Archive for ‘Collecting’



Maul-icious Posters

Pete Vilmur | January 20, 2012

1999: Darth Maul transit poster from Hong Kong

With our Darth Maul-themed week of content giving way to “Droids” on Monday, we wanted to squeeze in one last bit of retro Maul material before the week closes out. To that end, we’ve dug up eight poster images featuring Episode I’s enduringly vogue villain, from the 1999 international campaign to Koto’s ukiyo-e style Maul of 2011:

1999: Unisource Papers used a Maul visage which now appears hopelessly outdated by today’s CGI standards, but no less intimidating

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Week 2: Exclusive Darth Maul Tee Now Available

StarWars.com Team | January 18, 2012

StarWars.com’s 5-week Episode I 3D campaign continues — Week 2: Darth Maul

The ramp-up to Episode I 3D’s release on February 10 continues this week with a bunch of cool Darth Maul content on the official site, including the uber-cool “Darth Maul Me” feature (which transforms your own face into a red-and-black-tattooed monstrosity!) and an all-new exclusive Darth Maul t-shirt designed by Reece Ward, available through this Sunday only at welovefine.com!

So be sure and visit StarWars.com’s Maul-themed page for free activities and downloadables, then head to welovefine.com for the exclusive Maul tee, which is also available as a women’s fitted tee and hoodie. Stay tuned next week for Week 3 of special Episode I 3D content and exclusives: Jedi!

Exclusive Podracer T-shirt: Less Than 3 Days Left!

StarWars.com Team | January 13, 2012

This week, StarWars.com launched a special Episode I 3D hub page giving fans a one-stop destination for all the latest news and activities surrounding Star Wars: Episode I 3D’s release next month! Among the links for trailers, a new free game (Star Wars: Racer Rush), a Podrace soundboard, a drawing tutorial and more is one very cool Podracing t-shirt available exclusively from the Mighty Fine website until 11:59pm PST on Sunday — that’s less than 3 days!

The exclusive Podracer tee is the first of five — yes five — exclusive t-shirts that will be available for one week only over the next month as we lead up to the opening of Episode I 3D. In addition, the Episode I 3D page will update every Monday with an all-new Episode I theme, which the weekly exclusive t-shirt will reflect! Here’s the schedule:

  • Jan 9 – 15: Podracing
  • Jan 16 – 22: Darth Maul
  • Jan 23 – 29: Droids
  • Jan 30 – Feb 5: Jedi
  • Feb 6 – 12: Queen Amidala

So if you’ve got a soft spot for Darth Maul — or droids, Jedi, and Amidala — be sure to mark your calendars to check back for the exclusive t-shirt that will be available for one week only, along with themed-out videos, games, downloads and activities!

But if Podracing’s is your favorite thing about Episode I, you’d better head over to www.welovefine.com now and grab the exclusive Podracing tee that’s available for less than three more days!

Vintage Star Wars Holiday Greetings

Pete Vilmur | December 20, 2011


“That’s Droid Talk for Happy Holidays”

This set of quirky Star Wars holiday greetings comes courtesy of a rare set of cards printed by Drawing Board Greeting Cards in 1977. As Artoo would say, “VREEP ADOOT BLEEP!” (translation above)…


“From our galaxy… to your galaxy… Happy Holidays”
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Star Wars Frugal Finds for 2011

Pete Vilmur | December 19, 2011

If you’re a Star Wars collector, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve had to pare back some of your hobby purchases in these economically challenging times. But there is still a great way to get that collecting fix on a budget – if you’re willing to explore the world of vintage collecting!

Not the world of mint-sealed-on-card vintage collecting, but the eccentric, exotic, eclectic world of ticket stubs, disco singles, foreign paperbacks and iron-on transfers from the ‘70s to ‘90s. Treasures abound in the under-$10 category of collecting, if you know where to look – and what to look for.

As an exercise in budget collecting – and a way to relive some great finds of the last year — I thought I’d go back through my collectible purchases of 2011 to find those pieces I felt were exceptionally good deals, even if they’re not what some would categorize as mainstream (which frankly makes them even more appealing!). Most of the following – with a few exceptions – were had for under $10, and required just a little bit of adventuring beyond the usual Star Wars collecting categories on eBay:

Jan 10: British Jar Jar Binks Pencil Case (£3.97)

Yeah, I know, first one out of the gate and it’s a Jar Jar collectible. This was actually the fourth piece I picked up after the new year, and just couldn’t resist those cool retro-style graphics that just scream galactic-groovy.

(See more 2011 frugal finds after the jump!)

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Star Wars Holiday Gift Ideas from ThinkGeek

StarWars.com Team | December 1, 2011

ThinkGeek recently revealed several new additions to its Star Wars product line, just in time for the holidays! While some of these items are not yet available at ThinkGeek’s site, we wanted to send a heads-up in case you’re putting together your gift list!

Star Wars Breakfast Beverages — The perfect gift for every man, woman or Wookiee. Each beverage comes in a collectible metal lithographed tin featuring unique illustrations. The set of three includes Vader Dark Roast Coffee for a taste of the dark side, Hoth Cocoa for those cold nights, and Yoda Dagobah Green Tea to help find your true self. The set is available now for $29.99.

Han Solo in Carbonite Chocolate Bar — A tasty confection sure to satisfy the bounty hunter in your life, this delicious homage to The Empire Strikes Back is 4.5 ounces of premium Belgian dark chocolate. Available soon for $11.99.

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Inflatable R2-D2 Black Friday Offer

StarWars.com Team | November 22, 2011

For a limited time only Star Wars: The Clone Wars Magazine is offering a FREE inflatable R2-D2 with every subscription!

Pay just $24.99 and get 6 fantastic issues and an exclusive R2-D2 inflatable figure!

Offer includes:
• Pay just $24.99 for 6 issues – saving 17% off the cover price!
• FREE R2-D2 Inflatable figure
• Get your copy before it hits the stores!

Subscribe by calling 800-999-9718 or by clicking here!

Rancho Obi-Wan’s Grand Re-Opening!

Pete Vilmur | November 10, 2011

If you’re a fan who frequents any number of Star Wars collecting forums, Facebook pages or twitterfeeds, you probably picked up some heightened chatter starting last Saturday around 4:00pm PST. No, George wasn’t announcing the release of a seventh Star Wars episode, and no, a Blu-ray release of the Holiday Special (which looks bad in any resolution) isn’t imminent – rather, it was the grand re-opening of Rancho Obi-Wan, an enormous museum celebrating the merchandising legacy and fandom inspired by our favorite space saga. Its original — and far quieter — opening occurred way back in 1998, and has since served as a resource and spectacle for those lucky fans who have received a tour.

Around 200 guests file in to the new Rancho Obi-Wan (photo by Victoria Webb)

Rancho Obi-Wan – which houses the personal collection of Star Wars super-collector Steve Sansweet – was unveiling a spacious new addition to display Sansweet’s ever-expanding collection of Star Wars goodies, including full-size arcade games, bicycles, life-size droids, and fan-created artwork. What’s more, Steve announced Rancho Obi-Wan’s new nonprofit corporation status, which will “serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts” (check out ranchoobiwan.org and Rancho’s official Facebook page ).
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Snagging a Piece of Special Effects History

Pete Vilmur | November 1, 2011

Ever since 1980, when the second issue of an industry magazine called Cinefex gave extensive coverage to the making of The Empire Strikes Back‘s special effects, I’ve pretty much been an fx geek. Setting up models against a blue screen — state of the art for the special effects industry in the ’70s and ’80s — the artists at Industrial Light & Magic would create the X-wing run down the Death Star trench, the snowspeeder attack against the AT-ATs, and the speederbike chase through the Endor forest, to name a few. These set-ups would include the models, the pylons propping them up, stage lights, the blue screen, and of course the camera — items that recently became available in an auction staged out of the old ILM facility in San Rafael, California.

Naturally, as an effects junkie and a resident of the Bay Area, this was destined to be a red-letter day.

Large crate from the ILM stage containing blue screen material

Because ILM has gone almost exclusively digital in the last decade or so, it shed off its modeling division a few years ago, with the new owners inheriting much of the old studio supplies that had served ILM for so long. But with the new studio recently disbanding, all the old lights, cameras, editing tables and booms — not to mention tables, desks, and even the contents of their drawers — were going to the auction block. With hundreds of lots available — several of which were literally room-fuls of stuff — there was a lot to scrutinize.

Pouring over scores of photos depicting the tools that created some of the most memorable effects shots in history, I’d marked about ten items of interest, two of which I and a colleague were ultimately able to win. I didn’t get everything I’d hoped to, but was glad to be able to take home a little piece of history in the end.

Below is a selection of some of the more interesting pieces of last week’s auction, at least interesting to those with a bent for analog-era special effects. To check out the entire list of lots (which are now closed), go here (Note: the photos below are a combination of our on-site photos and those posted by the auction house).

The “Vista Cruiser” motion control head used for Return of the Jedi
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Halloween Diorama: “The Cons of Being a Gonk”

Pete Vilmur | October 28, 2011

Artist Stephen Hayford shares a couple of his classic Star Wars Halloween action figure dioramas from his ever-expanding catalog of Star Wars-inspired photographs. This pair from a few years ago still gives us a giggle, although it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for our favorite little power droid (or the unfortunate trick-or-treater inside). Click the images for expanded views!