1980’s The Empire Strikes Back Underoos Commercial!

You might imagine that The Empire Strikes Back was kind of a big deal when it was released in 1980. You know what was also incredibly popular at that time? Fruit of the Loom’s Underoos of course!

It is rather a simple thing to see why those of us growing up in the 80s loved these. While the original idea for Underoos came about in 1977 thanks to Larry Weiss. The concept was sold to Fruit of the Loom – in fact they were the company Weiss hired to provide the shirts and underwear that characters would be printed on. Furthermore the company that was originally interested in the children’s line of clothing was Hanes.

Equally important are the popular properties that Fruit of the Loom went after for their Underoos. It is a rather astounding number of cartoons, toy lines, comic books, and films. The A-Team, Gremlins, Transformers, and Star Wars of course to name a few.

This 1980’s commercial only showcases four sets of Underoos. In addition to Boba Fett, Darth Vader, R2-D2, and C-3PO. They also offered Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing pilot outfit. Princess Leia in Hoth attire, and two different colored versions of Yoda.

Star Wars TV Archive

It bears mentioning that Underoos didn’t offer anything for 1977’s Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back marked the first offerings. Although they continued with Return of the Jedi as well as The Ewoks animated series in 1985.

What was the first set of Underoos that I received?

Why none other than DC Comics’ Scarlet Speedster. The Flash!

Now I hope you will forgive me but I have to leave The Retroist Vault. I have tickets to go see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I will let you know however if while standing in line I happen to spy any fellow Star Wars fans wearing some Underoos!

I Grew Up Star Wars: The Epic Battle of Hoth


IGrewUpStarWars.com is a website run by Tom Berges dedicated to those of us who grew up playing with some of the greatest toys of all time. Tom has spent a lot of time and energy collecting vintage photos and videos from the late 70s and early 80s, back when we were younger and these toys were new.

Rob with Star Wars Stuff

(Yes, that’s me.)

Like lots of kids who “grew up Star Wars,” my friends and I would routinely recreate the battles that we saw in the movies. In my bedroom I had a 4×8 sheet of wood covered with a white sheet that became Hoth, and when my friends would visit we would often set up battles between “the good guys” and “the bad guys” and just play.

My family owned a VHS VCR in 1978; for $1,000, we got both the VCR and a black and white video camera. The camera was connected to the VCR by a cable which was long enough for me to drag around the house and occasionally make my own movies without having to relocate the VCR itself. I filmed a lot of silly things, one of which was (occasionally) our Star Wars battles. While browsing through some of my old VHS tapes I found one of those battles. I sent the footage to Tom, who did a short interview with me (with some help from Yoda) and put the footage online.

If you also “grew up Star Wars,” check out this interview Tom put together for his website. Be sure to stick around to the end to see the “special edition” version.

True UFOs and Outer Space Magazine

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Several years ago my mom ran across a big box full of random UFO magazines at a garage sale. She picked up roughly 30 issues of various UFO magazines from the late 70s and early 80s for $5 — and believe me it was $5 well spent, I assure you. One of my favorite magazines was this issue of True UFOs and Outer Space Quarterly which has a nice feature article on The Empire Strikes Back. Whoever the previous owner of these magazines must have loved this issue too because there are two copies of it in the box.

Upcoming Star Wars Pinball Tables By Zen Studios Are Strong With The Force!

Star Wars Pinball - Zen Studios

Yesterday the first trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: Pinball was released, featuring the table for Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Star Wars: Pinball will be made available later this month on Xbox Live, the Playstation Network, Mac, and iOS and Google Play. The first three offered tables will be the Empire Strikes Back, a standalone Boba Fett table, and one based on the animated Clone Wars series.

In all it is said there will be 10 tables in total with 7 more planned for future release.

From the Press Release:
Star Wars™ Pinball Coming Soon for Download

“Use the Force to guide the silver ball and become a Jedi Master pinball pro

Los Angeles, CA – February 5, 2013 – Zen Studios, the definitive leader in videogame pinball, today announced Star Wars™ Pinball, a brand new collection of tables developed with authentic Star Wars moments. The downloadable game, developed in partnership with LucasArts, will be available February 2013 on a variety of digital platforms. The initial three-table pack will be themed around fan favorites including Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Each table features a different iconic moment from the Star Wars universe, with interactive 3D characters, and unique gameplay. With the first table release, players will take control of beloved characters such as Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. Players will also be able to post their scores to global leaderboards, experience in-game friend challenges, local hotseat, online multiplayer, and a host of other features. “It’s been over 30 years since Star Wars, videogames, and solid state pinball all burst onto the entertainment scene, and their popularity endures today. We’re excited to be combining all three for the very first time,” said Neil Sorens, Zen Studios’ Creative Director. “Our designers are huge Star Wars fans, and you can expect every detail in every table to reflect their passion for the Star Wars universe.”
Star Wars Pinball will be available on the Apple®App Store, Google Play™.
Star Wars Pinball will also be available as downloadable content for Pinball FX2™ on Xbox LIVE® Arcade and Windows 8, Zen Pinball 2™ on PlayStation®Network for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita as Cross-Buy entitled content, Zen Pinball 2 on the Mac®App Store and Zen Pinball on the Apple®App Store and Google Play™.
Zen Studios has released a Star Wars Pinball trailer available from the Zen Studios YouTube Channel , or downloaded from the Zen Studios press center.
For more information, please visit www.starwarspinball.com or www.zenstudios.com.”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – Mix Or Match Storybook (1980)

I was doing a little cleaning in the back bedroom last evening when I came upon a very well used storybook from my youth. I received the Empire Strikes Back – Mix or Match Storybook the Christmas after the ESB hit theaters and I can tell you truly that I spent hours making up new tales from the characters in those films.

The ESB Mix or Match storybook was Published by Random House on October 21st, 1980 and illustrated by the legendary Wayne Barlowe. I’m sure they must make storybooks like this today…but they can’t be as awesome as this never before known story of Yoda:

Maybe you’ve heard about this lesser known story involving C-3P0: