Rebelscum reposted an interview with Bernard Loomis who passed away recently. He was the former President of Kenner Toys from the General Mills Corp and he was responsible for starting Star Wars collecting in its very beginning. The first Early Bird Kit was his personal brain-child.
The man should almost get his own action figure post-humanously. He is a God amongst us mere mortal collectors.
His history, including his being a WWII Veteran (of the Pacific Theater) is extremely interesting.
He has my sincere admiration and gratitude for the nearly 30 years of happiness (from Star Wars collecting) that he has brought into my life.
All of us would not be gathered here posting on this forum and building the friendships we have over SirSteve's own past 10 years if it were not for Mr. Loomis.
It's really incredible how one person can make a difference. He started out by collecting baseball card autographs and building electric model train sets (Lionel Railroads). He took a big gamble on Star Wars and was a completely out-of-the-box thinker. Steven Spielberg even encouraged him (as George dictated it was SW or Close Encounters, but not both - and though CE was Spielberg, Mr. Jurassic Park himself told Loomis to go with Star Wars and collected 1 of every figure from his best friend George's movie, too.
NOTHING has ever beat Star Wars - and no one here would disagree with me. George Lucas gave us the inspiration for (practically) our lives, but Bernard Loomis solidified it in plastic. Indirectly, he is even "the Godfather of the Mouse Droid!" I could give him no higher praise.