Our friends at Paladone unveil their latest line of Star Wars apparel to coincide with the release of The Last Jedi…
George Lucas created merchandising…
In 1976, amidst filming the first instalment of the Star Wars saga, George Lucas had an epiphany…merchandising. In the years leading up to the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, many other franchises had staked a claim of popularity on our pop culture. In the UK, Doctor Who had taken the country by storm and kids of all ages were clamouring to get their hands on their very own little blue box that was bigger on the inside.
However, it was George Lucas that brought the notion of marketing action figures to the forefront of our thinking and the rest as they say…is history!
Fast forward to today and every franchise has its very own range of merchandise available, all manufactured to afford the fans a small piece of the property they love. Whether it’s Marvel or DC Comics, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Star Trek, Transformers or Doctor Who, every franchise has a range of merchandise on the market readily available to appease the fans’ unquenchable appetite.
However, they pale in comparison to the juggernaut that originated the idea. There are imitators, and there are originators…and the saga that started it all was Star Wars!
To coincide with every new movie release, the fans of the galaxy far, far away are treated to a plethora of new merchandise. Whether your tastes run toward action figures and vehicles, t-shirts and footwear or collectable apparel, your taste is catered for in way never thought possible. Nothing is off the table. Anything that is marketable is tackled head on by some of the finest retail vendors from around the world, and at the forefront of these pioneers stands Paladone.
As a rule, Paladone have made their name by manufacturing some of the finest Star Wars apparel to date. Their The Force Awakens range boasted everything from heat changing mugs, character keychains, drinks coasters, lamps, wallets and stationary and built a foundation on which to make a name for themselves. They went above and beyond the call of duty when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrived upon our screens, and they generated an abundance of diverse merchandise which swiftly arrived upon our shelves.
This winter saw the release of Rian Johnson’s epic eighth instalment in the saga, The Last Jedi, and as expected the great team at Paladone were on hand to accentuate the anticipation for the movie with their incredible new range of inspired apparel. Once again, their range afforded every fan the chance to own a little piece of the franchise we know and love. Everything from heat changing mugs, Death Star ice cube makers, reflective lenticular coasters, Porg keychains and even the incredible new addition of light up canvas art were on offer.
The Future of the Force team, were fortunate enough to get their hands on some of these incredible items and put them through their paces. This honour fell upon myself and my brother Carl, and we had a blast!
Death Star Ice Mould:
To be honest, you would have thought someone would have released this before, it’s a simple but fun little trinket that delivers a Death Star ice cube for your drinks, whether they be soft or something slightly harder! The mould is made of silicone and comes in two parts. All is required is to connect the mould parts together, fill the mould from the hole in the top and place on a flat surface in the freezer, simple but effective.
I did find trying to extract the ice Death Star a little vexing. I obviously didn’t want to rip the silicone mould and to be fair, the top half came off easily but the bottom part I had to gently pry away from the ice as trying to extract it with force would have ripped the mould and that would be the end of my Death Star ice sphere making days.
All in all, though, it’s a nice little gift for the Star Wars fan in your life and makes for a good talking point when you have guests over and you decide to offer them a surprise addition to the alcoholic drink of their choice or for making the kids happy by putting the Death Star in their soft drink.
The mould comes in a small but handy square box with an image of Darth Vader looming on it integrated with the white Star Wars Logo. The front and two sides show pretty much the same thing however, on the back of the packaging lies the contents of the box listed with instructions on how to use the mould and the instructions for cleaning it after use.
The Last Jedi Lenticular Coasters:
Again, these make for a great present. What’s not to like about a pack of 4 coasters that contain two lenticular images per coaster, giving you 8 images to marvel at. These look good on my coffee table and bring back memories of the latest film that has just hit cinemas worldwide.
The list of images are as follows:
Coaster 1: Heroes and Villains.
Coaster 2: R2-D2/Chewbacca
Coaster 3: Praetorian guard/ Praetorian guards posing.
Coaster 4: Rey/First Order Stormtrooper Executioner.
The coasters come in a nice little square package with the Star Wars logo in the top left-hand corner and the images of Poe Dameron, Rey and Finn in the right-hand corner. On the back of the packaging, it shows the coaster combinations and representations of the photos ingrained into them.
Both items are perfect little gifts for the Star Wars fan in your life and will bring a smile to their face when presented with them. It sure did to mine.
Over Christmas, I got my hands on The Last Jedi heat changing mug and the incredible light up canvas art featuring Daisy Ridley’s Jedi apprentice, Rey.
The Heat Changing Mug:
During the release of Rogue One, I was fortunate enough to review the Darth Vader heat changing mug and was blown away by its brilliance, and I am pleased to report similar findings with The Last Jedi incarnation. In its standard form, the mug itself is not that impressive, however, once hot liquid fills its cavity, the magic happens.
As the receptacle heats up, the incredible character artwork of Episode VIII is revealed, and we come face to face with Luke Skywalker, Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, General Hux, Poe Dameron, BB-8, R2-D2, C-3PO, Supreme Leader Snoke, Rose, Captain Phasma, the First Order Executioner Stormtrooper, Elite Praetorian Guard, Chewbacca and the Porgs. The artwork is incredible and is quite spectacular once revealed which makes the average cup of coffee a far grander experience.
Having every character displayed so vividly is an absolute joy and heightens our connection to Rian Johnson’s amazing movie…
The Last Jedi Light Up Canvas Art:
Being a fan of those lavish and home warming light up Christmas art canvases that have flooded the market in recent years, I was super excited to discover that Paladone had crafted a range that captured the incredible characters of the Star Wars universe. The very notion of having the icons of The Last Jedi, hanging on the wall and illuminated in all their glory was an exciting prospect and I couldn’t wait to hang one up for the Christmas period.
The guys at Paladone were gracious enough to send us the incredible version featuring the new saga’s latest heroine, Rey. Portrayed by Daisy Ridley in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Rey has since become a household name and propelled Ridley onto Hollywood stardom.
The image on Paladone’s canvas art features Rey in an iconic pose holding her lightsaber aloft ready to confront the forces of darkness and dressed in her Jedi training attire from the planet Ahch-to. Once hanging on the wall, the canvas looks incredible and will be a highlight on every Star Wars fans feature wall…but its when the sun goes down that you truly feel the power of the Force. By tapping the canvas, the entire image illuminates in a delightful way which highlights the glowing beauty of the lightsaber.
Glowing for hours on end, the canvas looks spectacular and has easily replaced its Christmas themed counterparts on the wall when the season came to an end. It has earned its place upon my wall and has become one of the standout features of my collection. There it will remain, allowing me to feel the Force at the touch of the canvas. But, if I ever decided to remove it from the wall and have it set up on my desk, the canvas comes with the facility to choose between either battery power or mains powered adapter.
George Lucas, in his profound wisdom created the concept of merchandising but with the launch of every new entry into the Star Wars movie fraternity, Paladone continue to build upon their incredible inventory with more breath-taking additions to a collection that sets them apart from their competitors.
Their Rogue One: A Star Wars Story collection, set a new standard for the gift retail market, but with their The Last Jedi collection, they have surpassed even those standards. The addition of the light up canvas art was a bold step and it has paid of marvellously and leaves us excited to see what they have in store for us for Solo: A Star Wars Story and beyond.
The Force is with Paladone, make them part of your Star Wars story…
The Star Wars range is designed and distributed by Paladone UK and is available to buy now. I would like to thank Paladone for making a selection available to The Future of the Force.
Check out the full range here.
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!