Even though I was fascinated by the art of Drew Struzan, my poster collection is ‘low brow’. I squirreled away a lot of movie and comic book posters and stuff down through the decades. But, it tends to be fast food chain promotional posters, freebies from laundry products, magazine inserts, and other items more likely to be found in a yard sale than Sotheby’s. While corporate marketing teams designed these items to turn kids into their best salespeople, I loved them! So, take some time to scan through your memory of Kids Meal toys, souvenir cups, and free poster with every purchase items, what did you enjoy? Let’s discuss some of the memorable Star Wars promotions down through the years. And where did you eat for a month in order to collect them?
1999 Taco Bell four poster set. Set of four sold for $60 through HA in 2015. However, Ebay sellers list them significantly cheaper today.
From Posters to Timepieces to Toys
Burger King rolled out a promotion in 2005 corresponding with the second Star Wars trilogy. It included a watch in a tin can related to each of the first six movies. For an inexpensive watch, the promotional timepieces measured up to any cheap watch, but with true geek style (and reversible too). Collectors can buy the full set for about $50 bucks plus shipping on Ebay. Individual watches sell for less. You may have to change the battery though since they’ve been dormant fifteen years.
Before going on to highlight some kid’s meal memorabilia, I want to mention that many price guides exist for McDonald’s happy meal toys along with guides for non-McDonald’s toys. However, I could not find any that were more recent than about turn of the millennium. If you are aware of a more modern edition, please share.
Memorable Star Wars Meal Toys
On the low end of the collector market, kid’s meal toys are abundant and poor investments. On the positive side, I and a lot of six-year-olds find them fun! I made a composite image for fun, but I probably missed your favorites. How many are deep in a cardboard box in your closet? I scanned through countless EBay listings. If you are looking to complete your collections, it may cost more than a 1997 kids meal, but not a lot more.
My Favorite Star Wars Promotion
The most memorable and collectable promotions for me, Star Wars and otherwise, are the collector cups. Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut issued plastic topper cups when the second series came out. Even though common, based on Ebay prices, sellers are commanding decent prices for these colorful dust grabbers. Including shipping, they run about $5 to $15 each.
As true collector’s items, I believe licensed drinking glasses hold up very well. Burger King sold glasses linked to Episodes 4 to 6 at the time of their initial releases. The glasses enjoy the longevity of glass as opposed to plastic. Also, each glass featured a collage of characters from the movies. Surprisingly, the ask prices are very reasonable at roughly twenty to thirty dollars each including shipping. Some are auction items that could go higher.
I admitted at the beginning of this article that today’s conversation described low brow stuff. You’ll find more of these at the flea market than the museum. Possibly some may be found at the World’s Largest Toy Museum in Branson, Missouri. Either way, all can tickle our memories, not only of the classic films, but also of personal pan pizzas and greasy tacos. Would I risk my digestive health for more cheap collectibles, SURE!!!
Finally, I’m re-reading the first six Marvel Star Wars comics for fun. The nostalgia is awesome! I just finished issue 1 where Luke is on the ground looking up at a Tusken Raider. I’ll read Star Wars 2 today. Meanwhile, why don’t you dig through your closet and report on some of your kids meal collectibles! And, be sure to check out my other Star Wars articles: Dark Horse Star Wars Art and Star Wars: The First Trilogy Art .