One of the biggest legacies of the original Star Wars trilogy will always be the way it changed the way in which film and TV related merchandising was considered. Obviously toys, books, games, lunchboxes and the like were tied in with films long before Star Wars came along, but the sheer range of merchandise branded with the Star Wars logo eclipsed anything that had come before.
The most popular merchandising for Star Wars has to be the action figures, which are still incredibly popular today, with original 70’s and 80’s figures being sold at auction for impressive sums. George Lucas knew how to turn a profit that’s for sure, and also when to trademark something. Seemingly every character from the Star Wars universe has had it’s name trademarked, meaning that every toy became Luke Skywalkerâ„¢ or R2-D2â„¢. Actually, I seem to recall in the latter case it may have been written as ArtooDeetooâ„¢ for some reason. Not sure why that would be…
The most amazing thing about Star Wars figures was that a figure must have been released for just about every character that appears in any of the films. This shows that the range of figures was obviously aimed more at toy collectors than kids. Whilst it made sense that kids would want a Han Soloâ„¢ or Chewbaccaâ„¢ toy, how many would really want figures of the Mos Eisley Cantina band? (Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes(â„¢?) apparently – yeah I didn’t know that either).
Of course it didn’t just stop at the figures. You could also buy toys of pretty much every vehicle and space vessel that featured in any of the films. Of course, this would spawn yet more figures. It was no good having a Tatooine Luke Skywalkerâ„¢ sat in your X-Wing Fighterâ„¢, you needed the X-Wingâ„¢ pilot Luke Skywalkerâ„¢. Then of course you needed the crash damaged X-Wing Fighterâ„¢ with its burn marks and scuffed paintwork when it comes to re-enacting the first meeting with Yodaâ„¢, which probably yielded yet another version of Luke.