It is well known that Star Wars changed the way movie merchandise is managed. From brilliant “early bird” cardboard promises to revolutionizing how toy action figures are made, toys from a galaxy far, far away are nothing short of legendary.
With three films in the first trilogy and eventually more motion pictures to draw from (as well as novels and television series), it would seem Star Wars supplies an almost infinite source of variety. But that was not enough. Crossover creativity continued the line of Force friendly toys resulting in several clever creations.
Disney and Star Wars
Disney and Star Wars have been pals for over 20 years. Perhaps the formation of this partnership proved a precursor to the Walt Disney Company’s purchase of Lucasfilm (which included keys to the Star Wars Universe)?
1. Mickey and Fiends
With the advent of Star Wars Weekends (1997) an entirely new opportunity for Star Wars toy tie-ins transpired. In addition to newly costumed characters roaming the park, Disney themed Star Wars toys like Jedi Mickey, Darth Goofy and Stormtrooper Donald landed in theme park stores as plush personalities and action figure heroes. Often times iconic characters would land multiple roles over the years.
2. Muppet mayhem
Classic Characters weren’t the only Disney properties to play space saga. Jim Henson’s Muppets made the journey as well. Sam Eagle and Gonzo faced off as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader while Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew took on the roles of C-3P0 and R2-D2 in this marriage of puppets and the power of the Force.
3. Crossover Cars
Joining in on the mashup magic, Pixar played dress up within the Star Wars universe. Characters from “Cars” costumed as familiar faces from the Star Wars universe. Checking in for new roles, Luigi and Guido became C-3PO and R2-D2; Mater mastered the Dark Side as Darth Vader – complete with tractor (storm) troopers. Luke and Leia looked a lot like Lightning McQueen and Sally Carrera and Yoda bore a striking a resemblance to Fillmore. Additional arrivals appeared with Ramone as Han Solo (and Han Solo in carbonite), Red as Chewbacca, Doc Hudson as Obi-wan, Sarge as Emperor Palpatine.
These ARE the toys you’re looking for
Disney properties were not the only subjects of Star Wars branding. Hasbro, the current producer of official Star Wars action figures, also used the Force on another pair of popular franchises. Competitor Mattel also jumped into Hyperspace for some hot additions.
4. Potato Power
Playskool, a Hasbro brand, produces popular potato playthings known as Mr. Potato Head. This special spud has evolved over the years and now sports pop culture crossovers as part of its a-peel. Variations like Darth Tater, Spud Trooper, and R2-POTATOO exemplify this mash-up.
5. Transforming Treasures
From 2005-2011 Hasbro hacked two its most popular toy lines to form Star Wars Transformers (also known as Transformers: Crossovers). Turning action figures into their own associated vehicles, characters like Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and Luke Skywalker transformed into a Sith TIE Fighter, Imperial Shuttle and Snow Speeder. Over 35 different transforming toys were produced.
6. Rebel Roadsters
Toy maker Mattel manufactured many Star Wars themed Hot Wheels cars. Today’s, space saga sensations include all-terrain die-cast vehicles representing BB-8, Stormtrooper and Luke Skywalker, as well as Jedi Training Rey, Captain Phasma, Finn, BB-9E, Praetorian Guard and First Order executioner inspired cars.
To promote their Star Wars line of vehicles, Hot Wheels even crafted raw power in this life-size Darth Vader automobile
Delicious Dark Side
Toy-centric crossovers weren’t the only items receiving Star Wars treatments. Mars and Mars used Star Wars to introduce a new line of their chocolate candies. Eventually releasing plush play toys and action figures to match the mix.
7. M&M Mpire
Along with the third Star Wars prequel film, Revenge of the Sith, the world was further exposed to the dark side of the force by an unlikely entity. 2005 saw the arrival of brand new sith friendly flavor in form of dark chocolate M&Ms. This new Mpire of candy ushered in crossover candy dispensers, action figures, and toys. Several of these darkly delicious M&M Mpire toys can still be found on Amazon today.
Were you a crossover collector? What was your favorite Star Wars transformed treasure? Please share your epic tale in the comments below.