The first set of 12 figures appeared in the UK in 1978. The front of the 12A card has the Star Wars logo and is the same as that of the Kenner card from America with two differences. The white square in the top left hand corner where the price would be written is absent on the Palitoy card. The other difference is the Kenner logo is replaced with the colourful red and blue Palitoy logo. The back of the card shows the original 12 figures from the Star Wars film and 3 vehicles that were released at the same time. These are the TIE fighter, X-Wing Fighter and Land Speeder. The text for the TIE fighter and X-Wing Fighter says they have Laser Light and Sound. This was true of the Kenner versions of these vehicles but not the Palitoy ones. The Palitoy version of the TIE fighter also used the Kenner packaging with a Palitoy sticker placed over the Kenner logo. Below the figures there are some instructions for how the double telescoping lightsabers operate on Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Ben Kenobi. These were quickly replaced with single telescoping versions which were cheaper to make. The only known examples of MOC double telescoping 12-backs are on Kenner cards. None are believed to exist on Palitoy cards. This card variation, and all card variations up until 45A were manufactured in Hong Kong at the Kader Industries factory by the Palitoy (Far East) Company Ltd and then shipped back assembled to the Coalville factory in the UK. You can see it says Made in Hong Kong below the Palitoy logo on the back of the card and Palitoy, Coalville, Leicester, England to the left of the logo.
Jawa and Death Squad Commander are the only figures unverified on this cardback variation. A rare figure variation is the large head Han Solo with only 5 examples known to exist. They sell for thousands of pounds when they become available for sale. The small head Han Solo is much more common on this variation. All subsequent variations have the large head Han Solo on them.
The bubble used on the large head Han Solo has a wider footplate than that used on the small head Han Solo as can be seen below. This can be used to spot resealed examples of the small head Han Solo bubble which have had the rarer large head Han Solo figure resealed inside the bubble.
There are rare examples of Kenner style SKU footplates with rounded corners at the front edges and a serial number in white text at the back of the footplate being used on Palitoy cards. This has been seen on Chewbacca. This is because the Kader Industries factory in Hong Kong also produced Kenner cards.
Recarded 12 backs often use the original Kenner card front with a superimposed Palitoy logo over the Kenner logo, leaving the white square in the top left hand corner. If you see one of these for sale claiming it is an original carded figure then you know that it is a recard.
A common collecting goal is to collect the original 12 figures MOC. This can be quite pricey as the rarer figures can cost quite a price premium. The rarest to find is Chewbacca, this is generally the figure you will need to find to complete the set of 12. Next is Luke Skywalker which is generally the most expensive to obtain. Next is Princess Leia Organa and Ben Kenobi followed by the small head Han Solo. Then comes Stormtrooper, Jawa, Death Squad Commander and C-3PO. The most common figures are R2-D2, Darth Vader and Sand People.