Confessions of a Star Wars Collector

On a happier note to all that I do, I’d like to start taking the reader through the classic world of vintage Star Wars toys, posters, and memorabilia. I was once a completist and had a huge collection.  Though much has been sold off, I photographed every piece.

I discovered many variations and was known in California as one of the most anal of the collectors during the first phase of collectible glutting– 1995 -2000. Because of my unusual name I was always known by my nickname of David. “Star Wars Dave.”

This is the true, fun hobby. It’s a fun adventure film series. It took us all by surprise back in 1977 and launched us into a galaxy long ago and far away. It was to be the new Flash Gordon and we awaited the next installments. It ushered in Hollywood’s epic space genre which dominated the box office for years to come. We grew up with Battlestar Galactica, Black Hole, Buck Rogers, even John Boy Walton did a Roger Corman space adventure. Space was in, and Star Wars started it all.

It’s well-known by antique and collectible people that there is something called the “20 year turn around.” Every 20 years people seem to turn nostalgic for the period 20 years before, especially 20 years after childhood. In the 1990s the first generation, like me, waxed nostalgic and couldn’t believe Star Wars was going to be 20 years old soon.

The old action figures we had played with were gone. The many sequels to Star Wars we ourselves had created  were only memories, written by kids playing with Kenner’s toy line. We started buying them back. We started searching for them in original packaging when we heard some had survived unopened.

They began clocking up in value like stocks, with trader magazines each month giving us pricing changes.

But for the purist, like me, the fun part was the sentimentality. The figures reminded us of Kodak days in the 1970s, warm Christmases and lots of fun. Now that we had money, it became a fun hobby, and often a ruthless one.

Toys we once played with were carefully examined in gloved hands. Each variation was noted. Things that meant nothing to us as kids became a reason for a price hike. Taiwanese issued figures verses Hong Kong issued figures. Green guns verses regular blue or black guns. I discovered that green guns were issued with all 12-Back figures and were not unique to Chewbacca in the Early Bird Kit. Sounds weird, huh? You’ll get used to the lingo.

 

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