There was a story on io9 last week about all of the toy concepts that George Lucas originally rejected for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace – things like an inflatable Emperor’s throne, a Death Star basketball, or a Jabba the Hutt beanbag chair. (It’s kind of crazy to realize that Lucasfilm actually rejects ANY marketing tie-in or merchandising concept.) And, while I mourn for the Dagobah-themed pencil sharpener that I’ll never get to own, it did get me thinking about all of the toys as a kid that I used to dream about, but that never actually existed.
As a kid, I could never understand why toy companies hadn’t thought to make me the toys I REALLY coveted, toys like (and these will date me) an uber-detailed Ghostbusters proton pack, full-sized M.A.S.K. Matt Trakker mask, a remote-controlled time-travelling Delorean, a Bionic Commando grappling hook arm, or a full action figure set of the cast of The Misfits of Science. (I am a very old man.) In my mind, those all seemed like concepts that could EASILY become the best-selling toys in the world, so I just couldn’t grasp why I never saw any of those toys on the shelf at my local Toys R Us.