Original Art for Coca-Cola Tumbler Premiums
Of all the Star Wars premiums sponsored by the Coca-Cola company, I've always been partial to the set of 20 tumblers made available through regional convenience chains like Koolee and Lil General. Why? I think it has something to do with the minimal cleanliness of the designs. They have an almost Midcentury aesthetic. Also, I like the fact that the subjects are a little oddball: Some are familiar, certainly, but others went mostly untreated in the realm of Star Wars licensing. And, hey, novelty can be attractive.

So you can imagine that I was pretty chuffed when the original artwork used to generate 15 of the 20 tumblers surfaced in 2023. I was chuffed twice over to be able to split them with my friend Todd Chamberlain.

Rendered in black ink, the paper on which each drawing was made is affixed to a piece of illustration board. This image corresponds to tumbler number 14.

As you'll see if you inspect the images at the top of this entry, the pieces originally had color separation sheets attached to them. Each separation illustrated how a single color was to be applied to the final product. Sadly (or perhaps somewhat inconsequentially, since the missing elements don't diminish the pieces in the slightest), those separations are missing from most of the examples. The illustration you see above is the source art for tumbler number 3.

The above example, corresponding to tumbler number 6, underscores my praise for the set's novelty: I don't think this particular scene was ever portrayed in this particular way on any other Star Wars product.

Others, like this image, corresponding to tumbler number 10, as well as the one of the Bantha further up the page, are much more familiar. They're based on images disseminated so widely that they're justly considered iconic. And yet they seem fresh when rendered in this naive-yet-detailed style.

You may have noticed that this find included the art for tumblers numbered 1 through 15. The art corresponding to tumblers 16 through 20 was not present. Why this is, we can't say. But it's interesting.

Original product artwork is always a joy to see, especially when it's tied to familiar products from the dawn of the Star Wars craze.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore, Todd Chamberlain
From the collection of: Ron Salvatore, Todd Chamberlain
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Category:Prototypes / Product Artwork


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