Steve Sansweet’s Rancho Obi-Wan is victim of prolonged theft, asks for fandom’s help

There’s some truly bizarre and heartbreaking news from the collecting side of fandom today. Steve Sansweet and Rancho Obi-Wan shared that they’ve been the victim of long-term theft – and that the culprit is well-known collector, Carl Cunningham of Georgia. The culprit was discovered with the help of another fandom-prominent victim, Philip Wise of Rebelscum fame, and toy dealer Zach Tann.

Cunningham has been charged with felony grand theft, but is currently free on bail and awaiting additional hearings.

There’s a lot of questions in this case, and most strikingly is how exactly did Cunningham expect to get away with this? The world of Star Wars high-end collecting is not very big, and most of the big players know each other fairly well. And stealing from Steve Sansweet and his non-profit, of all people…

Steve and Rancho are asking for fandom’s help, and any tips of any further thefts or sales would be appreciated.

UPDATE: Steve has shared a list of the items that are still missing.

Target brings Star Wars Galactic Experience to LA this weekend

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Target is sponsoring a free event in Los Angeles this weekend, December 12 & 13. Dubbed the Star Wars Galactic Experience, it will include activities where you can use the Force, an exhibition from Rancho Obi-Wan, LEGO TIE Fighter building and origami making. It also has something called Galaxy Show: “Discover a galaxy of hidden Star Wars constellations.” Sounds intriguing. You’ll find it from 10 am to 10 pm at L.A. Live next to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit will include a complete collection of carded vintage Star Wars action figures from 1977 to 1985. The Star Wars Galactic Experience will also have exclusive Star Wars merchandise.

Rancho Obi-Wan’s first book to highlight fan art and artifacts

Rancho Obi-Wan: Inspired by the Force: Star Wars Fan Artifacts & ArtSteve Sansweet’s Rancho Obi-Wan will highlight fan contributions to Star Wars fandom in their first book, Inspired by the Force: Star Wars Fan Artifacts & Art, which will debut at Celebration Anaheim in April. It’s intended to act as “an exhibit guide,” so the Rancho Celebration exhibit will also be fan-heavy this time:

The Rancho Obi-Wan Experience exhibit will feature fan objects and art starting in the late 1970s through today, from an airbrushed van tire cover and hand-tooled leather backgammon board to a Chewbacca tissue box cover and bird house, from amazing art mash-ups based on a print by Goya and a painting by Picasso to bizarre limited edition figurines made by urban artists.

The Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit at Celebration VI featured several fan creations – including one by a Jader – but this will no doubt be an even greater variety. I just hope they have more floor space this time!

In any case, the book will be $25 and pre-orders for pickup at the con will begin in March.

Rancho Obi-Wan announces eBay charity auction and more fundraisers

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Rancho Obi-Wan released their 2014 schedule of fundraising events, including a seven-day charity auction on eBay called “Rancho Obi-Thon.” Starting on March 2, several lots of collectibles will go up for auction to raise funds for the not-for-profit Star Wars memorabilia museum, including a trove of artwork, rare posters (including an immunization poster donated by our own Paula), and autographed merchandise.

Also, there’s a chance to own loot that comes from the world’s largest Star Wars collection with their Dupe Deals auctions, where they will be selling off duplicate merchandise in the collection, also starting March 2 via eBay. Each duplicate will come with a certificate of authencity that it came from Rancho Obi-Wan.

Finally, Rancho Obi-Wan wants you to save the date: September 20, 2014 will be the Annual Fundraiser Gala. Like last year’s World Record Night, this will be a day long remembered!

All of the funds raised for Rancho Obi-Wan are used for such things as maintenance, security, professional services, providing tours for other charities to raise money, and community outreach. None are used for buying collectibles.