Before we begin our reviews of the vintage line of Star Wars figures let's look at the card backs.
The 12 backs are so called because it obviously had the first twelve figures produced. The numbers tell you how many figures were in production and they are on the backs of the cards, hence cardbacks.
So here is a full description of all the cardbacks.
12A Artwork of first 12 figures and the X-Wing, TIE Fighter and Landspeeder vehicles. It also includes artwork demonstrating how to work the (double) telescoping lightsaber (more of this later). The Collector's Action Stand is offered for $2.00 plus 2 Proof of Purchase seals.
12B Additional paragraph is present between the mail-in address and expiration date. It reads: "Collector's Action Stand FREE with proofs-of-purchase from 12 STAR WARS Action Figures."
12C The mail-in offer for the Collector's Action Stand is again present, but now a second paragraph has been added to the directions for operating Luke's saber. The new portion reads: "Pull saber out by tip or push Saber out using slide lever."
20A The bottom third of the card shows new playsets and toys. The prototype forms of the Patrol Dewback and the Droid Factory are shown.
20B Same as 20A, but the photo of the Creature Cantina has been replaced with an image of the production toy (with some paint variation).
20C An advertisement for a free Boba Fett figure is shown in the top 2/3 of the card. The ad shows the rocket being fired. No stickers are present.
20D The free Boba Fett ad is again present, but a solid black, rounded-corner sticker covers the illustration of the firing rocket.
20E The advertisement for the free Boba Fett appears again, but with a rectangular black sticker covering the illustration of the firing rocket. Additionally, a round red sticker extends the offer until 3/31/80.
20F The advertisement for the free Boba Fett appears again, but with a rectangular black sticker covered by a rounded corner, yellow sticker. The sticker contains details of the Boba Fett character.
20F with round sticker extending the offer until 12/31/80.
20G The ad for the free Boba Fett is again present, but a rounded-corner, yellow sticker covers the illustration of the firing rocket. The sticker is imprinted with text introducing the Fett character.
20H Advertisement for a free Boba Fett again appears, but with a rectangular yellow sticker covering the illustration of the firing rocket. This particular example has a round red sticker extends the offer until 3/31/80.
Another example of the SW20H, this features a square sticker extending the offer until 12/31/80
20I A sticker showing an ad for the "SECRET STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE" (Bossk) covers the top 2/3 of the card. It is placed over the previously printed Boba Fett offer.
21A For the first time, Boba Fett appears among the figure photos. As on SW20A, the prototype versions of thePatrol Dewback and Droid Factory are shown.
21B Same as 21A, only the prototype Patrol Dewback and Droid Factory have been replaced with their production counterparts.
21C Same as 21A or 21B, only a sticker appears over the bottom 2/3 of the card which shows an ad for the "SECRET STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE" (Bossk).
21D Same as 21C, only a sticker appears over the bottom 2/3 of the card which shows an ad for the "SECRET STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE".
32 Cardback is the 12c with a sticker over the bottom 1/3 of the card, which advertises the additional 20 figures then in the line. In all, 32 figures are shown.
21A The first ESB cardback, it nevertheless was not used to package any ESB figures. The back shows only the 21 original SW figures. A printed ad appears on the bottom 1/2 of the card which promotes the "SECRET STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE" (Bossk).
21A with rectangular extension sticker until 12/30/80
31A In the lower portions of the card appear advertisements for the Snowspeeder, Millennium Falcon and Imperial Troop Transport.
31B Same as 31A, only here advertisements for the Hoth Ice Planet Action Playset, Star Destroyer Action Playset, and Darth Vader Collector's Case appear.
32A Yoda appears in the upper left corner. The bottom of the card shows images of the Snowspeeder, Millennium Falcon, and The Imperial Attack Base.
32B Yoda appears in the upper left corner. Bottom of the card shows images of the Hoth Ice Planet Action Playset, Star Destroyer Action Playset, and Darth Vader Collector's Case.
41A 41 Figures appear, along with an ad for the Action Figure Survival Kit, which is printed on the bottom 1/3 of the card.
41B The bottom 1/3 of the card shows photos of the Dagobah Playset, Darth Vader Collector Case, Imperial Tie Fighter, Millenium Falcon, Twin-Pod Cloud Car, and Slave 1.
41C The bottom 1/3 of the card shows photos of the Snowspeeder, Mini Rigs, Tauntaun, Turret-Probot Playset, AT-AT, and Imperial Attack Base.
41D While the bottom 1/3 of the card is the same as that of 41B, the individual pictures of the figures have been replaced by a group photo.
41E While the bottom 1/3 of the card is the same as that of 41C, the individual pictures of the figures have been replaced by a group photo.
45A 45 figure now appear. The bottom 1/3 of the card features an advertisement for the Display Arena.
Same as 45A, but with the addition of a small rectangular sticker extending the offer for the Display Arena until July 31, 1982 . 45A with extension sticker
47 47 figures now appear. The bottom 1/3 of the card features an ad for a free 4-LOM action figure.
48A 48 figures now appear. The lower portions of the card feature photos of the Scout Walker, Taun Taun (with open belly), Wampa, Mini-Rigs and Rebel Transport.
48B Same as 48A, except in the presence of a sticker, placed over the bottom half of the card, which features an ad for a mail-away Admiral Ackbar figure.
48C Similar to 48B, but the offer for Admiral Ackbar is now printed on the back of the card.
48A The first ROTJ cardback, it nevertheless shows only the first 48 SW/ESB figures. An ad for the Nien Nunb figure mail-away is printed on the bottom part of the card.
65A 65 figures are now shown on the back of the card. Images of Logray and Chief Chirpa appear air brushed out in black. The Proof of Purchase is blue in color.
65B 65 figures are now shown on the back of the card. Images of Logray and Chief Chirpa are now unobscured. The Proof of Purchase is green in color.
65C Back shows 65 figures, along with an ad for a free Emperor action figure.
65D Cardback is the same as 65B, but with a sticker promoting a free Anakin Skywalker sticker covering the bottom 1/3 of card.
77A 77 figures now appear, along with photos of the Rebo Band, Ewok Combat Glider, Ewok Assault Catapult and Rancor Monster.
77B Cardback is the same as 77A, but with a sticker promoting a free Anakin Skywalker figure covering the bottom 1/3 of card.
79A 79 figures now appear, along with photos of the Rebo Band, Ewok Combat Glider, Ewok Assault Catapult and Rancor Monster.
79B Cardback is the same as 79A, but with sticker promoting a free Anakin Skywalker sticker covering the bottom 1/3 of the card.
79C A printed version of the free Anakin Skywalker offer now appears on the card.
As we're talking about about Luke today let's look at how many cards "Farm boy" Luke is on.
Original 12 back
Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi (Farm pose)
Return of the Jedi (Gunner chair)
As you can see most figures survived the whole line, from A New Hope 12A (1978) to Return of the Jedi 48A (1983) right up to the 79C (1985). A focus collector would look for all these but there are variants to the figure which we will look at now.
The first Luke who is known as Farm boy Luke was first available in the Early Bird Kit. As we found out last time this package was sold to kids as a promise to ship you four figures at a later date.
When toys shops finally began to sell figures Luke's lightsaber and Chewbacca's crossbow were changed, making the early bird very valuable and sought after.
In the early bird, Luke's lightsaber was double telescoping (dt), meaning you could push it out of his arm and then a thinner inner saber telescopes out of the thicker
outer saber shaft which, on it's turn, telescopes out of the arm.
Kenner discided this was too costly to produce so reduced the saber to single telescoping.
The DT versions are very
rare and only came with the first issues of Luke Farmboy, Ben and Darth Vader.
The DT version of Luke is the most common since, next to the limited carded
versions, it also came in the first versions of the Early-Bird kit. The Ben
and Darth are rare and hard to find, especially in good condition. Carded
versions are very rare, especially for the Ben and Darth - and would set you back many thousands of pounds.
There are also prototype 'mushroom-tip' double-telescoping sabers that have, as the name suggests, a mushroom tip opposed to a normal bent tip. As these are proto-types, these are very hard to obtain.
There are many variants of the farm boy.
Here are a few;
Yellow hair : Hong Kong COO 1 : 1977 in the middle
Kenner release, starting on SW 12 back cards.
1977 in the middle of the GMFGI and the COO.
Bright yellow hair
Yellow hair : Hong Kong COO 2 : Dark pink hands Kenner release, starting on later SW 12 back cards.
COO, date & info on 2 lines only.
Leggings are a slightly darker brown/tan colour.
Dark pink hands.
Yellow hair : Hong Kong COO 2 : Pale pink hands
COO 2 : Hong Kong aligned with the middle of the "G".
Pale pink hands.
Yellow hair : Hong Kong COO 3 : Larger COO & datestamp
COO 3 : Hong Kong aligned with the the "�" symbol.
Pale pink hands.
Very bright yellow hair.
Light tan leggings.
Yellow hair : China COO
Kenner release, starting on 65 back ROTJ cards.
China raised bar COO.
Bright yellow hair.
Brown hair : No COO
Palitoy/PAL release, late in the ESB/ROTJ transition.
These are ones known. Others are found now and again. In future issues we will talk about poch and other variations of the figures in other countries.
This is the figure most people got first as a child and so has a special place in Collector's hearts. It takes you back to opening the card (or box) and pushing out the lightsaber (you're thinking about it now aren't you?). Battling with Darth Vader to save the Princess.
The very reason we collect is to get that feeling back and this figure is the starting point.
Thank you for reading,