Star Wars created modern movie merchandising. Before the original 1977 blockbuster was released, the idea of selling film tie-in merchandise was largely limited to books and magazines--certainly not toys, let alone food or clothes. But the legacy of George Lucas's classic is such that much of a movie's success can be directly tied into the number of toys, books, burgers, soda, and assorted plastic trinkets that can be shifted alongside theater tickets.
No other film franchise since has produced a wider range of branded merchandise, and inevitably, some of what has been available over the decades has been somewhat unusual, to say the least. So let's take a look at some of the strangest items ever to carry a Star Wars logo….
The Wampa might be a fearsome Tauntaun-slaughtering ice beast, but he also makes for a comfy rug. After a long day patrolling the snow plains of Hoth, you can kick back and relax on the "high-quality synthetic fur, plush pillow head and fearsome claws." Just don't tell Mark Hamill, who doesn't approve of mistreating Wampas.
R2-D2 can do many things--he's a maintenance droid, co-pilot, waiter, and Death Star plan smuggler. It turns out he's also a great fishtank. Yes, you can buy an R2 aquarium. It holds 6.6 liters of water and comes with waterproof foliage that will provide your fish with a suitably relaxing aquatic environment. And if that wasn't enough, R2's eye is in fact a reverse-periscope that allows you to keep a close watch on your fish!
Star Wars Fishing Equipment
For those Star Wars fans who prefer to eat fish rather than watch them, there is also this handy fishing kit. The contents include a tackle box, lightsaber rod, and a Darth Vader "fun net." Because if there's one thing you associate with Vader, it’s fun, right?
C-3PO Tape Dispenser
Let's face it, C-3PO is probably the most sensible, well-organized character in the franchise, so if you're going to sell Star Wars stationary, he's the droid to help you do it. But the design of this sticky tape dispenser, which was released back in 1981, is something else. At best, it looks like ol' golden pants is riding the dispenser like a speeder bike. At worst… well, let's not go there. Still, it might be worth checking to see if you have one hidden in a cupboard somewhere, as the 3PO tape dispenser has been known to reach up to $200 on eBay.
Jar Jar Binks Candy Tongue
Jar Jar Binks might be the most reviled character in the entire Star Wars franchise, but it was clearly hoped at one stage that he would capture the imagination of a generation of kids and help sell a lot of merchandise. The candy tongue dispenser is surely the most disturbing item on this list; it's a piece of tongue-shaped candy that protrudes from the Gungan's gaping mouth. This nightmarish creation is something you'd expect to find in a David Cronenberg movie, not on the shelves in your local sweet shop.
Slave Leia Perfume
Just because you're being held prisoner by a disgusting slug-like space gangster doesn't mean you can't smell nice, right? Slave Leia perfume was sold at Star Wars Celebration in 2010, and promised a "warm sultry mix of cashmere woods, musk and night-blooming jasmine."
Empty Star Wars Box
Such was the insane success of the original Star Wars movie that fans were very happy to spend good money on what was, essentially, an empty box. While the franchise created the rules of movie merchandising, toy manufacturer Kenner was initially caught by surprise by the demand for its upcoming line of action figures. The solution was to sell what they termed an "early bird certificate package" with the promise that the toys themselves would be sent once they rolled off the production line six months later.
Kylo Ren Adult Suitcase
While it's true that the universal appeal of Star Wars stretches across the generations, there are some pieces of tie-in merch that's it hard to imagine a sane adult would want to be seen with. The Kylo Ren suitcase is a one such item. This is a full-size adult suitcase that costs around $200, with Kylo's face on the front, starfield interior, and a pull-up lightsaber handle.
Yoda Magic 8-Ball
On the face of it, this Magic 8-Ball designed like everyone's favourite Jedi master seems innocuous enough. Who better to deliver predictions and advice than Yoda? Unfortunately, in order to see what wisdom he had to share with them, kids of the 1980s had to turn Yoda upside down and stare straight up his robes. Like this I do not!
Revenge Of The Sith Air Sickness Bag
A cross promotion between Virgin Atlantic and LucasArts to promote the Revenge of the Sith video game resulted in this essential piece of in-flight paraphernalia. As well as providing a handy receptacle for aeronautical vomit, the bags also presented useful instructions about lightsaber operation and how to battle Sith Lords.
Revenge Of The Sith Toilet Paper
The third prequel's link to bodily expulsion didn't stop with sick bags. 2005 also saw the release of Revenge of the Sith branded toilet paper. A brave decision we think, given the feelings that many fans have about the prequel trilogy.
Star Wars Angry Birds Costume
Here at GameSpot, we love video games, Star Wars, and Star Wars video games. What we do not love are these costumes, which allows the game-playing Star Wars fan to dress up as their favourite character from Angry Birds Star Wars. Just no.
Star Wars Bantha Pet Dog Costume
Why should the fun stop at dressing yourself up? Thanks to this canine accessory, your beloved pet can pretend to be a Bantha, carrying Sand People across the deserts of Tatooine from the one Jawa massacre to the next.
Darth Vader Mood Light
We're not quite sure what mood this Vader-themed light is supposed to get you in. The mood for galactic dominance? To obliterate entire planets? To turn your son to the side of evil perhaps? In any case, this soothing light will get you suitably relaxed and ready to fully embrace the Dark Side.