The E prefix would make it an early 1980's Fender for sure. I have found a few pictures of Fender Bullet headstocks from the early 1980's. Gord, that Fender Bullet Tele in the last photo sold on e Bay for 5 USD. These now have a current listed resale value of: Mint 98% Cond: 0.00 USD Exc 95% Cond: 5.00 USD Exc 90% Cond: 5.00 USD VG 80% Cond: 5.00 USD VG 70% Cond: 0.00 USD Also, yall are correct, they do not say Squier anywhere on them and that's because they are not Squiers, they are the Fender Bullet Series Startocasters.
The new Fender did not acquire any physical assets of the old company, just the name "Fender".The frets can slip out because they are made cheap and fast.I would save a a little more and look in the 0-0 range, it does make a difference. I've seen plenty of folks who were quite happy with their bullet Strats.Hence during 1985 to 1987, production of Fender guitars was only done in Japan, while USA Fender created a new factory in California. BUT note that the "E" and "N" series does sometimes appear on "made in Japan" models. In any case, if it says "made in Japan", then it is... Fender has recently (in the last 20 years) introduced LOTS of different serial numbers schemes, depending on the country the Fender was made (USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea, etc). Sorry, since I do not collect new Fenders, I don't really keep track of these things.The Japanese-made Fenders do have some slight serial number differences (typically a "J" serial number prefix). I believe this was a mistake on Fender's part using the same prefix for both U. Below are some examples of letter prefixes used in recent serial number schemes.I don't have a very large budget as I have a young family so I am looking for something that would help me learn.