Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Vintage Saga (of Luke’s Changing Hair Color)

Shifting shades: brown, yellow and off-white haired Luke prototypes from Kenner
Ron writes:

What color is Luke Skywalker's hair? If you answered "blonde," well, congratulations! You've evidently seen Star Wars. Did you also notice that Darth Vader wears black? But as guest blogger Ben Sheehan points out below, recognizing a hair tonality known as "blonde" is one thing, and translating into toy terms is quite another. Here's Ben with the details.



Ben writes:

Ever wondered why Luke Skywalker seemed to suffer a follicle related identity crisis at Kenner? You’re not alone.

One question has vexed Star Wars collectors for decades: namely, why did Luke Skywalker’s hair color mysteriously shift from yellow to brown (and every shade in-between), during the vintage Star Wars era?

On 12 backs in 1978, Luke’s noggin was yellow. On ESB 41 cardbacks, it was dark brown. Soon it was orange ­– then light brown; then dark brown, and yellow again. Lukes with different colored hair appeared on the same ROTJ blister card back at retail in 1983 – confusing children, and then baffling adult collectors some 40 years later.

Luke Skywalker Original, Bespin, Jedi and Stormtrooper have all suffered from the same, near rainbow-haired phenomenon. Even prototypes of Luke seem to have been dressed at entirely different salons, with multiple hair colors existing for the 4 versions (X-Wing, Poncho and Hoth all wore head gear) during the pre-production stage.

Ask most Kenner employees why Luke’s hair color kept changing (and about most any other figure variation), and they’ll say that they have no idea, or hadn’t even noticed.

Some will even ask, "why would you care?"

One figure, a galaxy of hair tones (image courtesy of starwarsfigurevariations.com)

"People ask me that question all the time," says Jim Swearingen, the designer who had the most influence on the first series of Star Wars figures at Kenner in 1977, "but I don’t know the answer."

Swearingen’s response led me to wonder more and more, how an even-keeled appearance for the key figure in Kenner’s Star Wars line could seemingly be so unimportant that it wasn’t ever noticed?

An answer that made sense slowly revealed itself during research for a fairly comprehensive book I’m writing on vintage Star Wars toys (the project is long overdue – my battle with four years of Kenner interviews and accumulated research materials, along with the quest for pictures, is proving akin to lopping heads off a hydra).

I’m lucky enough to have been embedded in the bones of Kenner’s Star Wars team for 3 or 4 years now, and have 14 years of interactions with former employees to draw on prior to the experience. This includes living in Kenner people’s houses, discussing action figures with them over work projects, doing everything from mowing their lawns to fixing their roofs while talking silicone molds, drafting and sales strategies. I’ve been socializing, planning events, sharing drunken anecdotes and generally enquiring about all aspects of the Star Wars line in more settings than this post allows. As a consequence, I’ve likely asked upwards of 50 people about Luke’s hair color.

As it turns out, different designers at Kenner actually had different ideas of what Luke’s hair color should look like – which led to the different shades of brown, orange and yellow on Luke’s noggin as each new Luke character was created.

But there is even more to it than this simple explanation – the culprit is also paint itself.

Blonde hair is an accumulation of different colors – not a single color that Kenner could achieve using the cell-vinyl paint they applied to the paintmasters, that were sent to the orient as instruction during the 1970s and ‘80s (particularly on a toy lines such as Star Wars, where the number of paint applications was limited to keep the retail price point down).

Painting was such an expense during Kenner’s Star Wars production, that stickers were used on vehicles as a cost cutting measure almost exclusively, right up until later vehicles such as the A and Y-Wing fighters, which incorporated a mixture of paint and stickers to provide detail and decoration.

There were not enough resources to apply multiple colors to Luke’s head, in order to achieve a close to perfect blonde.

The vagaries of manufacturing at factories in the Orient circa 1977-84 further compounded the issue. Kenner would send different versions of Luke’s hair over as designers dictated new shades for different iterations of Luke – and then these versions would sometimes each be altered, and further lost in translation during production.

Sometimes Orient vendors such as Smile and Kadar were less spot on than they should have been, which produced obvious variation in Luke’s hair. No-one really knew where any of them were getting their pigments or paints, so this was ignored, presumably in an effort to ensure that Luke made it to retailers on time.

So what does this ultimately mean to collectors? Very little, but then again, also maybe a lot. While it would be neater to attribute Luke’s chameleon follicles (and so many other details from the Star Wars line) to some deeply technical master plan inside Kenner, chalk it down instead to the small toy company from Ohio growing exponentially, while constantly redefining its manufacturing processes to accommodate and then grow its new 3 ¾" action figure scale (under significant deadline related, time pressure no less).

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

'Chive Cast 90 - Solo Vintage Winners & Losers

Skye and Steve analyze and review Solo: A Star Wars Story by breaking down which vintage Star Wars collectibles will benefit from the movie and which ones will suffer from it. From Snoopies to Troopies, Chewie to Han and from 3PO to Gonk, we cover it all in our now traditional Top 10 Winners and Losers list. How can a new movie impact the collectibility and desirability of 40 year-old toys? Listen to find out our take on the 90th 'Chive cast Vintage Pod: A Podcast Story, Anthology. 


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Steve's Star Wars at the Movies Review for Solo

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
01:32 – Opening Thoughts on Solo
04:43 – Skye’s Rant Against Slate, NPR, Cinemasins, Red Letter Media Style Film Criticism
11:53 – #10 LOSER (B-Wing Pilot)
12:54 – #10 WINNER (Bossk)
16:27 – #9 WINNER (Death Star Droid)
18:50 – #9 LOSER (Rancor)
20:08 – #8 WINNER (Falcon)
21:59 – Steve’s Soundtrack Rant Against Re-used Music Cues
25:57 – #8 LOSER (Non-SW Han Solo Figures)
30:40 – #7 LOSER and WINNER (X-Wings and TIE Bombers)
32:18 – #6 WINNERS (Imperial Commander and AT-AT Commander)
37:12 – Steve’s Rant Against Lawrence Kasdan’s Screenwriting
41:19 – #6 and #5 LOSERS (Snoopies and Troopies)
43:39 – #5 WINNER (Han’s Blaster)
47:52 – What about the Bandolier?
49:40 – #4 WINNER (???  A Droid ???)
54:03 – #3 WINNER and LOSER (??? Head Trouble ???)
59:38 – #2 LOSER  (??? Skye is probably wrong about this ???)
01:01:22 – #2 and # 1 WINNER (??? Lando and Chewie, but which order ???)
01:04:09 – #1.5 WINNER (Bantam Books)
01:20:18 – #1 LOSERS (Neal Scanlan MUST Be Stopped)
01:21:43 – Eat at Denny’s… Pray for Death

Monday, June 4, 2018

Star Wars Community Digest Issue #11

Yehuda and Steve write:

 Welcome to the latest issue of Star Wars Community Digest, your place to get summaries about what's going on in the Star Wars collecting community across all of the forums and Facebook groups. We will present the news and current events each week, so that you don't miss anything. Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups though, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations. But don't worry, it's free and almost instantaneous.

Participating Groups and Forums:
Star Wars Displays and Advertising
Star Wars Records and Tapes
Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group (A New Hope 1977-79)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting Group 1980-1982
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Vintage Collecting Group 1983 - 1985
Star Wars: POTF (Last 17) Vintage Collecting Group 1985
Star Wars: The "Dark Times" Collecting Group (1985-95, Droids & Ewoks, etc)
Jabba's Court - Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group 1977 - 1988
The Imperial Commissary - 1977-1985 Vintage Star Wars Toys, Buy Sell Trade
Power Of The Force Coins
Star Wars bootleg and knockoff collectors
Star Wars Micro Machines and Action Fleet Collecting Group
vintage star wars action figures
The RebelScum vintage forum
Jawa's Outpost (UK and EIRE Star Wars trading group)
Echo Base Vintage Star Wars Trade/Sell/Buy
The Prototype Exchange
The Star Wars Traveler: filming locations and road trips for Star Wars fans
La Guerre des Etoiles Collectors (vintage Star Wars items with French language on them)

If you are an administrator or moderator and would like your community to be a part of this feature, please let us know. We are always happy to include additional groups/forums in our summaries, but be aware that not every group can be featured every week.


In any case, lets get right down to it and get everyone caught up to date on what they may have missed last week...



Exciting Archive Updates Underway


Senior editor and creator of the Star Wars Collectors Archive Gus Lopez has announced that he will be adding new entries to the Archive as well as updating older entries based on his "Daily Grail" series on social media. Several new entries will be added weekly and will include original movie props, vintage toy prototypes and other one-of-a-kind pieces from all aspects of the Star Wars galaxy. Any collector will not be disappointed by each of these iconic pieces, so be certain not to miss them in the SWCA's "What's New" section!

Here are the first new entries:

5/27/18:
1. Sonic Controlled Landspeeder Engineering Drawing
2. Kenner Coca-Cola Poster
3. Paploo Coin Prototypes
4. Storyboard Artwork for Star Wars Commercial
5. Phil Tippett Star Wars Chess Piece Art

5/20/18:
New:
1. Luke Endor Animatics Action Figure
2. R2-D2 Dome Master
3. Emperor’s Contact Lenses
4. Hoth Matte Painting
5. Tusken Raider Glove
6. Fly Creature Model
7. Coca-Cola Poster from Japan

Updates:
1. Power of the Force Action Figure Store Display
2. Blue Harvest Placard Sign
3. Empire Strikes Back Parka
4. Droids Governor Koong Card Artwork

5/13/18:
1. Tusken Raider Mask
2. Darth Vader Meditation Chamber Wood Pattern
3. Yam Nose Mask
4. TV Dinner Box (Sundown Supper)
5. Bespin Security Guard Costume
6. Canadian Coca-Cola Bottle 6-Pack
7. Diecast X-Wing Pattern
8. Gargoyle from Jabba's Throne
9. Princess Leia Coin Prototypes
10. Y-Wing Engineering Drawing


Toothpaste and Toys



Ross Barr shares pictures of a very rare Spanish Return of the Jedi Colgate toothpaste premium.
For a very limited time, Colgate toothpaste and PBP ( the Spanish sub-licensee of Kenner toys in Spain) offered a free Star Wars action figure packaged with each tube of toothpaste. This example with an AT-AT Driver was found by a collector in Madrid is only the second example known to have survived.

The original thread in the Imperial Commissary can be found here:
ROTJ Colgate AT-AT Driver

Further reading:
Colgate ROTJ Promotions
Steve Sansweet Discusses ROTJ Colgate Promo


A Limelight Worth a Look: Repurposing a Store Display


Derek Torc McLean cleverly uses a modern Star Wars DVD store display to feature his vintage carded Lobot focus. This approach is both visually appealing for the vintage pieces as well as for the otherwise clumsy appearing empty store display.

The original thread in the Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting can be found here: Repurposed TFA Store Display


BROYEUR A REBUTS


Palitoy and many International Kenner sub-licensees produced a well appreciated and inexpensive pressboard Death Star Play Centre designed for the 3.75 inch figures. These sets were printed in different countries and have quirky variations. Mike Freeman notes one of these variations on the trash compactor signage of his Canadian Death Star which is discussed on this thread in La Guerre des Etoile (Star Wars) Collectors Group.

Original thread:
Bilingual Trash Compactor Signage

Further reading on the Archive:
The Palitoy Death Star: Ingenuity + Frugality = Greatness


Unproduced Luke Skywalker Wrist Communicator Prototype Found


Collector Barry Chalmers uncovers the prototype for an unproduced "Luke Skywalker wrist Communicator" toy concept. The prototype is then pieced back together based on previously found concept art for the piece.

The original thread in the Prototype Exchange Group can be found here:
Unproduced Wrist Communicator


A Limelight Worth a Look: Power Droid Proofs



Collector Phidias Barrios shares his Power droid focus including the Original photo art used to create the cardback in this thread in the 12 Back Group:
Power Droid 2D Run

Further reading on the Archive:
Power Droid Early Prototype
Power Droid Painted First Shot
Star Wars 20-Back (Boba Fett Offer) Power Droid Proof Card
Empire Strikes Back 31-Back Power Droid Proof Card
Empire Strikes Back 41-Back (Survival Kit Offer) Power Droid Proof Card
Revenge of the Jedi 48-Back Power Droid Proof Card
Power of the Force 92-Back Power Droid Proof Card


Take the AT-AT to Midtown 


Collector Chuck Dillon shares pictures of a toy AT-AT  redesigned by New York City based pop-artist Morgan Phillips (also known as the Sucklord ) with a vintage New York City Subway car motif. The graffiti facade design seems surprisingly well suited for the Imperial war vehicle.

The original thread on the Imperial Commissary can be found here:
Sucklord AT-AT

Further reading:
http://www.suckadelic.com
The Sucklord - Wikipedia
The Suckadelic Era


Dixie Cup Dagobah Box Art



Collector Eric Daniel Vandever shares a printers proof of the artwork for the Dagobah scene printed on many boxes of Dixie cups in this thread in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group.

Original thread:
Dagobah Dixie Cup Art Proof

Further reading on the Archive:
Uncut Dixie Cup Sheet


Is that Yupi Supposed to be Leia?


The elusive line of Star Wars figures manufactured by the Yupi company in Colombia were produced from original miniature character sculpts which were based on the Kenner line of 3.75 inch action figures. The Princess Leia figure is one of a few notable exceptions which does not have any resemblance to the Kenner figure, or to the character for that matter. This point is discussed by the Echo Base Vintage Variants Group in this thread.

Original thread:
Yupi Leia

Further reading on the Archive:
Productas Yupi Snack Food Figure Premiums from Colombia


The Star Wars Collector Issue #5: June 1994


Collector Martin Thurn shares issue #5 of The Star Wars Collector. Originally released in June of 1994, this issue includes an interview with the ever-present Steve Sansweet, including a discussion of his appearances on QVC.

The original thread in the Dark Times Group can be found here:
Star Wars Collector Issue 5 (June 1994)


Big Brass Belt Buckles


The big brass belt buckle craze of the 1970s left the Star Wars fan many choices of shiny imagery to adorn their Levi’s. Basic Tool & Supply was one of the very early licensed manufacturers of Star Wars belt buckles. They had 6 original designs forged from solid brass.The designs were very popular and were also produced in cheaper brass plated and painted versions by other belt buckle manufacturers, including The Leather Shop and Lee. Collector and author Pete Vilmur shares his Basic Tool & Supply store display for the solid brass buckles accompanied by 5 of the buckles.

The original thread in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group can be found here:
Belt Buckle Display

Further reading on the Archive:
Belts & Buckles in the Archive Database


We Shall Double Our Efforts!


In 1979 Kenner produced a multiple level wedge shaped Death Star Space Station to be used with their 3.75 inch line of action figures. The set includes multiple play environments designed to recreate action scenes from the film. Collector Andrew Solomon assembled 5 consecutive Death Star Space Stations resulting in an impressive semicircular display. As it turns out, 10 space stations would create a full circle. The Emperor would be pleased.

The original thread in the Imperial Commissary can be found here:
5 Death Stars Assembled

Further reading on the Archive:
Kenner Death Star Space Station


A Limelight Worth a Look: Droids and Ewoks Coins



Collector Ryan Lehmkuhl assembled a complete set of non-anodized aluminum prototype coins for the Droids and Ewoks lines including examples for all of the unproduced figures from the never released second waves. Ryan shares pictures of this impressive accomplishment in this thread in Power of the Force Coins Group.

Original thread:
Droids and Ewoks Coin Collection

Further reading on the Archive:
Unproduced Droids and Ewoks
The Comprehensive Guide to POTF, Droids, and Ewoks Coins


Japanese Vending Machine Display


Collector Rob David shares a picture of a very rare Japanese vending machine display for Keshigomu and Gaphacon toys. Included on the display are some rare variations of Keshi.

The original thread in the 12 Backs Group can be found here:
Keshigomu Toys


Bootleg Action Figure Cases


The unprecedented success of the Kenner Star Wars action figure line gave rise to many companies trying to capitalize on the phenomenon. One item that was easy for secondary companies to manufacture at low cost were storage cases for the action figures. Several companies manufactured action figure cases similar to the licensed Kenner action figure cases with cheaper quality materials at a lower price point. Despite their inferior quality, the bootleg cases feature unique and interesting cover art which give them a kitschy quality. Collector Alan Williams rediscovers one of these knockoff cases and discusses it on the Imperial Commissary.

Original thread:
Star World Figure Case

Further reading on the Archive:
Storage On the Cheap: Making a Case for Unlicensed Carrying Cases


Our Star Wars Community Digest Time Capsule Thread for this Issue:
The Mysterious Luke in Robes



As prototype toy  material was uncovered in Cincinnati -- the Hometown of Kenner Toys in the late 90’s -- unproduced conceptual prototype  toys were discovered along with production prototype pieces. These conceptual pieces often had no known provenance and their individual roles in the Star Wars toy production story remained a mystery open to conjecture.

Arguably the most infamous unknown conceptual piece found was dubbed the “Luke in Robes” figure. The Luke figure was found only in hardcopy form, made from hand poured resin and primed in a grey color. Its ultimate final appearance and color scheme remained a mystery. Opinions varied as to the figures role in the toy line. Many collectors thought that the figure may have been a proposed new Power of the Force figure which was never released.

On November 5th, 2006 this long standing hobby mystery was solved on the Rebelscum forums. Sit back and enjoy the fun read as you find the answer:

Luke in Robes discovery?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Golden Grail: The ESB 45 Back Removable Limbs C-3PO


Steve writes:

 Guest blogger and CreatureCantina.com Editor Bill Cable is here to recap his recent significant find of a production carded figure long thought to have never existed: the 45 Back C-3PO (Removable Limbs).



Bill writes:

On Monday April 9th, 2018 the history of Vintage Star Wars collecting was rewritten. An Empire Strikes Back 45-back C-3PO with Removable Limbs appeared on eBay. It's that particular figure's American debut cardback. Prior to April 9th, 2018, it was believed by EVERYONE not to exist.



Why is this ESB45 Removable Limbs C-3PO Kenner MOC figure significant? Well, a bit of history... When I began my C-3PO collecting focus back in 1999, with the goal of picking up 3PO on each different Vintage cardback, the ESB45 was already known not to be common. It was highly sought by debut cardback collectors in particular. No stone was left unturned in the quest to find one. By Star Wars Celebration II in 2002, it was essentially accepted not to exist. That belief was so solid that I was over-the-moon elated to pick up two ESB45 proof cards, as proofs were the only known examples of the Display Arena offer on a 3PO cardback (even though as proofs go, they were pretty common).



Prior to this arriving on eBay, the only two examples of a U.S. Kenner production ESB45 3PO existed in the form of open cardbacks, which were purchased in Peru and distributed by the Basa company. The cardbacks are straight standard Kenner, and the bubbles were removed by the kids who bought them (I'm friends with one of them). They have a small Basa sticker on the upper-left corner. And nobody knows why the only ESB45 3POs ever to turn up turned up in Peru. Complete mystery. All we can do is speculate.


That this figure did not exist was a given in the hobby. It was so thoroughly understood not to be that everyone stopped looking for one. Even when stuff like the SW21-back Stormtrooper was discovered, people still wouldn't go so far as to speculate that an ESB45 3PO might also exist. If not one cardback had popped up after 10 years of people searching relentlessly for one, then everyone concluded it must not be out there. They must have all been shipped to Peru for whatever reason. That was the belief until this figure appeared.


The auction seller picked up this figure at a Hong Kong Vintage toy shop. And that's all we know about where it came from. As the figure was manufactured at the Smile factory in Hong Kong (as indicated by the small 'S' under the proof-of-purchase), we can speculate that it never left that country until it was sold on eBay. The Basa cardbacks feature the same 'S' factory code, and are identical in every way to this ESB45.



UPDATE:

It was 35 years before the first example of a Kenner ESB45 C-3PO with Removable Limbs was confirmed to exist.  Unbelievably, a second example popped up on eBay less than a week later...


This example was also sold out of Hong Kong. It is in similar condition, but lacks the large black X which was on the bubble of the first. The auction was listed with the same lack of fanfare as the first ESB45 C-3PO. But this time it did not escape notice.


The seller for the second auction reported that he pulled it out of his warehouse. From the sound of his response, he operates an antique toy shop, and he just happened upon some Star Wars toys that he's stored in a corner. This suggests perhaps even more rare figures could soon be uncovered!!





Stay tuned for an upcoming Blog Log Pod from the 'Chive Cast that delves deeper into this story, and be sure to check out Bill's full articles on this remarkable find over on his site CreatureCantina.com:


Monday, May 7, 2018

Star Wars Community Digest Issue #10


Tommy and Yehuda write:

 Welcome to the latest issue of Star Wars Community Digest, your place to get summaries about what's going on in the Star Wars collecting community across all of the forums and Facebook groups. We will present the news and current events each week, so that you don't miss anything. Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups though, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations. But don't worry, it's free and almost instantaneous.

Participating Groups and Forums:
Star Wars Displays and Advertising
Star Wars Records and Tapes
Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group (A New Hope 1977-79)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting Group 1980-1982
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Vintage Collecting Group 1983 - 1985
Star Wars: POTF (Last 17) Vintage Collecting Group 1985
Star Wars: The "Dark Times" Collecting Group (1985-95, Droids & Ewoks, etc)
Jabba's Court - Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group 1977 - 1988
The Imperial Commissary - 1977-1985 Vintage Star Wars Toys, Buy Sell Trade
Power Of The Force Coins
Star Wars bootleg and knockoff collectors
Star Wars Micro Machines and Action Fleet Collecting Group
vintage star wars action figures
The RebelScum vintage forum
Jawa's Outpost (UK and EIRE Star Wars trading group)
Echo Base Vintage Star Wars Trade/Sell/Buy
The Prototype Exchange
The Star Wars Traveler: filming locations and road trips for Star Wars fans
La Guerre des Etoiles Collectors (vintage Star Wars items with French language on them)

If you are an administrator or moderator and would like your community to be a part of this feature, please let us know. We are always happy to include additional groups/forums in our summaries, but be aware that not every group can be featured every week.


In any case, lets get right down to it and get everyone caught up to date on what they may have missed last week...



Disco Ben and Vader


Star Wars vintage bootleg ceramics continue to intrigue with their unintended satirical sculpting of Star Wars characters. Richard Rich reaches out to the community for information on what appears to be a fist bumping disco themed maquette lamp. Join the conversation in the Star Wars Bootleg and Knock Off Collectors Group

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:


Simpler Store Displays 


Store displays are designed to have eye-catching appeal and are frequently highlighted in collections due to their dramatic appearance. Collectors discuss the simpler store displays, their collectibility, and their ability to enhance a collection in this thread in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:


Snap!! 


A collector accidentally breaks off the peg from a figure stand which remains jammed in the figure's foot-hole. The community at Jabba's Court offers several possible methods to remove the peg from the figure without causing damage to the figure. 

The full thread can be found here:


Podcasts


While the Star Wars Community Digest is geared mostly to text-based threads and sources of information, we do suggest that all collectors become familiar with collecting podcasts as well. There are a number of really good vintage-themed podcasts which can help both newer and long-time collectors learn more about collecting and stay up to date on the current events in the hobby. In this thread from the 12 Back Group, the community discusses the topic and identifies their favorite podcasts.

The full thread can be found here:
Good Vintage Podcasts?


A U.S. Kenner ESB45 C-3PO with Removable Limbs Finally Turns Up!


For many years, the community (and especially C-3PO aficionado Bill Cable) has been under the assumption that no Removable Limbs 3POs were released on ESB45-back cards. Despite years of searching, no examples had ever turned up and the figure was thought to have been unreleased on that cardback...but then Bill randomly found one on eBay, of all places! He details the whole story in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back Group (and on his own site, CreatureCantina.com).

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:
Creature Cantina: Epic Story


One Display to Ruler Them All!


There are few things as beloved in this hobby as the line of Star Wars-themed stationary and school supplies released by Helix in the UK. As areas of collecting go, it's one of the hottest right now, to say nothing of how difficult many of those products are to track down. Which makes this store display for Helix rulers which was limelighted in the Displays and Advertising Group all the most awesome to see!

The full thread can be found here:
Helix Ruler Display

Further reading on the Archive:
Helix items listed in the Archive Database

A Fourth Headman


After many years of searching, collector Paul Chu unearths the 4th known carded UZAY Headman. Paul shares the international journey on his discovery of one of rarest and most coveted Star Wars Bootleg figures.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:


Behind the Scenes Swag


Lucasfilm crew as well as Kenner employees often received exclusive gifts for work on particular projects or for years of service. Collectors discuss this chapter of Star Wars collecting and limelight many exclusive behind the scenes swag in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back group. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:


A Limelight Worth a Look: Carded Boba Fetts


Chris Eddleman shares a picture of his complete run of carded Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett figures with different mail-away offers, in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back group.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:


It's All Greek to ESB Read Alongs


Sometimes, the coolest items around are the foreign (to the US, at least) releases of vintage items. They're usually MUCH harder to find, since they were often released in significantly smaller quantities, and it's also really cool to see familiar logos in different languages. Such is the case here in this thread from the Star Wars Records and Tapes group. While the standard English language version of the ESB Read Along isn't likely to excite too many people, here we see a super rare Greek language version turn up!

The full thread can be found here:
ESB Greek Read Along

Further reading on the Archive:

From the Furthest Reaches of the Galaxy: Meiji Seika Display


Meiji Seika, a Japanese food company, produced Star Wars themed candies accompanied with small flexible plastic figures and collectors cards. Similar types of small figures were produced in Japan by other companies as well. Collectively they are referred to as Keshigomu or Keshi figures. In this thread in the Displays and Advertising Group, Gus Lopez shares pictures of a very rare vintage store display which illustrates the candy and toys and is accompanied with classic Star Wars imagery. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:


Glue or Goo


A collector shares his concerns about what appears to be glue on the wrists of his large size Boba-Fett action figure. The Imperial Commissary group discusses the reason for the gluey appearance, which turns out to be a form of plastic degradation common with large size action figures. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:


A Limelight Worth a Look: General Mills Card Set and Mailer Wallet


Paul Morrison shares pictures to the 12 Back Group of his General Mills Cereal Star Wars 18 card set accompanied by a Star Wars-emblazoned wallet designed to hold and display the cards. The rarely seen wallet was only available as a mail away offer from General Mills.


Further reading on the Archive:


Another Case of Customs Being Sold as Prototypes


An administrator of the Empire Strikes Back group warns the community about an eBay seller offering multiple custom pieces as pre-production pieces accompanied with false provenance.

The full thread can be found here:


An Original Toys R Us/Early Bird Store Receipt is Found 


Rob Wallace recently bought an original Early Bird envelope which was accompanied by the original Store receipt. Rob shares pictures of this rare piece of ephemera with the Star Wars 12 Back Group, complete with an image of Geoffrey the Giraffe.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:


Pine Sol Display


Whenever the topic of odd licensed Star Wars products is raised, my personal favorite to mention is the vintage promotion from Pine Sol. While one doesn't typically associate floor cleaner with a galaxy far, far away, the company did offer a mail-away for Star Wars flying disks. While the frisbees are hard enough to find, and unopened bottles of the cleaner which featured the promotion are even tougher, I don't think I've ever seen one of the store displays!

The full thread can be found in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising group here:
Pine Sol Shelftalker Display

Revenge of the Jedi Proof Cards Mislabeled as Cardbacks in Recent Auctions 


It appears as if several lucky collectors in the Return of the Jedi Group were able to buy proof cards way below market value due to the poor labeling on several recent eBay auctions. Hopefully they arrive safely and can be authenticated. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:


Record Number of Porgs


As part of this year's Record Store Day (a promotion to encourage people to visit local record retailers), a special album was released featuring music from The Last Jedi (two tracks), but the record itself was in the shape of a Porg. The promotion was limited to 3,500 copies and was only available at certain record stores. In this thread from the Star Wars Records and Tapes group, collectors spread news about the exclusive.

The full thread can be found here:
Porg Records

Further reading:
Who Else Found the Porg LP?


Our Star Wars Community Digest Time Capsule Thread for this Issue:

"I'd say that debasing themselves this way is a fair indication that Lucas' interest in
the Star Wars saga is low."

While some fans have accused LFL/Disney of destroying their childhoods with The Last Jedi, it is perhaps interesting to remember that Lucas has a long history of destroying childhoods, originally in real-time, rather than retroactively 40 years later.

In 1985, Star Wars was still beloved but obviously on the way out. Fans could feel it. Power of the Force figures were appearing at retail and weren't exactly flying off the shelves. Return of the Jedi had been in theaters for two years, and at that point, if you hadn't seen it, you weren't going to. And even if you had seen it, there was a good chance you didn't like it overly much (or if you did, you weren't posting about it online). Star Wars conversation finally had its own home on ARPANET, in the dedicated net.movies.sw newsgroup, but even that would only last until July of 1985 (the group was eliminated because, according to their reasoning at the time: "There seems little reason to support this group until a new Star Wars epic comes out (years), and we can recreate the group at that time, should the net last so long.") Yes, Star Wars was on its last legs, walking off into the sunset like every space western hero should.

More importantly to some people though, the franchise hadn't "sold out."  Yes, there had been the Holiday Special, but since this was the days before bootleg tapes of that were accessible to fans (in fact, this era pre-dates most home video, period), people generally ignored that. Star Wars was still pure. Commercialized more extensively than anything since Mickey Mouse, but nobody paid attention to that either. Star Wars was something truly special...except for the Ewoks. People posting online in the 80s generally hated them beyond all reason, because THEY RUINED RETURN OF THE JEDI!

*ahem*


Nerd rage in the fandom was at one of its highest points ever. Star Wars fans were being ostracized by the other sci-fi newsgroups, because Star Wars wasn't *real* science fiction. It was too childish. As evidenced by the Ewoks, which RUINED CHILDHOODS AND THE FRANCHISE! (or so the thinking seems to have been at the time).

Which is why it should probably come as no surprise that news of the Droids and Ewoks cartoons wasn't exactly greeted with enthusiasm from the online world. Most of the people posting in newsgroups in the 80s were older fans, who considered ROTJ for children. These were fans posting from universities and military bases, installations which had access to the very expensive computer equipment required to access the internet during that era. These were fans who liked ANH and ESB, but ROTJ was seen as something ridiculous which would probably never catch on. To many of the fans online in the 80s, it was probably for the best that the Trilogy was over and Lucas was taking a break from the saga. And as such, they weren't immediately sold on the idea of the galaxy far, far away coming to Saturday morning cartoon lineups on TVs closer to home. In fact, they were basically never sold on the idea at all. It seems to have been taken as either a horrifying joke, proof that Star Wars was done, or that Star Wars had never been anything special to begin with. Star Wars was for adults, not children!

This would be the first of many times that LFL ruined these people's childhoods.

Still, if you had signed onto ARPANET (or that young upstart Usenet) in Spring and Summer of 1985, these are examples of the kinds of conversations you could have taken part in. Spending your days cracking jokes about how nothing could be worse than Star Wars cartoon shows.

Star Wars Cartoon Series

Ewoks and Nutrasweet