of the Force (1985) - Kenner - Planetary Map (Category 3) - Archive Database Entry
The Death Stars foldout map. 93 figures pictured (including Yak Face).

28. Power of the Force (1985) - Kenner - Planetary Map (Category 3) - Archive Database Entry
Endor: The Sanctuary Moon foldout map. 93 figures pictured (including Yak Face).

ADDITIONAL VARIATIONS & SPECIALTY ITEMS

29. Star Wars (1978) - Kenner - Burger Chef Fun Book (Category 4) - Archive Database Entry
Glued; 16 pages. Minicat #3 with an additional Burger Chef cover with games - "Find the Figures" game variation.


30. Star Wars (1978) - Kenner - Burger Chef Fun Book (Category 3)
Glued; 16 pages. Minicat #3 with an additional Burger Chef cover with games - "Space Maze" variation.

31. Empire Strikes Back (1982) - Kenner - Dixie Cups Action Figure Catalog (Category 3)
Included with boxes of Star Wars Dixie Cups. Featuring 48 figures on one side and vehicles on the reverse.


32. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Kenner - "Star Wars is Forever" Poster Mail Away (Category 3) 
Archive Database Entry
 Featuring movie characters on the front and 79 figures on the reverse.

INTERNATIONAL RELEASES

1. Star Wars (1979) - Palitoy - Great Britain - Death Star Cover (Category 4) - Archive Database Entry
Reprinted by the fan magazine Area 51 (reprints are marked on the back).
Area 51 Reprint


2. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Palitoy - Great Britain (Category 3)
2-sided toy poster featuring the AT-AT on font and wider catalog on back.


3. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Palitoy - Great Britain (Category 3)
2-sided toy poster featuring the Yoda puppet and Millennium Falcon.


4. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Palitoy - Great Britain (Category 4)
2-sided toy poster featuring the Palitoy Chipboard Death Star.


5. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Palitoy - Great Britain (Category 4) 
Return of the Jedi poster featuring a B-Wing in the center surrounded by toys. English logo only.


6. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Palitoy - Great Britain (Category 2)
Tri-Logo poster featuring a B-Wing in the center surrounded by toys.


7. Power of the Force (1985) - Great Britain Catalog with Imperial Shuttle Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 12 pages. Reprinted by the fan magazine Area 51 - reprints are marked on the back.

8. Star Wars (1978) - Kenner Canada - X-Wing Cover (Category 3)
Foldout. [image currently unavailable]

9. Star Wars (1979) - Kenner Canada - LA GUERRE DES ETOILES X-Wing Cover (Category 3)
Rebate offer; foldout.

10. Star Wars (1979) - Kenner Canada - X-Wing Cover (Category 3)
Glued; 6 pages. [image currently unavailable]

11. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Kenner Canada - ESB Logo on cover in small font. (Category 3)
Bilingual. Stapled; 20 pages.

12. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Kenner Canada - ESB Logo on cover in large font. (Category 3)
Bilingual. Stapled; 32 pages.

13. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Kenner Canada -  L'EMPIRE CONTRE ATTAQUE (Category 3) 
Luke & Yoda on cover. Bilingual. Stapled; 24 pages.

14. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Kenner Canada - Vader & Royal Guards Cover (Category 3)
Bilingual. Stapled; 48 pages.






Return of the Jedi (1983) - Kenner Canada - Vader & Royal Guards Cover (Category 3)
Bilingual. Stapled; 48 pages. [image currently unavailable]

16. Star Wars (1979) - Germany - Hildebrandt Art Cover (Category 4) - Archive Database Entry
Foldout. Prototypes of the 8 second wave Star Wars figures pictured.


17. Empire Strikes Back (1981) - Parker - Germany - Poster (Category 3)
Featuring figures on the front and vehicles on the back. [image currently unavailable]

18. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Parker - Germany - Poster (Category 3)
Featuring vehicles and figures on both sides.


19. Return of the Jedi (1984) Parker - Germany - Ewok Village 14 Page Foldout (Category 3) 
[image currently unavailable]

20. Power of the Force (1985) - Germany - Catalog with Imperial Shuttle Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 12 pages. [image currently unavailable]

21. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Meccano - France - L'EMPIRE CONTRE-ATTAQUE Folded Poster Catalog (Category 4)

22. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Meccano - France - Le Retour Du Jedi Logo Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 16 pages. AT-AT on back.


23. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Meccano - France - Le Retour Du Jedi Logo cover/ Ewok Village on back (Category 4)
Stapled; 16 pages. [image currently unavailable]

24. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Playmix - Sweden - TIE Interceptor toy on cover (Category 4)
8 pages. [image currently unavailable]

25. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Playmix - Sweden - Space battle featuring the Death Star and Millennium Falcon on cover. (Category 4)
12 pages. [image currently unavailable]

26. Power of the Force (1985) - Sweden - Catalog with Imperial Shuttle Cover (Category 4) 
Archive Database Entry
Stapled; 12 pages.


27. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Lily Ledy - Mexico - Vader and Royal Guards Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 12 pages.

28. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Lily Ledy - Mexico - Jabba the Hutt Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 16 pages.

29. Return of the Jedi (1985) - Italy - Foldout with Ewok Village Cover (Category 4)

30. Power of the Force (1985) - Norway - Catalog with Imperial Shuttle Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 12 pages.

31. Return of the Jedi (1984) - PBP - Spain - El Retorno Del Jedi Painted Cover Art (Category 4)
White border; foldout.

32. Return of the Jedi (1984) - PBP - Spain- El Retorno del Jedi foldout - Painted Cover Art (Category 4)


33. Power of the Force (1985) - PBP - Spain - Catalog with Imperial Shuttle Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 12 pages.
34. Return of the Jedi (1982) - Clipper - Netherlands AT-ST Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 8 pages. [image currently unavailable]

35. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Clipper - Netherlands - Foldout Catalog Glued to Cardback (Category 3)

36. Power of the Force (1985) - Denmark - Catalog with Imperial Shuttle Cover (Category 4)
Stapled; 12 pages.

37. Power of the Force (1985) - Finland - Catalog with Imperial Shuttle Cover (Category 4)
Stapled, 12 pages.

38. Power of the Force (ca.1985) - Turkey - Foldout with Mini Rigs on Cover (Category 4)

39. Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Popy - Japan - Foldout Catalog (Category 4)




IN-PACK SPECIALS

1. Star Wars (1979) - Kenner - Rebate Flyer for Jawa (Category 3) - Archive Database Entry

2. Star Wars (1979) - Kenner - Rebate Flyer for Jawa and Sand People (Category 3) 
Archive Database Entry

3. Star Wars (1979) - Kenner - Rebate Flyer for Stormtrooper (Category 3) - Archive Database Entry

4. Empire Strikes Back (1979) - Kenner - Sweepstakes for the Empire Movie Premiere (Category 2)
Archive Database Entry

5. Empire Strikes Back (1981) - Palitoy - Bounty Hunter Capture Log (Boba Fett on Cover) (Category 3)

6. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Germany - Movie and Toy Sweepstakes (Category 3) 
Archive Database Entry


7. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Palitoy - Painting Competition Flyer Featuring C3PO's Hand (Category 3)
Archive Database Entry


8. Power of the Force (1985) - Kenner - $16 Rebate Flyer for Jedi and POTF Toys (Category 3)
Archive Database Entry

9. Star Wars (1978) - Kenner - Early Bird Mail-away Stand Flyer (Category 4)


OTHER PACK-IN FLYERS AND MINI-CATALOGS:

1. Star Wars (1979) - Kenner - Beautiful Hairstyles for 12" Princess Leia Cover (Category 3) 
Archive Database Entry

2. Star Wars (1978) - Lili Ledy - Extra! Cover - Readers Digest Supplement Catalog (Category 4)

3. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Lili Ledy - Catalog with Christmas Ornaments on Cover (Category 4)

4. Revenge of the Jedi (1982) - Kenner - Saga Continues flyer with "Revenge" Logo (Category 3)
Archive Database Entry

5. Return of the Jedi (1983) - Kenner - Saga Continues flyer with "Return" Logo (Category 3)
Archive Database Entry

6. Caravan of Courage (1985) - Parker - Germany - "Die Ewoks Karawane der Tapferen" (Category 3)
Features the Ewok village and figures.

7. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Palitoy - Great Britain - "Keep a Rancor Keeper Free" Flyer (Category 3)
Archive Database Entry

8. Return of the Jedi (1984) - Palitoy - Great Britain - "Buy the Troops Get the Leader Free" Emperor Special Offer Flyer (Category 3)

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic rundown of the different catalogs and variations out there. I will definitely be coming back to view this post.

    ReplyDelete