Thursday, February 22, 2018

'Chive Cast 88 - Commando Love

Love reigns supreme over the 'Chive Cast when Skye and Steve host a round table of Rebel Commando connoisseurs comprised of Chris "What's in the" Botkins, Stephen "Sward" Ward, and Chris "Special" Leddy. We cover it all, from mock-ups, to blueprints, to Presto Magix, to mini-rigs. For the first time in years we really go deep to understand what makes a focus collector concentrate on one character and why. "Ron Ron" Salvatore joins us as well to talk about the devastating Commando Acetate Sculpt and defines what a "Plaster Cast" is. All this plus many extended heart-warming meditations on the meaning of our hobby in this month's Vintage Pod.

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02:01 – Show Intro
07:13 – Skye’s Movie Thought
10:30 – Flip the Script – Captain Jode
18:35 – Skye-Ku
25:00 – Skye’s New (Dumb?) Focus Collector Classification System
30:56 – Love Segment
31:27 – Bob Martinazzi Love
35:36 – Tessa Love
38:35 – Empire State Collector Club Love
43:13 – Skye and CAS Love
56:00 – MOC(k) is Love
57:13 – ICCC Love
58:01 – Star Wars at the Movies Podcast Love
1:01:27 – Vintage Rebellion Love
1:04:03 – Nugget From the Archive (Acetate Sculpt with Ron Salvatore)
1:25:29 – Vintage Vocab (Plaster Micro Mold)
1:39:52 – Rebel Commando Round Table Introductions
1:44:09 – The C-Team Intro Song (Why do you collect Rebel Commando?)
2:01:18 – Stephen Ward’s ToyShop talk
2:17:34 – Molded Face a Thing?
2:20:19 – Rebel Commando’s Odditys
2:25:05 – Endor Forrest Ranger Talk…really?
2:30:28 – One Dollar Vilx MarketWatch (Rebel Commando Competition)
2:46:19 – (Three-Way) "So be it" Lightning Round
3:02:32 – Unloved (Presto-Magix)
3:05:55 – Outro

Image Sources and Show Note Links:

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Star Wars Community Digest Issue #2

Tommy and Yehuda write:

 As always, the Star Wars Community Digest is your place to get summaries about what's going on in the Star Wars collecting community across all of the Facebook groups and forums (well... those which want to be a part of this series of articles, anyway). Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations.

If you 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...

Collector Bob Martinazzi Passes Away

Bob Martinazzi

Luke Jedi focus collector and friend of the Star Wars Collectors Archive, Bob Martinazzi, passed away early last week. As such, a lot of threads and conversation were dedicated to memories of Bob and the impact he had on the hobby.

His friends and family have the deepest condolences of the entire Star Wars Collectors Archive editorial staff. This hobby and this world are a darker place without him. He will be missed.

Bob was interviewed in Episode 76 of the SWCA's Podcast, The Chive Cast Vintage Pod.

Threads about Bob:
Thread in the Return of the Jedi Group announcing his passing
Rebelscum thread discussing his passing

The Display Group Gives Away a Bunch of Awesome Store Displays

The Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group gave away a bunch of awesome displays.

It's not every day that a group gives away a couple thousand dollars worth of collectibles, but that's just what the Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group did last week. The rules of the contest were simple: reply to the thread with a picture of a display or advertising item in your collection and you'd be entered. Then 7 random winners were chosen, and they won some surprisingly awesome stuff! Will Grief did not skimp on the prizes, that's for sure. 

The full thread can be found here: Store Display Giveaway Thread

If you are unfamiliar with the prizes, further reading on some of them can be found here on the Star Wars Collectors Archive:
12 Action Figure Display Bin Header
ESB Shelftalkers

A Set of 3-Packs is Showcased in the IC

Well, there's something you don't see every day.

David DeMarchis casually posted this image to The Imperial Commissary Group last week, showcasing his complete collection of 3-packs, as well as a variety of other vintage multi-pack rarities. There's really not much else I can say about this image, so I'll let it speak for itself.

The full thread can be found here: Beautiful Toys

Additional reading on the Archive:
Three Packs

Return of the Jedi Tri-Logo 4-Pack
German POTF 3-Pack
Canadian Sears Exclusive 7-Pack of Figures
Empire Strikes Back 6-Pack (red)
Empire Strikes Back 6-Pack (yellow)

Buried Treasure from the Palitoy Factory in Leicestershire

Companies are often left with an odd dilemma when they produce more product than the market demands. The company has to decide if it is more cost efficient to liquidate the remaining merchandise or to toss it. 

Toy companies have often sent their unwanted overstock to landfills for dumping. This has caused the occasional fearless collector to embark on a stomach turning archeological dig.

It may seem to be an impossible task to dig up any vintage toys from a landfill and have them be recognizable and in condition to be collectible.

But it has happened before. In April of 2014, video game collectors went on a pilgrimage in New Mexico to a landfill. It had long been rumored that the Atari company dumped nearly one million copies of a rare video game cartridge featuring E.T.

The collectors were able to locate and unearth collectible quality examples with a unique allure (and smell). A recent thread in the Jabba's Court Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group discusses the issue. It has been reported from multiple sources that the Palitoy company, who was the manufacturer of the vintage Star Wars action figures in the United Kingdom, dumped their overstock regularly in a landfill in Leicestershire. 

Anyone want to grab a shovel?

The full thread can be found here: Palitoy Buried Treasure

Further reading:

First Images of a Bootleg Store Display for ‘70s Puffy Psychedelic Magnets

So bootleg.

A previously undescribed and unlicensed counter top store display was recently discovered in a find highlighted in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising and Star Wars Bootlegs and Knockoff Collectors groups. The display features puffy vinyl Star Wars themed magnets with groovy stylings. The set includes multicolored versions of the X-Wing Fighter, R2-D2 and in the bootleg tradition, unrelated characters including Ming the Merciless.

The full threads can be found here:

Additional reading on the Archive:

Questions Continue about the Bucket Coin Find

The continuing saga of the Bucket Find.

As you might recall from our last issue, there was a find of Power of the Force coins, among which were a lot of rarities. The coins weren't in the best condition though, showing a variety of damage and some were even spray-painted silver. The thinking the week before last was that the find was good and the coins were legitimate. Last week, however, there were growing concerns about the find and whether or not the coins are all authentic. The Star Wars: POTF (Last 17) Vintage Collecting Group discussed a recent auction for a Darth Vader coin from the find, which was won by a member there and then closely examined. He shares his findings with the group, which seem to call the entire find into question.

The full thread can be found here: The Bucket Find Part 2

Additional reading on the Archive:
SWCA Coin Gallery

Engineering Pilot 3-Pack in GDE

3-Pack Engineering Pilot

Collector Christopher Caswell posted pictures in the La Guerre des Etoiles Group of an amazing item in his collection: an engineering pilot of the ESB Rebel Set 3-pack. Owning a 3-pack is a tough enough task and they're grails for most collectors, but to own a pre-production sample of one? That's even more impressive!

The full thread can be found here:
3-Pack EP

Additional reading on the Archive:
A nice description of what an engineering pilot is and what it was used for.

A Collector Rediscovers the Diverse Vintage Keshigomu Figures from Japan

As the Star Wars mythology permeated the international social fabric in the late 1970s, the characters from the film were rapidly turned into collectibles by many toy manufacturers. Japan, which is known for its unique and imaginative toy lines, had just been introduced to a very successful new type of toy collectible.

Keshi (or Keshigomu) translates to rubber or eraser. They are small unarticulated rubber figures depicting characters from popular themes.

Hundreds of different Star Wars-themed Keshis exist in multiple colors and several scales. Two of the largest Keshigomu manufacturers in Japan were Takara and Maruka (many American children of the 1980s may remember the M.U.S.C.L.E. type of Keshi figures released by Bandai).

Recently, a collector took a chance on a couple of Keshis and a nice discussion ensued in the Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the figures can be found in this old thread from the Rebelscum forums:

The Diverse World of Star Wars Food Collectibles:
A Discussion of Some of the Coolest Food Premiums in the Galaxy

From Cereal Boxes to bottle caps, collectors in the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting Group discussed their favorite Star Wars Food related collectible and posted pictures from their collections!

The full thread can be found here:

Additional reading on the Archive:

One of Four Alamo Drafthouse Cinema X-Wings Saved by a Collector

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a domestic chain of movie houses that provide food, unique giveaways, and fun experiences to moviegoers.

Four specially designed photo-op X-Wing cockpits were produced for the release of The Force Awakens, complete with helmets and a functioning hatch.

A lucky collector was able to bring one home at the end of the promotion and documented his fun journey in a thread in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:

Rebelscum Shares Its Most Emotional Moments

The magical moments of collecting Star Wars stuff.

Sometimes as collectors we get so preoccupied with getting the next great piece or tracking down some lost grail, that we forget to cherish all of the cool moments we've had in this hobby. The vintage section of the Rebelscum Forum had a thread last week which invited collectors to share those "magical moments" which make collecting so much fun. 

The full thread can be found here: What is the Most Magical/Emotional Moment You Have Had Collecting?

Our Star Wars Community Digest Time Capsule Thread for this Issue: 
The list of proofs available for after-hours trading at C2...

Take a moment to process this picture.  The article can wait...

There are a few seminal moments in the vintage collecting hobby: The Earth Toy Mall hardcopy find, the 1993 Las Vegas Store Display Auction, the Men Behind the Masks tour (one of the first times collectors from across the country met up in person), etc. Moments in time which are known and talked about by collectors who weren't even there to see them. The Celebration II Proof Sale was one of those occasions.

Basically, a collector decided to sell his proof cards at a room sale during Celebration II in 2002. While that might not seem especially memorable, the collector in question was Steve Denny and his collection of proofs was a significant percentage of the total number of vintage Star Wars proof cards in the world!

That sale is a sale which will be remembered as long as people are collecting Star Wars toys. And thankfully, all of the threads related to it still exist. Denny was also interviewed on our podcast in Episode 83: Thousands of Prototypes: Steve Denny Story Time.

Further reading:
The list of proofs available for after-hours trading at C2...
What kind of prices were the Denny/Flarida proofs fetching?
Pictures from the Denny / Flarida sale
wish i saw the C2 Denny/Flarida sale coming

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Star Wars Community Digest Issue #1

Tommy and Yehuda write:

 With the size of the online Star Wars community growing larger every day, we feel like collectors are missing important conversations. Where once they could stay up-to-date by reading a single forum or newsgroup, now they have to juggle a couple dozen different Facebook groups and several competing forums. With that in mind, we thought it might be nice to provide a way to bridge that fragmentation.

Every couple of weeks, we'd like to provide a sort of directory for collectors, pointing out the important conversations or sales which happened all across the online SW world during that period. These recap posts will serve as condensed guides to what's going on in the community that week so that collectors can quickly see what conversations they need to take part in. In order to do this, we intend to get permission from the various mods and admins of those groups to select threads which struck us as especially interesting and worthy of being pointed out to the rest of the community. We will summarize them here and provide a link to the original thread so that everyone can participate in conversations they missed or read up on topics they'd like to know more about. This isn't to say that these are the only interesting threads in the groups during that period of time or that the groups/forums we're monitoring are the only places to have meaningful discussion, just that they're the threads we felt best fit our project and the groups which let us know that they would like to be a part of the articles. Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations.

If you would like your community to be a part of this feature, please let us know.

With that out of the way, let's move on to looking at what happened in the last couple of weeks...

Ride-on Speeder Bike Display Turns Up

Todd G Iganti recently posted pictures of a new addition to his collection in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group. While it's not always news when a collector gets a new piece in his/her collection, in this case, it is. Todd got the store display for the Ride-On Speeder Bike Pedal Car and tells the story of how he acquired this grail item and the really interesting story behind the previous owner. As it turns out, the gentleman was 91 and an inventor!  

It's always nice when a collector is able to get the #1 item on their want list, but it's even better when it's this rare and there's a cool story behind it.  
Todd's Speeder Bike Pedal Car Display Thread

The full thread can be found here: Ride-on Speeder Bike Store Display Thread

If you want further reading about the promotional display Todd acquired, you can see a nice collection of art and production materials related to it on the SWCA: Pre-Production Material Related to Speeder Bike Ride-On Toy Promotion

The Bucket Find: An Important Vintage Power of the Force Coin Find Yields Rare but Damaged Touched Up Coins

Bucket Find Coin

A large collection of vintage Power of the Force coins were found in a bucket at a yard sale and were subsequently offered for individual sale on eBay. The find -- now termed the “bucket find” -- yielded multiple examples of some of the rarest coins from the set including examples of the Skiff coin and AT-AT coin.

On arrival, some of the coins had an odd surface finish and this raised concerns about the newly discovered coins' authenticity. After discussion and review on the Power of the Force Coins Group, the coins were found to be authentic, but unfortunately the seller had painted some of the more corroded examples to make them appear in better condition.

The full thread can be read here: Bucket Find Coins

Additional reading on the Archive:

Everything About Biker Scout

This thread in the Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Vintage Collecting Group 1983 - 1985 had a simple purpose: to share information, not pictures. The goal was to tie together the knowledge of the whole group to create one thread which would have all of the information about collecting Biker Scout items that anyone would want to know. 

The responses are genuinely interesting, particularly since it's cross-referenced with the Star Wars: The Dark Times Collecting Group and the Rebelscum forums.

The full thread can be found here:
Everything About Biker Scout

A Generic Appearing Space Board Game form Greece Turns Out to be a Rare Star Wars Bootleg

Greek Bootleg Board Game Thread

The cover of this Greek UFO vintage board game showcased on the Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group (A New Hope 1977-79) Group gives a hint to its origin with the familiar silver double racetrack design used by Kenner toys for their Star Wars line. The remaining cover graphics like on many bootleg toys have been changed to an unidentifiable design likely to avoid legal action.

Beneath the thinly veiled disguise is a bootleg version of Kenner’s “Escape from the Death Star" game, complete with images and characters taken directly from the film.

The full thread can be found here: Bootleg Greek Board Game Thread

Additional reading on the Archive:

A Rare Model Trem Darth Vader Figure Variant Find Leads to a Detailed Discussion on Model Trem Figure Variations

Model Trem Darth Vader

Before the Brazilian toy company Glasslite was able to secure the legal rights for the production of Star Wars action figures in the late 1980s, a line of unlicensed Star Wars action figures was produced by a company named Model Trem. This line of unique bootleg figures were manufactured out of painted lead and resin and exhibit a folk art appearance.

The limbs were attached to the torso of the figures in a variety of ways, mostly with varying kinds of rivets. This has lead to well recognized variations within the line.

A recent find of an unusual Darth Vader Model Trem bootleg figure with an unarticulated head lead to a detailed discussion in the Star Wars Bootleg and Knockoff Collectors Group on the figure line and its variations.

The full thread can be found here: Model Trem Figure Thread

Additional reading on the Archive:
Archive Special Feature: Model Trem

Who is the Expert on...?

Who is the expert on...?

The Jabba's Court - Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group 1977 - 1988 group recently had a very interesting thread which asked a seemingly simple question: who is the expert on a given figure? The replies acknowledged a lot of awesome collectors, ranging from old-timers of the Usenet era to collectors who didn't really participate in the community until the rise of Facebook. While it could have easily turned into a popularity contest, it instead reads like a directory of knowledgeable people who would be willing to help answer someone's question on a given figure, mixed with some healthy discussion of "old school vs new school" collecting.

The full thread can be found here: Experts

Spanish Droids and Ewoks Cassette Turns Up

It's always interesting when something new turns up, and that's just what happened on the Star Wars Records and Tapes Group. While other Droids and Ewoks cassettes have turned up with bootleg art over the years, this is apparently the first time this particular variation has been seen. While the price it brought on eBay was considered too high by the group ($91), there's no denying it's a neat piece. 

The full thread can be found here: Droids and Ewoks Cassette

Additional reading from the Archive:
Please check out the SWCA for more information on Droids and Ewoks items.

Our Star Wars Community Digest Time Capsule Thread for this Issue: Official ROTJ Info. (**spoiler**)
ROTJ Thoughts Before the Movie is Released

On February 21, 1983, user "mitccc!jfw" logged onto the net.sf-lovers newsgroup -- on what would one day become the Internet -- and posted his thoughts on a Lucasfilm presentation in Boston put on by the New England Science Fiction Association. One of the key moments of the convention for him were the then completely unknown images and statements in the presentation about Return of the Jedi, which was still 3 months from release.

His ideas about the movie and what it might contain make for interesting reading 35 years later.

The full thread can be found here: Official ROTJ Info. (**spoiler**)