star-wars

16 hypnotic GIFs of vintage Star Wars action figures

Merchandising Is Forever is an ongoing project that showcases the deterioration of Star Wars figures over the past 30 years using hypnotic GIF animations.

1. It’s Been 30 Years Since “Return Of The Jedi”???!!!

Where does the geeking time go? Thirty years ago (May 25, 1983), the original Star Wars trilogy came to an end with Return of the Jedi. The franchise would become one of the biggest in history, with George Lucas exploiting the merchandising rights to an unprecedented degree.

The original line of Star Wars action figures were produced by Kenner from 1978-1985, and earned $3,850,000,000 in revenue. These figures were omnipresent throughout the 80’s, seeping behind couch cushions, melting into attic crawl spaces, spread through garage sales, and generally proliferating throughout American suburbia like a cancer.

Then in the late 90s, eBay came along, resurrecting the toys from the dead. It soon became apparent that there was so much more of this stuff than even our nostalgia could fathom. Any child-of-the-eighties-hipster could now pick up a Chewbacca for a buck. Star Wars toys are no longer just for collectors.

2. Go Home Luke. You’re Drunk.

Enter Merchandising Is Forever, a tumblr blog that “depicts multiple figures of the same character” to highlight the “minute variations in deterioration and production of vintage Star Wars action figures.” Each GIF is made up of individual figures. They are not time lapses.

3. Chewie, is that you? “Ahhhrrrrrrrr Aaaaarhg”

“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.”

4. The Next Disney Princess?

“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.”

6. Greedo shot first! …No, Han definitely shot first.

7. He finds your lack of faith disturbing.

8. Utinni!

I hope whoever had the job of “eye dot applicator” got fired.

9. These WERE the droids you were looking for.

12. Lando’s not a system, he’s a man.

16. Episode VII? “That’s not true! That’s impossible!”

With news of Episode VII coming out in the summer of 2015, with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher rumored to be reprising their roles, we’re all thinking the same thing: the actors sure have aged. Well, so have their action figure counterparts. They may still have their youth, but they’re dirty, faded and haggard. Sadly, this plastic is going to be around long after the actors. Merchandising Is Forever, right?

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