The collecting track on the final day of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim included four panels as well as the Star Wars Collecting Awards.
First up was Matthew Fox and Ryan Beise who presented Judge Me By My Size, Do You?, with the focus being on the many scales of Kenner and Hasbro figures from 1978 to present day. Matthew and Ryan ran a similar panel back at Celebration VI, and the first part of today's presentation was to report on how many new figures have been released since then, and while there have been 284 new figures in what is traditionally the standard scale of 3 3/4", including two new lines (Rebels Saga Legends and Misson Series), 350 new figures have been released in the other scales, spanning five new lines.
The rest of the panel discussed the long tradition of introducing new scales in the Star Wars license, with the first 12" figures in 1978, the first "mini" figures in 1982, and the Star Tot concept being even earlier than that. Through the years, there have been smaller-scaled figures from the Micro Collection, Action Masters, Micro-Machines, Action Fleet and Playskool/Galactic Heroes/Jedi Force, among others, while in the larger scales, we've seen a variety of 12" lines, as well as Epic Force, 10" vinyl figures from the Saga line in 2002, Unleashed and what has become a very popular line, The Black Series 6" scale.
The panel concluded with a brief look at some of the unproduced lines, including the aforementioned Star Tots, Power Sparks from 1994 and more recently, Amp'd.
The TIE Fighter Pilot, sponsored by Darren Simpson was the Star Tot handed out at the end of the panel.
The second panel of the day was Dawn of Star Wars collecting: The Earliest Memorabilia, with presenters Michael Novak, Pete Vilmur, Todd Chamberlain and Stephen Sansweet, spanning 1976 and 1977. The first topic discussed was Production and Early Marketing, which included items such as production used blueprints, production stills and slides, cast and crew items as well as looking at some of the material that was on display at WesterCon, San Diego Comic-Con and MidAmeriCon in 1976, with the audience being introduced to fanzine contributor James Van Hise who had interviewed Mark Hamill at the last convention. The next section covered was post production and publicity, and among the items shown were concept ad layouts, Tom Jung pencil sketches and art, original movie trailers, a press book and kit, negatives, skills and slides, some of which featured the "Pointy-W" Star Wars logo.
Moving on, the panelists discussed the novel and music score as being amongst the first merchandise and this subject was also covered later on, before showing memorabilia relating to the Star Wars Premieres, including invitations for cast and crew, 20th Century Fox executives, focus group and press screenings, as well as tickets, initial media reviews and also movie theater collectibles such as flyers and lobby cards of different sizes.
The last section to be discussed looked at early reviews, pop culture cartoons, a 20th Century Fox stockholders report and the impact on the music industry from the original score to Meco's disco version of Star Wars. Also shown was other commercial merchandise including items from Factors Incorporated, for a license that was signed before the movie was actually released, the first Ralph McQuarrie art portfolio, jigsaws, painting and poster sets from Kenner, clothing and jewelry as well as the first unlicensed and foreign collectibles.
Ross Cuddie sponsored the Yoda Star Tot that was the giveaway at this panel.
Despite our best efforts, we were unable to attend the Star Wars Trading Cards panel that was presented by Cathy Kendrick and Andy Dukes, though we have it on good authority that among the items covered were the classic Topps cards from both vintage and modern eras, and also some associated items such as Tazos packed in with Walkers crisps and Action Transfers from Dairylea, both of which were available in the UK.
Attendees of this panel received the FX-7 Star Tot that was sponsored by Alex Sleder.
Tony Damata presented the final regular panel on the collecting track, Vintage Star Wars Watches and Clocks, opening with a look at the first watches from Texas Instruments, which included a sticker sheet for the face, before moving onto the line of watches from Bradley Time that began in 1977 and ran until 1986, beginning with four different analog and digital watches, all with an identical Darth Vader design. Other watches included two Darth Vader designs with a lenticular watch face, Tony showing a video which took him four hours to record, as well as some C-3PO and R2-D2 musical alarms and a number of variations that included those with metal and plastic casings and also different trademark information. Yoda and Ewoks were other popular characters used on watches, while we also saw the only three watches known to have been made with the Star Wars logo in foreign lettering, that being Krieg Der Sterne from Germany, along with Star Tours and ILM company watches. Next we were shown mockups and prototypes, as well as unproduced artwork and salesman samples and an Ewoks and Droids ad sheet in a salesman's book, before the discussion moved onto bootlegs, which led to Bradley Time going out of business, as a result of not being able to keep the license, and these were categorised as the good, the bad, the ugly and the awesome! The company 3D Arts had their own section on hologram watches, which featured Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, an X-Wing, and C-3PO which wasn't produced as it was deemed to be too bright, as well as some Christmas pendants that were also never released.
Moving onto clocks, we saw a Quartz talking alarm clock featuring 3D relief, that had stickers added to the box for the Return of the Jedi release, a close radio, wall clocks, Yoda and The Empire Strikes Back Kenner Achievement clocks, and also two different patterns of a Russian-made clock bootlegged in Mexico!
Next up was unproduced artwork, which showed an R2-D2 alarm clock an Ewok 3D clock, as well as mock-ups of several watch faces, including The Empire Strikes Back logo watch and a Yoda-style 3D relief design and also a Biker Scout wall-clock.
The last section covered odds and ends, which included sheets of watch faces, a radio watch with headphones, a clock and calculator, packaging and advertisements, store displays and sheets from salesman books and finally tips on displaying your watch and clock collection.
Han Solo (Bespin Outfit), sponsored by Greg Hanson, was the Star Tot given away at this panel.
We'll be covering the very last panel of the collecting track, the Star Wars Collecting Award Presentations, at which the final Star Tot was handed out, in a separate post.