Retro fix–Original Star Wars toy commercials

Death Star insert A

Do you remember back in the 1970s and 1980s when every new toy had its own commercial?  It seems crazy now.  How could toy sales justify the cost of time slots on national networks?  You’d think with the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens marketing push that we’d see commercials all weekend after this past week’s eagerly awaited “Force Friday.”

With all the Toys ‘R’ Us, WalMart, and Target stores (as well as other stores you wouldn’t think carried new Star Wars merchandise like Pottery Barn and Kohl’s (who is advertising Star Wars this weekend), it’s time for a flashback to the original Star Wars toy commercials.  Remember the Jawa playset, later re-designed into a cardboard AT-AT playset?

Death Star insert B

Just check out that recurring soundtrack–you won’t hear the Star Wars theme–but you will hear some funky backgrounds behind kids who can’t actually say the words Star Wars quite right.  Here are several oldies for your viewing pleasure, after the break:

And here are later commercials for The Empire Strikes Back toys:

What you really can see clearly in these ads is how little kids actually played with these toys–as opposed to locking each away in a box as a collector’s item.

You couldn’t get much better than the Death Star Space Station playset, or the “floating” landspeeder, or the great 12-inch action figure line, or the Mos Eisley Cantina playset.  In fact, what is missing from the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy line is the cool playsets.  Sure, there’s the Millennium Falcon, but how about some more environments?  And how about that ad for the Boba Fett action figure giveaway?

Do you recognize those photos above?  They are two of the inserts for the Death Star Space Station.

C.J. Bunce

One comment

  1. I had loads of these toys, I didn’t recognise the death star playset photos, even though i had it. I’m not sure i remember the ads either – passage of time i suspect. ☺

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