I was a weird kid. While most of my peers were ripping into new Star Wars action figures and immediately throwing away the plastic bubbles and cardboard backing cards so they could start playing, I did my best to keep the cards in halfway decent condition. Yes, I literally collected trash.

A lot of the time, I was collecting the backing cards because they held something very valuable to a nerdy kid like me – the Kenner Proof of Purchase seal! Back in the day, Kenner would offer special mail-away figures or accessory kits with a certain number of proofs of purchase seals that you’d cut out and send away in an envelope, usually with a check from your Mom to cover the shipping and handling of the item you’d be getting in return. The most famous of these mail-away offers was Boba Fett, who was first teased as a toy on the back of select Star Wars action figure cards. I remember when I got my Fett in the mail, I was absolutely enamored with him, so from then on, I collected the figure cards so we could mail away for more cool Star Wars stuff.

While I don’t have the card backs for every figure in my collection, I do still have quite a few. Some are in decent shape, with only the paper ripped off directly around where the plastic bubble would have been. This leaves the photo of the character the figure represented intact and looking great. Others must have had a particularly sticky bubble and the photo is barely recognizable on the front. Still others have that oh-so-valuable Proof of Purchase seal cut out so I could send away for Fett, Nien Numb, The Emperor, Anakin Skywalker, or maybe just an accessory pack with cool stuff you couldn’t buy in the store.

Unfortunately, back in 2015 when our basement flooded, my Star Wars card backs received some water damage. Some of them stuck together and just would not come apart, so they wound up in the trash. What’s left weathered the flood the best and dried out to at least still be fun to have, if not very valuable as collector’s items anymore.

I only have one from Star Wars – a Han Solo card – but have quite a few from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. But I’m going to start here with Han and I’ll upload the ones from Empire at a later date.

Feel free to click on the images to get a high-res view!

Look how few figures there were! And this is actually a bit later in the line because Boba Fett is listed as a regular character you can buy, rather than as a mail-away offer.

From the back, I have the Dewback (minus his harness, which is a very commonly broken and/or lost piece).

At one time I had both the Cantina Playset, as well as the carrying case. Sadly, my Cantina was not the Sears version that included the blue Snaggletooth. Also sadly, it did not survive my childhood. I have a very vague memory of one of my parents talking me into throwing it away after I’d lost (or maybe destroyed) the cardboard backdrop and had broken at least one of the moving figure stands because I’d played too rough with it. It was little more than an orange hunk of plastic by that point, so it probably made sense at the time to get rid of it.

The carrying case was lost in the basement flood. However, I do still have the gray platforms with the foot pegs that came with it.

I remember as a kid thinking that the droid factory was weird, because that scene wasn’t in the film. Therefore I had no interest in owning it. There were a few other toys in the line that I didn’t want unless I could see it on-screen, even if for only a moment. I was probably the only 5-year old who was a real stickler for canon.

Like I said, I have more cards for Empire and Jedi, so I’ll share those at a future date! Stick around!

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