The very first Star Wars action figures were released in 1978 as part of the mail-away Star Wars Early Bird Kit, which contained Star Wars figures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and R2-D2. The last figures in the series were released during the Power Of The Force series in 1985, before Kenner released figures based on the Droids and Ewoks cartoon TV shows. After that there was a ten year break until Hasbro started to produce Star Wars figures again in 1995.
Here is an alphabetical list of Star Wars figures released on a Star Wars cardback. You will find Boba Fett, which was also released on a Star Wars cardback, in the Empire Strikes Back section.
Following figures were packed-in with playsets. The Droid Factory playset from 1979 was the very first build-a-droid set ever released. Hasbro and Disney turned to this very same concept many years later, predominently during the 2008 The Legacy Collection and the 2012 Disney Park exclusive Build-A-Droid series, where they released various action figure parts which could be assembled to a full droid.
One of the oddities in the vintage The Empire Strikes Back line is the mistake Kenner made when they released Zuckuss and named him 4-LOM, and 4-LOM was named Zuckuss on the packaging. Hasbro paid tribute to this very same mistake when they released an intentionally mislabeled 2-pack in 2010 to kick off The Vintage Collection.
Following figures were only available as pack-in figures.
Kenner released following figures during the The Return Of The Jedi toy line.
Following figures were only available in the Jabba The Hutt playset or the Max Rebo Band 3-pack.
The Power Of The Force series contained the "THE LAST 17" figures which were based on a Star Wars movie during vintage times. After that Kenner's focus moved on to the animated Droids and animated Ewoks toy lines. One of the harder to get figures from the "THE LAST 17" is Yakface, which was never released in the United States.
Following figures were released in 1985 based on the Star Wars: Droids "The adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO" cartoon. Kenner released a total of 13 figures, with only Boba Fett and the A-Wing pilot being re-releases. The very last figure "VLIX" was only released in Brazil, which makes it one of the rarest and most valuable Star Wars action figures.
Kenner planned, but never released, eight action figures for the second wave of the Star Wars: Droids toy line. VLIX, which was released only in Brazil (with a different paint scheme), would have been part of this second wave. A big thank you goes to Gus Lopez for providing following super rare prototype figures for the archive:
Following figures were released in 1985 based on the Star Wars: Ewoks cartoon. The entire series had a total of six figures.
Just like with the Star Wars: Droids toy line, Kenner planned to release a second wave of figures in the 1986 Star Wars: Ewoks toy line, but those figures were never released. The second wave was supposed to feature six new figures based on the Ewoks cartoon. A big thank you goes to Gus Lopez for sharing these ultra rare prototype figures with us!
We recommend getting your figures from Entertainment Earth. They have been in business for over 20 years, they have a mint guarantee and understand collector's needs. Many of the figures on J.B. came from EE (yes, we pay for figures just like you) and always had a great experience. It's definitely worth to look at Entertainment Earth's Star Wars section!.