With great brands, comes great responsibility – and when it comes to the mass popularity of movie franchises in the cinematic universe, there’s likely no bigger than the Star Wars brand.
Entertaining and enrapturing audiences way back since 1977, that’s a good forty years since this specific space opus captured the passion and imagination of grownups, yet, more importantly – flocks of children.
With mass waves of kids going gaga over Luke Skywalker and his nutty adventures, comes also a spotlight on one of the greatest money makers around when it comes to little tykes; plenty of toys.
Star Wars was likely one of the first brands to really take advantage of a cinematic pop-cultural success and pump out endless toys based around them. It changed both industries overnight almost – yet, with the success they had with it, they also had plenty of sub-par companies and products trying to cut into a piece of the action.
Knock-off companies, low-tier or unnecessary products or just a quick and easy way of eating off a big name brand – for forty years plus, we’ve seen it happen. Most of the time its kind of frustrating, or depressing, but what about when the mark is so off, the results can honestly be pretty darn hilarious.
So let’s delve into the greatness of the bad of Star Wars branded toys that will either baffle or give you a good chuckle.
20 Luke Beef-Walker
The classic space farm-boy goes full-fledged beefcake in this completely off base toy created by Hasbro.
Luke is a lot of things to a lot of people but a muscle-bound tough guy is not one of them.
This was in the day-and-age where He-Man was selling like hotcake, so the company revamped the entire Star Wars line in a similar suit. The final effect is...weird?
Skywalker and protein shakes don't mix as can be clearly seen with this hilariously off-point toy.
19 What's Solo Hiding?
You know what Han Solo is missing; a camouflage trench coat that looks both incredibly awkward yet plenty creepy too?
Yeah sure, he wore a similar outfit in the third act of Return Of The Jedi, yet it was not as extreme and weird looking...
I mean, how is he not going to trip over that when running from away from the Empire during there guerilla ambush? It’s a jacket that less jungle warrior and the more creepy dude who offers strangers candy on the street.
18 Got Tape?
We all know C3P0; he’s that posh golden robot that is a constant bummer for R2DR for over forty years and nine movies.
Or nicer words would describe him as the straight man in their robotic double act...but let’s be honest, the metal dude is kind of annoying. But one thing he can never be accused of is being creepy until you witness this totally random tape holder. C3P0 is a little eager in inviting you to use that tape dispenser, huh?
17 Bug-Eyed Chewie
Chewie is that big old hairy beast that hangs with Han Solo. He’s big-hearted and loveable - but don’t get on his bad side or you could lose you the use of your arms (or your arms altogether). That bad side characteristic of his doesn't involve him pulling a clenched grin and eyes balls popping out of his skull.
You have to wonder what the makes were going for here. Is he in the middle of riding a rollercoaster or something? Or is it a Tex Avery homage?
And yeah - why is he called Chipbacca? Maybe just Chewie's anxious cousin after all.
16 Han Solo And The Ring Of Keys
Hey kids, step right up – do you dig Han Solo?
Well, we have a key ring of him right here!
Not only does he completely not look anything like Harrison Ford, but he also looks like plastic that has been left out in the sun for way too long - giving him that nice melty disposition.
Plus we decided we all wanted to give you endless nightmares by installing the keyring through his head – call it our homage to Clive Barker’s backlog. Enjoy!
15 What Red Eyes You Have Mister Vader...
Sing it with me! Darth Vader...with the goo, goo, googly eyes! That’s right, this lower tier Vader knock-off shows the ominous Sith Lord with a pretty goofy disposition; big old eyeballs and a mouth that's (sort of) agape. It is as creepy as it is laugh out loud funny.
Perhaps they were going for the character's reaction post a Phantom Menace screening? Watching Jake Lloyd’s performance stomp all over your legacy certainly would smack that expression across your grill.
14 Terror Of The Ewoks
Fans have lived through the rocky roads of the prequel trilogy and now, the Last Jedi. So, it's easy to forget what a divisive subject the fuzzy little Ewoks were to the franchise.
The little forest bears filled a big chunk of Return of the Jedi’s running time; you either loved them or hated them.
Yet, one thing detractors could never accuse them of being is this creepy – come on, there cute fuzzy forest bears! Well, count on those reliable bootleg manufacturers of the Star War toy brand to do just that. Look at him – he’s the stuff of nightmares...
13 In-Vested In The Dark Side
So, if you a major Star Wars fan and like cheap looking vests, I've got the item for you sir; a Vader inspired waistcoat! Designed to work at your local Comic-Con in an ironic manner - and that's about it...
There are so many iconic elements that make up Vader’s suit, no doubt one of them is his circuit board like chest panel. Yet, does it work on its own in a smart casual arena?
No, it doesn't work in the slightest - with a clip-on tie even being a classier option.
12 Lando's Secret Stache
Let’s list some iconic character traits of Lando Calrissian; smooth as silk demeanor, devil-may-care attitude (that rivals even Solo), oh – and let’s not forget that epic stache he’s sporting.
That stache is the stuff of the legend, so much so that this costume factory was betting big bucks that they could pawn off some cheap fluffy caterpillar as a top-notch Star Wars product.
Also, you have to love the notion that it’s an ‘undercover’ piece of equipment – like one’s face would completely transform into Lando if they just plastered this awkward fluff on the lip.
11 Darth Yoga
This is a showcase for marketing shoehorning its brand into every possible product ever. But they should at least know their audience – do Star Wars and Yoga go together like hand in glove?
Let’s be honest, the fandom of both sides of the equation mix like oil and water.
Still, pushing that generalization aside, they could have tied the thing together with at least a clever pun; ‘The MAT is strong with this one’, or Yoda with Yoga have potential there - it's a bit of a missed opportunity really.
10 Scruffy-looking Nerf Herder...With A Jet Pack?
If there was one character in the Star Wars universe that held an iconic form of transport, its Han Solo. His iconic bond with the Millenium Falcon is as distinct a character trait as his gruff demeanor and the friendship with Chewie.
So when it comes to toys, he’s really the last guy you should be playing fast and loose with his manner of getting from A to B. Not here though, they’ve just slapped on a big old manga-style jetpack, plus gave him an odd dose of pumping iron.
9 The George Lucas Clan
It’s not all that weird that George Lucas wanted to throw in a sly little cameo in one of the movies.
Heck, by this even E.T. had popped up as an Easter Egg by this point, why not the creator of Star Wars itself. What is weird about it though, is that a toy manufacturer would go out of their way to produce an actual toy set (with his 'fake' family too) based on a blink-or-miss-it moment. I bet it was a tough day during the brain-storming session...
8 Get To The Chopper!
Oooh, this toy is obviously taken from that iconic scene where Vader was in pursuit of Luke Skywalker and co and jumped on his trusty…motorbike? Yeah, that never happened.
In the Star Wars universe they have all kinds of ultrafast manner of speedy futuristic transport, why would anyone (especially Vader) want or need a chopper bike? That would be someone grabbing a horse and cart to chase down an airplane. Well, we’re guessing a toy manufacturer woke up one day and just thought it would be cool.
7 Yoda In His Sweats
At first glance, there’s nothing much to question here; another day, another unimaginative yet functional variation on a famous Star Wars character - in this case Yoda.
The only thing really off about it is that he’s sporting a pair of sweats and a random green stick - not Yoda traits, yet he's passable at least.
Yet, if we do take a closer look, we can see this is actually a total knock-off, look at the title on the box; STBR WARS?? Really, did they think no one would notice?
6 Jar-Jar Barfs
Wow, where do you even begin? Looking at that image just makes the stomach churn, huh? It doesn’t help that this ‘candy’ was created in hopes of taking advantage of the ‘predicted’ Jar Jar craze – which ended up being a massive misjudgment.
No, it is more the fact they are essentially selling something that forces kids to make out with an ugly alien creature before going cannibal on it. How did this get through to preliminary stages even?
Kids loved the Ewoks too, doesn’t mean they wanted to get up close and personal with them!
5 Princess Leia = Pumping Iron
Carrie Fisher as Leia was an important figure to plenty of kids growing up in the 80s.
But really: what in the world happened with this toy?
Not only does it look more like Zira from Planet of the Apes then peak years Fisher, but it also looks like she's been benching the gym like it was no tomorrow.
4 New Meaning To 'The Dark Side'
Yep, the description pretty much does what it says on the tin.
That doesn't make the concept in and of itself is less baffling – if someone is in the unfortunate position of being an adult and not with the ability to use the regular facilities, why would they want to relieve themselves in a Star Wars branded product?
Heck, they could be the franchises biggest fan in the world and still not want to. Talk about marketing attempting to hit every possible angle of the consumer in existence.
3 Kylo Ren On The Go
If you felt like your favorite traveling gear was missing that special something - don't worry, Star Wars has you covered, with a suitcase that has Kylo Ren’s face slapped all over it!
There’s no better indicator that Ren is taking up the mantle from Vader, then with this unnecessary shoehorning in on a product completely not in need of his appeal.
Still, if he wants to overtake the ultimate Sith Lord, he's going to be a little more aggressive - let's have some Ren shaped salt shakers next, please!
2 Generic Spaceman
This one is not really hilarious or weird - more just confusing in how it connects to the brand. So here we have a spaceman, who kind of looks like one the Empire’s fighter pilots (except the colors are off). Also, there’s a Trek-like space ship in the background and the dude standing around with his buddies, acting like there way too cool to notice the massive explosion behind them.
How does any of this relate to Star Wars? Well because the name is on the box, I guess – asides from that, it could be any generic Sci-Fi guy.
1 Half Man, Half Sith = All Cop
Woah, who knew when Darth Vader wasn’t busy doing Sith Lord stuff, he actually moonlighted as a cop?
Star Wars and cop stuff, it’s the ultimate combination; like peanut butter and chocolate, you don’t think they’ll work together but when you witness it; it's pure bliss.
No, let's be real, this toy just looks plain weird – like a dog wearing human pants.
Who thought this could ever work? I suppose it’s more imaginative than placing Vader on a chopper, but still...it's just so hilarious off-point, it sort of wins you over in the end.