Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Star Wars action figure obsession.

I'm a huge Star Wars fan and have been collecting the action figures since they first existed. Up until earlier this year I had a pretty big collection. Here's some pictures of it!

My collection consisted of nearly every single Star Wars figure made between 1977 and 1985, most of them in great condition with the original accessories (95 different figures all together - only 6 figures short of a complete collection!), a few oddball figures like Jabba the Hutt and the trash monster, a couple of collector cases and about 40 or so figures made from 1995-present. Took me decades to amass them, one piece at a time.

A lot of these toys are the same ones I bought with the allowance money I earned doing household chores and collecting deposit bottles as a kid.

Even after Jedi came out and I went into junior high school I was still collecting. I bought a huge chunk of my collection when I was in high school and was able to buy dozens of figures on clearance for a buck each at a time when all my friends used their money for things like albums and beer.

I never bought late released "Power of the Force" figures when they were new because unlike the older figures they never got marked down in stores and I thought $2.99 was too much to pay for one action figure. Stupid move on my part because now some of these figures sell for $100 or more each! I had to get most of them at inflated collectors prices in the 90's, but managed some good deals on a few of them.

When they started making new figures in 1995 I was pretty excited and bought them up like crazy. I quickly soured on the new style figures, preferring the vintage ones, so I just stuck to collecting the characters that weren't made in the old days like Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia in her gold bikini. No Jar Jar Binks for me, thanks - I'm strictly an original flavor Star Wars fan.

(Well, OK I guess Darth Maul *is* kinda cool.)

My collection was far from complete and certainly not without it's flaws, and there are far more impressive collections out there - but it was important to ME - these were the figures *I* wanted, and none of the figures I didn't want. I didn't care to get every single figure ever released, and in some cases I would toss out accessories or even figures that I thought were stupid or in some way unnecessary. A few months ago, I sold all these figures on ebay. Every penny earned from these auctions went strait into my son's savings account. I guess I could have hung onto the collection and hoped it increased in value, but keeping them locked away brings me absolutely no pleasure at all. Eventually my kid would have found the toys and I wouldn't have the heart to not let him play with them, and if the way he treats his toys is any indication, they wouldn't be in good condition for long. I just hope they all ended up with people who enjoys them as much as I have over the last THIRTY YEARS. Besides I'm not selling every last figure - I did hang onto some extras and a few other things for us to play with:

This isn't the last I will post on this subject - just wait until you see the mock action figure packages I made during some downtime a few years ago…


mattcrap said...

just CATALOGGING these is an epic task!

I wasn't a SW geek growing up, but one of my buddies was- he had EXACTLY what you're talking about happen to his stuff. His two boys became of age where they wanted to play with his legions of SW figures and ships and vehicles. He held off for a long time and then he allowed some "supervised play." Then like everything, the situation evolved and the boys played with everything whenever they wanted.

They destroyed EVERYTHING. A collection on a par with yours. The defining moment for my buddy was when his youngest brought him a shattered Millenium Falcon.

eBay is probably the way to go.

Ryan Dunlavey said...

Damn - that is EXACTLY what I don't want to happen in a few years. And there's a big stash of well-worn Star Wars and other 80's toys in my in-laws attic so it's not like I'm depriving him of anything.

Cataloging and photographing all those toys was a big help in dealing with the emotions of getting rid of them, and now I've got a permanent record of my collection! Memories are better than hunks of plastic any day. I am old.