Guests Today’s addition to the guest list is the Emperor himself, Ian McDiarmid. It’ll be his third Celebration; His first was the original Celebration Europe in 2007.
Attractions. Steve Sansweet, is another high profile guest, and he’s bringing the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience to Germany. The Experience was extremely popular at Celebration VI; We hope they get a bigger space at CE!
Panels. And, naturally, the collecting track is back!
Since we’ve had every other sort of announcement lately, I suppose some toy news was inevitable. USA Today got the scoop on Hasbro’s new Black Series, so named because the color somehow inspired their designers. (It reminds me of Jim Beam bourbon, but to each his own.) The big change here is that the line will contain a few 6-inch figures, in addition to the traditional 3¾-inchers. Never before has six inches been considered such an enormous upgrade.
Hasbro hopes the new line will appeal to both new buyers and adult collectors, which makes sense since the larger figs are priced significantly higher than the regular ones. They’re supposedly quite detailed and articulated, but I remember reading that the original Clone Wars line (based on the Tartakovsky series) didn’t sell because they weren’t the same size as the normal figures. Have times changed? Or are the clearance racks about to get a whole lot more crowded?
There is one side to the Disney deal that I haven’t seem much bandied about: It means there probably won’t be any more Star Wars Happy Meals. In 2006, Disney stopped their partnership with McDonalds, and they have in recent years done tie-ins with healthier options like Subway, which they have teamed up with for Brave and Frankenweenie. Head into a Subway today and you’ll see promos for Wreck-it Ralph. (Hat tip to CJer Rach for noticing!)
McDonalds has done Star Wars Happy Meal promotions based around The Clone Wars in 2008, 2010 and earlier this year. In 2005, Revenge of the Sith toys appeared at Burger King; Taco Bell had toys for the Special Editions and teamed up with corporate siblings Pizza Hut and KFC for The Phantom Menace promotions. (Attack of the Clones sat the fast food market out.) And the GenXers among us will remember Burger King’s Return of the Jedi glasses from 1983.
You can win a free Initiate membership to Steve Sansweet’s Star Wars wonderland simply by signing up for their mailing list by 4:44 pm PDT (aka 7:44 pm EDT) on Friday, May 4th. So get to it!
Steve Sansweet’s collectible mecca is now an official nonprofit corporation. From their Facebook page:
Rancho Obi-Wan, Inc. is a NEW California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation whose specific purpose is to serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts, using this collection to provide meaningful educational, aesthetic, intellectual and cultural experiences for a wide array of audiences and to carry on other charitable and educational activities associated with this goal. Send queries about private tours to email@example.com.
Clearly, I need to take a speed reading course. I don’t know how anyone can quickly get through the coffee table books that seem to come out each year for your holiday pleasure. There’s always so much text involved. So why not just do a review on first impressions? For instance, the awesomeness that is The Complete Vader by Ryder Windham and Peter Vilmur.
This book basically takes you through the story and pop culture development of Darth Vader over the years; from his development to The Clone Wars television show.
In between? Awesome things inserted into the book. And I do love me the special books where they have things stuck in them. For instance, towards the beginning is a folder that allows you to take out a copy of the piece-by-piece instructions for putting on the Vader costume that was used for public appearances. (Sorry. Did I just crush some childhood dreams there?) And there’s also an early costume sketch that is all aged and faded looking, as if it was smuggled out of the Archives. And then there’s a look at the early toys associated with Vader.
And this is basically how the book unfolds. You hear about story developments in the years being addressed. Expanded Universe products. And the toys and pop culture happenings.
My only complaint about the book would be its construction. The pages and inserts are so heavy that it exposes the binding; giving it a flimsy air. Although I don’t believe it’s actually flimsy precisely because it’s stitched in, instead of glued. However, this might turn off well-meaning relatives trying to get you that awesome holiday gift.
So is it worth getting and/or putting on your “Star Wars things I haven’t actually purchased” list for the holidays? Absolutely; especially for fans of the pop culture aspects of Vader. It’ll be a fun stroll down memory lane.
Oprah Winfrey’s people are looking for collectors of Princess Leia merchandise:
Are you a big Star Wars fanatic obsessed with Princess Leia? Do you collect the biggest, best, most outrageous Princess Leia memorabilia in the universe? We’re looking for fans with the most unique collectors’ items out there. Do you have a special edition Princess Leia Pez dispenser, a life-sized model of Princess Leia — or do you own all the Princess Leia figurines/dolls in existence?
If other Star Wars fans are envious of your unusual collection of Princess Leia goodies — then we want to hear from you!
Could Carrie Fisher be going on the show? Maybe Katie? We’ll find out.