:: The New Zealand Collection

Because of its isolated location, New Zealand has traditionally not seen much in the way of locally exclusive toys or collectibles. This has appeared to change somewhat over time with the globalisation of merchandising (i.e., we are exposed to licensed items from large, international corporations like Pepsi and KFC), but the costs involved in niche licensing still limit our truly exclusive pickings compared to larger countries, in particular the USA.

Having said that we do in fact have quite an interesting history of unique product harking right back to the very beginning...1977. Geographic isolation and modest population numbers have influenced the story of NZ Star Wars collectibles in other ways: some items and sets were produced in small numbers only, and have become quite sought after due to their rarity.

This section chronicles such collectibles.

Matt G

1977 :: R2-D2 Space Ice stickers

R2D2 Space Ice R2D2_Space_Ice_sticker_02 R2D2_Space_Ice_sticker_03

How many of you were around when these came out? These 15 small (73x50mm) stickers, released at the time of the first Star Wars movie (1977) are likely the earliest New Zealand-exclusive collectibles. ...MORE

Matt G

1978 :: New Zealand Toltoys Death Star

Toltoys Cardboard Death Star Toltoys Cardboard Death Star Toltoys Cardboard Death Star

It's one of the biggest Star Wars playsets ever. It's arguably the most sought-after Star Wars playset ever. It's not the most accurate of Star Wars playsets ever, but it certainly packed a whole lot of adventure into one item. And the really interesting thing is that there were 4 subtly different versions, with a New Zealand iteration, released under the 'Toltoys' brand, coming straight from a factory in Auckland. The vintage cardboard Death StarTM! ...MORE

Matt G

1979 :: Europa Petrol Advertising Campaign

Europa Astromech Europa Astromech

Here are a couple of collectible stickers that came in conjunction with a petrol station advertising campaign. As far as we know, they were not licensed by Lucasfilm (no reference to 20th Century Fox is made on the stickers, as would be expected were these officially endorsed), but the source of inspiration is quite obvious! ...MORE

Matt G

1980 :: Empire Strikes Back Masks

Stormtrooper mask C3PO mask Chewbacca mask

Following on from the success of the R2-D2 Space Ice ice-blocks and collectible sticker set, the Tip-Top Ice Cream company released a second Star Wars themed ice-block/collectible run in 1980, in conjunction with the screening of 'The Empire Strikes Back' movie. This time around though, instead of stickers the giveaway item was a paper cut-out mask. ...MORE

Matt G

1980 :: Twinkies Empire Strikes Back Stickers

Princess Leia ESB Sticker C-3PO ESB Sticker Luke Skywalker ESB Sticker

'Twinkies' snack cakes are renowned as the quintessential junk food (yet are consumed at a rate of over half a billion per year worldwide). The original, American version is created by Hostess, which is owned by Kansas City-based Interstate Bakeries Corporation - New Zealanders, however, will remember a local version made by General Foods Corp (NZ) Ltd. that, in the early 1980s, one could be forgiven for purchasing as they came with NZ-exclusive Empire Strikes Back collectibles. ...MORE

Matt G

1983 :: Return of the Jedi Ice Block Stickers

Return of the Jedi Ewok Sticker Return of the Ewok Jedi Sticker Return of the Jedi Ice Blocks

Tip-Top wrapped up its trilogy of ice-block-related collectibles in 1983, with a small set of 4 Ewok stickers. Commonly referred to as "Jedi Jelly" ice-blocks and/or "Jedi Jelly" stickers, we can see here that the naming of this frozen confection is a little more ambiguous. Both the marketing poster and the ice-block wrapper brand this as a "Return of the Jedi" item which contains "Jedi Jelly" as a feature ingredient. ...MORE

Matt G

1984 :: Kellogg's Cornflakes Stickers

Kelloggs Ackbar Sticker Kelloggs C-3PO Sticker Kelloggs Chewbacca Sticker

Many of you will have heard of the Kelloggs Cornflakes Return of the Jedi Stickers. Many will remember eagerly opening the single cellophane packet that came in 300g or 500g packages of cornflakes back in 1984 (around the time that Jedi was in the theatres), and sticking the now highly collectible sticker somewhere or on something that no longer exists... ...MORE

Matt G

1997 :: Confection Concepts Postacards (ANH)

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This series of 50 "Postacardz" was issued by a New Zealand-based company called Confection Concepts International Ltd., who produced a few licensed collectables... ...MORE

Matt G

1997 :: Confection Concepts Postacards (ESB)

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Although the 'A New Hope' companion set contained 50 cards, this set of 'The Empire Strikes Back' "postacards", from Confection Concepts International Ltd., numbers only 45... ...MORE

Matt G

1997 :: Quality Bakers Cards

Quality Bakers R2-D2 Card Quality Bakers R2-D2 Card Quality Bakers Han Solo Card

Star Wars memorabilia offered with another staple food item: the Quality Bakers bread cards. This set of collectible cards came out in 1997, in conjunction with a promotion and competition that coincided with the availability of the Original Trilogy on VHS. Indeed, Star Wars videos were amongst the prizes, as were lesser, but instant, awards of watches and yo-yos. The competition was topped with a $10,000 cash draw.... ...MORE

Matt G

1999 :: Pizza Hut 'The Phantom Menace' Promotions

Pizza Hut Cup, 1999 Pizza Hut Cup, 1999 Pizza Hut Box, 1999 Pizza Hut, 1999

In 1999, the whole globe was abuzz with Episode 1 hype. One area that was quite saturated with Phantom Menace promotions was the fast food market. 'Restaurant Brands NZ Ltd', the New Zealand company which has operated the kiwi outlets of KFC, Pizza Hut (and, Starbucks Coffee) since 1997, was behind this, executing a fairly extensive campaign. Borrowing from collectibles and branded packaging that was also released in other countries (including Australia and the United States), a gamut of promotional items were available to local pizza consumers.

A set of four toys, unique to Australia and New Zealand, came with meal deals including the kids 'Works' meal (the all-you-can-eat buffet)... ...MORE

Matt G & Archon Revuge
& the SWNZ Forums community

1999 :: Pepsi Episode 1 Cards

This set of 12 Episode I character cards had to be cut from the packaging of Pepsi multipacks. The cards are round (about 58mm in diameter): not the best configuration for a card that needs to be cut out by hand!

Their design and graphics closely matches the rest of the Pepsi Episode I marketing, including the set of 6 exclusive graphic soft-drink cans that were a related part of the Pepsi collectibles. Interestingly, these cards were available in both Australia and New Zealand, but with significant differences. ...MORE

Matt G

1999 :: Pepsi Episode 1 Cans

Yoda on 7-Up can Yoda on 7-Up can Sebulba on Mirinda can

PepsiCo Inc. made extensive use of its license to the Star Wars Episode 1 imagery, through its Pepsi and many related brands. In addition to a large variety of promotional and packaging material, core components of its international Episode 1 campaign were series of elaborately detailed collectible soft-drink cans. A number of unique series were available in different countries, and although the set of six different cans that were exclusive to the New Zealand market comprised one of the smaller sets, these are definitely worthy and sought after items... ...MORE

Matt G

1999 :: Bluebird Multipack Episode 1 Cards

Bluebird C-3PO Card Bluebird R2-D2 Card Bluebird Watto Card

In 1999, Bluebird chips released 2 sets of collectible cards: a gold-bordered series with glow-in-the-dark images on the back of each card, and a red-bordered series with chrome-bordered variations. Taking a look at the gold-bordered cards first... ...MORE

Matt G

1999 :: Bluebird Chips Episode 1 Cards

Bluebird Anakin Skywalker Card Bluebird Mace Windu Card Bluebird Darth Obi-Wan Kenobi

In 1999, Bluebird chips released 2 sets of collectible cards: a gold-bordered series with glow-in-the-dark images on the back of each card, and a red-bordered series with chrome-bordered variations. The red-bordered cards are interesting in that, depending on how you want to categorise them, they could be considered as one, two, or four "sets"... ...MORE

Matt G

1999 :: Telecom Episode 1 Phone Cards

Telecom Phone Card Telecom Phone Card Telecom Phone Card

Star Wars seems to find its way into many aspects of our lives. Telecom New Zealand went beyond the obvious marketing opportunities, and released a set of collectibles that were also functional, in the form of 'The Phantom Menace' prepaid phone cards. ...MORE

Matt G

2002 :: Mainland 'Taste the Magic' Episode II Cards

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2002 was a big year for New Zealand in that, with the opening of 'Star Wars: Attack of the Clones', we saw Kiwi actors playing Star Wars characters on the big screen. Coincidentally, one of the marketing campaigns that preempted the movie's screening can stake a claim as of one of the biggest New Zealand-exclusive collectible releases. ...MORE

Matt G

2005 :: Uncle Tobys 'Revenge of the Sith' Promotions

Uncle Tobys Muesli Bar Box Uncle Tobys Muesli Bar Box Uncle Tobys Muesli Bar Box

From 01 April 2005 through to 30 September 2005, Goodman Fielder ran a 'Revenge of the Sith' Promotion in association with their Uncle Tobys 'Chewy' muesli bars, and Fruit Roll-Ups. The concomitant television advertising... ...MORE

Matt G

2005 :: Kelloggs 'Revenge of the Sith' Promotions

Kelloggs Mini Wheats Box Kelloggs Sultana Bran Box Kelloggs Sultana Bran Box

The Kellogg company has a longstanding, international relationship with the Star Wars genre. In New Zealand, this dates back to their 'Return of the Jedi' promotional stickers and competition. In 2005, associated with the release of Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, the Kellogg's Star Wars branded product and included collectibles are so numerous, it pays to take a systematic approach in order to get a comprehensive overview. 11 different cereal packages were released - they progressively made there way on to supermarket shelved over a period of a number of weeks... ...MORE

Matt G

 :: Local Manufacturers

Give-a-Show Projector The Empire Strikes Back Scrapbook Return of the Jedi Lunchbox

A growing collection of articles on manufacturing companies who made and redistributed Star Wars products here in New Zealand... ...MORE

Matt G

 :: Miscellanea

Macleans Entry Form Front Mace Windu Sneak Preview Offer Kellogs ROTJ Packet Front Empire Strikes Back Record

As well as New Zealand exclusive or unique items, it is interesting to note that a number of Star Wars collectibles that were available elsewhere, additionally had versions made in NZ. Typically these have made use of the fact that there were preexisting local production facilities allied to those in the original country of manufacture.

All this and a whole lot ...MORE

Matt G

Last updated: 29 Apr 2011 (NZT)

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