These German ads from the Parker company are having a lot of fun. The design teams responsible seem to have been given a fair amount of artistic freedom to promote the Star Wars acton figure line – not unlike how their counterparts from the Meccano design team in France had fun making their ads.
Look carefully at the first advert below featuring the Jabba the Hutt play-set… in the absence of a slave Leia figure (often cited by collectors as a figure they would like to have seen produced back in the day) Parker decided to employ a Han Solo (small head) figure to be chained up by Jabba.
Germany. Fix Und Foxi N° 37. 1984. Kenner didn’t make a ‘Slave Leia’ figure so Parker decided it would be fun for Jabba to chain up Han Solo! Dance, Han, dance! He doesn’t look too impressed does he?
The following year, no longer content with the grumpy old smuggler Han, Parker designed a new advert, below, showing Jabba with a Luke Jedi figure now in chains! Palace denizens such as Bib Fortuna and a couple of Gammy guards look on as C-3PO makes a sporting attempt of showing Luke some dance moves. R2-D2 maybe wishes he was back on Dagobah. And Luke, like Han before him, seems most unimpressed. Jabba… well he just keeps chugging on that old hookah.
Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. This time it’s Luke’s turn to be chained up by Jabba! C-3PO tells master Luke to try the mash-potato!
I’m curious to know if Parker ever set up a scene with the Leia Boushh figure in chains. That would have made a bit more sense in the grand scheme. But I quite like seeing the ‘wrongness’ of Han and Luke in chains. Obviously Parker were very keen to show off the ‘slave’ features of the excellent Jabba the Hutt play-set… little realising it would cause a bit of a giggle in later years.
Something else I like about these Parker ads is the clever use of graphics. The ‘Swaaawaa’ sound effects in the title emulates an utterance Jabba might well make. The font design aims to represent -deliciously – the ugliness and gooeyness of Jabba.
These cool design touches can be seen again in other Parker ads like the ‘Ffftthhh’ sound for the X-Wing Fighter and the ‘Ssssccch’ sound for the Speeder Bike.
Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. Sound effects courtesy of Parker!
Germany. Star Wars N° 1. 1985. Is the ‘Ssssccch’ sound being made by the Speeder Bike or cleverly hidden Ewoks about to spring a surprise?