Star Wednesday: Deka Mugs

Welcome to a new feature here at RobOHara.com I’m calling “Star Wars Wednesday,” in which I talk about a Star Wars item from my personal collection each Wednesday. (Okay, so the column title isn’t going to win any awards for originality…)

This week’s featured items are a pair of The Empire Strikes Back mugs, released by Deka in 1980. Deka released a series of plastic mugs and breakfast bowls for all three Star Wars films. Four different mugs were released for Empire: one with R2-D2, C-3P0 and Chewbacca; one with Yoda; one with Boba Fett and Darth Vader, and this one featuring Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. A cereal bowl featuring several characters from the film was also produced. Deka also released cups and bowls for Star Wars and Return of the Jedi, many of which can be seen on this seller’s page.

As you can see (specifically in Leia’s face on the top photo), the mugs often faded and changed colors after repeated washings. These are the original mugs I had as a kid and they definitely held their share of chocolate milk!

Star Wars wasn’t Deka’s only line of plastic mugs; they also produced mugs and cups for Strawberry Shortcake, the Smurfs, The Planet fo the Apes, Care Bears, the GoBots, Buck Rogers, Star Trek, Pac-Man, E.T., Popeye, Punky Brewster, the Muppets, and even for the 1976 remake of King Kong! If kids loved it, chances were Deka had a mug available for it.

While it appears their website is no longer available, the earliest trademark for Deka Plastics, Inc of Elizabeth, NJ, I could find was in 1960, and the last one I could find was in 1992. If you’re interested, you can still find tons of these mugs and cups for sale cheap on Etsy and eBay.

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