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The Star Wars Toys That Weren’t

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Let it never be said that Star Wars toy merchandising has ever come up short when it comes to satisfying us geeks. We’ve feasted on action figures, dueled lightsabers and sped model land speeders across our kitchens’ parquet floors. But in a world of sublime nerddom, there would be so much more: there would be Jabba the Hutt beanbag chairs, Death Star Barbeque Grills, Princess Leia headphones, Darth Vader gumball dispensers. The mind spins in delight just to imagine it, and to know how close we almost came to having it.

All of those fanciful products–and more–could have been reality if toy designer Jason Geyer had gotten his way. Geyer, a brash young maverick at an upstart toy design company competed for The Phantom Menace merchandising contract with over 100 utterly wonderful, and yet completely inept toy designers.

Nothing was too crazy or expensive to try. We even tried to make a big Jabba the Hutt beanbag chair; one prototype was made and it sat in our conference room for many years. Now Gus Lopez owns it. Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve ever had more fun bouncing ideas back and forth where the conversations usually involved talking about how Darth Vader’s mouth had that cow-catcher looking mesh piece that really looked like it could be the door on a gumball machine. Or wondering it it was possible to build a real kid-sized Land Speeder? Or thinking, wouldn’t it be cool to have a giant plush Wampa standing in your living room?

That would be cool, and millions of children would have known the kind of ecstasy usually reserved for psychotropic substances if they were given a real live Land Speeder for Christmas. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe in heaven.

Rejected! A long, long time ago [Action Figure Insider]

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