TABLE OF CONTENTS
WHAT is a baggie?
So what is a baggie? Why & where were they available, and why would one want to collect them rather than loose figures or carded ones?
So baggie is the term used for figures that were issued either directly or indirectly to the public in little plastic bags rather than the traditional carded figures in a blister pack on a backing card.
They were available in various ways, usually in the form of card back promotions like the single figure mail-aways (Dengar/Survival kit/Boba Fett etc.) where you would save up your proof of purchases (POP’s) or cut out the name plates on carded figures & send so many away to redeem them for a free figure, this is likely the first way many collectors would have ever been aware of baggies, but they were also available through various other means like:
STORE MULTI-FIGURE PACKS
In the United States & Canada, these Multi Packs (MP’s) were offered for sale via large retail chains like Sears / JC Penny & Aldens etc. in their “wish books”. These were catalogues where you could buy from directly, either for in-store pick up or via the post. They were a way to buy several figures in a cheaper format than you would buying regular carded figures on hangers in store. You’d get multiple figures in a small box, and these were in baggies to reduce the overall cost. As an example this rarer version of the ESB era 15 figures pack (line art version) above.
SPECIAL OFFER VEHICLES & PLAYSETS
The term special offer usually indicated you would get something extra with your item which often equated to free figures which again were often offered inside the packaging in baggies.
There were several other ways to get baggies but the above were the most common ways one would encounter them, other ways included figures purchased from staff shops or end or toy line promotions like the Woolworths 99p 8 figure packs (Woolies baggies), but offers could also be found for mail-away figures in adverts in comic books as well as in store promotions usually via posters &/or counter top flyer booklets.
It’s worth noting than many baggies seem to crop up with great regularity compared with others (common baggies) this is usually down to the fact that Kenner would have figures shipped in bulk packs (shippers) with a large number of figures of the same type in a single shipper which were often but not always 200 count, these figures were very often sent inside these shippers in baggies to help protect them for damage in transit & were usually intended for onward repackaging onto blister packs (MOC’s) & many never made it to the point of onward carding & bulk sealed packs have been found over the years which is where you find many of these more common baggie types, see the Luke Jedi shipping case image above as an example.
Within the guide all aspects of baggies will be gone into in more detail in terms of types, eras, where & when they were offered & what they were offered within the various countries.
They were offered in 4 formats:
- Heat sealed Either sealed one end or both ends on a heat sealing machine
- Tape sealed Taped closed at one end usually with a heat seal at the other
- Open ended
- Stapled (Euro-f)
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BAGGIE COLLECTING
For many collectors baggies hold little interest, but as time has gone on more & more collectors seem to be warming to them & they have finally found their place in the hobby with many collectors now focusing on them, many years ago more often then not collectors would buy baggies as a means to get a nice mint figure for their loose collection & sadly many have been lost due to this practice, as well as being U-graded, such a shame as baggies should always have had their place in the hobby & been truly appreciated for what they are, after all it’s where it all started quite literally with the “Early Bird” mail away promotion shown above.
I collected a little of this and that (loose figures, variants, vehicles, die cast etc.) before dropping on my first find of baggies many many years ago, I have to admit I was hooked & firmly focused on them as soon as I did & also have to say I have never had as much fun collecting any other vintage star wars items as I have with baggies, they are a strangely addictive thing which you will either get or you just never will, this guide is aimed at the former.
Special thanks to these contributors for their knowledge and image contributions:
Laurence Dyer, Andrew Neo, AJ, Snaggletooth, Kevin Bletsoe, Brett Meyer, DEL, Gary Borbidge, Edd Grant, Chris Eddleman, Vince Hely, Nathan Maunder, Jamie Woollard, Niels Pit, Andrew MacLachlan, cantina_patron, Franck Gadal, Joe, Richard Temple, Sven Schneider, Steve Savory, Shane Carter, Chris Fawcett, Andy Clarke, psybertech, Jake Neilheisel, Alex Pardi, Marc Caraway, Spookedhippy, Frank Ferro, James Body, Jonathan Freeman, Grant Criddle, Chris Arbizzani, RobbieZombbie, Narayan S. Naik, Mark Yeo, SHAWN_K, Andy Raymond, MOMIKE, theguiltyone, Sublevel Studios, Mike Silver, Mr Palitoy, Ronny Anngren, Willem-Jan Bos, Robert Heron, Darren H, REBELALLIANCE, Uncle Ron, LandoSkiff (Dan), Mike Horn, Pat O’Brien, Benjamin, Samir Krim, Pete Fizke, Final Frontier, Mike Heel, MR KENNER, Chris Fawcett, John Kellerman, Paul Naylor, Matthieu Barthelemy, Stéphane Faucourt, Andy Clarke, Yogi, Chris Simmons, Stormtrooper37, Robert Heron, Thomas Derby, Todd G, Sheldon Wagstaffe, Derek Ho, Broc Walker, Adam Marks, James Gallo, Charles Jones, Darrell Johnson & Brendi Burton, Christian Somma, Johnpaul Ragusa, Jesse Cedar Soberman, Dorothée Drouin Franck Gada, Dennis Hall.
Photos in the guide galleries below are compiled from a number of photo sources. It’s not been possible to find credits for each one, however, if you own one of the featured images and want to have your credit added, or don’t wish to have your photo included, please let me know and I’ll arrange.