One of the rare opportunities offered by the Japanese venue for this year’s Celebration is a chance to hear first hand from expert Japanese collectors about rare items and the often obscure histories associated with them. Most of these collectibles and the stories behind them rarely make their way across the Pacific.
On Saturday, poster collector Hideyuki Takizawa and candy premium collector You Katagiri discussed some little-known facts about some of the extremely rare collectibles produced during the late ’70s and early ’80s in Japan, complete with a Powerpoint presentation showcasing many never-before-seen images.
More after the jump –
Both long-time collectors themselves, each has had three decades to put together collections that few can equal. Takizawa showcased a series of small Japanese transit posters, for example, each identical except for a different venue tout printed on each. He admits there were likely several different variations printed, and that gathering a full set would be virtually impossible. That doesn’t mean he’ll stop trying, however.
Takizawa also discussed Japanese illustrator Noriyoshi Ohrai, who US fans know as the artist who created the famous “Starfall” poster for Return of the Jedi and the stunning Empire Strikes Back art used for several international venues, including Australia. Even in Japan, Ohrai’s reputation is legendary, enhanced by the fact that he rarely if ever takes interviews or presents an exhibit of his works.
Katagiri followed with an enlightening discussion of the legendary Morinaga and Meiji candy premiums and packaging — legendary to diehard Star Wars collectors for their extreme scarcity and wonderful packaging designs. While the premiums to many may seem more like trinkets — pins, flicker-cards, key chains, etc. — to collectors, these items are literally worth their weight in gold. Many were perceived as cheap and not saved, and few have made the trip overseas to collections abroad. It was a treat to finally see many of these items that rarely make an appearance outside of Japan.
Both of these panels will be discussed at length in the coming weeks on starwars.com, so be sure to stay tuned to the main site for an extended review and revealing image series of these and other legendary Japanese collectibles!