The Star Wars movies have been unbelievably influential – they revolutionized how filmmakers think about special effects and reinvented how the public perceived science fiction movies. But Star Wars also changed how merchandise and movies interact – by 1997, Star Wars toys and merchandise grossed more money than the three original films combined, and by 2012, Lucasfilm had raked in over $20 billion dollars in licensing fees.
There have been estimates that the new wave Star Wars merchandise, which anticipates the release of the J.J. Abrams directed seventh installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, could gross up to $5 billion dollars in the first year alone.
Basic merchandise items, such as toys or clothes, have become mainstays of movies. But Star Wars merchandise items, now a cultural phenomenon, include food, kitchenware, home decor, books, video games, jewelry, musical instruments, and more. There is a consumer craze around Star Wars, and more and more licenses are obtained for creative products that fill any conceivable gap in the market. Sometimes, Star Wars products are so strange and specific that one has to wonder: does anyone actually buy this?
After searching all the corners of the internet for products from Tatooine, Hoth, and everywhere in-between, here is a list of 14 Craziest Star Wars Merchandise Items:
14 Dark Vador Hamburger
To promote the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3-D in 2012, the French fast food restaurant chain, Quick, sold three special edition burgers: the Jedi Burger, the Dark Burger, and the Dark Vador Burger (Yes, that's how the French spell it).
Inspired by Darth Vader, the Dark Vador burger’s bun is dyed black, shocking fans and restaurant-goers alike. While the exact components of the dye are unclear, Quick has said it comes from a vegetable base. The bun is topped with black pepper and poppy seeds. The limited edition burger allowed fans to taste the Dark Side.
13 Jar Jar Binks Tongue Candy
For fans who prefer eating Jar Jar Binks to Darth Vader, the Jar Jar Binks Lollipop features a piece of candy in the shape of the Gungan’s tongue. Even before the public backlash against Jar Jar, it is difficult to imagine a marketing team dreaming up and promoting this profoundly weird product, or that they could believe that it would be profitable.
But perhaps when the locking-lips lollipop was released to promote the 1999 theatrical release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the thought of French kissing an alien was a funny idea. After the film’s release, however, the only appeal of the toy was getting rid of Jar Jar’s tongue in the hopes that he wouldn’t be able to talk.
12 Inflatable Tauntaun Costume
There comes a time in every one-size standard adult’s life when they think to themselves: I want to dress as Luke on a tauntaun for Christmas by wearing a inflatable pants!
There have been many Star Wars inspired Halloween costumes through the years, but this costume allows the wearer to have their torso visible while their legs fit inside of the legs of the tauntaun. The balloon suit also includes small, fake legs and feet to create the illusion that a person with a very long torso and very small legs is “riding” a tauntaun. If you were stranded on the ice planet Hoth, you would not want to cut into this creature for warmth – it’s full of air, not tauntaun guts.
11 Darth Vader Toaster
Having a toaster in the shape of Darth Vader’s helmet is a little bit ridiculous. But having a toaster in the shape of Darth Vader’s helmet that prints STAR WARS and Darth Vader’s face on the side of the toast is crazy.
A creation for fans who like their bread on the dark side, the Darth Vader toaster may or may not use Force lightning to toast breakfast. Taking inspiration from the infamous and iconic villain, it’s the little toaster that could bring balance to the Force. Besides, who wouldn’t want to wake up to that face every morning?
Perhaps the intention of the Chewbackpack is that it allows school children (and adults, too, for that matter) to dress up as the lovable fan-favorite Chewbacca. It features a fur hood, Rebel insignia, and a single across-the-chest strap that mimics Chewbacca’s bandoleer.
However, the result is a backpack of dubious origin that looks like it is made from the pelt of Han Solo’s partner in crime. Since Chewie’s death on Sernpidal has been designated by Lucasfilm as non-canonical, is this product trying to tell us something about the Wookiee’s fate in the upcoming J.J. Abrams film?
9 Millennium Falcon Bed
After waking up in a Millennium Falcon bed, children across the world can eat Darth Vader toast for breakfast before heading to school with their Chewbackpacks. The newly released Pottery Barn bed is shaped like the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, so a small child can dream of the stars in style.
The wooden bed is painted white, wears an official golden plaque on the side, and is decorated on the inside with hand-painted starship controls. Built to last, it is unclear how the large and strangely-shaped Falcon would be taken out of a bedroom once it was assembled – hopefully, the Star Wars enthusiasm of the child does not wane as they grow older and become a teenager.
8 C-3PO Tape Dispenser
This ceramic tape dispenser is styled to look like a reclining C-3PO, resulting in the questionable placement of the tape between the protocol droid’s legs. His bizarre painted-on expression and uncomfortable stance does not help.
While not purposefully sexual (we hope), the very existence of this tape dispenser is as baffling as it is uncomfortable. As time has passed, it has became a rare and even sought-after collectible. No longer on sale, this collector’s item can only be bought on online marketplaces or galleries – and it sells for hundreds of dollars. It brings a whole new meaning to “human-cyborg relations”.
7 16’ Inflatable Christmas Darth Vader
Nothing says, “Happy Holidays!” like a 16 foot tall dark Lord of the Sith on your front lawn to greet the neighbors. Ever festive, this outdoor Christmas decoration of Darth Vader even holds a candy cane lightsaber with red and white stripes and a small holly berry ribbon. At night, the lightsaber is illuminated, creating a silhouette of the Sith Lord’s imposing form.
It seems nonsensical that Darth Vader of all characters would be chosen as the figure to spread good will and the Christmas spirit to the masses, but then again, it is still a better idea than the Star Wars Christmas Special.
6 Millennium Falcon Guitar
Doni Custom Guitars have started selling guitars that are shaped like the famed spaceship - and they use recycled Millennium Falcon toys to do it. Taking the plastic shell from old Millennium Falcon models and toys, the company adds a fretboard and strings to create a playable instrument. They also attach LED lights and other accessories are added to make the instrument truly out of this world.
Buyers can choose the color of these LED lights and whether or not they want a custom carrying case for their instrument - this guitar could definitely make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
5 R2-D2 Engagement Ring
Paul Michael Design created a personal engagement ring for a couple who are ready to say, “I do, R2.” The diamond ring copies the droid’s famous color scheme with white gold and sapphire embellishments. Additionally, the sides of the ring itself are patterned to look like R2-D2’s legs.
While R2-D2 is a loyal and trustworthy companion who never backs down in the face of adversity, it does seem like a major commitment to wear a ring modeled on him all the time to commemorate a special moment in a relationship. Even Han and Leia might not be that committed.
4 Han Solo Carbonite Desk
There are many Han Solo in Carbonite products, featuring the hero’s frozen pained expression and claw-like hands. These range from mini-fridges and beach towels to ice cube trays and, most recently, limited edition Pop-Tart-inspired toys.
However, the Han Solo Carbonite Desk by Tom Spina Designs puts them all to shame. A custom-designed piece of furniture, the desk features glowing orange lights in the sides and a full-sized body replica of Han Solo frozen in Carbonite underneath a large piece of fiberglass. It would make the perfect addition to any office space, as long as that office belonged to a Dark Lord of the Sith.
3 Special Edition Star Wars Watch, by Devon
This watch, announced on #ForceFriday to promote the upcoming Star Wars films, is $28,500. No, that is not a typo: $28,500. To put that in perspective, that is more than half of the average household income in the United States of America.
Taking inspiration from Imperial TIE Fighters as well as Darth Vader's armor, there will only 500 of these limited edition watches, carefully constructed out of 350 unique parts. Promotional pictures feature a man in a business suit wearing the watch and a Darth Vader helmet, but unless the watch would allow you to use the Force, it's probably not worth the price tag!
2 Custom Home Movie Theater
Modern Home Systems created a personalized home movie theater that took inspiration from the worlds of Star Wars. A "man cave" for a wealthy client, it features a state-of-the-art projector and sound system, along with a 107-inch display.
But this isn't just a cutting edge home movie theatre - it is also a Star Wars fan paradise. The entrance is an automated sliding door, creating the feeling of entering into a starship. The acoustical paneling is decorated to look like windows that look out into space. There are life-size models of C-3PO and R2-D2, each with prerecorded lines from the film and droid noises respectively, that stand on either side of the screen.
1 BB-8 Droid Toy
This BB-8 toy was released by Sphero this year to promote the upcoming J.J. Abrams film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While little is known about BB-8 and the role that the droid will play in the movie, the toy has already been making headlines for its insane capabilities.
The droid, which comes with its own charging station, can either be controlled using a smart phone or can be set to “patrol” mode, in which it will wander whatever space it is in. It is also able to create and project “holographic” videos, and is advertised to have an “adaptive personality”, changing depending on the environment and previous interactions.
Our planet is full of merchandise from a galaxy far, far away. What are some amazing, horrifying, and crazy Star Wars products that we missed? Share them below in the comments!