At that time, he was relatively well known having directed his second movie, the brilliant American Graffiti (1971). He spent the next two years labouring over the script for “The Star Wars” – a kind of Western set in space – an idea which most people he touted the project to, laughed him out of town for. Lucas was in a position to command a $500,000 salary for the movie, but instead he approached 20th Century Fox with a proposition. He would take a salary of $150,000 if he could retain the rights to any sequels and – boom! – retain all Star Wars merchandise rights.
20th Century Fox must have thought they’d died and gone to heaven. Previously merchandising from films had been a complete failure, so they agreed. Star Wars went on to create merchandising history after Star Wars became a global sensation.
Star Wars is the second highest grossing movie of all time with the original movie earning $775 million at the box office ($2.5 billion after adjusting for inflation), which is pretty darn fine, but merchandising was the real star. In 1977 and 1978 alone, Star Wars merchandise generated $100 million worth of toys. In the next 35 years Star Wars themed toys have generated $12 billion worth of revenue and with the latest in the instalment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting our screens on the 18th December 2015, this can only be set to increase.
We’ve all grown up with Star Wars and I am a huge fan (with the exception of The Phantom Menace) so it’s with a great deal of love and affection that Wholesale Clearance UK, present to you some of the weirdest Star Wars merchandise ever created. Some of this is cool, some of it is funny, some of it is illegal and some of it is just downright wrong. Enjoy!
Yoda Magic 8 Ball
Lando Calrissian Disguise KitIf you need a disguise for some reason, or you just need a little help with the ladies (or gentlemen if that’s your thing) then this Lando Calrissian disguise kit should help you pass the mustard as a space stud extraordinaire.
Remember Operation? The funny little fat man whose nose glows red when you extract his innards? Well here’s the R2-D2 version. Look out for the goldfish …R2-D2 DVD Projector
I imagine that if you are a huge Star Wars fan the R2-D2, this projection unit would be the ultimate piece of merchandise, because we all know that R2-D2 can in fact project things, so this rings true. However, it’s a tad cumbersome, so save it for your Star Wars themed home cinema room.R2-D2 Christmas Lights
Well I love these, and I have a feeling that most children would too. The thing is if you’re going to decorate your tree with R2-D2 Christmas lights you would really have to have a Star Wars themed tree altogether. Fortunately, I have seen Star Wars Christmas baubles advertised on Facebook … hmm Star Wars Fishing Equipment
Such a bizarre idea to have a bunch of fishing equipment that’s Star Wars themed, as I don’t recall anyone fishing in the movies. In fact, do any of them ever prepare food or eat? Why don’t we see them tucking into Galaxy bars and popping pink space dust? So, fishing in space is pointless as is this fishing set There’s a lightsabre fishing rod which could be cool. But it’s really not.Darth Vader CD Player
Somehow, I don’t think Darth Vader would appreciate the fact that we can play Adele or Little Mix CDs through his adenoids. I wonder in fact; what type of music would Darth appreciate? A bit of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon perhaps? A man with taste. Not a bad idea then, but a CD player is a bit old hat (or helmet) these days.
Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album
OMG. As a kid I remember seeing a Star Wars Christmas special and it was really bad. I mean really bad. I’m very glad then that I didn’t receive this album at the same time. Just how awful is this? Well one of the tracks is called, What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?), so it is extraordinarily awful. It would be tantalising to own it on CD and play it through the Darth Vader CD player though.
However – for those metal heads among you who collect all things rocky, Jon Bon Jovi participates on the R2-D2 track We Wish You a Merry Christmas with his High School choir.Galactic Funk Album
If you really need a CD for your Darth CD machine, maybe you should buy the Original Star Wars Soundtrack. However, for a bit of ‘out there’ funk, I suppose you could give this a spin.Jar Jar Tongue Sucker
Possibly the most obscene piece of Star Wars merchandise is this Jar Jar Binks tongue sucker. Now for me, Jar Jar nearly killed the whole franchise so I wouldn’t give it the time of day. In The Phantom Menace there’s an infamous scene (oh have we laughed – not) where Liam Neeson caught Jar Jar’s flapping tongue during dinner. It would be nice to pin it to the dinner table with a sharp carving knife to be fair, but in this case the Jar Jar tongue sucker is a sweet that is designed to be sucked. Ewwwww!The Darth Vader Wobbly Head
Now who decided that one of the most fearsome baddies of all time – you know the one that destroyed Alderaan without flinching, causing Obi Wan to say, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced” – should be immortalised as a wobbly head plastic toy? It’s just not right. Who would be that brazen? “You don’t know the power of the dark side.”The Darth Vader Mood Light
There are many things that will put you in the mood, but I’m not sure this is one of them, or really what sort of mood the designer was wishing to create. Welcome to the dark side, my love … Again, this is one of those gizmos that has “I’m never going to get a date” written all over it. Slave Leia Perfume
You can never go wrong with perfume as a gift for the woman in your life. If she’s sweet and innocent, maybe buy her Britney. If she wants to be sexy and sassy like Sasha Fierce, go for Beyonce. If she’s classy and chic, it has to be Chanel. If her love is like Poison, try some Opium. If you want to make her obey your every whim, and if you want to chain her to your throne, what better than to present her with a bottle of Slave Leia perfume? It comes complete with a miniature manacle around the neck. Sorry – don’t bother googling – it isn’t available anymore (I liked it so much I bought out the stock). Deluxe Chewbacca Backpack
Moving into the fluffy realms of dodgy merchandise now, first up we have the deluxe Chewbacca backpack. Now in essence this is a great idea. One of the coolest Star Wars goodies I have ever seen was a Yoda backpack that looked like you were carrying the little chap, a la Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back – pretty fab. This however, well, let’s start with the fact that Chewie is about 20 feet tall, and this is not a very well scaled down version. Not to mention that it’s a poor imitation and you look like you killed Chewie’s son. Don’t incur the wrath of the Jedis by wearing this!Bantha Dog Costume
I won’t hear a bad word said about dog costumes. I think they’re hilarious and this one is superb. Your dog will hate it, but that’s not the point. There are also some cool Darth Vader and Leia ones out there. Get googling.Yoda Slippers
I adore these and would wear them, so there. OK, they’re a little small, and Yoda appears to be jaundiced, but still, I want to stroll around the house saying, “Yoda feet, have I”.Severed Wampa Arm Ice Scraper
Here’s another must have for me. For those moments when you need to scrape your car first thing in the morning and you haven’t got your gloves. Perfect! You can simultaneously scare the neighbours or any loitering traffic wardens.Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping Bag
Remember that scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Han had to split open the belly of a Tauntaun, and then placed the injured Luke in there to keep warm? Must have been a bit stinky. Well now you too can enjoy the experience with your own Tauntaun sleeping bag that mimics that very scene. Fortunately, this one is quite cosy and doesn’t come with any gross and slimy innards. I always felt really sorry for the Tauntaun, because he was killed without any second thoughts having done absolutely nothing wrong. It’s an injustice that has bugged me ever since I saw the film.Wampa Skin Rug
If you’re not really ready for the whole ‘sleeping inside an Tauntaun’ experience, and in any case you prefer warmer climes, then may I recommend an imitation (no folks, it’s faux fur) Wampa skin rug. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with added slave girl.Chewbacca-skin rug
Alternatively, you could be drawn to the dark side and skin a Wookie. Why would you do that?!C-3PO Tape Dispenser
What to say about this? It’s remarkably undignified, isn’t it? I get (kind of) that it could almost be some sort of shuttle, but it isn’t, it dispenses sticky tape, and C-3PO looks like he’d like to erase your memory banks if you put your fingers anywhere near his dispenser.Star Wars: Episode III air sickness bag
Episode III was ok; in fact, it was a vast improvement on Episode I. If you need a little souvenir of the dark times (the episodes before the good ones, that is) then see if you can track down these which were produced by Virgin Airlines. They’re increasingly rare because they are airplane sick bags and are therefore eminently disposable! (I hope).Han and Leia T-shirts
There are so many crappy t-shirts out there, and probably enormous amounts of them that are unlicensed, that it’s difficult to know where to start. This probably counts as the worst. This is a pair of T shirts so you need to have a partner (which may be difficult if you already own some of the stuff that made it on to this list thus far) and they have to be happy (or stupid enough) to walk around with figures that don’t look anything like Han and Leia.The Stormpooper t shirt though? That’s genius. Star Wars Jedi or Sith Bath Robes
Another item of clothing that may or may not be cool depending on his is wearing them is the Star Wars bathrobe. If you’re 5 ft. 2 and as wide as you are tall, you may only rock this look ironically, but someone somewhere will think you look adorable. Maybe.Star Wars Angry Birds costume
Just. Not. Nice.Crocs
Another item I really love. I like Crocs. They’re indestructible. Well, the company wanted a little piece of the Star Wars merchandising game and opted for these fur lines lovelies – a Chewbacca lined clog (not using Chewbacca though – chill!). See his little bandolier running around the perimeter and the dark-brown fake-fur Wookie lining. And they came in adult sizes. Fab!Zombie Star Wars Posters
Fans of Star Wars is awesome no doubt like science fiction and fantasy in all its forms, so in some ways this combination of Zombies and Star Wars has a certain appeal. Unless you’re a purist and then you’ll probably want to burn this.Star Wars Cookbooks
There are a variety of Star Wars cookbooks available if you want to try Wampa steak, Wookie cookies or Aunt Beru’s blue goo. You may struggle to find the ingredients at your local Aldi though, so bear that in mind.Star Wars spatulas
Available in the USA these spatulas have come in for a bit of flak. Created under license by Williams-Sonoma, there are a number to choose from including R2D2 and Darth Vader. There have been complaints that the shape of R2D2 has a tendency to rip your pancakes to shreds, but my main concern is that using Darth Vader’s head to flip my eggs would lead to him targeting my house with a Death Star. Not a chap to be messed with.Star Wars Chop Sabres
May the force be with you. Especially when you’re eating Chinese food. You get to choose whose light sabre you want to spear your crispy fried duck with as they come in a range of Jedi colours.Space Slug Oven Mitt
If you are fond of cooking and you don’t possess asbestos fingers, far better to invest in a space slug oven mitt. Not a cave until you’ve burnt through the fabric however. The only truly bizarre thing about this is that you are putting your hand up an Exogorth’s backside. Ewwwww.R2-D2 Meat Smoker
All the rage in Australia apparently are meat smokers, although they haven’t really taken off in the UK so much yet. If you don’t fancy using R2-D2 as an aquarium, this could be the next best bet. What that would do to R2-D2’s insides remains a mystery but he usually bounces back alright, doesn’t he?Darth Vader Imprinting Toaster
If breakfast is your favourite meal of the day, then you’re in for a treat. Start off with a little toast – complete with the great man’s head imprinted on the bread by this fine toaster. It really seems a shame to slather it in butter and jam, doesn’t it? C-3PO’s Breakfast Cereal
In addition to toast, and impossible to find in your local supermarket is C-3PO’s cereal (particularly as it hasn’t been manufactured since the 1980s). Who’d have thought that C-3PO even ate cereal. I thought he had oil infusions. Kellogg’s produced this in the US. Once. In a galaxy far, far away.The Dark Side Coffee
Stay on the dark side with this fresh coffee. A perfect breakfast accompaniment to C-3PO’s breakfast cereal.Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader salt and pepper shaker set
These salt and pepper shakers were actually rejected at the design stage which is kind of a shame (especially when you see what sort of stuff gets through). Apparently the concept for the design read, “Let these legends of the kitchen table be a constant reminder of the battle over good and evil in the galaxy.” Mmm, maybe a bit too deep for fish and chips.The “Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Tray.”
So, along with your wampa steak and chips, liberally salted by Luke, and served with a helping of Darth toast, you’ll need a little gin and tonic. Fortunate for you that I have ice in the shape of Hal Solo frozen in carbonite. Unfortunately, like many similar gimmicks, the Han ice is pretty indistinguishable from any other chunk of ice, the cubes are tiny and you have to fight to get them out of the tray.Darth Vader Burger
If you’ve had enough Star Wars in the kitchen and you fancy a little less intergalactic hassle, you could head out to your local fast food joint, where you probably won’t be served with this luscious looking creation. I really don’t understand why black food doesn’t catch on …Sarlacc pit toilet transformation
Having over indulged on Star Wars delicacies, chosen from your cookbook of course, and then prepared in your intergalactic galley, you may find yourself in need of a trip to the smallest room. Why not decorate your loo with these awesome stickers? Bring your boring old toilet back to life by turning it into a sarlacc pit of doom with these decals, as seen in Return of the Jedi.Pond Wars Ducks
Staying in the bathroom, bathtime becomes much more fun if you have these little fellas for company. These glowing Pond Wars Ducks will help you fight the evils of dirt as you soak, allowing you to bask in hard won freedom fighting glory.Bootleg Action Figures
There are so, so many bootleg action figures that they kind of have become collectible in their own way over the years. Usually made in the far East where Lucasfilm can’t quite reach, there are some classics. Here’s a few of my favourites:
Darth Vader Traffic cop?
This “Star Knight” seems to depict Darth Vader as a policeman on a motorcycle, that has bump-n-go action, lights, sounds, and a voice chip. Turn it on and the lights and sirens begin and the bike rolls forward. Then the motorcycle stops and Darth Vader shouts “HALT!” before shooting machine guns. Weird.Lucasfilm have banned Polish company, Uzay’s figurines as they were unlicensed and pretty bloomin’ awful. Howard Roffman, the President of Lucas Licensing, which is in charge of the global Star Wars merchandise business stated, “When companies…try to make a profit by confusing fans and flagrantly violating our trademark rights, we have to take action.” But knock-offs can be big business and the Uzay figures are notoriously shoddy and hilarious. Some of these products now sell for thousands of dollars! Star Wars Kinder Surprise Eggs
These Kinder eggs have made the headlines after being banned in the USA. The chocolate outer shell hides a plastic inner shell which contains a toy. In Europe this isn’t a problem. Generally kids know the plastic egg has a toy and they don’t try to eat it. In the USA the kids don’t understand the difference between chocolate and plastic (and joking aside there have been one or two fatalities). Over 60,000 Kinder Surprises are seized at American airports every year and many people have fines levied against them. However, in Europe these remain hugely collectible.And finally – the piece de resistance
True collectors of Star Wars memorabilia would do well to start hunting for this spectacular piece. The Boba Fett Guitar (which retailed at around $2000) is extremely rare. While Boba Fett wasn’t a guitar player, this has become a coveted item. Created in 2001 by Fernandes Guitars International in conjunction with Lucasfilm, there are apparently just a few hundred of these guitars in existence.
The big Star Wars Merchandise winners
Well, the major players are lining up to cash in on the new Star Wars merchandise deals with the release of the new film. The force will be with Disney, Hasbro and EA. Hasbro particularly has deals lined up for all the new movies through to 2020. Meanwhile Disney is beginning its campaign in a coordinated way by introducing toys and merchandise on YouTube and J.P. Morgan estimates that Disney will see a 200% increase in Star Wars merchandise sales equating to $500 million of revenue.
Over to you
Do you have any fond memories Star Wars merchandise from when you were growing up? What were your favourites? What were the worst items you can remember? Share your thoughts with us below or come and join the chat on Facebook 🙂