Save for a few die-hard collectors, Indiana Jones merchandising (what little of it there was) never lent itself well to much of anything but collecting dust. At its most fervent popularity in the 80’s, I remember seeing Indiana Jones play sets and action figures sitting quietly in clearance bins at Kay-Bee toys– and, ironically, this picture proves it. My experiences and pop-culture barometer notwithstanding, dreams of even more cash for George Lucas to swim in has Lucasfilm going testicles out on plans for more promotional partnerships than you can prop-chop mustachioed Nazi strongmen with.
Lucasfilm is leveraging Star Wars-schilling relationships with the usual suspects (Burger King, Mars, Hasbro, Lego and Hallmark) to give Uncle Indy a Rascal*-aided leg up when he (ad)ventures into theaters in May of next year. I’m most looking forward to the Alfred Molina meal, where you check your burger for pickles and enjoy a sharpened straw sprung through the occipital lobe.
Snark aside, the whole affair is an uncomfortable commentary on the bankability of a misguided collective nostalgia. Summer homes are being built with the sad reality of what Lucasfilm has learned from Star Wars- the predisposition of adults to spend money on stuff for kids. Lucas Licensor Howard Roffman says so himself: "The people who grew up with Indiana Jones have become today’s parents. If our experience with Star Wars is any guide, we think they’ll want to introduce their kids to Indy and share this great new adventure together."
As translated from the original PR/Marketese** : "We’re really looking forward to all that geek money. Bitches."
Wrong you are, Howard. Wrong you are. I’m going to lay it out and say as far as Indiana Jones goes, The Star Wars experience isn’t going to be the guide. Indy was always more of a film experience than the life experience Star Wars became. Look for Indy merchandise to follow The Hulk’s example of glut at bargain basement prices and dollar stores around the country in Christmas of ’08.
* Turning Disabilities into possibilities!
** No relation to Huttese.