The Star Wars movies have always been as much about merchandise as they have been about movies, and perhaps more, a point that Spaceballs really touched on in 1987. With J.J. Abrams set to release the next installment Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens this Christmas, there’s been a notable uptick in product tie-ins, from Chewbacca-themed crocs, to $30,000 watches, to entire freaking planes. But yesterday’s news that there is a Darth Vader shower head serves as a reminder that weird Star Wars tie-ins have their own tradition. So, let’s celebrate the more unusual merchandising endeavors that Star Wars has inspired.
The Lando Calrissian Disguise Kit
This incredibly basic (re: lazy) design was a simple fuzzy mustache on a cardboard cutout of Billy Dee Williams’ face. While some of you may appreciate the vintage charm this appears to have, it should be noted that this was produced in 2010 (!) and was available on the Star Wars website up until relatively recently.
A surefire way to get kids interested in whatever you were doing in the 1980s was to put out a cereal endorsing it, and Star Wars was no different. Opting for their most kid-friendly source for comic relief, they slapped C-3PO’s face on a box full of ‘twin rings,’ that mostly looked like a bowl of number eights.
A Darth Vader Toaster
Keeping with the breakfast theme, what better way to round out your complete breakfast with some toast (or an English muffin, if you prefer) that has the Star Wars insignia burnt into it? This Darth Vader-shaped toaster does exactly that, up to four slices of bread at a time.
A Darth Vader Burger
Launched in 2012 to correlate with the re-release of The Phantom Menace in 3-D, Belgium-based fast food chain Quick launched a tie-in that included a rather normal-looking Jedi Burger, and one with an all-black bun for the Darth Vader-themed “Dark Vader Burger.” As badly as this seemed to go, it didn’t stop Burger King from giving the whole black bun thing another shot for a Halloween tie-in this year.
A Disco Song
Released the same year as the first Star Wars movie, Meco’s single that managed to work in all of its notable musical moments became a No. 1 Billboard hit, and single-handedly launched the era that fused sci-fi songs with disco.
Death Star Ice Mold
What better way to show off your fine, sophisticated pallet for nice Scotch with a two-and-a-half-inch wide Death Star at the bottom of your glass?
The R2-D2 Aquarium
For those who wanted more out of R2-D2 than a simple cookie jar, this 14-inch tall aquarium designed for smaller fish offered a fair amount of impressive features, including voice command response and a periscope feature for what it described as an “intimate” view of what goes on.
Adidas Star Wars Wear
Back when Adidas came out with a line of Star Wars-themed athletic wear, they decided to tie it in with the 2010 FIFA World Cup for maximum synergy. The 90-second commercial plays out like another re-release of the Special Edition, only littered with celebrities, including Daft Punk (who look not-at-all out of place) and Snoop Dogg as Obi-Wan. I didn’t say it was all bad.
The Virgin-Atlantic Air-Sickness Bags
Eager to cash in on Episode III mania, but unable to show any of the movies on their flights, Virgin-Atlantic airlines came up with these Star Wars-themed air-sickness bags. Combining such tongue-in-cheek instructions as Jedi vs. Sith combat with airplane seating assignments, the bags’ four designs were limited to a run of 25,000 each.