Vintage Return of the Jedi Action Figure Case by Kenner
Kenner released a number of action figure cases over the years. Most familiar to kids of the 80’s are probably the Darth Vader and C-3PO-shaped cases that were molded in hard plastic. But they also came out with these “briefcase” style cases for each of the films. They’re made of cardboard covered in thin vinyl, and seem a bit on the flimsy side compared to the other type of case. They have some great cover art, though, with the ROTJ version featuring several nice images of Jabba’s palace that weren’t used on any other products at the time. (They released a magnet using this art at Celebration VI last year.)
The Return of the Jedi version is easily the hardest to find of these, and therefore the most valuable, with prices on eBay sometimes topping $100 (and I don’t just mean unrealistically priced Buy-It-Now auctions, either). That’s what put me off of buying one for a long time. I did finally find a very good deal on this one, though.
Inside the case are two plastic trays with spaces to fit 24 figures. It originally came with a sheet of stickers with the names of various characters that you were supposed to apply to the trays, and that has already been done to mine. I’m not really sure why you need to label the spaces for particular figures, though. There are a few figures that would fit best in certain spots, but aside from that I don’t really see the point.
It also came with a large double-sided cardboard insert that showed some of the figures available at the time. I’m not sure what purpose this had aside from advertising the figures, but the photos are nice and big compared to what you might have seen on the back of a vintage figure’s card. Often this insert is missing and can drive up the price of the case when it’s present.
One interesting fact about this insert (aside from the fact that many of the figures are holding their accessories strangely — just look at Lando below) is that they mixed up some of the figures’ names. Kenner famously mixed up the names for the characters 4-LOM and Zuckuss in their vintage line, but they managed to make it even worse here. If you look at the image above, you’ll see that they’ve mixed up the “Imperial Tie Fighter Pilot” with “Zuckuss” (who is in reality named 4-LOM). I don’t know what it is about these characters that confused Kenner so much. 😉