In a galaxy far…far…away
I remember as a boy of eight, going to the theatre with my father and brother to watch Star Wars on the “big screen” in 1977 for the first time. The special effects for this movie at the time were cutting edge; it was so good that we stayed in our seats after the film was over and watched it again. I have watched that same movie on VHS, DVD and late night cable probably over a 100 times since that day. I can remember having “light saber” duels with my brother in the backyard with cardboard tubes, fighting to rid the galaxy of evil. Perhaps one of the fondest memories of my childhood was opening presents on Christmas morning in my eight year, and receiving a Darth Vader action figure case filled with these figures from the movie.
Mom didn’t know
I often wondered what happened to that case full of “memories”from my childhood. My mother hated clutter and always had an annual garage sale, so I imagine they are either part of someone’s collection, or slowly disintegrating at the bottom of a landfill. Many years later in the early 1990’s these figures have become “Hot” collectors’ items. I guess there were other kids like me, apparently tens of thousands of them, who also had moms like mine. These “kids”had grown up, were gainfully employed, and looking to replace these missing links to their childhood.
Re-collecting your childhood
Collectors come from all walks of life, from every country, race, and sex and are diverse as the things they collect. There seems to be a consensus among collectors who spend their money on old toys, and that consensus is buying these toys from “days gone by” brings them back to that Christmas morning or Birthday party were they originally received these collectibles. It seems that collecting these memories can sometimes come with a big price tag.
On-line Collectors paying big money
In September of this year a 3 pack of The Empire Strikes Back action figures sealed in original packaging from the original trilogy of films, sold on E-bay for $28,601.00. A sealed “Jawa” 12 back figure in original packaging also sold on E-bay in September for $6,000. I recently attended a toy show in St Charles, IL and there were dozens and dozens of booths were merchants dealt specifically with Star Wars memorabilia. I even saw a Darth Vader action figure case, just like the one I received on Christmas, this time empty selling for $55.
Sitting on a gold mine
I just wonder how many attics and basements are filled with these rare collectibles. There has got to a cardboard box filled with these action figures in somebody’s basement on a shelf marked “jims toys” in black magic marker. I am sure that there is a toy box in an attic or two around somewhere, perhaps deep in the back, behind the plastic Christmas nativity set, the bundles of national geographic magazines and the antique furniture from Aunt Nettie’s house, filled to the rim with these toys. Somebody out there is sitting on a goldmine and doesn’t even realize it. Maybe after reading this article, you can use “the force” to locate these forgotten treasures at the folk’s house, and take a stroll down memory lane.