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?