Chances are, if you are reading this, you are within eyeshot of a few Star Wars products and toys. After all, the Star Wars franchise practically wrote the book on tie-in merchandise. The brand is a money-printing machine. Analysts, as quoted in Forbes, predict that Star Wars merchandise will end up making $5 billion dollars in 2016. That’s a whole lot of plastic lightsabers.
However, while some of this merch is unbelievably cool, much of it is absolutely ridiculous, failing to capture even one iota of the magic of its source material. In other words, for every awesome Bluetooth BB-8 toy, there’s a lollipop shaped like the tongue of Jar Jar Binks.
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story headed to theaters on December 16th, we decided to pen this tribute to the worst of the worst. Here are the 15 Most Ridiculous Star Wars Products and Tie-Ins.
15. Star Wars Rebels Ukulele
Disney’s successful follow up to the animated Clone Wars series is called Star Wars Rebels. It follows Jedi Kanan Jarrus, who survived Order 66 as he attempts to train a Force sensitive youngster, Ezra Bridger. The duo is joined by a larger cast of characters as they start to form the infrastructure of the rebellion. This rebellion, as you well know, eventually plays a significant part in destroying the Empire.
So, naturally, the perfect product tie-in for this cartoon is a weird looking ukulele. This cheap-looking trinket, inexplicably manufactured by Peavey, features a fully painted body and, well, that’s about it. We suppose you could play some classic Star Wars themes on it, more or less. Nothing screams John Williams like ukulele music, after all.
14. Darth Vader yoga mat
Nothing says “yoga” like paying lip service to the most notorious Sith apprentice of them all, Darth Vader. Now you can practice your downward dog pose while staring at the visage of a masked Anakin Skywalker who, it must be reminded, once murdered an entire room of younglings. He also had a problem with sand.
If you think about it, though, the practice of yoga is not too far removed from some of the basic tenets of the Jedi order. Both suggest the use of mindfulness. Practitioners of both can contort the body into some downright unnatural looking shapes, like the flying lotus position and whatever was going on with General Grievous in the prequel movies.
However, that doesn’t explain the presence of Vader, who, thanks to injuries sustained during his volcanic battle with Obi Wan Kenobi, hasn’t a decent stretch in decades. Somebody get this guy a steaming cup of tea and a hot towel.
13. Star Wars adult diapers
You may be reading this list and wondering to yourself “But what about adult diapers? Surely there must be Star Wars-themed adult diapers.”
Don’t worry. The merchandise machine that is Star Wars has got you covered, literally in this case.
Introducing these snazzy, and quite comfortable, adult diapers, based on your favorite science fiction franchise. These are manufactured by popular adult diapers company, Dependeco, and Star Wars is certainly not their only foray into branding. They also make adult diapers based on Batman, Popeye and, of course, My Little Pony. They also make a brown camo version, just in case you want the ability to stave off adult incontinence as you hide in plain sight.
12. Nissan Rogue One SUV
Are you swimming in disposable income? Ready to take your Star Wars fandom to the next level? Nissan just announced the limited release of a SUV, in honor of next month’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The black SUV, a redesign of their popular Rogue line, is filled to the brim with splashy and subtle nods to the source material. For instance, the Star Wars logo is sewn into the floor mats and the cupholders feature some of the franchise’s classic iconography.
It also comes with a pretty darn spiffy-looking black Stormtrooper helmet. Not sure if that’ll help when you are trying to excuse spending thousands and thousands of dollars on your fandom, however. You’ll be sure to be sleeping on the couch for a few months when you bring home this bad boy.
11. Angry Birds Star Wars Halloween costume
A short time ago in this actual galaxy, people were addicted to a smartphone game called Angry Birds. Everyone played it, making the game’s publisher, Rovio, a momentary household name. Naturally, this meant that cross-promotional branding would eventually be necessary. This led to a game called Angry Birds Star Wars, which featured the smartphone’s avian cast transformed into their Star Wars equivalents.
This brings us here, to a ridiculous series of Halloween costumes. Relive your favorite moments from everyone’s fourth favorite smartphone game of 2012! They are even available in multiple designs if you want to crew up. You are definitely gonna want to crew up, you know, to avoid neighborhood bullies.
One day, in the far-flung future, archeologists will dig up one of these costumes. It will be the only thing they have to remember our society by. The scholarly papers written about it are sure to be long, confusing, and, for the most part, hilarious.
10. An empty box
When Star Wars was first released in 1977, toy manufacturers had no idea just how world shattering it would be. Nobody did, really. It took the box office like a sudden thunderstorm. The official licenser, Kenner, was caught by surprise and had to play catch up in order to meet with insane demand.
Their solution? They released an empty box. The “Star Wars Early Bird Certificate” package let the lucky children of 1977 purchase an “IOU” for Star Wars toys. All you had to do is mail in the certificate, letting Kenner know that you bought the package, and then, like magic, figures would be delivered to your doorstep approximately 6 months after purchase. Sure, Christmas of 1977 was a bit of a bummer, but summer of 1978 was just about the coolest thing ever!
9. Darth Vader bolo tie
We don’t begrudge people their Star Wars clothing. One of the best parts of fandom is proudly showing off your love for something, out there in the real world.
However, we have to draw the line at bolo ties. Regular ties featuring Star Wars characters? Fine. We’d even begrudgingly accept something like an R2-D2 bow-tie, though that might be stretching it.
Bolo ties take it a bridge too far, however. This one, in particular, lets you show off that you are a southern gentleman and a devotee of the dark Jedi arts. Though, if Star Wars is indeed a “western in space” then you are likely to fit right in. Yee-haw.
It must also be noted, this is not the only Star Wars-related bolo tie that has been in production. You can find designs based on Yoda, the series logo, stills from the prequel movies and, even, the Millennium Falcon itself.
8. Kylo Ren adult suitcase
Looking to get a gift for the Star Wars-loving businessperson in your life? Well, here is a Kylo Ren suitcase. Please note, this is a fully-functioning suitcase for adults, and not a backpack intended for school use by children. You’ll be the belle of the boardroom when you tote this bad boy out.
What does this American Tourist branded suitcase bring to the table? It is actually shaped like Ren’s mask and comes painted in the Empire’s beloved red and black color scheme. It even has a starry sky sewn into the inside compartments, just in case you forgot what the Star Wars series is all about.
Seeing as how, again, this suitcase is intended for grown-ups, it comes with a grown-up asking price. It’ll set you back anywhere from $150-200. It might be worth it just for the shocked looks you are likely to get while stowing away luggage at the airport.
7. Han and Leia matching bath towels
Sure, the romance between Han and Leia is one of the most important aspects of the original trilogy, and has a place in the newer films, but do shippers really need to go this far? Do they really need to celebrate their love with bathroom accessories?
Thinkgeek has produced a towel set based on Han and Leia’s infamous final conversation in The Empire Strikes Back. Now you can keep your hands clean and completely gross out your friends and family with this public display of affection. To be fair, the exchange is easily one of the most quotable scenes in the history of the franchise, though its relation to drying your hands after giving them a wash seems minimal.
The company has yet to announce a towel set based on the couple’s later, estranged, relationship, as seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “You changed your hair” and “same jacket” probably don’t look as nice once being printed.
6. Yoga Magic 8-ball
At first look, this seems like perfect branding synergy. Yoda often speaks in riddles and pairing him off with the 1980s hit toy the Magic 8-ball seems like a no-brainer. The boardroom must have erupted into cheers when this idea was originally floated. Everyone was sure to get hefty Christmas bonuses.
However, the Force was not strong in the manufacturing process of this one, now rare, collector’s item. What’s the big deal? We’ll just come out and say it. There is no use hiding it any longer.
In order to receive an answer to any of the questions you pose this toy, you must look directly up Yoda’s butt. This is quite an undignified look for an ancient Jedi master, though it could have a run for its money with some of Yoda’s parkour moves in the prequels. Kids did not buy this in droves, and it made its slow descent to bargain bins and, more recently, eBay listings.
5. Star Knight AKA Darth Vader: Biker Cop
Now, this is not an officially licensed toy, but we are including it anyways, due it being one of the funniest looking things ever made. It’s a work of perverse art, as you can see above.
Introducing Star Knight, which is just Darth Vader on a motorcycle, looking like something out of a science fiction rendition of CHiPs. Darth Vader: Biker Cop is even an actual policeman, as seen in the sticker that accompanies the vehicle. In other words, do not speed around Darth Vader: Biker Cop. You are likely to get force choked, if not worse.
This is a bootleg toy, part of a thriving scene of similar items from the 1980s. There are actually a few of these still floating around, if you want to spend a few bucks on eBay. This figure could, at the very least, liven the conversation at a dinner party. You could also just make your own by finding one of the aforementioned CHiPs toys and simply planting poor Darth Vader on the motorcycle.
4. Lucas family action figures
Sure, you think you might have every Star Wars action figure, featuring even the minor characters from each of the 7 films. Do you, however, have action figures of George Lucas and his immediate family?
These were released by Hasbro as a limited edition run back when the prequels were off ruining everyone’s childhood. They feature Lucas and his 3 children, dressed in the outfits they wore while performing cameos in those CGI-laden productions. Do you want to continue the adventures of Baron Papanpoida and Zett Jukassa? Then, boy, are you in luck.
Interestingly, the George Lucas figure looks absolutely nothing like the man himself. There is a joke here about how the Lucas of 2005 doesn’t resemble the Lucas of 1980, but the poor man has suffered enough.
3. Star Wars produce
Where do we even start with this? Star Wars produce is a real thing that exists. You know merchandising mania has reached a fever pitch when you can walk out of your local produce aisle with a box of Yoda grapes or a bag of BB-8 oranges.
John T. King, vice president of Health and Beauty for Disney Consumer Products, managed to keep a straight face as he spoke fondly of these products, which actually managed to stir up some controversy as being emblematic of the glut of lame Star Wars merchandise: “Supporting parents by offering healthy, nutritious options for their kids is of utmost importance to The Walt Disney Company and adding family-favorite Star Wars to our licensed fruit and veggies portfolio is a natural extension of our commitment in this space.”
2. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith toilet paper
You know, it’s almost as if jokes against the prequel trilogy manage to write themselves. Toilet paper, based on Episode III? What were they thinking? What, were there no tubs of toxic waste available to slap the Star Wars logo on?
Sure, these bum wipers for the Force sensitive were only released in several foreign markets, but they are still easily searched for online and remain a sad testament to the short sightedness of merchandisers. We have trouble understanding why anyone, in any country, bought these, except as some form of cruel prank.
It must also be noted, that there has never been a bathroom shown in the Star Wars universe. Do people in this galaxy even go to the bathroom? The answer may have something to do with midi-chlorians. See? That joke just wrote itself.
1. Jar Jar Binks candy tongue
It may be a distant dream now, but back before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was released, the hype was very real. The trailers looked promising and early reviews were ecstatic. Venerable institutions like The New York Times were praising the film. People waited in line for hours and, gosh, when that John Williams fanfare began blaring, there wasn’t an arm in the theater without goosebumps on it.
So, even though the notion of a CGI character named Jar Jar Binks originally raised a few red flags, we were willing to give George Lucas the benefit of the doubt. After all, Jabba the Hutt was cool. Yoda was cool. The Ewoks weren’t even that bad, in a certain light.
This led us to ignore the proof, which was right in front of our eyes, in the form of tongue-shaped candy. Yes, a candy that demanded the consumer quite literally make out with Jar Jar Binks. In the immortal words of Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jin, “don’t do that again.”
Did any of these Star Wars products cause you to empty out your wallets? Let us know in the comments!