Tag Archives: Vintage Star Wars adverts

More Star Wars international ads – chocolate, video games, soundtracks, hats and toys

First up is this wonderful unlicensed Brazilian ad for Nescau chocolate drink. How on earth did Nestlé get this blatent Star Wars rip-off to escape the eagle eyes of George Lucas’ lawyers back in 1984? The ad unashamedly borrows so many elements of the Star Wars brand that at first glance I thought it was an official licensed product.

Brazil. Ze Carioca. 1984.

Brazil. Ze Carioca. 1984.

More Star Wars chocolate

Next up is a 1981 ad from French comic Pif Gadget for a Milky Way chocolate prize competition. Among the space-themed prizes on offer were radio controlled R2-D2 toys, telescopes and space exploration vehicles from Tente toys.

France. PIf Gadget. 1981.

France. PIf Gadget. 1981.

The Death Star Battle Home Video Game Sweepstakes

Another prize competition, this time found in US magazine Starlog and the chance to win some humungous prizes like a Star Wars coin-op arcade! Also up for grabs were Sony and Atari products and the Darth Vader Speakerphone.

US. Starlog. 1983.

US. Starlog. 1983.

ESB Soundtracks and Marvel Comics UK

This Marvel comics UK ‘spot the difference’ prize competition offered the chance to win one of 100 Empire Strikes Back soundtrack albums.

UK. The Empire Strikes Back Weekly. 1980.

UK. The Empire Strikes Back Weekly. 1980.

Return of the Jedi soundtrack

‘The power of the force captured in full digital sound’.

US. Starlog. 1983.

US. Starlog. 1983.

Put your thinking cap on!

This 1982 US ad from the Thinking Cap Company features some cool Star Wars caps as well as other sci-fi themes like Star Trek, Alien and Blade Runner.

US. Starlog. 1982.

US. Starlog. 1982.

US. Starlog. 1980.

Last up are two German Parker ads from a fun and colourful European series ad campaign featuring the figures and vehicles. You can see further examples of these ads in my other Star Wars posts.

Germany. Star Wars #2. 1985.

Germany. Star Wars #2. 1985.

Germany. Star Wars 2. 1985.

Germany. Star Wars 2. 1985.

 

STAR WARS toys and merchandising adverts from around the world: 1977 to 1985

Motta sweepstakes

My favourite toy line is Star Wars, particularly the vintage era from the late 70s to the early 80s. Back then there was a real buzz for the toys and almost anything else Star Wars-related. This was evident in shops everywhere with their abundantly-packed shelves and wonderful displays. Added to this were exciting TV commercials and a huge range of paper advertisements found in comics, magazines and catalogues. I was lucky enough to have a small collection of toys that included a Landspeeder and most of the first twelve figures. I always thought the Sand Person was the most scary-looking figure – no doubt aided by my childhood memories of that howling Tusken Raider attacking Luke in the first Star Wars film.

My collection grew steadily throughout The Empire Strikes Back series and ended at the beginning of the Return Of The Jed line when by this time I’d outgrown ‘toys’ and had more pressing things on my radar like buying records and going to watch bands – a familiar story to many who grew up with the first wave of Star Wars toys and who became teenagers around 1983.

USA45

It wasn’t just the toys was it… a whole range of Star Wars-related products were available to tempt us, as illustrated in this US advert.

Looking back, it wasn’t just the toys that made such a big impression on me but all the other merchandise that accompanied them: Star Wars bed-clothes, bubble bath, toothbrushes, tee-shirts, posters, comics, badges, annuals and countless food and drink promotions – enough to keep any kid happy and their parents’ pockets empty.

Adverts

Some of my favourite adverts can be found in publications like Pif Gadget and Journal de Mickey. Meccano / Miro-Meccano produced some of the most innovative, stylish and irreverant ads, although I’ll always have a special love for Palitoy as this is the license I grew up with. I’m also a fan of the Heroes World adverts that can be found in many US comics.

The following examples are just a small selection from my large collection of international Star Wars ads. Featuring toys, clothing, masks, watches, video games, and a number of food and drink promotions, these ads show us exactly how the Star Wars brand was sold around the world.

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1978. Offer to win the first twelve action figures from Palitoy. R2-D2 must have been feeling a little camera-shy... he has his back to the camera.

UK. Star Wars Weekly. 1978. Offer to win the first twelve action figures from Palitoy. R2-D2 must have been feeling a little camera-shy that day… he has his back to the camera.

US. Weird War Tales. 1979.

US. Weird War Tales. 1979. North American promotion for Texas Instruments watches. Texas Instruments was the first company licensed to sell Star Wars-themed watches. Another licensed company, Bradley Time, went on to sell Star Wars watches throughout all of the original trilogy.

France. Pif Gadget N° 737. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget N° 737. 1983. Double page sweepstake to win prizes and a ROTJ cinema preview.

France. Pif Gadget N° 737. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget N° 737. 1983. Double page sweepstake to win prizes and a ROTJ cinema preview.

France. Pif Gadget N° 758. 1983.

France. Pif Gadget N° 758. 1983. Pif Gadget promotion for Panini album and stickers.

France. PIf Gadget. 1983. Another French ad for Panini album and stickers Pif Gadget promotion.

France. PIf Gadget. 1983. Another French ad for Panini album and stickers Pif Gadget promotion.

Denmark. Anders. 1985. Loose figures and MOC packaging on this toy page ad from BR.

Denmark. Anders. 1985. Loose figures and MOC packaging on this toy page ad from Faetter BR.

Germany. KDS. 1985. Advert for German Star Wars comics.

Germany. KDS. 1985. Advert for German Star Wars comics.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 792. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 792. 1984. The ‘Floating Yoda Head’ icon was used for several ad campaigns by Meccano. To my knowledge the icon has also appeared on similar or the same advertising as Clipper, Parker, Palitoy and Harbert.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 794. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 794. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 795. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 795. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 769. 1983.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 769. 1983.

Germany. Fix Und Foxi N° 37. 1984.

Germany. Fix Und Foxi. 1984. Parker ‘Yoda Floating Head’ advert. No slave Leia figure in 1984, so poor Han was chained up by Jabba instead!

Italy. 1984. This floating Yoda head example is from Harbert. UK's Palitoy is also credited on this advert - most likely because Palitoy photography is used from the original offer.

Italy. 1984. This ‘floating Yoda head’ example is from Italy’s Harbert. UK’s Palitoy is also credited on this advert – most likely because Palitoy photography is used from the original offer.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 818. 1984.

France. Pif Gagdet N° 818. 1984. Catalogue and poster promotion.

France. Pif Gadget 708. 1982.

France. Pif Gadget 708. 1982. Quarter page Stormtrooper ad as featured in the Meccano ‘Blue Ads’ series.

France. Pif Gadget 703. 1982.

France. Pif Gadget 703. 1982. Quarter page R2-D2 toy ad as featured in the Meccano ‘Blue Ads’ series.

USA. The Defenders 119. 1983.

USA. The Defenders 119. 1983. Parker Brothers ad for Atari’s Jedi Arena.

USA. Power Man and Iron Fist 86. 1982.

USA. Power Man and Iron Fist 86. 1982. Parker Brothers ad for Atari’s The Empire Strike Back.

USA. Marvel Power Pack 02. 1984.

USA. Marvel Power Pack 02. 1984. Parker Brothers ad for Atari’s Star Wars: The Arcade Game.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978.

France. Pif Gadget. 1978. Pif Gadget’s first Star Wars toy advert.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget. 1980. More Star Wars toys from Meccano.

France. Pif Gadget 558. 1979.

France. Pif Gadget 558. 1979. Meccano Radio-Controlled R2-D2.

France. Pif Gadget 613. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget 613. 1980. Miro-Meccano gets trippy with this 1980 ad: floating heads and a radioactive Falcon!

Italy. 1982.

Italy. 1982. The Festacolor projector as advertised by Italian licensee Harbert.

USA. Marvel Star Wars. 1980.

USA. Marvel Star Wars. 1980. Heroes World mail order ad for Star Wars toys.

USA. Marvel Star Wars. 1978.

USA. Marvel Star Wars. 1978. Heroes World mail order ad for Star Wars toys. The ad shows the earliest figures available for the ‘first 12’ as well as the first three vehicles released.

TVTA Hi C fruit drinks advert ROTJ 1983 Sunday Comics Promotions

USA. Sunday Comics Promotions. 1983. Hi-C fruit drink promotion.

UK. Star Wars Weekly 89. 1979.

UK. Star Wars Weekly 89. 1979. Cantina, Droid Factory and Land of the Jawa play-sets as advertised by Palitoy.

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. Sound effects courtesy of Parker!

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. Sound effects courtesy of Parker! Look closely and you’ll see that’s not Luke X-Wing in the cockpit!

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?

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?

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. No slave Leia figure in 1985, so Luke was chained up by Jabba instead!

Germany. Star Wars N° 2. 1985. No slave Leia figure in 1985, so Luke was chained up by Jabba instead!

France. Le Journal De Mickey 83003. 1983.

France. Le Journal De Mickey 83003. 1983. Amora mustard sweepstakes promotion.

France. Pif Gadget 595. 1980.

France. Pif Gadget 595. 1980. Prize contest.

CBS network premiere TV ad.

CBS network premiere TV ad.

UK Palitoy Emperor figure offer advert, 1984.

UK Palitoy Emperor figure offer advert, 1984.

USA. Starlog N° 76. 1983. Masks by Don Post.

USA. Starlog N° 76. 1983. Masks by Don Post.

Spain. 1980. Star Wars El Imperio Contraataca 12 inch Boba Fett and IG-88 figures.

Spain. 1980. Star Wars El Imperio Contraataca 12 inch Boba Fett and IG-88 figures.

US. Starlog. 1983. ROTJ Merchandise.

US. Starlog. 1983. ROTJ Merchandise.

UK. TESB Weekly. 1980. ESB Soundtracks.

UK. TESB Weekly. 1980. ESB Soundtracks.

Star Wars ESB cake pans, candles, molds and toppers. The Wilton Yearbook of Cake Decorating 1982. US.

Star Wars ESB cake toppers. The Wilton Yearbook of Cake Decorating 1982. US.