Star Wars photography using 1970s Kenner figures amazes in new deluxe photo book

Kenner Star Wars Photography Vol 1 1977-1979 Deluxe Edition
(Image credit: The Man Who Shot Luke Skywalker / Kim Simmons)

Kim DM Simmons used to be the official photographer for the likes of Kenner and Hasbro back in the day and has since created volumes of photo books featuring images of the Star Wars collection of Kenner toys from each decade of release.

These deluxe photo books have garnered a mass following and support from collector communities, and each book has been funded through Kickstarter successfully with the latest upcoming project launching on February 2, 2023. 

This modern Star Wars toy photography is a Force to be reckoned with

Known as "The Man Who Shot Luke Skywalker", Kim Simmons' career as a toy photographer for these two major companies lasted from 1981-2000, and his vintage images adorned the majority of Star Wars toy packaging, as well as promotional and branding campaigns.

The latest upcoming Kickstarter project launching in February aims to raise funds to release a deluxe hard copy edition of what Simmons refers to as the book that started it all.

The Kenner Star Wars Photography Vol 1 1977-1979 Deluxe Edition is an updated edition of the original copy of the book released in 2019, which has now been updated with exclusive never before printed photos, plus 30 additional pages of content.

This new release is said to be very limited with only a select number of copies that will be made available to Kickstarter backers with exclusive rewards available to those who fund and support the campaign. 

This is the first time that the 1977-1979 volume will be made available in a deluxe hardcover binding format, and we can assume it won't be cheap either. Simmons' other books in the series can be purchased from his online store and the average price for a standard copy retails for $200 (approximately £162 / AU$285). 

Simmons' image collection features not only images of vintage Star Wars toys and action figures, but also shots that reveal the process of image creation and high quality test shots that led to the final air-brushed printed shots that made it onto the figure packaging. 

Expect to see early examples of Kenner Star Wars vehicles such as the famous X-wing and tie-fighters, plus toys with rocket-firing mechanisms. 

You may also be interested in the best tilt-shift lenses for toy photography, as well as the best cameras for stop-motion animation.

Discover how to shoot model toy photography that looks like real life and learn how to bring your toys to life with forced perspective techniques. 

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.