Grease Week may now be over, but we thought we’d sneak in one final post dedicated to the film in honor of it’s 40th anniversary. Although Grease was never a merchandising juggernaut a la Star Wars, you might be surprised to learn that it spawned a respectable amount of product that let fans take the film home with them when it first hit theaters back in the summer of 1978. We wanted to share with you some of our favorite Grease collectibles today — from traditional products to head-scratchers, we think there’s plenty of items here that are, well, the ones that you want.
The most obvious piece of merchandise from the movie is also the best-selling. The Grease soundtrack has sold over 28,000,000 copies to date and is arguably the most-beloved movie soundtrack of all time. And it’s easy to understand why! Songs like “Summer Nights,” “You’re the One that I Want,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and just about every other track featured in the film still pack a punch…both due to nostalgia and the fact that they are just perfectly crafted tunes. (Be sure to name your favorite song from the movie in this poll).
Topps Grease Trading Cards
Grease was such a phenomenon that it inspired two separate lines of trading cards from the Topps Company. Spanning 132 cards and 22 stickers (not to mention countless sticks of that sweet pink bubblegum) in total, these sets were the perfect way for fans of the film to carry the movie with them everywhere. Unopened boxes of the cards go for a premium on the non-sport cards collectibles market these days, largely due to the film’s enduring status and the fact that it is a cross-generational pop culture staple.
Grease: The Novel
Here’s the weirdest piece of Grease merchandise ever: Ron De Christoforo’s novelization of the film. How does one make a fiction book out of a movie musical? Very awkwardly. The book — which can be found at many used book stores dirt cheap — has the characters speak song lyrics as if they were dialogue, making this a very strange read. (Weirder still is how the book is narrated by second tier T-Bird Sonny, who occasionally waxes melancholy about the perils of fading youth throughout the story). Give this one to the Grease fanatic in your life and check out the impressed/confused looks you get in return!
Grease: The Fotonovel
A far more successful literary effort was Grease: The Fotonovel, which told the story of the film fumetti style using stills incorporated with comic book-esque word balloons. In the pre-VCR days, the Fotonovel industry flourished as it allowed movie fans to relive their favorite flicks anytime and anywhere. This is a publishing idea that needs to make a comeback ASAP because Fotonovels are super cool.
Frenchy’s Grease Scrapbook
Didi Conn is one of the few actors who appeared in both Grease and Grease 2. It is her experiences in the former that she documents in the breezy read Frenchy’s Grease Scrapbook, which is filled with rare photographs that will leave you feeling like an honorary Rydell High graduate. (Now if only she’d release a tell-all about her time doing voiceover work as the futuristic space woman Cupcake in the Fonz and the Happy Days Gang cartoon).
Grease Barbie Doll
There have been several Barbie dolls based on the Grease characters released over the years, with the standout being a “bad girl” version of Sandy from the end of the film. What makes this so great is that the packaging includes a cardboard replica of the Shake Shack from the Rydell High graduation carnival. A womp ba ba loo bah, a womp bah boo!
Grease Hallmark Ornaments
In 2016, Hallmark released a musical ornament of Sandy from the end of Grease that played “You’re the One That I Want.” The following year, they did the same, this time with Danny. The ability to deck your halls with this iconic movie pair is yet another reason why we look forward to the holiday season each year!
Grease Star Car
In 1997, Matchbox released a toy replica of Greased Lightning as part of its “Star Car” line of notable automobiles from movie and television. It won’t beat Craterface at Thunder Road, but it will look amazing on your desk or shelf.
The latest (and dare we say greatest?) pieces of Grease merchandising to be released are Funko! Pop versions of Sandy and Danny. Sandy comes in two varieties, “Sandra Dee” and Carnival Sandy — as seen in the film’s finale. (Spoiler?) Danny comes as his Greaser self and in a Rydell High letterman sweater. All of these measure 3 3/4 inches and come packaged in a collectible window display box. Obviously, they go together…
This is by no means a definitive list of Grease products, just some personal favorites. Name which items you own and love in the comments!
Sunday Funday is a weekly post celebrating the latest and greatest in the world of TV, film, and pop culture collectibles, soundtracks, and apparel.