Posted by Adam on April 17, 2019 at 08:13 PM CST
The first day of panels at Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 took place on Friday in W474. Read on to find out what was covered and which Star Tots were given out!

Tiki Mash
Presenters: Matt Erickson, Ken Tarleton

The first panel of Star Wars Celebration 2019 was for Star Wars Tiki mashups, and after looking at licensed products, and the progression of Tiki mugs and their Polynesian origins, Matt and Ken briefly covered fan-produced items. These included shirts, 501st patches and challenge coins, as well as signature coins, pins and mugs, among them a Vader dole-whip pin, a Tiki Diablo Darth Vader and a "Coco" Fett, along with variations of a Tiki Hut featuring a mermaid Leia. Also discussed were tattoos, events and artwork, with slides showing a commission called "R2-D2's Hula", a totem featuring characters from The Force Awakens, a velvet Admiral Ackbar and LEGO Tiki bar. The last section covered carvings, with Ken showing a paddle and Regal Robot's Mythosaur plaque that were both tiki-fied (it's a real word, look it up), Darth Vader, First Order and original Stormtrooper helmets and finally recommended Trader Brandon's Guide to enable you to make your own Star Wars tiki items.

Oola was the Star Tot given out at this panel.

40 Years of Star Wars Holiday Special
Presenters: Gus Lopez, Pete Vilmur, Scott Kirkwood, Scott Horne

If you've been a Star Wars collector for a long time, there's a chance that you have more Star Wars Holiday Special collectibles than you realised. Starting with 7" and 12" versions of Jefferson Starship's "Light the Sky on Fire", the next item shown was the red Snaggletooth which featured a picture from the Holiday Special on the card, followed by a Boba Fett mailaway sheet that references 'A Wookie (sic) Holiday' which Pete Vilmur suggested was a working a title. After "The Wookiee Storybook" that came out in 1979, there was a big gap between then and 1993 when Topps released the Galaxy Series trading cards, Royal Animation Art offered seri-cels and the red Snaggletooth, now named Zutton (although the actual name is Zutmore), joined Hasbro's Power of the Jedi action figure line. There were further cards from Topps, as well as Decipher, and more red Snaggletooths (Snaggleteeth?) from the likes of Medicom Toy and Gentle Giant in the form of a Kubrick figure and a Bust-Ups! mini-bust. There was an explosion in 2007, which included the luggage tag at Star Wars Celebration IV, 30th anniversary cards from Topps and Hasbro released the animated Boba Fett 3.75" figure. Included in the Star Wars Vault was info and photos, reproduced script pages and an audio CD that featured Carrie Fisher singing the Life Day song. There was a further Snaggletooth in Hasbro's Galactic Heroes line, an animated Boba Fett bobble-head from Funko and a character key from ACME Animation for the bounty hunter, while Tomy also released a carded and boxed animated Kubrick of the Mandalorian. Topps released a Galactic Files Ponda Baba card that featured images from the Holiday Special, and when it came to Celebration VI, David Rabbitte's exclusive print entitled "Ally or Enemy" was a depiction of the animation segment and a question mark over Boba Fett's loyalty. Gentle Giant returned to Snaggletooth with the Jumbo figure, as well as an animated Maquette of Boba Fett, while Disney got in on the action with a vinylmation figure of the same character along with a Disney Parks mystery box Greedo pin, again featuring image from the Holiday Special. Matt Busch was another artist who created an exclusive print, "Encounter on Panna Prime" which was available at Star Wars Celebration VII. In addition to a Dorbz three-pack which comprised Snaggletooth, Greedo and Walrus Man, Funko also produced a Snaggletooth Pop! while the same character was created as an Itty Bitty and featured on a promotional pin by Hallmark. Hot Toys joined in the fun with the release of an animated Boba Fett in both their Cosbaby and 1/6th scale lines. The most recent releases are Gentle Giant's animated Boba Fett mini-bust and at Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019, a Holiday Special lunch box was available in the Celebration store.

Promotional items was the next section and the first item shown was a press kit for the Holiday Special, which included a mylar poster, 4 photos and press info sheets. This was followed by CBS promotional photos and official press photos with info sheets, as well as black and white photos originating from the CTV Television Network where the The Holiday Special aired in Canada on the same day as the U.S. The Fetties cereal box that was the giveaway for the "30 Years of The Empire Strikes Back Trading Cards" Collecting Track panel at Celebration VI featured the animated Boba Fett, while the 501st Legion bash at Celebration Orlando 2017 offered a "Showdown at the Cantina" cup and badge that featured red Snaggletooth.

The next topic covered production items that included scripts, costumes, props and masks and also animation artwork.

Finally, items were shown from the collections of a number of "Holiday Specialists", namely the panelists as well as Vic Wertz and Lisa Stevens, with the latter having prototypes of Chewbacca's family, including Lumpy, a figure that was based off a figure from Fisher Price's Adventure People line.

The Star Tot given away at the end of the panel was Han Solo (Imperial Stormtrooper Outfit).

Weird, Wild & Whimsical
Presenters: Bill Cable, Todd Chamberlain, Yehuda Kleinman, Joe Yglesias

As the name suggests, this panel covered the whole gamut of Star Wars collectibles, and among the first items to be discussed were personal hygiene items featuring R2-D2 and C-3PO, who featured prominently throughout the panel due to the presence of focus collector Bill Cable. Among the other items that included the protocol droid were an official Polish Star Wars poster and oil lamps along with his astromech counterpart, while Poland was also the source of a first-generation articulated Leia with a red cape and chrome hair! Yehuda spoke at length on Mardi Gras doubloons, which are premiums thrown throughout the parade, and typically appear in five different colors. Among the designs featured were an X-wing and the Death Star, Yoda, R2-D2 and the Starship Enterprise as well as Optimus Prime, Yoda and the Starship Enterprise. Unlicensed ceramic lamp kits were up next, and while they were labeled Monkey, Robot and Knight, they were clearly based on Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Darth Vader. Fans of Star Wars and Space 1999 would enjoy the Mexican Ultra Nave Alpha, given that it was a mash-up of an X-wing and the Eagle One, while a bootleg C-3PO with spear and holographic Poe Dameron trading card did raise a few laughs, as did the Sigma's ceramic C-3PO picture frame that featured the droid in pieces and the tape dispenser from the same company never fails to amuse. C-3PO also featured, albeit in a somewhat buffed-up state, manning a Hoth turret, as well as an unlicensed ceramic lamp, while Kenner fans got to see a kit-bashed 3.75" Bespin playset and further laughs were had with the Darth Vader motorcycle cop.

Yupis from Colombia, South America, are a set of 40 plastic unarticulated monochrome figures, each created in multiple colours as a snack food premium and modeled after Kenner figures, while a gameboard is also known to exist, suggesting that they are actually game pieces. Bill introduced a rather dangerous collectible in the form of the C-3PO Sommelier foil knife from Character UK, while Greedo got some love from Airgam, albeit as a Greek bootleg with the body of He-Man! An Ewok bean chair was up next, as well as a Darth Vader and Superman two-pack, an unlicensed disco purse with C-3PO pin and Marzon, who is a Stormtrooper/Darth Vader hybrid inflatable robot. It was back to Greece and their Olympiada cards from The Empire Strikes Back, a set which also includes Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise, while Spain offered up Las Galaxias, which is a knock-off target game that includes R2-D2 and a dalek and a X-wing artwork. An inflatable C-3PO lawn decoration, which may or may not be a prototype was shown next, as was a Japanese vinyl/plush TIE fighter, and Imai "Star Command" mini model kits, which feature Darth Vader and R2-D2 in the background art.

Rounding out the panel were a Canadian Oh Henry! candy bar pack which featured a mask offer and finally, the ultimate bootleg, the Uzay Imperial Gunner!

For this panel, Imperial Spy was the Star Tot given away.

The Star Wars Collectors Archive Turns 25
Presenters: Gus Lopez, Stephen P. Danley, Ron Salvatore, Pete Fitzke, Chris Georgoulias, Skye Paine

In the quarter-century since the The Star Wars Collectors Archive (SWCA) was launched, collecting resources now offer books, websites and Facebook, while things were very different in 1994. Back then, collectors had to rely on the likes of Steve Sansweet's Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible, magazines like Tomart's Price Guide and Action Figure Digest and a single website,, which Skye Paine described as the Yoda of Star Wars collecting, providing knowledge, language, leadership and wisdom within the community.

Starting with the front page back in 1994, Gus pointed out that the site originally covered more categories, including customized figures and prop replicas, stating that these sections were removed when other sites began covering them in more detail. The first significant personnel changes happened in 1997, with Chris and Ron being brought onboard, both of them having met Gus on newsgroups and subsequently talking via email. Having initially been a static site, it was made more dynamic over time, switching to PHP with a MySQL backend. Between 2006 and 2010, there was no change to the appearance of the front page, while 2010 saw the introduction of The Vintage Pod and the Chivecast.

Between 1994 and 2001, was it in terms of sites that were offering the type of information collectors were after, while that changed over the next 10 years with the emergence of sites like Rebel Scum,, Galactic Hunter and Imperial Gunnery. The landscape has shifted significantly since then, with the pervasive nature of social media such that now, a lot of the conversation is happening in Facebook groups and during that time, we have also seen vintage values explode. Looking forward to the next 25 years, the expectation is that there will be new channels opening up over time as technology develops and it will certainly be interesting to see where that takes collectors.

Throughout the panel, to demonstrate how things have changed since 1994, Skye showed a chart to show vintage values back then, in 2005 and where they are now, for the following items:
1) A mint condition Luke Skywalker 12-back: 1994 = $150 | 2005 = $750 | 2019 = $2,500
2) Collect All 41! store display header from 1981: 1994 = $300 | 2005 = $3,000 | 2019 = $10,000
3) Return of the Jedi Chewbacca 65-back pre-production proof card: 1994 = $100 | 2005 = $500 | 2019 = $4,500
4) An unpainted rocket-firing Boba Fett L-slot: 1994 = $2,000 | 2005 = $8,000 | 2019 = $65,000
5) A beat-up Return of the Jedi B-wing Pilot: 1994 = $20 | 2005 = $20 | 2019 = $25

Justice was finally served, with Chewbacca getting his ceremonial medal for the Star Tot given out at this panel.

20 Years of LEGO Star Wars
Presenters: Duncan Jenkins, Jeremy Beckett, Graham Hancock, James Burns

While we may be celebrating 20 years of LEGO sets, the actual deal was struck in 1998, with Toy Fair 1999 seeing an exclusive set issued to select members of the press, with the first sets being offered in March, followed by Midnight Madness on May 2nd. Among the items available were Episode I sets, Developer sets and a Darth Vader keyring, with the first convention item being offered at Star Wars Celebration later that month in the form of a LEGO DUPLO brick, followed by the first printed LEGO t-shirt later that year.

2000 saw the release of the TIE Interceptor and the X-wing as the first Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) sets, the Podrace bucket, Droids Technic sets and a dispute between LEGO and Hasbro due to the former's minifigure sets being considered an infringement on Hasbro's license. The Darth Maul bust was the only thing of note in 2001, while 2002 saw support of Attack of the Clones, the release of LEGO pens and the first re-released sets. The release of the Cloud City playset in 2003 was significant, as it marked the first time that a Star Wars minifigure was made available with natural skin tones, and also coming out that year were the first redesigned vehicle and the mini-line was also launched commercially. 2004 was the year of the Millennium Falcon, with 2005 seeing the release of sets based on Revenge of the Sith, as well as light-up minifigures, video games and magnets.

Light-up figures were retired the following year, with the license also being renewed in 2006. Another UCS set was released in 2007, this time a redesigned Millennium Falcon, while that year also saw the first Star Wars Celebration exclusive, a Kit Fisto minifigure that didn't use ABS plastic for the head and a gold C-3PO that was added to 10,000 LEGO sets! There was still more to come, with a motorized walking AT-AT, LEGO minifigure maquettes from Gentle Giant, battle packs, bag charms and watches, as well as the first Star Wars days at Legoland in California. By comparison, 2008 was a relatively quiet year aside from being notable for a series of firsts, seeing the release of the Rogue Shadow from The Force Unleashed video game, the first original sets and an inaugural San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) exclusive.

For the ten-year anniversary of the license, DK publishing released their first LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary, featuring contributions from Rebel Scum's Jeremy Beckett, and British tabloid the Daily Mirror ran a promotion offering giveaways of LEGO polybag sets. There were more firsts in 2009, with the release of fans' choice set, midi-scale sets and a poster given away for that year's May the Fourth event, as well as more SDCC exclusives, while the deal with Lucasfilm was once again renewed. The Empire Strikes Back-themed sets were released in 2010 to mark the 30th anniversary of Episode V, as was a prototype Boba Fett minifigure, while fans attending that year's Star Wars Celebration in Orlando were able to help complete a huge mural. The following year, Miniland figures were given out at select members of the press at New York Toy Fair to promote the opening of Star Wars Miniland in California, and 2011 also saw the release of the first advent calendar and a Darth Vader minifigure to launch the Hallmark ornament line. In 2012, the Planetary series was introduced, as were sets from The Old Republic, and a precursor to the Microfighters line was offered as an exclusive at that year's San Diego Comic-Con in the form of the Sith Infiltrator. 2013 was all about Yoda and the X-wing, with the Jedi Master featured in that year's New York Toy Fair press set, and starring in The Yoda Chronicles, with accompanying sets, while a life-size X-wing, which was an up-scaled version of the LEGO set was constructed in Times Square and a redesigned version was released as part of the UCS line-up. Star Wars Rebels got its own sets in 2014, with the Ghost proving to be a fan favourite, and in addition, that year also saw the introduction of the Microfighters line.

In 2015, sets from The Force Awakens were released, as was the LEGO Star Wars magazine in the UK and also Buildable figures, while 2016 saw the release of sets from Rogue One and The Freemaker Adventures. The Last Jedi in 2017 was accompanied by multiple sets, including a BB-8 droid-building kit, while the Millennium Falcon got a UCS upgrade, and promptly sold-out in less than 4 hours, with LEGO Store offering its members a Black VIP card when ordering the set. That year also saw the debut of BrickHeadz and R3-M2 was the first polybag figure to be released with a brickstand. More movie-themed sets were released in 2018, this time to support the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, while the first Master Builder sets and LEGO Star Wars trading cards also came out that year. Which brings us to 2019, with LEGO releasing sets to celebrate the 20th anniversary, launching their first 4+ sets and the Bounty Hunter series, as well as a new Stormtrooper helmet which was supported with a Guinness World Record for the largest display of Star Wars minifigures that featured more than 36,000 tiny Stormtroopers!

The process of prototyping and designing using 3D-printing was the next subject, as well as describing the production process that begins with raw plastic pellets being molded into bricks, having been ratioed to ensure colour consistency. Much to the dismay of the audience, any contaminated bricks, which includes those that are deemed to be off-colour or have had skin contact, are destroyed! In the storage facility, robots collect the bricks, which are then sorted into boxes, with the molds repeatedly being injected with red plastic, as this helps to check for stresses. With the original UCS Millennium Falcon being LEGO Designer Jens Frederiksen's favourite set of all time, the panelists covered the history of the YT-1300 freighter sets next, before moving on to talk about LEGO Star Wars animation, spanning Revenge of the Brick, Bombad Bounty, The Quest for R2-D2, The Padawan Menace, The Empire Strikes Out, The Yoda Chronicles, and finally The Freemaker Adventures and LEGO Star Wars: All Stars.

The presentation was concluded with the panelists sharing their favourite sets, with Jabba's Sail Barge and the AT-OT Dropship, the TIE Fighter and Y-Wing set (7150) and Yoda (7194), Tantive IV (10019) and LEGO multipacks, and Flash Speeder (7124) and Republic Cruiser (7665) being the choices of James, Graham, Duncan and Jeremy respectively.

Biggs Darklighter in Tatooine garb was the Star Tot given to those attending the final panel of the day.

Check out the audio for these panels at the Collecting Track's - Celebration Chicago 2019 YouTube channel, with video to follow.
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