A regularly updated blog about my vintage Kenner Star Wars toy collection. Some stuff that I've recently acquired; some stuff that I've had since I was a kid. Some rare, some common, but all sharing the warmth, charm and character of the "first generation" of Star Wars toys - the ones we played with as kids in the late '70s and early '80s.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Grubee's Star Wars Tumblers

Some flea market finds to post today... four (two sets of two each) collectible tumblers and a very nice Luke ("farmboy").

I never thought I'd find these tumblers but never say never! They were giveaways produced for a Winnipeg burger joint called "Grubee's".

Grubee's was one of the many restaurant creations of Oscar Grubert, a Jewish kid from the tough North End of the city who grew up to be a lawyer and later, restaurant entrepreneur extraordinaire. For any Manitobans who remember the '70s, Grubert is the reason you might know Kentucky Fried Chicken as "Champs", for it was Grubert who brought the KFC brand to Manitoba as "Champ's Chicken".
Grubert was also the man behind such well-known local eateries as Mama Trossi's, Thomas Button's, G. Willaker's, and of course Mother Tucker's Food Experience. He also dabbled in nightclubs (Strawberries and Blue Jeans Cabaret) and concert promotion. Quite the impresario!

Grubee's was a burger joint as noted in the contemporary newspaper ad shown above. Apparently there were five locations but none of my long-time resident Winnipeg buddies can remember them. However, a co-worker of my wife's remembers being taken there on a date, and that would've been in the early '80s. But there haven't been any Grubee's around here for a long time... a long time :-)

Anyway, the cups are certainly rare finds and it's tough even to find pictures of them on the Internet... even the vaunted Star Wars Collectors Archive, while maintaining an entry for the items, doesn't host any pics. I'll send these to them and perhaps they'll make it online.

In any event, I feel pretty fortunate to have found two sets in near-mint condition for a very fair price, and a really nice Luke as well. If you want to read more about the remarkable Oscar Grubert, his obituary is here.

EDIT: After appearing on The Vintage Rebellion podcast, I was contacted by a collector who noted that the illustrations on the cups were also used in Canada by Coca-Cola for marketing their bottle cap promotion. The illustrations (in colour) appeared on the associated bottle neck hanger, counter-top promo piece, and poster. Cheers to Jonathan M. for that information. I also understand that he was the person who originally scanned the ad above and put it on the Internet, so thanks for that too!


  1. These are really cool. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it GI. I count myself lucky to have been able to find TWO sets!

  3. I have these cups as well. There was a Grubees location on Portage avenue between Smith and Garry streets. I was a regular there and remember the place most fondly as thats where I got my set of cups.