When developing a new product line, many different ideas are generated before any decisions can be made as to how the final packaging will look. This is especially true for the development of the vintage Star Wars toy line. The creative team at Kenner put a great deal of time and energy into making sure the Star Wars toy line maintained the long standing tradition of quality, and that the packaging remained consistent across the entire line. Countless hours were spent on every aspect of the package design process, but possibly the greatest amount of thought was put into the logo that would adorn the new product.
When the Star Wars logo designs were being developed for the vintage line, the art/packaging department and design teams at Kenner would often work together with outside design firms to create many different logo proposals. Once the different logos were created, they would then have to meet the approval of the upper management in the marketing department at Kenner. From here the logos would then be shown to representatives from Lucasfilm, where a final decision would be made concerning which logo would be used on the package.
Shown below are logo concepts for the 1985 Power of the Force toy line that didn't make it through the rigorous approval process that was necessary to make it to the top of a Star Wars package.
The concept logos were created using a mixture of photographic images, airbrushing, and hand-painted details. They were then mounted on a foam-core presentation board. Below are some close-up images showing examples of the hand-painted details.
It's interesting to see the different directions the packaging could have taken if Kenner and Lucasfilm had chosen one of these alternate logos. When you compare the rejected examples to the version we all know and love (shown here), you can't help but wonder what these logos would look like at the top of the vintage Power of the Force package.
Concept logos for the Power of the Force line aren't the only examples we have to show us the steps involved in the design process. The concept logos shown below represent different types of product line extensions, or alternate slogans that were considered by the Star Wars team at Kenner.
Star Wars: Force Collection
Star Wars: The Force Forever
Star Wars: Space Saga:
Star Wars: Epic Series
Star Wars Galaxy
Star Wars: Adventure Series
Unfortunately there isn't a lot of information available regarding the history of these logos, other than they were found at the same time as the Power of the Force concept boards. They were produced using similar artistic mediums, and appear to have been prepared during the same time period as the Power of the Force logos.
To find out what they may have been used for, we can look at the events following Return of the Jedi. Kenner needed to keep the Star Wars line fresh and exciting without the support of a new movie in the theatres, so they decided to create a unified line of figures that would represent the entire trilogy. Perhaps these logos were used in brainstorming sessions when a name for this new Star Wars line was being considered.
The Power of the Force, the name they ultimately decided to use is such a common and essential part of every collector's vocabulary, but what if those presentations at Kenner had gone in a different direction? What if the folks at Lucasfilm liked one of the other designs just a little better? If one of these other logos had gotten the approval instead, we might be searching ebay and calling up our favorite dealers looking for "The Force Forever" figures! Fortunately for collectors, these logo boards survived the Kenner dumpsters and give us a chance to see what might have been.
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