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Ah, the things you come across digging through old videotapes. We're not exactly sure what this 11-minute promotional video was used for, but when we came across a dusty cassette in our archives that read "Star Wars and Empire Merchandise Promos 11/3/79," we couldn't resist a peek.
Actually shot in September 1979, the filmed footage (presented here in two parts) offers a rare glimpse at nearly all of the domestic Star Wars merchandise released up to late 1979 from early licensees such as Kenner, Clarks Shoes, Factors, Don Post Studios, King Seeley Thermos, Deka, and dozens of others. There are a few international licensees mixed in too.
A few items hardcore collectors might want to look out for include the ultra rare Regal/Kenner Chewbacca hand puppet, the X-wing Aces target game, and Roman Ceramics' C-3PO cookie jar -- all pretty tough finds these days. The only Empire item we spotted was the soundtrack album, which itself is a mock-up since the film wasn't due out for another eight months at the time this footage was shot.
Even if you're not a collector, it's interesting to take stock of all that Star Wars had to offer consumers just two years after its release, a collection that today represents just a fraction of what's available.
So, set 11 minutes out of your schedule to enjoy a look back at Star Wars merchandising at the tender age of two, when stuffed Wookiees looked like teddy bears and "mint in box" still meant something you picked up on the candy aisle.