View Full Version : Where Did It All Start?

02-23-2005, 04:03 PM
I'm wanting to know what started you in the business of Star Wars collecting. Was it getting Darth Vader for your 5th birthday, was it finding a cache in grandma's attic, or did you just buy a vehicle on a whim at TRU and that started the snowball effect?

For me it was the POTF2 Lando. I was into Lego's at the time before SW Lego's and at the time Lando was tough to find and going for about $40 so I was instructed to buy him. Well as we know you can find him on internet sites for a couple of bucks but I'm glad that I bought that figure now because I'm having fun being 23 and still buying toys. Without my collection I don't know what I'd be spending all of my money on nor do I want to find.:)

02-23-2005, 04:15 PM
My first distinct memory was grandma dropping by my mom's house with all the figures and the X-wing, but I may have had figures before that. However, I think my obsession didn't start until I got the micro series Snowspeeder, I loved that thing so much but lost it in a sandbox at school recreating Luke's crash. I got a lot of the figures after that, but it wasn't the same and SW collecting eventually faded out for me. Then, while I was living in Arizona in '93, I took the bus to TRU and came across the new Micro Machines Space series that featured 3 3packs each of Star Trek and Star Wars, I was soooooo excited but fairly broke so I bought 2 of the Trek sets and the ANH and ESB SW sets. Fast forward to '95, I was shopping at Food for Less and came across a box of Fruit Loops that had a Star Wars action figure photo on the box, I did the mail-away and eventually got my Han Solo in stormtrooper disguise (I have a thing for figures with removable helmets) and the next day went out and bought Luke & Vader at Thrifty Drugs. Somehwhere in this period, I also came across the first wave of Action Fleet, from which I bought the X-wing and the Snowspeeder. From there, it just snowballed. :D

Sith Lord 0498
02-23-2005, 04:20 PM
I remember collecting some of the vintage line when I was 4-6 years old (which would be the mid-1980s), but my present collection didn't start until I was in 8th grade (circa 1995) and I finally drug out my battered copy of "Heir to the Empire" by Timothy Zahn. Because I was older, I understood the themes of the saga better, and that book just swept me away. I started with just the books and some of the POTF2 merchandise when it was first released. Then, it was onto the music scores and after that...it's all just one nine-year long blur--"snowball" effect I suppose.

02-23-2005, 04:32 PM
I had a lot of the vintage figures as a kid. I stopped buying shortly before or during Power of the Force, and only bought one figure with a coin, one of the Ewoks (Romba or Warok).

In 1995-1996 I ignored the first waves of POTF2. I didn't care for the hulkish features and wasn't really into buying "toys". But I decided to buy just Boba Fett. Then I just bought Vader. Then I bought R2-D2 and C-3P0. It started to snowball, but I only wanted certain figures. I knew I had missed the Han Stormtrooper so I didn't plan to get all of them. But then someone gave me the Froot Loops Han Stormtrooper and I decided that I would get all of them. I went crazy looking for the Greedo/Jawas/Sandtrooper wave. I was so excited when the Sandtrooper came out and I realized they were going to make figures not made in the vintage line.

I gave up on being a completist almost completely because I didn't like the Deluxe Luke, Deluxe Han, or Deluxe Boba Fett. But it was a number of years before I passed on a non-Expanded Universe basic carded figure. I think the first ones I passed on were from the first waves of Episode II figures.

02-23-2005, 04:40 PM
Vintage - Mom found some poor soul's lost Chewbacca toy before it could be eaten by the lawnmower.
Modern - Wizard had the first pics I saw of Hasbro's new line of Star Wars figures. I flipped! They were freakin' sweet! Artoo was the first one I saw and bought him on the spot. A few weeks later I found all but 1 of the first wave (Obiw-Wan or Leia was the missing one, I think). I happened to have the cash, so I bought them all. I continued for a while (98 or 99), until it got too expensive to buy them all, so I started buying only the ones I wanted when the TPM figures arrived.

El Chuxter
02-23-2005, 04:41 PM
I must've been three when I got a Jawa and Tusken for Christmas one year. At least I think those were the first two. My memories that far back aren't 100% clear, but I know both of those were very early, and I got extras of both of them within a couple of years. No vinyl capes on the Jawas, though, and none of the figures are in any shape to write home about now.

02-23-2005, 05:09 PM
I think my first Star Wars action figure was either the vintage R2 or a Jawa. My obsession with the movies and toys just grew from there. I still have a large vintage collection but the oldest stuff has a lot of playwear. The "newer" figures and vehicles I have - those from ROTJ, POTF, and DROIDS - are still in like-new condidtion since by that time I just set up static displays. I could only find POTF and DROIDS figures at KB Toys. And given their $3-4 price range, which was a princely sum to me at the time, I could only get a few of the POTF collection. I did buy almost all the DROIDS animated figures though, but none of the EWOKS. So my vintage figure collection is incomplete to this day.

In the early 90s I finally broke down and read Timothy Zahn's new trilogy which was heating up the bestseller's lists. It wasn't as bad as I expected and I think the buzz surrounding Zahn's success really brought Star Wars back to life. I started reading the new comics and collected the new cards. Then I discovered that Lucasfilm had a fanclub and subscribed (for Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was big then). Through them I learned about the Bendable figures, Galoob micromachines, Action Masters (diecast figurines), and finally the big news, Kenner's new 3-3/4" line.

I nearly walked right by the initial wave of POTF figures at Hills Department store in late Summer '95. They didn't have them all - Lando and Leia were hard to find initially - but I eventually got them. It didn't take long for me to stop being a completist - the first casualty was Galoob's stuff. But I've stuck with the basic figure line and vehicles, plus the occasional 12".

Mr. JabbaJohnL
02-23-2005, 05:10 PM
The first figure I got, oddly enough, was the SOTE Chewbacca in Bounty Hunter Disguise. I just liked the look of him, for whatever reason. Coincidentally, I got his between the times when I saw ESB and ROTJ, even though I had no idea what SOTE was about. I then got Han Solo in Carbonite and R5-D4 (hey, I was 7 :p ) and it kind of grew from there. I didn't get into it until after I saw the SEs, which was the first time I saw any of them at all.

I guess the first real Star Wars toy I got was the levitating Cloud City from Taco Bell, before I saw the films. Mmm . . . Taco Bell . . .

02-23-2005, 07:12 PM
First off, nice choice for a thread.

I have to say I started after my younger brother started to get the POTF2 line in 95 and my first carded figure that I bought was Chewbacca from the SOTE line and I've been hot and cold over the years buying figures with only around 100 in my stash so far, but I plan on getting the entire ROTS line and then calming down for a little bit and then ebaying for a lot of the figures I don't have. I'm very happy that I started to collect again, because while other people are spending money on clothes that cost an arm and a leg, I still dress with style and buy DVD's and have a good hobby as well.

02-23-2005, 08:35 PM
I guess for me it started when that massive Star Destroyer crawled across the big screen on May 25th 1977. Ever since then my collection has been growing. Everything from comics to books, from CD's to VHS and DVD, still have the original releases of the Classic Trilogy. Several movies prop ranging from a esb skywalker blaster and lightsaber set signed by Mark Hamill, to a Return of the Jedi Skywalker Lightsaber. Over 1000 loose figures including all of the vintage Kenner figures and roughly 600 carded figures including a vintage ESB Yoda, A Toy Fair Vader, and the entire line of the new vintage line. All of the Topps Cards, models, costumes, shirts, posters, etc.
When I saw the Devastator blasting away at the Tantive IV I was hooked and knew I had to have as much as I could get. For me Star Wars is more than just a movie saga, it's a dive into the imagination ocean of dreams. It is truly one of the reasons why I became an artist.
I am so looking forward to the ROTS figures and Merchandise, can't wait to see the media blitz of ROTS stuff and all the shelfs throughout the world. :D :D

02-23-2005, 09:26 PM
Okay.....<start Waynes World dream sequence>

WHen I was about 4, my Mom worked at Mays, a department store in NYC at the time. I remember it being at night and me and my brother were in the living room ripping open Ben Kenobi, Greedo,Luke X-wing and another figure. It began there. I remember getting all the vintage figures up until POTF came out. I was about 12 years old and my parents would not buy them for me, saying I was too old for them. Little did they know what was to come....

<fast foward>


I am working for Caldors doing L.P. work. My job was to walk around the store catching shoplifters. I wonder over to the toiy dept and to my shagrin, there are SW figures on the pegs. I was like no f'in way. I grabbed one of each and took them to our office. I sat there staring at them debating on whether to nbuyt or not. I came up with the notion that they would be a limited riun and I bought them. More and more came out. I bought whatever I found. I would scour the stocktrooms and grab them before they hit the floor. I had first crack at whatever I wanted. It was great. Around 1998 I stopped collecting for aboout 6 months and nissed alot of the cooler POTF2 figures. Here I am 10 years later, still collecting thislimited run line of figures. I cant believe it has been ten years already.

Bobby Fett
02-23-2005, 09:35 PM
It all started innocently enough in about 1996. I had never been in a Family Dollar store before, so I thought I'd check it out. The store had POTF2 sand/snow/stormtroopers, Vader and Fett for $.99. Oh yeah, they had a lot of other characters too. Later that night, as I was arranging my troops in the home office, I decided I should go back and get duplicates to display carded. I thought this was a rather novel idea - I didn't know SW collectors existed!

Over the years I've stayed pretty true to my original theme of carded Imperial troops and Vaders. I have since started adding the various war droids, clone troops, and Darth Maul. I have 120 out of 304 card variations (by my count), so I'm still actively on the hunt.

Of course, half of the SW room is occupied by gifts and items that have caught my eye, but I don't consider them as part of my collection - just eye candy.

A word of advice, if I may - don't get frazzled if you can't find an item at retail. Wait two or three years and you can get most things on eBay at less than original retail (plus shipping). This works fine unless you're addicted to instant gratification.

02-23-2005, 09:55 PM
I remember going to Kay Bee Toys (remember when those existed?) to look for new X-MEN figures when I overheard the cashier talking about Kenner's 'new' Star Wars toys. Ooooohh... I thought and snuck over to the counter to take a peak. WOW!

Some months later (in '95) I went with my family to visit my Grandparents and we stopped at a Wal-Mart on the way. And in stopping by the asile I spotted a Han Solo action figure! And behind him, Darth Vader! And a Stormtrooper! I knew that was it. I was hooked on site! I only had $10 bucks on me so I bought Han and Vader. I sat in the car the whole night staring at these new beauties!

Major Karr
02-24-2005, 07:54 AM
OK, this makes me feel real old, but it was Christmas 1977 when both my brother and I got the best present ever...the Early Bird Package. I think I had almost every figure (and I opened them!) put out after that up through ROTJ. Then I was in college and and then in the real world and kinda forgot about it, thinking end of movies, end of toys. Fast forward to winter 1999 and it turns out that both of my assistants at work were into SW like I was. When TPM stuff came out, all three of us hit TRU and went nuts with the new stuff. The beginning of my completeist sickness had begun, although I have eased back somewhat. Now I slowly am filling in with some of the stuff I missed.

02-24-2005, 08:33 AM
Boy I Feel Old. I Recieved My First Toys On Christmas Of 78.
Ben Kenobi,luke,chewie,darth Veder Tie Fighter And The Death Star.
I Was 10 Years Old And Have Been Collecting Since.

02-24-2005, 10:00 AM
Got mine...in 1996-97?Close enough,at a Target with my Grandma.I had just seen the SE verisons and thought it was some of the coolest movies I had ever seen in my life.So Grandma takes my brothers and I to Target and my first ever action figure was X-Wing Luke,followed by Darth Vader.Then...it was all downhill from there :D

02-24-2005, 10:35 AM
My first SW figure was in the mid-80's. It was Kez-Iban (sp?) from the Droids line. I've always been a Star Wars fan, but never really got too much new stuff when I was a kid since my older brother had it all already (spoiled jerk....). What got me officially started on my own was the POTF2 Lando and Boba Fett. I got them at Toys 'R' Us and loved them so much that I bought more. And more. And more. I was never a completist. I just bought what I liked (which happened to be most of them.). I continue that trend to this day. I now have a lovely collection of LOOSE :D figures. They're in a huge Rubbermaid bin, but lovely nonetheless! Stupid small apartment.......

02-24-2005, 10:38 AM
These are some great stories folks. It would almost appear that the number of original collectors (when the movies were first released) and the SE collectors, myself included, are nearly equal. Quite a spread of age groups going on here. Very nice. :)

02-24-2005, 12:15 PM
Well, I started this long journey back in early February 1997 when I first saw "Star Wars: A New Hope" the Special Edition. I was hooked when I saw the Tantive IV fly overhead with the Star Destroyer in hot pursuit, bolts of green and red zooming past at both ships. I was instantly in love.

Soon after that, I was in a KB Toys (long since closed now :() and I spotted a whole Star Wars display that they had set up there. I asked my mom if I could buy some, she said ok. I walked out of that store with a Luke, a Chewie, a Threepio, and R2-D2.

A few weeks later, just before I saw the ESB Special Edition, I was in TRU and I was amazed at how many Star Wars figures they had displayed for the Special Edition. I was ecstatic. I remember buying Han, Leia, Vader, Boba Fett, a Stormtrooper, Yoda, Lando, Obi-Wan, Stormtrooper Luke, Greedo, X-Wing Luke, Momaw Nadon, R5-D4, Han in Carbonite, and countless others over that year. By April 1999, I had all of the POTF2 figures, except for the EU figures (didn't care much for those).

Over that period, I also got my hands on some loose vintage figures from SW, ESB, and ROTJ. My first vintage figures were Boba Fett and Han Solo, which I got for $8 each at a flea market. :D

Then came the Episode 1 figures. After school on May 3, 1999, I went into the same KB Toys that I got my first Star Wars toys at to pick up my TPM figures. I was able to get all of them, even Darth Maul, who I didn't realize was going to be a rare figure. As that line progressed, though, I had a tougher time finding figures and had to resort to ordering online. To this day, I still have a complete loose collection of Episode 1 basic figures. I was even lucky enough to find Sio Bibble at a K-Mart for $4.99 :eek:

Then Power of the Jedi came out, IMO, the best of the Star Wars lines, and I got all of those pretty easily.

Then came the Saga figures and the OTC and VOTC figures, which were all in all great figures.

And I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the ROTS toys, as I'm sure all of you are. :)


02-24-2005, 02:53 PM
These are some great stories folks. It would almost appear that the number of original collectors (when the movies were first released) and the SE collectors, myself included, are nearly equal. Quite a spread of age groups going on here. Very nice. :)I don't know why, but it seems weird to me that there are so many relative Star Wars newbies out there. I can't remember a time when Star Wars wasn't in my life in one way or another.
It's cool to see and +25-year-old movie is still producing fans!

02-24-2005, 03:26 PM
Early Bird set, Christmas 1977. My mom was smart enough to open it and send the coupon in when she bought it, rather than wait for Christmas, so I think I got an early set of figures. My sister eventually ended up with that Chewie, Artoo, and Leia, but I still have my Luke Skywalker w/Double-telescoping Lightsaber :)


02-24-2005, 06:08 PM
My first non-baby toys were indeed figures from the original film. As I grew older, the other movies came out, so I made a point of collecting every action figure and playset that came out, too (I have vivid memories of spending months of allowance on the Rancor).
My addiction to carded figure collecting actually began in the mid- to late-80s, when I found several ROTJ pegwarmers selling for 50 cents at this great old Omaha toy store called Children's Palace (now a Best Buy, I believe). I was only marginally interested in POTF2 when it came out, but when Episode I hit, I started collecting hard core again.

02-24-2005, 10:36 PM
Boy, I had to really think for a moment, I mean after all I was 12 when the first Star Wars movie came out in 77! From my earliest recollection, I think the first Star Wars thing I ever got was a 100 peice puzzle with the X-Wing and TIE fighter. My parents weren't ones to spend money on me, and my pursuit of SW toys. By the time I was able to get a job, most of the SW toys had come and gone. Even when I did have a job, I wasn't making that much, and I was working as a busboy at a mall restaurant. After I got my tips for working the lunch shift, I would run down to the other corner of the mall, and watch ESB. I really don't have to many toys from the early days left after I got caught stealing some small toy (stupid, I know), my dad threw much of what I did have in the trash. I was able to salvage a few items, but mostly the stuff he didn't find. Then in 95, I was out of School, working a job, had my own place, had a 4 year old son, and they started putting the toys out again! It was a great day for me, and now my collection has grown and takes up most of my bedroom, and has started taking over the living and dining rooms at my place.

You can see some of my old photos of my collection at the photo gallery here on SSG. I plan on updating them ASAP.

BTW, my favorite item, is my Stormtrooper armor, and my Tusken outfit! I really enjoy seeing kids faces when they see this guy in armor walking towards them from a movie that they have seen thanks to all the rereleases!

02-24-2005, 10:57 PM
(The links in the Collections section of the site seem to be broken -cant see the pictures!)

02-28-2005, 08:17 PM
(The links in the Collections section of the site seem to be broken -cant see the pictures!)

I can't seem to access the pictures of my collection, or any others, except Sir Steve and staff. I wonder if they cleaned the slate?

02-28-2005, 08:22 PM
I know. I'm gonna email the boss and see whats up.

02-28-2005, 11:35 PM
The Boss emailed me back and said they were accidently erased but were on backup -and should be back soon.

03-01-2005, 09:12 PM
The Boss emailed me back and said they were accidently erased but were on backup -and should be back soon.

It's back up and working! I need to update some of the pictures, as I moved, and added items to my collection.


03-01-2005, 09:50 PM
It all started on a trip to TRU for a kids B-day. As we drove up I noticed a Collectors shop right next to TRU (How convenient for the shop right?:rolleyes: ) Well I thought I should take a look in there incase there something that caught my eye and a OC carded vader sure did along with most of the 1st wave in 96. I had no idea that the line had come out. I mean how would If I never went into toy stores. Well I did think $30 was a good price, so I went to TRU and they didn't even have 1 figure on the pegs. I went to KB and I think I bought Lando and R2. Almost 10 years later and I can't believe I'm still at it. It's actually the longest thing I have stuck with in my life, well except school.:classic:

Reefer Shark
03-01-2005, 10:03 PM
It all started way back in '77 for me. I vividly remember seeing it at a drive-in in the back of a station wagon with my mom, her boyfreind (at the time) and his daughter. I was 6 years old and was enthralled by the movie. My mom says all I talked about for a while after that was "Darth Vader".

I remember my mom coming home with Darth and a few other figures when they came out in '78 (I'm pretty sure it was Luke and Ben). Then I started getting them on shopping trips to Malls, Gemco (long gone), Sears, and Mervyns - they actually had a toy section back in the day. Mom would let me get one or two figures at a time - I would sit there for what seemed like hours deciding which ones to get!

I was heavily into the toys until the begining of the ROTJ line, and had a lot of the figures and vehicles - but never had a complete collection or anything like that. I missed out on most ROTJ, and all POTF, Droids, and Ewoks figures.

Fast forward to '95. I had gotten back into to toys with the ToyBiz Marvel stuff, so I was around for the begining of POTF2 - and everything after that is history. :D

Like Kidhuman said, I can't believe it's been ten years already! Just seems crazy to me.

Reefer Shark
03-01-2005, 10:06 PM
Almost 10 years later and I can't believe I'm still at it. It's actually the longest thing I have stuck with in my life, well except school.:classic:

You just nailed it, that's probably why the whole thing seems so crazy to me.

Not to sound like a lonely freak or anything like that (I'm really not), but SW figures seem almost like an old freind at this point. Always there for me, and they don't give me any crap! :crazed:

03-01-2005, 10:22 PM
I don't know Reefer, remember I have met you.:D

Yeah I know what you mean. What the hell are people like you and I going to do when Hasbro and just about all companies drop the line? Oh man I think I'll go in hiding. :dead:

03-02-2005, 01:34 PM
I'm having issues with trying to switch out some of the old pictures from my collection page here on SSG. Instead I guide you to my collection online photo album. Click on the link below, and go about half way down the second page. You can look at my updated pictures there!


I have a lot of stuff, more than some, less than others, but it's all good!

Bobby Fett
03-02-2005, 06:11 PM

Bobafrett... I am your father... You will share with me... It is your destiny!

03-02-2005, 06:29 PM
The very first thing I ever got was the novelization for Star Wars. I'm pretty sure that was under the Christmas tree in '76. Then, I can still remember walking into the Kmart in Toledo, Ohio (on Reynolds Road) and seeing a display stand near the front door full of Star Wars action figures. My mom decided to let me get one. She looked at R2 and said, "He's cute," and that was it. I still have the novel (split down the middle like they all did from that time) and the R2 (who has seen better days). I was never a "serious" collector or anything in those years, but somehow the pile o' stuff grew. Alas, as high school set in, my attention turned to other pursuits like girls and home movies (though the twain never met unfortunately ;) ). As a result, I wound up with almost none of the POTF coin figures, though my younger brother managed to wind up with some great stuff that I never had.

Life ensued until '94ish when I saw one of the Galoob Micromachine sets sitting on a toy shelf at TRU. I could barely believe my eyes. I had to have it of course. It was some months later when I stumbled upon the first He-Man type action figures. Now those, I couldn't pass up. I remember thinking that there would only ever be a few made. Afterall, these movies were 20+ years old. So I started buying them whenever a new one would show up. Of course, as my vintage Cantina playset became too small to display what I had bought, out came the shoeboxes to start storing the older ones. Then in time, the boxes got too small and gave way to larger "office" drawer things, those plastic ones you find at Target. Everything was nicely organized until eventually, there were too many figures to keep them organized this way. So most recently, I've simply dumped all the OT figs into one huge plastic container and the Prequels into another. The Expanded Universe stuff gets its own as do the ships (multiple boxes), beasts, and playsets.

That one R2 led to, what is now, a collection of well over a thousand action figures, most of the vehicles and playsets, as well as a calvacade of other non-Hasbro Star Wars knick knacks and paddywhacks.

Currently, on top of my computer monitors, I have the Kotobukiya Darth Vader, the small Yoda from the Taco Bell sets, the R2 D2 with removable head that I think came with the Taco Bell sets, a wind up AT AT, a Lego Speederbike and Scout, a 12" Biker Scout on the Bike, and a small Marvin the Martian who has been with me since I moved away from home. :)

03-02-2005, 09:32 PM
Bobafrett... I am your father... You will share with me... It is your destiny!

Ha, I have told my 14 year old son that he inherits the collection when I pass on.

Life ensued until '94ish when I saw one of the Galoob Micromachine sets sitting on a toy shelf at TRU. I could barely believe my eyes.

Are you talking about the sets with the 3 ships stilla? I remember my friend and I used to wonder the TRU's in our area, and the one day we were rounding a corner when I spotted an endcap of these micromachines. I let out a girly type scream, and I remeber my friend putting some distance between us, telling the emploee "I don't know him". I think that was the start or rebirth of the Star Wars collecting phase, and it's amazing that it's still doing well these days.