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bigbarada
07-30-2004, 11:45 AM
1986-1994 are usually referred to as the "Dark Years" of Star Wars collecting mainly because there were no new action figures in the stores at that time.

But I don't really remember them to be all that dark since I amassed a majority of my collection while I was in high school (1987-91). Mostly from friends who thought they were too old for the hobby and wanted to get rid of their toys.

The last figures I found in the stores were clearanced POTF figures (2 for $1.00!) in July of 1986 at a TRU in San Jose, California. In mid-1987 I saw a whole bunch of B-Wing Pilots just sitting on the clearance rack at a Kay-Bee in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And that was the last figures I saw on the racks until 1995 (with the exception of a few Droids and Ewoks figures, which I didn't really consider a part of the Star Wars line).

1987, was the 10th anniversary of Star Wars and saw the return of the Fan Club and the release of West End Games Star Wars role-playing game. The second edition of the game was released in 1989. That game kept me and my brother occupied through high school and kept our interest in Star Wars alive.

In 1991, of course, Heir to the Empire was published and the EU-era began.

In 1994, before Kenner announced it's new line, Star Wars toys began making their return to the shelves. Mainly the die-cast Action Masters line, the JustToys Bend-Ems and the Micro-Machines sets.

So, with the exception of the Kenner toy line, I never really thought the "Dark Years" of Star Wars collecting were all that dark. Anybody else have a similar experience?

stillakid
07-30-2004, 11:55 AM
1986-1994 are usually referred to as the "Dark Years" of Star Wars collecting mainly because there were no new action figures in the stores at that time.

But I don't really remember them to be all that dark since I amassed a majority of my collection while I was in high school (1987-91). Mostly from friends who thought they were too old for the hobby and wanted to get rid of their toys.

The last figures I found in the stores were clearanced POTF figures (2 for $1.00!) in July of 1986 at a TRU in San Jose, California. In mid-1987 I saw a whole bunch of B-Wing Pilots just sitting on the clearance rack at a Kay-Bee in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And that was the last figures I saw on the racks until 1995 (with the exception of a few Droids and Ewoks figures, which I didn't really consider a part of the Star Wars line).

1987, was the 10th anniversary of Star Wars and saw the return of the Fan Club and the release of West End Games Star Wars role-playing game. The second edition of the game was released in 1989. That game kept me and my brother occupied through high school and kept our interest in Star Wars alive.

In 1991, of course, Heir to the Empire was published and the EU-era began.

In 1994, before Kenner announced it's new line, Star Wars toys began making their return to the shelves. Mainly the die-cast Action Masters line, the JustToys Bend-Ems and the Micro-Machines sets.

So, with the exception of the Kenner toy line, I never really thought the "Dark Years" of Star Wars collecting were all that dark. Anybody else have a similar experience?

Yeah, sort of. While I did have most of the action figures from my early childhood days, if I remember correctly, we (my brother, my mom, and I) managed to nab a large number of items from flea markets and garage sales in the time you describe. That was before Ebay of course.

bigbarada
07-30-2004, 12:02 PM
In a way, I think collecting was actually more fun in those days. But it was also much more difficult and incredibly frustrating at times. Eventually I got used to going one or two years without seeing a single new item.

Then again, we didn't have to deal with unscrupulous scalpers and dealers (as much) and to the general public Star Wars was a fun ride that ended years before, so the values of the HTF stuff were much lower than what we have now. On top of that, there was also less stuff to look for, so I never really felt swamped by a flood of new product like I do now.

Ah, simpler times. :cool:

Bel-Cam Jos
07-30-2004, 01:24 PM
Don't forget Dark Empire around '92 and the SW Galaxy card sets. 1992 also had a couple 15th anniversary items (I only got a silver coin). During the '89-'93 period I found the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian Adventures trilogies from the mid-1980s, read all three movie novelizations and Splinter of the Mind's Eye, organized and catalogued by collection (which at one point could fit into a box about the size of an oven! :eek: ), etc.

I was doing quite a bit during the "dark times," so it wasn't a problem for me; in fact, it was easier to handle with less "stuff" out there, and, of course, prices were cheaper.

bigbarada
07-30-2004, 01:40 PM
I think the longest stretch I went without thinking about Star Wars was from 1992 to late-1993. Then a friend of mine in the barracks loaned me Steve Sansweet's From Concept to Screen to Collectible book and I was suddenly bowled over with a wave of nostalgia and unfulfilled ambitions: getting the Shuttle, A-Wing and all of the Last-13 POTF.

That was when I first learned of the existence of Yak Face and Blue Snaggletooth.

I was also so caught up with the formation of Image Comics in 1992, that I completely overlooked all of the Star Wars comics and card sets being published then. :stupid:

Kidhuman
07-30-2004, 02:39 PM
I didnt find anything much in that time period. I also shifted to GI Joe at the time. ALso stopped collecting/playing with toys. I did buy a carded Snaggletooth and Admiral Ackbar for like 7 dollars each at a hobby shop around 1990 though. Lost them about two years later when I moved.

Ji'dai
07-30-2004, 05:40 PM
I remember an article in Starlog from that time that asked if Star Wars fandom was dead. It may not have been dead, but it certainly was dormant. They were pretty lean years for Star Wars collecting for me. I did collect SW comics and books, cards, and theatrical posters during this time. I was into GI Joe then so buying vintage SW toys at flea markets didn't really appeal to me.

When Lucasfilm began production of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles I discovered the Lucasfilm Fan Club and joined in '93. Most merchandise offered in the club magazine was Indy stuff, but you could get SW RP games, model kits, posters, and even some vintage ROTJ, Ewoks, and Droids carded figures through them.

B'Omarr Monkey
07-30-2004, 08:27 PM
They were pretty dark for me. I went to college in the Fall of 1984, so missed the last waves of the vintage line, because my life was now so different and I had absolutely zero money. I still loved SW, and had all my stuff on display back at my parents house (I was still there in the summers), but gave little thought to trying to get stuff I missed. Starting in about 1994, I started picking up stuff I'd missed like the vintage B-Wing MIB for $100, but this was still pretty sporadic for me. I rmember passing on a mint carded Droids Boba Fett for $40. :eek:

I really started up again when the first wave of new figures came out in 1995. Even then, it was more of a nostagia thing, I never expected the line to go past the principal 12 characters. I think if I hadn't been buying other toys then, I wouldn't even have known the new figures existed.

LusiferSam
07-30-2004, 09:04 PM
Those were pretty dark years for me. Most of friends lost interest in SW about '85, so I either had to move on with them or be stuck playing by myself. At times I would still play with my SW toys but I was more into G.I. Joe by that time. The last figures I found a store as a kid were Klaatu and Admiral Ackbar, that was '88 (the same year that Lego would displace everything for me).
Between '88 and late (very late) '93 I'd look for SW toys (or anything) when I could be never really found anything. But starting in late '93 I started read the novels and comic books. So that's when things started up for me again.