The first carded Star Wars (SW) figures were the 12-back release, and subsequently the 12 back cards are some of the most sought after proof cards. All 12 proofs are known to exist, although a number are only known on the ‘square corners and blank back’ card type. The proofs with the unprinted backs are thought to be some of the earliest Star Wars prototype items still in existence today and represent the very first stages of the toy line’s production. This type of proof is undoubtedly rarer than the printed back style, although whether they are as sought after is unclear. ￼
Each of the 12-back proofs with printed backs refer to the ‘Sandpeople’ character as ‘Tusken Raider’; indeed no 12-Back ‘Sandpeople’ proof is known and instead a Tusken Raider proof exists. The production 12bk cards were changed to the well known ‘Sandpeople’ name tag.
It is difficult to estimate the number of 12-back proofs which survived the preproduction process and are in collectors’ hands today, although in terms of rarity Ben and I estimate the following hierarchy:
The level of rarity coupled with the sought after nature (and cost) of 12-back proof cards means that while one or two complete sets may theoretically be possible, it would be highly unlikely that a set would be compiled by anyone other than the most wealthy and well connected of collectors, as examples are generally locked in private collections, or exist as part of character sets or runs which are unlikely to be broken up.
In addition to the 12-back proofs, the next 8 characters, on 20 back Star Wars proofs with the ‘Free Boba Fett’ offer, are also occasionally available although I am not aware of a Greedo or R5-D4 existing. Of course, they may well do and just haven’t been shown in collections online or offered on the open market. In terms of rarity the Powerdroid, Snaggletooth and Hammerhead cards seem to exist is roughly equal numbers, and the others in only very small quantities – perhaps never to come onto the open market!
Star Wars Proof Card Types:
More Star Wars Proofs can be found in The Star Wars Proof Card Gallery