Star Wars Action Figure Variations

1976 was a simpler time. KENNER PRODUCTS, a division of the GENERAL MILLS FUN GROUP, acquired the licence to produce toys from a small space film after the MEGO CORPORATION declined their option on the licence.

Unable to build sufficient stock in time for the lucrative Christmas market, KENNER sold a cardboard box and called it the "Early Bird Certificate Package". This included a certificate which could be mailed to KENNER and redeemed for four STAR WARS action figures to be delivered at a future date.

Unbeknownst to KENNER a phenomenon had been unleashed. In the following decade over 250 million action figures would be manufactured based on the STAR WARS movies and the toy industry would be changed forever.

This website catalogues the figures that were produced.

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Action Figure Variations

How many Star Wars action figures are there to collect? This is a question collectors are often innocently asked. Even the manufacturers of the figures were uncertain of the answer; take the Trilogo action figure packaging for example which proudly proclaims "Collect all 70" at the top before going on to list 79 different figures. If even they were unsure then how are we to know?

Make your choices below as to how you want to define a Star Wars action figure and see how many there are to collect (that we know of) and then click the figure count on the right to see the list.

Include major variations

A major variation is one that is immediately obvious to the collector without requiring detailed examination of the figure. For example, the original Han Solo action figure with a small head or a large head.

Include minor variations

A minor variation is one that requires the collector to examine the figure in detail to notice the difference. For example, an action figure with painted arms instead of moulded in plastic of a similar colour.

On a cardback

A character that came in a plastic bubble on a piece of cardboard.

From a playset

A character that came with a playset.


A character that usually came alone in a box.


A prototype or unreleased character never freely available.

Figure name


The action figures were available in a number of different packaging types, from boxes to cardbacks to baggies. Each packaging had different logos on it depending on when it was released. The action figure cardbacks were also sub-divided into packaging with different numbers of figures on the back.


There were nine main series of figures in the entire line.


The figures were not usually all produced in one batch but released over several waves per series. There were 13 waves for the movie line of figures and further waves for the cartoons and other figures.

Year of release

The figures were released from 1978 until 1985 when the popularity and sales figures began to decline rapidly after the movies stopped being made.


A cardback is the piece of cardboard an action figure is sealed upon with a transparent (probably now yellowing) plastic bubble.

Each country, each manufacturer produced different cardbacks.


A popular publicity tool by the manufacturers was to ask the consumer to collect proof of purchases from the packaging. The consumer mailed these to the manufacturer and in exchange the manufacturer would send the consumer an action figure. This figure was often not yet released and sometimes a mystery to the young collector as to how the figure fitted in to the story.


Similar to the mailaway offers, action figures were sometimes included in playsets or other boxed items made exclusively by different manufacturers or stores.

Baggie Difficulty

A baggie is an action figure that was available in a sealed bag and naturally some are more difficult to find than others. The difficulty has been defined by Todd DeMartino and Bill Wills on the Star Wars Collectors Archive here.


A number of the figures were released with a corresponding coin. As per usual there are variations in these coins and their rarity varies greatly. A good beginner's article on the coins can be found on the Star Wars Collectors Archive by Gus Lopez here.


Most of the figures were manufactured in Asia but some companies opted to make some of the figures themselves.

The Popy figures were identical to the Kenner figures but are included here because of their unusual packaging, the other manufacturers are here as, at least some, of their figures are genuinely different to the Kenner figures.

Nameplate colour

On each cardback, behind the name of the figure and the area behind the action figure, there was a coloured panel. Only a limited number of colours were used and this gives us an unusual way of categorising the figures released on cardbacks.

Part number

Most characters in the line were assigned a unique part number, they are hardly ever used by collectors but have been included here for completeness.

When a character does not have a unique part number then the part number of the playset it came in is used instead, if several characters were included in that playset then the number is appended with decimal point and a digit - the digit being the position of the character on the box of the playset when looking face on at the box.

Each country, each manufacturer produced different cardbacks.

In the case of prototypes they are assigned a part number of 99999 followed by a decimal point and a semi-random digit.

Body Parts

Each figure has a number of distinguishing body parts. Choose which body parts you want to include in your variation filter.

Copyright markings

Choose how you wish the results to be sorted

Sort by wave number

Sort list alphabetically

Otherwise the part number will be used.

Reverse order

 Print a checklist

Once you have made your choices and got the list how you want it why not print it out? Simply print the website from your browser for a simple checklist you can put in your wallet.

© - for personal use only

Also known as

    Major variations

      Minor variations

            variations

          Not a variation

            Additional notes



                Look for these vintage Star Wars action figure variations at <click to put your store name here>If you are interested in advertising your store or ebay listings here then please contact us to discuss rates.


                  Cut this out
                  to destroy
                  any future value
                  of the carded figure

                  Proof of Purchase

                  STAR WARS
                  ACTION FIGURE

                  Action figures are not always sold separately

                  Figures made in ; website made in the United Kingdom.

                  Last updated never (unknown).

                  † now part of China.


                  The information on has been compiled from years of personal knowledge collecting action figures and Star Wars memorabilia. This knowledge has been obtained by talking to fellow collectors, dealers and scouring auction houses (real world and offline). Thank-you everyone who has helped increase this knowledge and in turn improve this site.

                  I would recommend those wanting to learn more to visit each of these websites and absorb what they have to offer:

                  For those looking to go old school and to read a book (remember them?), start with those by Stephane Faucourt, Mark Bellomo and John Kellerman and you cannot go wrong.

                  FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

                  What is a variant or variation?

                  A variant is a different figure mould for a figure of the same name. For example Bespin Security Guard was released twice under that name, once with white skin and once with black skin.

                  A variation is a difference in the appearance of one character's action figure when comparing it to another sample of the same character's action figure. The R2-D2 with a sensorscope is not a variation of the R2-D2 with a pop-up lightsaber but Luke Skywalker with yellow hair is a variation of Luke Skywalker with brown hair.

                  Each character was originally designed to only be released in one format but things happen. It might be discovered that a part is unsafe, a likeness isn't good enough, the customer isn't getting value for money or simply a mistake was made in the design - these would all be reasons for a new variation or variant to be made by the manufacturer (for example, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Jawa or Snaggletooth).

                  A manufacturer uses different moulds in different factories, different plastics, different paints - all these can lead to unintentional variations but ones that consumers like to discover and collect. Manufacturers do not tend to recognise variations but they do recognise new characters and variants.

                  It is up to you as the collector as to what level of variation you want to collect. You might be happy just collecting every character or you might, for example, only want to collect the figures from The Empire Strikes Back. Use the filters to set what you are happy with and see what you can collect.

                  What is a major variation?

                  A major variation is one that is immediately obvious to the collector without requiring detailed examination of the figure. For example, the original Han Solo action figure with a small head or a large head. This should be a change in the figure that is immediately obvious at arms length.

                  What is a minor variation?

                  A minor variation is one that requires the collector to examine the figure in detail to notice the difference. For example, an action figure with painted arms instead of moulded in plastic of a similar colour.

                  You have <insert figure name here> listed as a variation but you cannot get it in that variation

                  Please check your filters, it is likely that they are too broad.

                  For example, say you are only interested in Popy figures because they have such cool packaging and have only chosen to display them. Flipping to the cardback will show Boba Fett as one of the figures and in the variation list that Boba Fett can be found with a loose rocket, obviously this Fett was not a Popy figure but the filter is correct. Boba Fett was available as a Popy figure. We have made the design decision to display every variation that character has.

                  You are missing this character

                  Please contact us with any details you have and we will credit you on for your discovery.

                  You are missing this variation

                  Please click on the figure name in the list on the card back to get the currently known details of the figure. At the bottom of the details click on the grey flag to file your new variation report. We will credit you on for your discovery. Alternatively you can use this link to contact us.

                  I have some information or images for you

                  Please contact us and we will credit you on for your discovery. Thank-you for wanting to help us out!

                  That figure isn't a variation

                  First of all, it is all subjective, what one person calls a variation is not what someone else does and we have had to make a judgement call here. We know of some collectors who only collect figures that were manufactured in a specific factory in Asia. We don't even get into that level of variation collecting as it is so niche and this website isn't for them, maybe you fit into that category?

                  We know there are some unusual entries on the list (Ball droid and R2-D2 X-wing immediately spring to mind), that are extremely borderline but our judgement here was to include them. If a variation isn't for you just ignore it or filter it out, it is impossible to please everyone and that is exactly what the filter options are for.

                  What's with all the name differences?

                  The figures were released around the world and each market can call the same figure something different. We try to collect all these names and find them useful when trying to find them online where different languages might be used.

                  In our database, the character is assigned the name that is first used on packaging (usually in the USA) be this a cardback, box or on an insert. Additional names are then added when they are discovered being used elsewhere for the same character. We do not use the Star Wars universe canonical names for characters as these were not used when the vintage figures were released (for instance Hammerhead is now sometimes referred to as Momaw Nadon but this name was never used back in 1978 for this figure so will not be used here).

                  Why isn't <insert name here> listed as a name?

                  We didn't know about it! Please contact us with a picture of the name being used on the packaging and we will include it in our data and credit you for your discovery.

                  Where are the Hasbro figures?

                  We are only interested in the figures of our childhood, those released between 1977 and 1985 (-ish, we make some artibitrary exceptions). There are simply too many "new" figures to keep up with, especially as we are not interested in collecting them and do not have the funds to pursue this.

                  Where do you get your images?

                  The images we use are from figures from our own collection. We also use ebay and other websites to collect images of unusual figures (something we have been doing for decades now); collected images are used with "fair use" in mind. They are always edited and cleaned up before we use them but copyright markings are never removed. We no longer publish high resolution images after dealers started selling print outs and CD/DVD/Blurays of our collection.

                  What about carded figure variations?

                  We are only documenting loose variations. Most of the variations should be available in their packaging if you are prepared to look hard enough and you have deep enough pockets.

                  What about accessory or weapon variations?

                  Sadly there are too many counterfeit or reproduction weapons and accessories freely available on the market (to be frank we are surprised there are not more reproduction figures). This makes it impossible to keep a track of them but Imperial Gunnery makes a good attempt at this if you are interested in this rabbit hole.

                  Where are the Palitoy (or PBP or Clipper or Tsukuda or any other manufacturer) variations?

                  The vast majority of figures were manufactured by a small number of factories in Asia and then repackaged for the local market. Unless a different mould was used specifically by a manufacturer it will not be mentioned here. For instance a Palitoy Chewbacca will not be considered a variation as it is the same as a Kenner variation but a Top Toys Chewbacca would be as it is smaller than the Kenner version and has no peg holes.

                  The majority of PBP variations are due to poor manufacturing and, in our opinion, poor manufacturing alone does not warrant a variation label.

                  What about those Lili Ledy and Top Toys figures?

                  Lili Ledy and Top Toys decided not to use some moulds from Kenner and produce their own. This resulted in genuine figure variations but also sadly a reduction in quality. If you see a figure with a lower quality finish it is likely to be from one of these factories.

                  As with PBP figures, just because a figure was from Lili Ledy or Top Toys does not automatically make it a variation.

                  Where is the information on COO marks?

                  You may have heard the COO - country of origin - term used in collecting. This refers to the information placed on a figure that indentifies where the item was produced. You might think that this information alone would be enough to identify a variation but this is rarely the case which is why we don't consider two figures that are identical in every other way apart from different COO markings to be variations of each other. Your opinion may be different and we respect that. Collecting and cataloguing variations in COO is beyond what our budget can support.

                  That being said, we do collate COO markings and use them in our filters. We would welcome any images of COO's on figures and we hope to continue adding images of these to our site.

                  Colour Degradation

                  A big problem in the hobby. As plastics get older they begin to degrade, this can lead to their colours changing. Think about that glossy white iPod you bought back in the 2000's, why is it now a horrible yellowy brown colour? Plastic degradation.

                  Some plastics degrade immediately (the batch may not have been made perfectly) and some take longer but they will all eventually degrade in some way.

                  The same thing applies to paints and inks - given time the colour will fade and alter. You know how your favourite T-shirt is now faded because you have worn, and hopefully washed, it so much? It is a similar problem with your action figures, as they are exposed to the light the paints and inks used in them discolour.

                  Degradation is especially problematic when it comes to hair colours on figures, unless the colour is dramatically different (yellow versus brown) we would question whether this was as the manufacturer intended or just the figure degrading. Only colour changes that the manufacturer intended should be considered a variation.

                  With this in mind new colour variations of a figure should be carefully contemplated and probably always considered degradation unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

                  That being said, it is not wrong to collect some of the more fun degradants, like a purple apron Ugnaught, but personally I would draw the line at a yellow limbed Princess Leia.

                  Why should I donate?

                  You don't have to but we appreciate every donation, no matter how small or large.

                  It takes a lot of time and effort to compile all the information which we hope you find useful. You might otherwise have to spend several minutes on many different websites to track down what you are looking for.

                  Finding new variations and cataloguing them is becoming more and more expensive, any money donated after paying for our web design and hosting costs is ploughed back into our collections.

                  If you make a donation we will be happy to add your name as a donor to the character of your choice.

                  Can I advertise on

                  We do not carry adverts like those seen all over the web from Google or Facebook. We have a small number of advertising opportunities on the cardback section of the site which are sold on a first-come-first-served basis. If you would like to be added to the waiting list for these positions then please contact us.

                  We also offer the opportunity to sponsor a figure whereby your logo will be placed on the action figure details of your choice. Again, please contact us for further details.


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