NEW YORK—An estimated 80 billion tons of Jar Jar Binks-related merchandise—manufactured in bulk this spring in anticipation of the summer's blockbuster Star Wars prequel—is now available at as much as 70 percent off the regular retail price and could plummet even lower by week's end, according to a report issued Monday by the National Association of Toy & Novelty Retailers.
"Come on down, one and all, and get your special, ultra-rare collectibles featuring everybody's favorite bumbling orange space-frog, the incomparable Jar Jar Binks, surely one of the most enduring and beloved characters in the entire Star Wars pantheon," NATNR spokesman Jonathan Oglivie said. "All across America, Jar Jar action figures, plush dolls, push-up pops, bedspreads, nightlights, play make-up heads, keychains, toothbrushes, mugs, mouse pads, bicycle helmets, TV-dinner trays, T-shirts, pajamas, coloring books, paint-by-number sets, jigsaw puzzles, glow-in-the-dark stickers, videogames, interactive read-along CD-ROM adventures, and pretty much anything else you can possibly imagine are available at low, low prices that anyone in the universe can afford."
Oglivie said the savings are part of a "very special, limited-time offer" available "only until we can somehow clear all this stuff off the shelves." He also noted that the estimated 850 billion cubic feet of cardboard-backed, plastic-wrapped Jar Jar merchandise is available "wherever virtually anything is sold."
Monday's report comes in response to what industry insiders are calling "a shelf-space crisis of unimaginable proportions" that has resulted in "giant piles of Jar Jar detritus as much as several stories high" in parking lots across the nation. Toy stores, gas stations and supermarkets everywhere are choked with items bearing the image of the omnipresent, mischief-making Gungan amphibian.
To deal with the massive overspill of goods, many retailers are offering a "bucket of Jar Jar" deal, in which customers who bring their own trashbag can take away "as much Jar Jar crap as they can carry" for a nominal fee, often one dollar or less.
"Not only is this clearance sale a chance to buy some terrific Star Wars merchandise at a great price," said Ames, IA, ShopKo manager Benjamin Reuss, "but it will also help fulfill the legal requirement that I clear a reasonable pathway to the fire exits before the fire inspector returns next Thursday."
"Let's face it: America is in the grip of a Jar Jar glut that has virtually paralyzed the nation," said sales-industry analyst Richard Januscz. "Almost anywhere you go in this country, there is a life-size stand-up cardboard cutout of Jar Jar Binks staring at you, extending a helpful hand toward the soft-drink dispenser, his grinning face seeming to say, 'Wah-nah so-dah?' He is inescapable. Something must be done immediately."
A spokesman for Lucasfilm said the enormous discounts represent "a fantastic opportunity" for Star Wars fans, noting that Jar Jar is a fun, adorable character who is loved by children of all ages.
"Who doesn't love Jar Jar, with his clumsy, side-splitting antics, adorable pidgin-English speech patterns, and hilarious Muppety voice?" asked Lucasfilm vice-president of licensing Joseph Gaer. "As George Lucas himself has repeatedly stated, the creation of Jar Jar Binks is his single greatest accomplishment in The Phantom Menace, the aspect of the film he's most proud of, because Jar Jar is the first completely digital character ever to appear in a major motion picture. Right?"
"Right?" added Gaer, wiping his brow. "Is anybody with me on this one? Hello?"
With the Jar Jar crisis mounting, the federal government has stepped in, urging citizens to "do their part" by purchasing at least one Jar Jar item. Citizens are also encouraged to stay indoors and use major business-district thoroughfares only if absolutely necessary.
Should the Jar Jar surplus reach disaster levels, the National Guard is poised to begin transporting the accumulated products to special "Emergency Jar Jar Storage Silos" in northern Nevada, where they will be kept until buyers can be found. If significant tonnage remains after these measures have been taken, the Jar Jar items will likely be recycled for use as building materials by Third World nations or, if necessary, as solid fuel.