Many vintage Star Wars collectors have been disillusioned of late with the current state of the collecting hobby.  Whether this is due to rising prices, shady dealings, disappointments with latest offerings in the franchise, or something else entirely different, collectors should be aware that there are always diverse and exciting products to collect that do not relate directly to action figures such as the Star Wars Dixie Cup range.

Dixie Cups are one of the most exciting, imaginative and rewarding products to track down with a total of 146 5oz cups depicting key characters and scenes from across all 3 movies of the original trilogy.  The Dixie Cup brand was purchased by the American Can Company in 1957 who then produced the cups in 1980.  Most of the cups can be purchased for as little as 50p and purchasing in bulk lots is commonplace and can be beneficial.

The First Series (A New Hope)

The first series of cups feature 16 characters, 8 ships or vehicles and 16 different scenes with movie quotes.  Obviously the main heroes and villains of the saga were going to be featured, including Grand Moff Tarkin, but it is fantastic to see that the cantina aliens and Death Star Droid were also included in the run.

What is slightly surprising is that the Death Star wasn’t given its own cup outright and yet the y-wing was deemed worthy of not only having its own cup but also appeared later on the scene cups.

Although the artwork on the character and vehicle cups is truly brilliant it is eclipsed by the movie scene depictions.

The story begins with the blockade runner attempting to outrun the Imperial Star Destroyer.  We then have three cups depicting the droids’ journeys through Tatooine before they are rescued by Luke.  The opening arc concludes with Ben and Luke viewing the hologram message.

Next we meet the evil Lord Darth Vader as he tortures Leia on board his ship before Ben and Luke use three cups in their meeting of Han Solo at the Mos Eisley cantina and blasting off into space.  The second arc concludes with Luke practising his lightsaber skills onboard the Falcon before they arrive at the destroyed Alderaan.

The final arc ends on a cliffhanger as we see the Falcon caught in a tractor beam, the trash compactor scene, Vader and Ben’s duel to the death, General Dodonna’s battle strategy and then dogfighting above the Death Star.

As a narrative the story of these cups is pretty impressive with possibly only the escape of Luke, Han and Leia from the Death Star the only missing part of the puzzle.

These cups were packaged in amazing boxes which featured 100 assorted cups.  For the Star Wars series the boxes were in blue packaging and there are 8 to collect: Luke, Darth Vader, Death Star, Robots, Stormtrooper, Ben, Han and Chewie and Leia.

I’d be pretty interested to know which characters, ships and scenes you think were missing from the 40 cups that would have enhanced it.  For me, how R5-D4 wasn’t there is a travesty!

Photos (c) Richard Hutchinson and Matt Cooper