Merchandising Is Forever

Starting in 1978 the toy company Kenner produced the first line of Star Wars toys. They are in my opinion unparalleled in design and execution. The playsets, vehicles, and action figures from this line are featured here as high resolution scans, photographs and animations.

By depicting multiple figures of the same character, we can make apparent the minute variations in the production process. Toys produced today are very streamlined in their manufacturing, the Kenner line appears to exist in a more organic area between mass production and handcrafted. Depending on where the eyebrows are placed, or whether the lipstick is worn off, each Princess Leia is given a slightly different facial expression and personality. By animating between these variations, I hope to highlight these differences.

These figures came from different people, different homes, from all over the world. Each one has gained a unique identity throughout the years. Some were played with, some were forgotten in attics, some are completely unrecognizable, and some are still mint. I like thinking about the unique narrative behind each Chewbacca figure. Like, why was one dipped in yellow paint? Why does one have pink eyes? This one looks angry, this one looks sad. It is these variations in expression and execution that make the original Star Wars toys so alluring.

laughing squid

Merchandising Is Forever | blog | GIFs | 2013—ongoing