Joe Yglesias collects Star Wars bootlegs — that is, quasi-Star-Wars-related merchandise that sports names like “Star Force”, “Star Battle”, “Space Gambler”, and “Star Knight” — which bear more than just a passing resemblance to characters, hardware, and weapons from our favorite faraway galaxy. Most of this stuff has been ignored, or even shunned by collectors — until now. Star Wars bootlegs and knock-offs have begun taking on a novel appeal among a growing number of fans, especially those who recall spying the stuff on their local dime store shelves back in the ’70s.
“When I started getting into bootlegs it was just for the novelty factor,” says Yglesias, who recently devoted an entire room of his house to display his Star Wars knock-off collection. “As I delved deeper into bootlegs, they took over as my prime interest. I was intrigued by them, partially for the cheese factor of the badly made, oddly-colored toys, and partially for the history of the items and how/where they were made. Now, easily 15 years later, I’ve sold or traded the majority of my licensed items and turned my collection area into a shrine for misfit Star Wars toys from around the world.”
Check out Yglesias’ Flickr set of over 130 pics from “Mos Yglesias”, a motley, expansive collection of Star Wars knock-offs from the US to Yugoslavia (and in some cases, even the molds that made them!).