The Star Wars action figures were plastic, usually smaller than four inches (10 cm), and typically moved at five points on their bodies, but there were many differences and unique qualities in the individual figures that departed from these norms. Kenner's Star Wars action figures were produced along with vehicles and playsets based on the Star Wars movies.The majority of figures were sold individually attached to "cardbacks" in a plastic blister
Variations exist for most of the different figures. These can range from major resculpts and differences in accessories supplied with the figures, to differences in paint detailing, for instance in hair color, or differences in sculpting materials. Some variations command higher prices in the collector market due to relative scarcity.[Of particular note were the redesigns of the R2-D2 and C-3PO figures. During the Empire Strikes Back run, the R2-D2 figure was altered to include an extendable "sensorscope". Similarly, C-3PO was resculpted with removable limbs. In 1985, R2-D2 was again altered to feature a firing lightsaber. Both the removable limb C-3PO and lightsaber firing R2-D2 were offered with alternate paint detailing in the Droids range.The lightsabre-wielding characters originally featured a double-telescoping sabre mechanism. This was changed to a single-telescoping mechanism early in 1978. As the Luke Skywalker figure was part of the Early Bird promotion, proportionately more of these were released with the double-telescoping mechanism, while double telescoping Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobis and Darth Vaders are comparatively rarer and more sought-after.The Sears exclusive Cantina adventure playset was notable as it added four new action figures to the range. The Snaggletooth figure initially wore a blue outfit with silver "disco" boots, and was about the same size as the Luke and Han figures. Upon George Lucas' request, this was subsequently corrected and a resculpted shorter red figure was released sans "disco" boots. Only the corrected red Snaggletooth was released on blistered cardbacks.Early Han Solo characters had a somewhat diminutive head sculpt. This was later replaced by a larger sculpt, although small head Han Solos are occasionally found on later cardbacks
Early Jawas were released with a vinyl cape similar to that of Obi-Wan Kenobi. This was later changed to a fabric cloak.
From the period through to mid-1984, figures sold individually in stores were issued on cardbacks that corresponded to the most current movie, with figures being sold on cardbacks with Star Wars designs through to 1980, then on Empire Strikes Back cards through to 1983, followed by Return of the Jedi cards and, in 1984, Power of the Force cards.
As the number of figures in the range increased, the cardback design would be altered accordingly. Thus the earliest figures released for direct sale in shops were issued on a cardback, the rear of which illustrated the then full range of 12 figures, known as a 12-back. The 12-back was supplanted by the 20-back, and subsequently by the 21-back, the 31-back, the 32-back, the 41-back, the 45-back, the 47-back, the 48-back, the 65-back, the 77-back, the 79-back and the 92-back.
Variations exist for each of the cardback fronts. These range from differences in promotional offer stickers applied to the card to differences in photograph illustrating the character. Similarly variations exist for all of the cardback rear designs with the exceptions of the 47-back and 92-back designs that were only available in a single version.Currently there are 57 different cardback front-rear combinations recognized. This does not include figures released through overseas companies or the Droids or Ewoks ranges