- Advertisement -

Great news as the excellent TOY EMPIRE: The British Force Behind Star Wars Toys arrives on the BBC World Service next month.

Star Wars super-fan David Whiteley celebrates how a small town in the UK became the centre of the galaxy for the creation and manufacture of Star Wars toys. Coalville in Leicestershire was the home of toymakers, Palitoy; already successful with ranges such as Action Man and Tiny Tears, the Star Wars toy brand would propel them into hyperspace.This is the story of the toy designers and assembly workers, tasked with filling the toyshop shelves of Britain at the time of the UK Star Wars movie releases in the 1970s. Palitoy’s American sister company, Kenner, had landed the licence from LucasFilm. Palitoy in the UK would make, assemble and even redesign many of the classic designs. But toys connected with movies did not traditionally do well in the smaller British market and, if a film flopped, retailers and manufacturers were often left with unwanted stock. The marketing team at Palitoy had a task convincing the trade to take it on, but Star Wars more than bucked the trend. The film tells the story of Palitoy’s success, its demise in the mid-1980s and how its legacy lives on with collectors from across the world, who look back with nostalgia at the toys of the Star Wars generation.

Presenter and Producer, David Whiteley said “This is fantastic news. The documentary was a co-commission from the wonderful teams at BBC Arts, BBC Four and BBC World News. They really believed in the idea of telling the story of Palitoy Star Wars toys. This time last year, the Production Team, consisting of myself, Rik Matthews, Matt Wildash and Matthew Parker, were preparing to shoot the film. And now, 12 months later, it will be seen by a global audience. We’re all very excited to share the story with the worldwide fans of Star Wars.”

If you’ve yet to see it and have access next month – do it! It’s a fascinating view on the UK experience, and while you’re at it track down The Galaxy That Britain Built for a similarly nostalgic view on Star Wars in the UK.

The Galaxy Britain Built - The British Talent Behind Star Wars (hardback)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Whiteley, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 184 Pages - 11/24/2019 (Publication Date) - BearManor Media (Publisher)