Pepsi’s 1999 Star Wars Episode I collector cans

Sodapalooza

Episode I character cans

This week, I’m looking at many of the Episode I promotions.  Yesterday I looked at some of the current promotions for the 3D release of Star Wars Episode I.  Today, I’m going to go back in time to 1999 and look at the original Pepsi Star Wars collector can promotion during the original release of Episode I.  Being a soda enthusiast as well as a Star Wars enthusiast any cross promotion between the two is a huge deal for me.  So this giant Episode I promotion is one of my favorites.

Pepsi’s 24 collector character cans were the huge promotion everyone probably remembers even to this day. There were 24 character cans in the entire set.  There were 8 Pepsi and Mt Dew cans and 4 Diet Pepsi and Pepsi One cans.  Pepsi One was newly released in 1999.

Ep 1 pepsi cans

I actually bought cases of Pepsi, Mtn Dew, Pepsi One and Diet Pepsi to get all the cans. Cans were released in waves (see the list here) every 2-3 weeks and each 12 and 24 pack of cans only contained one character.  So, obviously, like everyone else, I wound up with a ton of extras.    I remember the very last character can I needed to complete the set was the Diet Pepsi with the Battle Droid.  It took months to find it but I finally did and had to buy a 24 pack of cans to get it.  The pic above is, I believe, a salesman’s sample of the complete 24 can set.  There are no tops on those cans.  I acquired this a few years after Episode I.  It came together in a lot with a bunch of Pepsi promo material, the cool black Pepsi can holder you see holding the cans in the pic and the cool Pepsi Destiny can (which I’ll discuss in a minute).

Inserted randomly into cases of these character cans was a chase Gold Yoda can.  If you found one, you could send it in to receive $20.

Gold Yoda can

Each soda flavor had it’s own Gold Yoda can, so in actuality there is a set of four Gold Yodas, one each for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mtn Dew and Pepsi One.  Pepsi One being the most rare.

The 12 and 24 packs of soda for each of the participating flavors had Star Wars character art on them.  Below are the 12 pack boxes for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mt Dew and Pepsi One.  These are cool, I guess, but there was much more colorful Pepsi packaging artwork for the Star Wars Special Editions two years earlier in 1997 (here, here and here).  It makes these seem a little plain.  Especially with just the black/white/gray head shots.

Pepsi Episode I case art

After the Gold Yoda promotion, Pepsi released a second chase can.  The Pepsi Destiny can.  It featured a color picture of Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader.  Here’s an ad from TV Guide promoting that can.  I’m not sure how rare this can is as it was also sold by the Star Wars Fan Club with an acrylic case.

Pepsi Destiny can

I actually have the Pepsi Destiny can. Like I said, I got it in a lot from the same guy that got me the salesman sample Pepsi cans above.

Also in 1999, Pepsi was test marketing a new soda called Storm.  It was a caffeinated lemon-lime soda and possibly the precursor to Sierra Mist.  The test market Storm cans also had Star Wars characters on them.  They were essentially copies of the Pepsi Qui-Gon Jinn and Pepsi Jar Jar Binks cans, but unnumbered.  Pepsi was passing out free cans of Storm to people who attended the original Star Wars Celebration in Denver.

Storm can 1 Storm can 2

So those are the Pepsi collector can promotions for the original release of Star Wars Episode I back in 1999.

This promotion was done outside the US as well.  However, the cans were a little different.  In Canada Pepsi hadn’t released Pepsi One yet, so they put the Pepsi One characters on 7-Up cans.  Many countries overseas hadn’t received (and never received) Pepsi One so characters were put on cans of Pepsi Max which has been overseas for years (only recently hitting the US).  Many of the overseas cans were also more colorful and featured color character pics and graphics.

Come back either tomorrow or Thursday to see some more Episode I promotional material from 1999.

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28 Responses to “Pepsi’s 1999 Star Wars Episode I collector cans”

  1. This is a great post! While I too have all the cans including the golden Yoda Pepsi can I have neither heard of the Pepsi Destiny can nor the Storm cans. For me I hadn’t even thought about the cans being in black and white until you pointed out that the Destiny can is in color. So weird.
    -Aaron Nix

  2. What about a mountain dew can with a gold top on it with Darth mull on it I got one and am trying to find something out about it have not seen another one like it please let me know

  3. I have all the cans with a limited edition epsiode one case how much would that be worth now days?

  4. Honestly, not that much. You can go out on eBay and find your set for relatively cheap.

  5. You did not mention a gold storm can. I have one and I just love it. No one I’ve talked to has heard of it.

  6. Well, I’m 99% positive there never was a Gold Storm can. I’ve never seen nor even heard rumors of it.

  7. tim gadberry Says:

    my grandmother bought a gold yoda pepsi can out of a pepsi machine back in 1999. the store vendor offered her $20.00 for it at the time but she decided to keep it and never has opened it. it is filled with liquid as i see some on ebay as being “unopened empty can”. does anyone know the value of this?

  8. David Johns Says:

    I have 2 yodas 6 qui gons 7 queen amadalas 7 r2 d2’s 2 c3p0s 6 obi ones 4 jar jars and 5 anakins plus a few more i cant remember but also have a crystal pepsi can a pepsi shades cool can and a cocca-cola classics can. does any one know how much they are worth please?

  9. I have all 24 cans but they are unopened empty cans displayed in a metal starwars case. Was thinking about selling soon. dpinks20@gmail.com

  10. can you guys remake the pepsi yoda cans that are gold

  11. Lonnie Noe Says:

    I have 12 cans including the gold Yoda, I’d like to sell, just e-mail me with offer!

  12. I have an unopen 12 pack i want to get ride of make me an offer???

  13. Aaron Lamb Says:

    I currently have all of the Pepsi cans with all characters in the metal case made by Pepsi. All cans are sealed WITH NO CONTENTS inside. My dad brought them home one day in 1999 since he knew so many Pepsi reps, and now I’m trying to get them off my hands. The case isn’t small by any means so it takes up some space.

  14. Dev Durer Says:

    i recently found a set of all cans with the tops on and sealed but empty.it came in a steel case with plaques saying star wars and pepsi. if anyone wants to see it, ill post pics somewhere.

  15. Has anyone ever opened a gold Yoda Pepsi can that came back sealed. There is something in mine. A note or certificate Maybe?

  16. I have what looks to be a folder filled with order forms and photos/descriptions for all the items relevant to the Episode I Pepsi promotion. This was given to the Pepsi Sales Dept. to promote items that would go into the stores. If anyone is interested I can send photos, it is in very good condition and has been stored in plastic.

  17. steve ostafin Says:

    I have a gold yoda Pepsi can. Episode 1. I was just wondering what it was worth. Still in original package it came in the mail with.

  18. Kris Athey Says:

    I have a gold Yoda mountain dew can in ment condition, I’m trying to find out what it’s worth these days. 18 years ago it was worth $20. If you have any information on this please contact me at atheyk2012@earthlink.net.Thank you very much.

  19. Mike C. Says:

    I have a Limited Edition “Destiny” Collector Can; Anakin Skywalker, empty can but still closed on the top; and has been in a hell of a nice glass case the day I got it… anyone happen to know worth? I read somewhere that only 50,000 of these were made and given to only Pepsi Executives, but could be a rumor… lemme know please!

  20. mary King Says:

    I have an unopened set of cans with the display rack and two of the life size r2d2 coolers I want to sell from 1999 make an offer email me at mdking1986@aol.com

  21. William c Lairsey sr Says:

    I have a gold yoga can episode 1 the phantom menace what is it worth and do u want to buy it

  22. I actually have the Mt Dew Gold Yoda can. How much do you think it is worth since there was only 4 made?

  23. To clarify….if it’s an empty sealed can (to go with my Pepsi promo set of empty sealed cans which are pretty darn rare)

  24. I have an unopened winning gold Yoda diet Pepsi can? I was wondering what is worth today (May 4, 2014) and if anyone is interested in buying it? Just let me know if you are interested. Thanks :)

  25. I have an unopened winning gold Yoda diet Pepsi can? I was wondering what is worth today (June 4, 2014) and if anyone is interested in buying it? Just let me know if you are interested. Thanks :)

  26. I have a 1999 YODA gold Pepsi can with the 20.00 check it came with signed by MARFALUMP…. all in the packaging tube from GAGE MarKeTIng…..yoda says……Size matters not. THAT’s why this Jedi Master knows the smallest things can make the biggest differences in this troubled galaxy…is this a good package?

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