Made by Topps, this exquisitely bizarre set of Return of the Jedi candy containers immortalized several of our favorite characters as little plastic heads filled with chalky candy.
They never taught you this in school, but I assure you, it happened.
The candy was primarily in delis and corner stores, and guys, that was key. It was one thing to go into Kay Bee and walk out with Star Wars stuff, but these containers — colloquially known as “candy heads” — turned up in places where we’d never expect to find toys.
If you’re having trouble understanding why kids would get so excited over lightweight heads filled with questionable candy… now you know!
What made the containers extra interesting were the weird characters selected by Topps. They certainly didn’t play it safe!
There was no Luke, no Han, and no Leia. No R2-D2, no C-3PO, and no Chewie, either. Instead we got some of the strangest characters Return of the Jedi had to offer, including a few that some kids probably didn’t know by name!
The only expected entrant was Darth Vader. The rest was an all-out parade of oddities, including Jabba the Hutt, Sy Snootles, Admiral Ackbar, and Wicket W. Warrick. Oh, and also a baby Ewok that for some reason was larger than every other container.
Jabba has got to be my favorite, mainly thanks to his odd skin color. I’m not sure why Jabba looks like pistachio ice cream, but I’m definitely not complaining. Dig the red eyes, too. Is this what happens when he eats a bad paddy frog?
Inside each container was a handful of pastel-colored, chalky candy. If I recall correctly, they tasted like bootleg Smarties.
The candy came in an assortment of Star Wars shapes, but I can only identify R2-D2 for sure. One of the others might be the Millennium Falcon, or it might be an Ewok head. (Only while inspecting 33-year-old candy can a person become confused between those two things.)
The containers also worked nicely as finger puppets!
Interested in adding them to your collection? Not many people go bananas over old candy, so these Return of the Jedi containers have remained affordable on the collectors’ market. If you’re able to find them — and it shouldn’t be hard — they’ll rarely cost more than two bucks apiece.
(Of course, then you’ll probably want the even older Empire Strikes Back set to go with ‘em. That one had Bossk and tauntaun containers! A Star Wars collector’s work is just never done.)