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Remember Space Jam? It was made back in the mid’90s, a time when the big Hollywood studios were saying “Why not?” a lot. On one of those occasions it said, “Why not make those two commercials where Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny play basketball into a $80 million (roughly $137 million today) animated/live-action hybrid blockbuster?”
So it went, and while critics at the time were mixed, the film was a huge hit at stores across the country, as kids flocked to their local McDonalds for plush toys, and their local Walmart Supercenters for classic plastic Playmates figures of Jordan, the Tune Squad, and the villainous Monstars.
Finally, a follow-up to Space Jam is hitting the screens, with Lebron “King” James himself acting as both star and producer. And with this revival of the franchise comes a merchandising blitz on par with the biggest blockbusters of yore. With classic throwback merch and brand-new collectibles for the modern market, there’s so many ways to “come on and slam”. And nowadays there’ no need to drive to that local Walmart anymore, since they’re all available at Walmart.com. With an eye toward the biggest names in collectibles today, and a look back at the Space Jam merch we all had in ’96, we’ve singled out some of the best collectibles Space Jam: A New Legacy has to offer.
Want to score free shipping on your Space Jam goodies? Make sure you’re signed up for Walmart+. Not yet a member? You can get yourself a free 15-day trial here, and a quick three-question survey will add on an additional two more weeks for a solid month’s use. (And by the way, those without Walmart+ still get free shipping on orders of $35 or more.)
You can’t talk about collectibles without talking about Funko Pop! figurines. It’s hard to believe the now globally dominant figure format began only ten years ago, but these days you can get every pop culture icon you love, from Tupac Shakur to Twin Peaks‘ Laura Palmer, in the pint-sized Funko form. While a number of the characters from Space Jam: A New Legacy have gotten the Funko treatment, we’re singling out fan favorite Lola Bunny, first introduced in the original Space Jam, thanks to her revamped role in the sequel, where she’ll be voiced by Emmy-winner Zendaya!
If, like some of us, you missed out on the April pre-order on the Walmart-exclusive Space Jam: A New Legacy Lebron James Funko Pop! figure, don’t fret. There are other ways to get a Funko-fied King James. In fact, you can do it in a way that gets some of these unique collectibles off the shelf and into your next family’s or friends’ game night.
Funkoverse is a new strategy game from the folks at Funko, which uses mini-figures made in the classic Funko Pop! style as part of a light and fun game that the experts at BoardGameQuest.com called “an excellent entry-level skirmish game that offers some solid replay value”. Previous installments of Funkoverse incorporated characters from the world of Batman, Harry Potter and even The Golden Girls, which puts Bugs and LeBron in pretty eclectic company. So if you’re an avid table-top gamer or are looking for a new way to play after beating the 8-bit homage Space Jam: A New Legacy video game on Xbox Game Pass (with your exclusive Tune Squad controller), this is the way to go.
Shop it: Funko Games POP! Funkoverse: Space Jam: A New Legacy, $29, walmart.com
In the heyday of Happy Meals, all the biggest movies had tie-in toys, but contrary to your memory, those Space Jam plush toys from back in the day didn’t come in the little red box with your burger and fries; they were actually an add-on with the purchase of a chicken sandwich. They also were misshapen and not very pleasing to the eyes.
Thankfully, the team at Melbourne’s Moose Toys have revamped the classic Space Jam plushes, with iconic faves like Taz, Tweety and Daffy along with cartoon LeBron looking like they fell right off the screen and into your own personal toy bin. They even come with a cute “To & From” hangtag, so you can make these Space Jam: A New Legacy figures part of your own pop culture legacy. And best of all, all of these plushes are available at Walmart, no chicken sandwich required.
Shop it: Space Jam: A New Legacy Soft Plush, $8, walmart.com
Whether they’re up against Danny DeVito’s Mr. Swackhammer or Don Cheadle’s Al G. Rhythm, the Tune Squad is going to need all the help they can get, and that includes your four-legged friend. After all, as Air Bud taught us, “Ain’t no rules says a dog can’t play basketball.” If your furry friend likes to play dress up, make sure they’re the coolest pup at the dog park with this official Tune Squad jersey. Its lightweight mesh material doesn’t impede your pet’s mobility, and it’s machine washable, in case the costume inspires your pup to have a little playtime of its own.
Let’s have a moment of total honesty here: Sometimes it’s fun to buy toys for the pets because you can justify that it’s “not for me” while still reliving the rush of those childhood trips to the toy store. So just like how you had that jet black officially licensed Space Jam basketball back in 1996, now you can bring a bit of the Tune Squad’s full-court fun back with these adorable Tune Squad Vinyl Squeaker Balls. At just $7 for a pack of three, these offer a durable and affordable way to bring a bit of pop culture into your pet’s playtime.
Revered among serious collectors for their stunningly detailed replicas of props from storied film franchises, the Noble Collection has recently expanded into the bendable figures format, with their Bendyfigs line recreating characters from Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek and many more.
Now, they’ve brought their meticulous talents to Space Jam: A New Legacy, with figures of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Lola Bunny and of course, LeBron James. These figures are Walmart exclusives, so you’ll want to act fast to score them all.
Shop it: LeBron James BendyFigs 7” Walmart Exclusive, $15, walmart.com
Once you get your fill of Space Jam: A New Legacy, opening on July 16, you and your family may actually want to play some b-ball. Well, there’s only one way to do it. From Spalding, the name in basketball equipment, comes a durable portable hoop that can provide the perfect practice space for your own aspiring ballers. Plus, with an adjustable height that can range from 4.5′ to 6.5′, you can even drop it down and score some easy dunks yourself while no one’s looking. We won’t tell, we promise.
Shop It: Spalding Space Jam 32″ Youth Portable Basketball Hoop, $98, walmart.com
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