Revisiting Vintage Star Wars Toy Commercials

The Star Wars franchise not only changed the sci-fi and movie industry but also opened a new and profitable understanding of merchandising.

Since the release of “A New Hope” in 1977, the Star Wars merchandising “machine” has taken in BILLIONS from clothing, books, games and of course – TOYS. Even with the delay in the first toy figures release, the success of the toy merchandise was on an epic scale.

Part of the success of the sales could be attributed to the brilliant promotions and commercials that flooded the television screens. As a young boy at the time, the Star Wars toy commercials were like “toy crack” to me! I would come running to the tv if I heard that iconic Star Wars commercial music start (not John Williams) to see what new product was available for me to beg my parents for! The commercials would always include amazing products being played with by the luckiest kids in a nicely edited and impossible scenarios that were hard to reproduce in real life.

The early commercials may seem silly and dated for today’s standards but it was a magical time to be a kid! In my opinion, something that hasn’t been replicated since.

Check out some of my favorite Star Wars toy commercials from “back in the day”.

Star Wars X-Wing Fighter and TIE Fighter Toy Commercial
I fondly remember my first Star Wars toys. It was on the very next Christmas after the release of the 1977 film. An X-Wing and a Luke Skywalker action figure! I was inseparable from them. I can still remember the many adventures that “Luke and his X-Wing” had on many planets around the galaxy all while evading the evil Empire! Well, maybe the galaxy was really my backyard but the adventures were many. I remember this commercial. It brings back many memories.

Star Wars Vintage Kenner Action Figures
Of course, who could forget the nostalgia of the action figures? These were what every kid in my neighborhood was guaranteed to have and be playing with. The commercial gave a quick and simple way to promote the toys and with a diverse group of kids at play. The Luke in this commercial was my first action figure.

Star Wars Vintage Kenner Death Star Spacestation playset
This is the playset that made me the envy of my friends. I was the only one to receive it and it made for some amazing play groups at my house with all my friends and their Star Wars toys! The many battles with X Wings and Tie Fighters outside the Death Star and the many battles and fun we had with each of our prized action figures inside.

Star Wars Millenium Falcon Ship
Here is the toy that became my “white whale” as a kid. That toy I would see in commercials I wanted so bad and never received. The only person I knew that owned one was my childhood friend, Todd. When we were at his house playing with our Star Wars toys, I was in awe of the ship and wanted to do nothing else but play with it. Here is the commercial that started my infatuation for the “hunk of junk”.

Darth Vader Collector’s Case (Can you spot Christian Slater?)
Back in the day when people would take their action figures out of its packaging, they would sometimes store them in case such as this to keep them safe. I never owned this as I didn’t put much concern in taking care of my toys, like most hyper boys but I really loved the concept of the Darth Vader head.

Return Of The Jedi Commercials – The Final Star Wars Childhood Years
The release of The Return of the Jedi was around the time when my “childhood” years of playing with action figures and spaceships the same started to wind down. The Return of the Jedi gave me a great feeling of closure and relief as Luke Skywalker and the forces of light defeated the forces of evil. Watching that final celebration scene in the Ewok village gave me chills and that final scene with Luke and the ghosts of his teachers and redeemed Father completed the journey for me. The following commercial is a compilation of all the toy commercials for episode VI.

What are your memories from your Star Wars toys or merchandising? Share in the comments!
 

About Steve Fitch 380 Articles
From the moment Steve first watched Star Wars: A New Hope in the theater when he was a child, he wanted to be Luke Skywalker when he “grew up” (and STILL does!). He now shares this passion with his wife and two daughters. Steve is the Co-Founder of Star Wars Reporter and when not immersed in all things Star Wars, you can find him training in Muay Thai, Italian Rapier, VIKING related activities or spending time with family and friends. FOLLOW Steve on TWITTER: @JediSkald