Early Bird Kit
Starting in late January/early February of 1978, kids started receiving their belated Christmas presents in the mail which included: 4 figures, pegs for the cardboard stand, instructions for the pegs which included an offer for a plastic stand, and a mini catalogue showcasing other Star Wars product. Depending on when they sent off their mail-in certificate, there are slight variations in what they received. The variations include: baggie types, the insert catalog, and most importantly wether or not they received a Luke with the infamous double telescoping(DT) lightsaber.
These earliest versions of the lightsaber were two pieces with the smaller tip being able to slide into the larger portion of the saber. It is generally thought they were changed to one piece because of cost and with how fragile they were. The regular single telescoping saber still has the smaller tip, but it doesn’t move where it is one piece. Most non collectors will think they had the double telescoping version in their childhood collection when they first hear about it, but in most cases it is the single telescoping.
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The baggies can come in various combinations from SW-A to SW-D, depending on when it was mailed. The earliest kits contain all 4 in SW-A bags. Chewbacca is the only one known to come in a textless SW-A bag, but can again be found in other styles. Also, the dark blue R2 is most often associated with the Early Bird kit, but I’ve also seen the lighter blue as well.
The mailing label on the box is: 75-849
Mailer Box, Plastic Tray, Plastic Pegs in heat sealed blank baggie, DT Luke in SW-A or SW-B Baggie, Display Stand coupon, small SW catalog with actors on back (shown)
Mailer Box, Plastic Tray, Plastic Pegs in heat sealed blank baggie, DT Luke in SW-C Baggie, Display Stand coupon, Large SW catalog with star field (shown, commonly referred to as the transition set)
Mailer Box, Plastic Tray, Plastic Pegs in heat sealed blank baggie, regular non DT Luke in SW-A, SW-B, or SW-C baggie, Display Stand coupon, Large SW catalog with star field (shown)