4/1/16

Star Wars "Darth Vader Card Game" Fun Meal (Burger Chef/Coca-Cola, 1978)

While not really Star Wars TRADING cards, this item does include vintage Star Wars cards, of a sort.  You may know that fast food chain Burger Chef had a Star Wars promotion that included a whole slew of their "Fun Meal" boxes, with punch-out models of spaceships and droids.  (As well as a set of four famous posters that were offered.) Also included in that promotion was this particular "Fun Meal" box, which featured the Darth Vader card game.

Before we look at that, check out the cool art for the main section of the box.  As you can see, each section would have been punched out, because the assembled box held the food and drink.  But what a shame it would be to interrupt this artwork!
When assembled, the box had a 2-sided back panel that stood up vertically, and this was where the FUN was located.  In this case, we get a punch-out game of tiny cards, about half the size of a standard trading card.  What's more, many of the images are promotional; official reference images instead of just screenshots.
When the 23 cards are punched out, kids could play a matching game, apparently similar to "Old Maid," except that Darth Vader is the Old Maid (there's a sentence).
It's really a clever concept, and the boxes are a smart design.  I never had a Burger Chef in my area, so I couldn't really tell you how long these boxes were used.  McDonald's, on the other hand, maintained their Happy Meal box design for years.  Here's a better look at the instructions:
Luckily, a lot of these boxes were preserved, and are still out there.  I know if I had gotten one of these as a kid, I would have punched the cards out and used them, so I'm glad to have everything in one place.  Storing it carefully is going to be an issue, because it's bigger than a magazine-sized comic bag, and a tiny bit wider than a "treasury"-sized comic bag.  I guess I'm going to have to use an LP-sized bag to protect it.
As you can see, we are quickly running out of vintage SW card sets, but I have one more honorable mention to save for next time.

4 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

"Before we look at that, check out the cool art for the main section of the box. As you can see, each section would have been punched out, because the assembled box held the food and drink. But what a shame it would be to interrupt this artwork!"

If you squirted your ketchup a certain way, it'll look like they're bleeding on the ground!

Anonymous said...

I got this as a kid in October 1978. While excitedly punching out the cards, there in the Burger Chef restaurant - I put my thumb right through the only Darth Vader 'old maid' card & ripped it. Argh!! The whole game ruined!!! :(

Sampoerna Quatrain said...

Ah! That's awful. What a story!!

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I'm sure they really scrimped on printing these.