AMAZON laughed all the way to the bank on the back of the “Chewbacca mask mum” viral video, according to a consumer website.
Price-tracking data suggests Amazon hiked the price of the toy as the video took off across the globe, in some cases tripling the cost to nearly £60.
Two weeks ago Candace Payne, from Texas, uploaded a video of herself laughing hysterically as she tried on a Star Wars toy mask which made the signature growling noise of Chewbacca.
The clip broke Facebook records with over 155m views and saw Mrs Payne gain celebrity status soon after it was posted on May 19.
According to price tracking website Camel Camel Camel the price of the mask was £22.50 until May 24.
Then – as the video was gaining huge popularity online – it shifted dramatically up by one third of its price to £29.99.
Meanwhile it seems that “third party” companies – selling through Amazon – made an even more brazen attempt to profit from the phenomenon.
Before the viral video began they were selling the masks for £20.
They were seemingly more quick off the mark than Amazon to raise their prices.
On May 20 – as it began to rack up views and grab attention worldwide – their price soared dramatically.
Making ten price changes in just three days, the mask was being sold for a staggering £57.85 at its peak on May 22.
Now – as the phenomenon of the Chewbacca mask video is dying down – the prices have seemingly stabilised at around £30, still substantially more than it was before the video.
And the mask is now described as a “number one bestseller” on the Amazon website.
But many consumers seem unimpressed by the steep hike.
One left a two-star review on May 21, reading: “So annoyed about this product.
“Yesterday it was around £23, but because of the video on social media it has now gone up to around £46 plus £13 postage and packaging.”
Another added a review on May 22.
It read: “The mask is brilliant. Great sound effects and it just makes you laugh.
“Don’t be ripped off though. There’s plenty of shops selling these for £25-£30, the actual price, and not the rip off prices here.”
Amazon were contacted numerous times for a comment, but did not provide one.
The “Chewbacca mum mask” video is now one of the most famous viral phenomenons online.
In it Mrs Payne can be seen trying on the mask in her car – laughing hysterically and saying “I’m such a happy Chewbacca” as the mask makes the sound of the Star Wars character.
Since the video has gone viral Mrs Payne has appeared on James Corden’s late night talk show, and even received a personalised message from Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca in the films.
Amazon was repeatedly asked to comment but had still not provided a statement three days after first being asked.