Thursday, March 22, 2007

May The Postage Be With You

George Lucas never seems to miss an opportunity to further merchandise the Star Wars franchise. And now the brand has been expanded to include postage stamps, and mail receptacles designed to resemble R2-D2.


Did You Know Androids Could Eat Mail?

WASHINGTON, March 21 — Trustworthy public servant, loyal friend, computer whiz and especially handy to have around when the starship is damaged during a mission — that’s R2-D2, the endearing android of “Star Wars” fame. Now R2-D2 has been enlisted for another task: collecting mail for the Postal Service.

In collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., which owns the copyright to the character, the post office has transformed 400 of its 280,000 blue collection boxes in 200 cities into R2-D2 look-alikes.

Those boxes, made to appear like the droid by a covering of adhesive wrap, are intended to generate buzz for the sale of a first-class commemorative stamp coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the release of “Star Wars.” The sale date will be announced at the March 28 unveiling of the design for the stamp, or stamps (the Postal Service is being coy about that point).

Although “we do all different kinds of promotions pretty routinely,” said Rod DeVar, the Postal Service’s advertising and promotions manager, this is the first time the agency’s collection boxes have been altered for one. The temporary boxes are also marked with a Web address about the promotion,

Fans may be delighted, but I suspect that the swashbuckling Han Solo would be terribly troubled.


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