Collectibles from the Outer Rim: Hi-C Freebies from 1983!

Revisit a time when drinking fruit punch meant getting an amazing Return of the Jedi poster.

In this edition of Collectibles from the Outer Rim, we’re going to connect Star Wars to Hi-C fruit drinks. No, seriously.

Hi-C commercial grab

Hi-C is still made today, but back in the early ‘80s, that stuff was the proverbial poodoo. And, as anyone reading this site should know… so was Return of the Jedi.

If you were a fan of Luke Skywalker and wild cherry juice, 1983 was a great year. Hi-C ran numerous Return of the Jedi promotions, offering everything from hats to T-shirts. Yes, we were rewarded with Star Wars junk just for drinking fruit punch. What a deal!

Below are two of my favorite premiums from that bygone promotional blitz…

Hi-C Poster 1

First is this double-sided Return of the Jedi poster, which simply must be in the running for the most gorgeous Star Wars art ever. Seriously, would you look at this thing? It’s the Sistine Chapel of Star Wars.

From now on, whenever someone asks me why I like Star Wars, I’m just gonna show them this poster. I’ll carry it around in a cardboard tube, which only sounds like a nuisance until you remember that cardboard tubes double perfectly as makeshift lightsabers.

(Don’t act like you’ve never “gone Jedi” with a empty roll of wrapping paper. You have, and we both know it.)

Hi-C Poster 2

The flipside features this incredible collage of movie moments, including such key moments as Luke and Vader’s duel, the Falcon’s charge on the Death Star, and, uh, Logray pointing thattaway.

The poster was free with any purchase of five Hi-C juice cans, and almost every scene from Return of the Jedi was represented in some form or fashion.

Of course, the problem with double-sided posters is that you have to decide on which side to see and which side to hide against the wall. Do I want to stare at unbelievably great comic art, or do I want to struggle to read tiny descriptions under 30 small photos from six feet away? Paging Yoda for an assist.

Hi-C sticker full

Perhaps even cooler was this Return of the Jedi sticker sheet. I’m not sure what the specifics of the promotion were, but I bet it had something to do with drinking lots of Hi-C.

It’s covered with over thirty Star Wars stickers, and some of them are a little out there:

Hi-C sticker sheet 1

Hi-C sticker sheet 2

We can effectively separate the stickers into three categories: Expected, Unexpected, and OMG. Examples from each include…

Expected:

  • Luke Skywalker.
  • Darth Vader.

Unexpected:

  • Wokling.
  • Bib Fortuna.

OMG:

  • Jabba licking Leia’s face.
  • The Max Rebo Band logo, looking like something one might have airbrushed on the side of a 1982 Dodge Ram Van.

There are some official Hi-C stickers in the mix. It’s a nice touch, but if given the choice between decorating my Trapper Keeper with a Hi-C juice box and decorating my Trapper Keeper with Salacious Crumb, I think I’d have to go with Option 2.

Hi-C trapperkeeper

I mean, that was the whole point, right? If you had a bunch of wicked Return of the Jedi stickers, you’d obviously want to show them off. I can just picture myself in elementary school, subtly climbing the social ladder by way of a three-inch “Jabba’s Palace” sticker.

Whoa, where did you get those?

I’d stroke my chin and consider the question. Honesty is usually the best policy, but not when it meant decreasing the specialness of my Star Wars sticker collection.

Oh these? Yeah, George is my uncle.

If you can’t live without 32-year-old Star Wars freebies, you’ll be happy to learn that both the poster and sticker sheet are easy to find on eBay, and for reasonable prices. Grab ‘em before everyone else smartens up!

Matt collects things that are hazardous to his health. See more of his collection on Dinosaur Dracula, Twitter, and Facebook!

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