30 November 2010

1983: Return Of The Jedi With Some Brand New Merchandising...

Star Wars toys really rose into the stratosphere in 1980, with the release of the second film, The Empire Strikes Back. Kids were by then aware that the saga was no one-off flash-in-the-pan, and with news of a third film in the offing, everybody wanted to get their hands on a Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader - or even an R2 D2 or C3PO.

In 1983 came Return Of The Jedi, comically retitled Not The Bloody Jedi Again! by the BBC's Three Of A Kind team. And with the film, of course, came more merchandising. Feast your eyes on this selection from the autumn/winter 1983 John Myers Home Shopping Catalogue. The AT-AT vehicle was £33.50 - not cheap in those days! And probably not now, either, with the Credit Crunch in effect.

Some consider the 1980s a time of merchandising overkill, when kids were first exploited as consumers. But I say piffle and bunk. Anybody who remembers the absolute flood of Magic Roundabout merchandising in the 1960s and 1970s will support my view. As a tiny wee boy, I was desperate for a Corgi Magic Roundabout Garden, but my hard-pressed parents could not afford it. How I hankered!

If you were a Star Wars fan, I hope you were luckier than I, and that The Force was with you when it came to getting your grubby little mits on the merchandising!

1 comment:

Dave Mullen said...

The prices in that catalogue are fascinating as I don't think you'd see much difference in the prices today!

Back then basically EVERYONE I knew had Star Wars stuff, apart from me.:( I never got to see the films till years after.
Even today though you can still find occasional SW toys from this era at car boot sales, they were an enourmously well distributed toyline back then and had no shortage of supply & demand.