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Steve writes:

 Guest blogger and CreatureCantina.com Editor Bill Cable is here to recap his recent significant find of a production carded figure long thought to have never existed: the 45 Back C-3PO (Removable Limbs).


Bill writes:

On Monday April 9th, 2018 the history of Vintage Star Wars collecting was rewritten. An Empire Strikes Back 45-back C-3PO with Removable Limbs appeared on eBay. It's that particular figure's American debut cardback. Prior to April 9th, 2018, it was believed by EVERYONE not to exist.



Why is this ESB45 Removable Limbs C-3PO Kenner MOC figure significant? Well, a bit of history... When I began my C-3PO collecting focus back in 1999, with the goal of picking up 3PO on each different Vintage cardback, the ESB45 was already known not to be common. It was highly sought by debut cardback collectors in particular. No stone was left unturned in the quest to find one. By Star Wars Celebration II in 2002, it was essentially accepted not to exist. That belief was so solid that I was over-the-moon elated to pick up two ESB45 proof cards, as proofs were the only known examples of the Display Arena offer on a 3PO cardback (even though as proofs go, they were pretty common).



Prior to this arriving on eBay, the only two examples of a U.S. Kenner production ESB45 3PO existed in the form of open cardbacks, which were purchased in Peru and distributed by the Basa company. The cardbacks are straight standard Kenner, and the bubbles were removed by the kids who bought them (I'm friends with one of them). They have a small Basa sticker on the upper-left corner. And nobody knows why the only ESB45 3POs ever to turn up turned up in Peru. Complete mystery. All we can do is speculate.


That this figure did not exist was a given in the hobby. It was so thoroughly understood not to be that everyone stopped looking for one. Even when stuff like the SW21-back Stormtrooper was discovered, people still wouldn't go so far as to speculate that an ESB45 3PO might also exist. If not one cardback had popped up after 10 years of people searching relentlessly for one, then everyone concluded it must not be out there. They must have all been shipped to Peru for whatever reason. That was the belief until this figure appeared.


The auction seller picked up this figure at a Hong Kong Vintage toy shop. And that's all we know about where it came from. As the figure was manufactured at the Smile factory in Hong Kong (as indicated by the small 'S' under the proof-of-purchase), we can speculate that it never left that country until it was sold on eBay. The Basa cardbacks feature the same 'S' factory code, and are identical in every way to this ESB45.


Stay tuned for an upcoming Blog Log Pod from the 'Chive Cast that delves deeper into this story, and be sure to check out Bill's full articles on this remarkable find over on his site CreatureCantina.com:


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Tommy and Yehuda write:

 Welcome to the latest issue of Star Wars Community Digest, your place to get summaries about what's going on in the Star Wars collecting community across all of the forums and Facebook groups. We will present the news and current events each week, so that you don't miss anything. Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups though, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations. But don't worry, it's free and almost instantaneous.

Participating Groups and Forums:
Star Wars Displays and Advertising
Star Wars Records and Tapes
Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group (A New Hope 1977-79)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting Group 1980-1982
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Vintage Collecting Group 1983 - 1985
Star Wars: POTF (Last 17) Vintage Collecting Group 1985
Star Wars: The "Dark Times" Collecting Group (1985-95, Droids & Ewoks, etc)
Jabba's Court - Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group 1977 - 1988
The Imperial Commissary - 1977-1985 Vintage Star Wars Toys, Buy Sell Trade
Power Of The Force Coins
Star Wars bootleg and knockoff collectors
Star Wars Micro Machines and Action Fleet Collecting Group
vintage star wars action figures
The RebelScum vintage forum
Jawa's Outpost (UK and EIRE Star Wars trading group)
Echo Base Vintage Star Wars Trade/Sell/Buy
The Prototype Exchange
The Star Wars Traveler: filming locations and road trips for Star Wars fans
La Guerre des Etoiles Collectors (vintage Star Wars items with French language on them)

If you are an administrator or moderator and would like your community to be a part of this feature, please let us know. We are always happy to include additional groups/forums in our summaries, but be aware that not every group can be featured every week.

In any case, lets get right down to it and get everyone caught up to date on what they may have missed last week...


Disco Ben and Vader

Star Wars vintage bootleg ceramics continue to intrigue with their unintended satirical sculpting of Star Wars characters. Richard Rich reaches out to the community for information on what appears to be a fist bumping disco themed maquette lamp. Join the conversation in the Star Wars Bootleg and Knock Off Collectors Group

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

Simpler Store Displays 

Store displays are designed to have eye-catching appeal and are frequently highlighted in collections due to their dramatic appearance. Collectors discuss the simpler store displays, their collectibility, and their ability to enhance a collection in this thread in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

Snap!! 

A collector accidentally breaks off the peg from a figure stand which remains jammed in the figure's foot-hole. The community at Jabba's Court offers several possible methods to remove the peg from the figure without causing damage to the figure. 

The full thread can be found here:

Podcasts

While the Star Wars Community Digest is geared mostly to text-based threads and sources of information, we do suggest that all collectors become familiar with collecting podcasts as well. There are a number of really good vintage-themed podcasts which can help both newer and long-time collectors learn more about collecting and stay up to date on the current events in the hobby. In this thread from the 12 Back Group, the community discusses the topic and identifies their favorite podcasts.

The full thread can be found here:
Good Vintage Podcasts?

A U.S. Kenner ESB45 C-3PO with Removable Limbs Finally Turns Up!

For many years, the community (and especially C-3PO aficionado Bill Cable) has been under the assumption that no Removable Limbs 3POs were released on ESB45-back cards. Despite years of searching, no examples had ever turned up and the figure was thought to have been unreleased on that cardback...but then Bill randomly found one on eBay, of all places! He details the whole story in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back Group (and on his own site, CreatureCantina.com).

The full thread can be found here:

One Display to Ruler Them All!

There are few things as beloved in this hobby as the line of Star Wars-themed stationary and school supplies released by Helix in the UK. As areas of collecting go, it's one of the hottest right now, to say nothing of how difficult many of those products are to track down. Which makes this store display for Helix rulers which was limelighted in the Displays and Advertising Group all the most awesome to see!

The full thread can be found here:
Helix Ruler Display

Further reading on the Archive:
Helix items listed in the Archive Database
A Fourth Headman

After many years of searching, collector Paul Chu unearths the 4th known carded UZAY Headman. Paul shares the international journey on his discovery of one of rarest and most coveted Star Wars Bootleg figures.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

Behind the Scenes Swag

Lucasfilm crew as well as Kenner employees often received exclusive gifts for work on particular projects or for years of service. Collectors discuss this chapter of Star Wars collecting and limelight many exclusive behind the scenes swag in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back group. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

A Limelight Worth a Look: Carded Boba Fetts

Chris Eddleman shares a picture of his complete run of carded Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett figures with different mail-away offers, in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back group.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

It's All Greek to ESB Read Alongs

Sometimes, the coolest items around are the foreign (to the US, at least) releases of vintage items. They're usually MUCH harder to find, since they were often released in significantly smaller quantities, and it's also really cool to see familiar logos in different languages. Such is the case here in this thread from the Star Wars Records and Tapes group. While the standard English language version of the ESB Read Along isn't likely to excite too many people, here we see a super rare Greek language version turn up!

The full thread can be found here:
ESB Greek Read Along

Further reading on the Archive:
From the Furthest Reaches of the Galaxy: Meiji Seika Display

Meiji Seika, a Japanese food company, produced Star Wars themed candies accompanied with small flexible plastic figures and collectors cards. Similar types of small figures were produced in Japan by other companies as well. Collectively they are referred to as Keshigomu or Keshi figures. In this thread in the Displays and Advertising Group, Gus Lopez shares pictures of a very rare vintage store display which illustrates the candy and toys and is accompanied with classic Star Wars imagery. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:

Glue or Goo

A collector shares his concerns about what appears to be glue on the wrists of his large size Boba-Fett action figure. The Imperial Commissary group discusses the reason for the gluey appearance, which turns out to be a form of plastic degradation common with large size action figures. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:

A Limelight Worth a Look: General Mills Card Set and Mailer Wallet

Paul Morrison shares pictures to the 12 Back Group of his General Mills Cereal Star Wars 18 card set accompanied by a Star Wars-emblazoned wallet designed to hold and display the cards. The rarely seen wallet was only available as a mail away offer from General Mills.


Further reading on the Archive:

Another Case of Customs Being Sold as Prototypes

An administrator of the Empire Strikes Back group warns the community about an eBay seller offering multiple custom pieces as pre-production pieces accompanied with false provenance.

The full thread can be found here:

An Original Toys R Us/Early Bird Store Receipt is Found 

Rob Wallace recently bought an original Early Bird envelope which was accompanied by the original Store receipt. Rob shares pictures of this rare piece of ephemera with the Star Wars 12 Back Group, complete with an image of Geoffrey the Giraffe.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

Pine Sol Display

Whenever the topic of odd licensed Star Wars products is raised, my personal favorite to mention is the vintage promotion from Pine Sol.  While one doesn't typically associate floor cleaner with a galaxy far, far away, the company did offer a mail-away for Star Wars flying disks.  While the frisbees are hard enough to find, and unopened bottles of the cleaner which featured the promotion are even tougher, I don't think I've ever seen one of the store displays! 

The full thread can be found in the Star Wars Displays and Advertising group, here:
Pine Sol Shelftalker Display
Revenge of the Jedi Proof Cards Mislabeled as Cardbacks in Recent Auctions 
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Skye and Steve walk the plank with Weequay this month and discuss his Don Post mask, his connection to Moby Dick, his cardback image, his original nameplate, his Blue Harvest faux prototypes (faux-totypes), and his original fate. Phidias Barrios joins to talk about his amazing run of our favorite Sandy-Wrinkled-Noble-Sailor-of-the-Dune-Sea and fights with Tommy "Money Train" Garvey in a spectacular MarketWatch. Enjoy more Garvey action as Katie's brother explains the newest feature on the Archive: "The Community Digest." Plus, we spread some love and talk about the Bickmore boys, American Toy and Furniture, old toy stores in Kentucky and Skye says at least 3 objectively inflammatory things that are probably wrong on this month's episode of Steve's Vintage Toys Collecting the Archive with Skye and People!



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Steve writes:

 Guest blogger Will Grief is here to shed some light on a recent pair of discoveries pertaining to the Power of the Force coins, namely a variation of the Romba coin (everyone's favorite EWOK warrior who uses simple EWOK weapons) and a unique example of the abandoned Coin Collector's Album.


Will writes:

I wanted to share a new coin variation that I "discovered." I figured this one out when I was matching my coin album to the photo sample album in the slide/photo Tom Derby sold awhile back.

Image courtesy of Tom Derby

When looking at each of the coins, I noticed that the Romba image on my coin seemed far away from the text at the top...and that also matched the Romba coin in the photo. Then comparing it with the Romba coin from my set, it was clearly different.



The text on the album coin is closer to the edge and the image is also farther away from the top, creating a large space between the text and the image. The Romba coin from the album was likely the initial version and then at some point they corrected it so the image was better centered and the text was not abutting the edge. So there you have it...a "new" coin variation for you guys to go hunting for! Please post if you happen to have one/find one!

Also...I’m including pics here of my coin album. This album is unique and handmade. It turns out it’s *THE* album from the photograph!


Check out the pics...you can match the stress lines and various other subtle defects. It was likely not only the "photo sample," but also the first working model for the album. The circles are hand cut. The edges are touched up with marker to appear black. The logo is pasted over another logo. And it’s possible that that underlying logo is pasted over another smaller one! The logo is made of photo paper with a mock-up POTF logo sticker stuck to it. The underlying logo also is made up of a POTF sticker....but I don’t want to peel the top logo completely off to see everything underneath!



I had the chance to compare mine to Gus Lopez's (thanks Gus!), and his looks like a later version as the logo is a single piece photo. If I recall correctly, on his it also has the felt background similar to the final album.

From the Collection of Will Grief
L: From the Collection of Will Grief | R: From the Collection of Gus Lopez


Another cool "discovery" from the album is the 63rd coin is painted gold...but only on the front. The back is blank! What this implies to me is that Kenner was probably pulling another rush job and pushing Osborne to give them a coin for the photo shoot, but they didn’t have the back die done yet. Kenner would have only needed the front for the picture in the album. Of course that’s all conjecture on my part, but I can’t think of another good reason why. It is cool that it validates the blank back 63rd coins.


Anyway, thanks again to Andi Daniels for originally selling it to me a couple years back! It’s a treasure in my collection!
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Tommy and Yehuda write:

 Welcome to the latest issue of Star Wars Community Digest, your place to get summaries about what's going on in the Star Wars collecting community across all of the forums and Facebook groups. We will present the news and current events each week, so that you don't miss anything. Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups though, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations. But don't worry, it's free and almost instantaneous.

Participating Groups and forums:
Star Wars Displays and Advertising
Star Wars Records and Tapes
Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group (A New Hope 1977-79)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting Group 1980-1982
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Vintage Collecting Group 1983 - 1985
Star Wars: POTF (Last 17) Vintage Collecting Group 1985
Star Wars: The "Dark Times" Collecting Group (1985-95, Droids & Ewoks, etc)
Jabba's Court - Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group 1977 - 1988
The Imperial Commissary - 1977-1985 Vintage Star Wars Toys, Buy Sell Trade
Power Of The Force Coins
Star Wars bootleg and knockoff collectors
Star Wars Micro Machines and Action Fleet Collecting Group
vintage star wars action figures
The RebelScum vintage forum
Jawa's Outpost (UK and EIRE Star Wars trading group)
Echo Base Vintage Star Wars Trade/Sell/Buy
The Prototype Exchange
The Star Wars Traveler: filming locations and road trips for Star Wars fans

If you are an administrator or moderator and would like your community to be a part of this feature, please let us know. We are always happy to include additional groups/forums in our summaries, but be aware that not every group can be featured every week.

In any case, lets get right down to it and get everyone caught up to date on what they may have missed last week...

Micro Gold

Toy designers at Kenner considered other uses for the figures from the Micro line. Their pre-production experiments resulted in a limited number of striking prototype Micro figures with different metal finishes. Join in the conversation as the community discusses the known different metal finishes seen on these prototype pieces. 

The full thread can be found here:
Gold Micros

Further reading on the Archive:
Customs Auction on RS


As you might recall from our last issue, there is a series of auctions on eBay for replica prototypes which claim to be made by a former Kenner employee. This does not appear to be the case, but whether it is or not is ultimately immaterial. The bigger issue is the danger unmarked replica items pose to the hobby. The Rebelscum vintage community discusses the issue.

The full thread can be found here:
Perfect Example of Repro Dangers

The Blue Harvest and Fake Prototypes 

The Empire Strikes Back vintage collecting group discusses whether or not a connection to an original employee makes reproduction prototypes more exciting. The fake prototypes auctions on eBay are compared to the Blue Harvest pieces of the 90s, and collectors debate the differences.

The full thread can be found here:
Fake Prototypes

Further reading:
12back.com Feature: The Blue Harvest 
Ree Yees Blue Harvest Unpainted Hardcopy Arm Pair 

A Limelight Worth a Look 

Kenner produced a line of Star Wars-themed board games throughout the vintage years which are often under-appreciated. A collector from Echo Base shares a picture of three different board games with their contents displayed showcasing their colorful game boards and detailed artwork. Check out the further reading for Ron Salvatore’s comprehensive review on Vintage Star Wars board games. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

Things You Never Noticed

Sometimes you get so used to seeing something that you don't even see it anymore. In this thread from the Jabba's Court group, the community discusses discoveries they've made about vintage action figures, which should have been obvious to them but weren't.

The full thread can be found here:
Things you never noticed

Revenge of the Jedi AT-AT Boxflat with Conceptual Logo  

One of the many unused alternate Revenge of the Jedi logos is displayed on a AT-AT boxflat mock-up in a post on the Return of the Jedi Vintage Collectors Group. Check out the further readings to see other conceptual Revenge of the Jedi logos. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

 Collector Spotlight: Mac Dunbar-Bickmore

Meet a natural born collector. A native of Chicago, Mac was born into a family of collectors and antique dealers. He has been collecting vintage Star Wars with enthusiasm his entire life and shares his travels and collection this week on Echo Base.

The full thread can be found here:

Buying Responsibly Made Reproductions

The community discusses the difference between a custom figure, a reproduction figure, and a forgery. The importance of marking reproductions as copies in an indelible fashion is also reviewed this week in Jabba’s Court.

The full thread can be found here:

Fake R2 Pencil Sharpener

It's not every day that someone fakes an entire line of Star Wars toys, but that's what happened here. A well-known scammer from Argentina faked these Plasticola Star Wars pencil sharpener sets and they've been turning up on eBay lately. Thankfully, the community was warned about the fakes and expert collectors from Argentina confirmed that the toys are not genuine.

The full thread can be found here:
Fake R2 Pencil Sharpener

Further reading on the Archive:
Fakes gallery on the SWCA

Estes Rockets for a Galaxy, Far Far Away...

Estes Industries, a producer of reliable model rockets, produced an assortment of fun licensed Star Wars themed rocket kits throughout the vintage years. A collector makes a find of an assortment of rare Estes rocket catalogs featuring their Star Wars line in this thread on the 12 Backs group. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:
Rare Shuttle Variant Turns Up

There are few vintage vehicles as visually impressive as the Imperial Shuttle. It is usually on most collectors' want lists, thanks to its awesome styling, impressive scale, and expensive price point. The European version of the box ranks as one of the rarest vintage variants around though, and one of them was recently found. Since it's only the 2nd confirmed example of this version of the box, this is an amazing discovery!

The full thread can be found here:
Euro Meccano Imperial Shuttle variant

Further reading on the Archive:
Imperial Shuttle w/ Meccano sticker 
Imperial Shuttle entry on the SWCA
Imperial Shuttle Proof Sheet

Vintage Podcasts

The community discusses which podcasts they should be listening to for vintage Star Wars news and discussion.

The full thread can be found here:
Vintage Star Wars Podcasts

Our Star Wars Community Digest Time Capsule Thread for this Issue:
 "...A Stupid Descent into Cutesieism"
Ewoks "Damn Right We're Cute" Cast and Crew T-Shirt
Before Jar-Jar. Before Rose. There were Ewoks. While it may surprise newer fans and collectors, there existed a time when the stupidest and most irritating thing the Star Wars franchise ever created were the furry denizens of Endor. Many fans HATED them. They would get into long debates over just how annoying they were, and how they were nothing but a cash-grab by Kenner and LFL. For some, they destroyed their childhoods.

While the fandom still has a certain amount of dislike for Ewoks, they've mostly mellowed on them. I would hypothesize that as more collectors who were born in the post-ROTJ years enter the hobby, the Ewoks became just as much a part of the saga as Darth Vader or any of the things that the people who grew up in the ANH years cherished. Some people's childhoods weren't ruined by Ewoks; for some, their childhoods were Ewoks and Ewok toys.  Of course, the softening of vitriol towards the Ewoks could also be because newer and more insulting examples of terrible writing have come along to take the brunt of the uncontrollable Nerd Rage (looking at you, The Last Jedi). But either way, in 1985 Return of the Jedi was still fresh in everyone's mind and the Ewoks cartoon show was just around the corner. Ewoks were taking over the entire franchise. As such, if you signed onto ARPANET and visited the net.sf-lovers newsgroup, you would probably have found at least one thread very much like this one.  

In retrospect, fans of 1985 didn't know how good they had it.

The full thread can be found here:
"cute" Ewoks
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Tommy and Yehuda write:

 Welcome to the latest issue of Star Wars Community Digest, your place to get summaries about what's going on in the Star Wars collecting community across all of the forums and Facebook groups. We will present the news and current events each week, so that you don't miss anything. Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups though, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations. But don't worry, it's free and almost instantaneous.

Participating Groups and forums:
Star Wars Displays and Advertising
Star Wars Records and Tapes
Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group (A New Hope 1977-79)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting Group 1980-1982
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Vintage Collecting Group 1983 - 1985
Star Wars: POTF (Last 17) Vintage Collecting Group 1985
Star Wars: The "Dark Times" Collecting Group (1985-95, Droids & Ewoks, etc)
Jabba's Court - Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group 1977 - 1988
The Imperial Commissary - 1977-1985 Vintage Star Wars Toys, Buy Sell Trade
Power Of The Force Coins
Star Wars bootleg and knockoff collectors
Star Wars Micro Machines and Action Fleet Collecting Group
vintage star wars action figures
The RebelScum vintage forum
Jawa's Outpost (UK and EIRE Star Wars trading group)
Echo Base Vintage Star Wars Trade/Sell/Buy
The Prototype Exchange

If you are an administrator or moderator and would like your community to be a part of this feature, please let us know. We are always happy to include additional groups/forums in our summaries, but be aware that not every group can be featured every week.

In any case, lets get right down to it and get everyone caught up to date on what they may have missed last week...

Jabba Line Art Boxes: Legit or Custom?

What starts out as a collector in the Echo Base group warning the community about the fact he was scammed on a line art Jabba the Hutt set, quickly turns into a thread about whether or not ALL line art Jabba the Hutt sets are a scam. Legend has it that they are either a department store catalog variation or were created by a collector in the 1990s using factory overstock. The community debates the issue.

The full thread can be found here:
Jabba Line art boxes

Further reading:
Line Art Jabba boxes: Did stores really use them?  

Star Wars and the Old West

 As a cost and time saving measure, toy companies including Kenner would reuse older toy designs and toy molds on new lines with added modifications. Kenner reused the molds from their Creature Cantina action playset to produce their Real West Cafe playset as part of their Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid line. The familiar similar features of the toys make for an interesting comparison in this thread from the Imperial Commissary. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:
Recycling the Force

Fake Holiday Special Figures Turn Up on eBay

If you've been following the Star Wars Community Digest, you know that we are entirely against unmarked customs of actual prototypes. They can confuse buyers. Such is (in our opinion) the case with a recent series of auctions on eBay. All of them are advertised as customs in the auction title, but then the description includes such misleading details as "All prototypes in this auction are actually figures [the Kenner designer] himself designed and engineered or hand painted." But the figures being auctioned off aren't prototypes. At all.

To be clear: these are toys created in the modern era, allegedly by an ex-employee. Whether that is actually the case or not, it still doesn't justify the HUGE ending price. Generally speaking, no one pays $2,100 for three custom figures, unless they're confused by the misleading item description and assume they are genuine prototypes. Or maybe they just have a TON of money to waste on loose toys that someone has recently played arts and crafts with. Either way, auctions like these would be a lot clearer if the artist had marked them as reproductions in some way. Then, the people who were interested in owning them would know what they were buying, and no one would lose money because of vague and misleading descriptions.

The full thread discussing these auctions can be found here:
Custom Holiday Special Figures on eBay

Further reading on the Archive:
Genuine set of Conceptual Chewbacca Family Figures from the SW Holiday Special
(As an editors note: the SW Community Digest would again urge the community to only purchase replicas from responsible artists who protect collectors from future fraud by marking their creations as replicas in some obvious and permanent way. The artists are in the best position to ensure that no one is mislead or defrauded. If they refuse to mark them, they are simply emboldening scammers or are in league with them, and that should never be supported by the community. If it isn't marked as a replica, don't buy from that artist. Period.)

 Sears Canada Skin-Wrapped Figures

In 1980-1981, Sears stores throughout Canada offered multipacks of carded figures which each included an early release of one of 7 new figures for The Empire Strikes Back. These figures were released prior to the production of the individual cardback art and figure bubbles. The figures were released on black cards with the figures skin-wrapped to the cardback.

David Gaule limelight’s his collection of Sears Canada skin-wrapped figures in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back group

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:

Bucket Coin Find: Part IV

Way back in our first issue of Star Wars Community Digest we detailed a find of POTF coins, which had some troubling abnormalities about them. As time has gone on, the community has debated whether or not the coins were genuine or fakes. Last week, the POTF Coin group returned to the issue to see what the consensus was.

The full thread can be found here:
Bucket Find: Part 4

Further reading:
Bootleg Ceramic Star Wars Lamps

Follow the conversation as it delves into the variety and the origins of early bootleg ceramic lamps in this thread from the Star Wars 12-Backs group. 

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:
Sigma Ceramics Vader Display

A collector asks the Star Wars Store Displays and Advertising group for information on this interesting store display. As it turns out, it's an awesome shelving display used to sell the vintage ceramics released by the Sigma company.

The full thread can be found here:
Sigma Vader Display

Further reading on the Archive:
Sigma entries on The Archive Database

Unproduced Droids & Ewoks and their Continued Appreciation

The unproduced second wave of Droids and Ewoks figures which were proposed in 1985 were never released as the entire Kenner Star Wars toy line was canceled. These figures still exist in single digit numbers in variable pre-production stages acquired from Kenner employees. The continued allure of these figures remains strong for many collectors and is discussed in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back group.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

Landspeeders with Sticker Details to Apply

A rare Landspeeder variant from Australia is found in Canada. Follow how Australian vehicles migrated to North American retailers in 1978 in this thread from the Imperial Commissary.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:

Burger King Displays Were Hot Last Week

Promotional displays for the vintage Burger King glasses were all over the Displays group last week, and they were all awesome! While the glasses themselves are semi-ubiquitous, the displays are always a real treat to see, particularly when they're as rare as these examples are!

The threads in question can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

Our Star Wars Community Digest Time Capsule Thread for this Issue: 
A period show report from the 1983 LosCon Sci-Fi Convention 

In late 1982, Lucasfilm sent its representatives to the LosCon sci-fi convention to promote Return of the Jedi, which would be released the following year. ARPANET user "RAND@sri-unix" returned from the convention, signed into the net.sf-lovers newsgroup (it's like a discussion forum mixed with email, only from waaaaaay back in the day), and shared his thoughts on the event and the shocking information he was able to garner from it.

For instance, as it turns out, LFL confirmed that Obi-Wan was a ghost in ROTJ (or as the representative is quoted as saying: "He's still dead, or in heaven or wherever Jedi go when they die"). Other interesting tidbits is the first announcement of Mon Mothma to the Star Wars fandom... despite the fact that someone was reportedly already at the convention cosplaying Mon Mothma. Which is really weird. And also impressive. I can only assume it was the character herself, searching for more Bothans to ruthlessly sacrifice for the greater good.

In any event, if you're interested in the early days of the Star Wars fandom or the history of sci-fi conventions in general, this is an interesting thread. 

It can be found here:
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Tommy and Yehuda write:

 Welcome to the latest issue of Star Wars Community Digest, your place to get summaries about what's going on in the Star Wars collecting community across all of the forums and Facebook groups. We will present the news and current events each week, so that you don't miss anything. Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups though, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations. But don't worry, it's free and almost instantaneous.

Participating Groups and forums:
Star Wars Displays and Advertising
Star Wars Records and Tapes
Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group (A New Hope 1977-79)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting Group 1980-1982
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Vintage Collecting Group 1983 - 1985
Star Wars: POTF (Last 17) Vintage Collecting Group 1985
Star Wars: The "Dark Times" Collecting Group (1985-95, Droids & Ewoks, etc)
Jabba's Court - Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group 1977 - 1988
The Imperial Commissary - 1977-1985 Vintage Star Wars Toys, Buy Sell Trade
Power Of The Force Coins
Star Wars bootleg and knockoff collectors
Star Wars Micro Machines and Action Fleet Collecting Group
vintage star wars action figures
The RebelScum vintage forum
Jawa's Outpost (UK and EIRE Star Wars trading group)
Echo Base Vintage Star Wars Trade/Sell/Buy
The Prototype Exchange

If you are an administrator or moderator and would like your community to be a part of this feature, please let us know. We are always happy to include additional groups/forums in our summaries, but be aware that not every group can be featured every week.

In any case, lets get right down to it and get everyone caught up to date on what they may have missed last week...

A TIE Fighter Gets its Growl Back
A vintage Kenner Tie-fighter with a seized-up motor needs more than a gentle spin to get it started.

In this thread from The Imperial Commissary, collectors share their tips on getting the electronics of vintage toys running again without causing damage.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:

Collecting Modern Star Wars Prototype Toys (1990-Present)

With growing interest in collecting prototype toys, many vintage Star Wars toy collectors have ventured into collecting prototype pieces from modern Star Wars toy lines. In this thread from The Empire Strikes Back group, collectors define modern prototype collecting and discuss the merits of modern prototypes, while limelighting some special pieces.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:

Vintage Build it Yourself Star Wars Playsets:
For the Most Industrious Parents Only


Between May 1978 through November 1980, Woman’s Day magazine, a monthly American publication, designed blueprints for 3 highly detailed Star Wars playset environments to be used with Kenner action figures. The sets included an Outer-Space station, a Dagobah playset, and a Hoth playset. Complete Outer-Space station blueprints could be directly ordered through the magazine for one dollar.

In this thread from The Imperial Commissary, a collector rediscovers the Woman’s Day playsets and their unique charm.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

How Many UDEs are There?

In 1985, with the finale of the Original Trilogy now two years in the rear view mirror and with no new chapters scheduled for release, the Star Wars franchise was about to enter its first hibernation.

The Kenner toy company had rose from obscurity in the late 1970s due to their unprecedented success with their lines of Star Wars toys which sold in the hundreds of millions.

But by the mid 1980s after the release of more than 100 unique figures, the demand for the toys was gone. The last wave of Kenner Star Wars action figures were designed as a second wave of figures for the failing Star Wars Nelvana Droids and Ewoks cartoons. Six additional Ewoks-based figures and 8 Droids-based figures were designed, sculpted and developed to the point of injection molded plastic first shots before the line was canceled.

None of these 14 figures made it to market except for the infamous Vlix figure, which enjoyed a very limited release in Brazil under the Kenner sub-licensee Glasslite.

The few surviving prototype figures for the second wave of unproduced Droids and Ewoks ("UDE") figures are among the most coveted in the Star Wars action figure line.

Insights into the production numbers of UDE figures and their multiple accessories are discussed by fellow collectors in this thread from the Prototype Exchange.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading on the Archive:

Community Warning: A Dubious Wax Sculpt

In this thread from The Dark Times group, a collector is offered a pre-production wax piece by the original sculptor and after studying the details, finds the piece may have been altered or cast at a later date.

While the piece is from Kenner's Aliens line, the sculptor in question also worked on the vintage Star Wars line and has allegedly engaged in this kind of dubious behavior with Star Wars pieces in the past. 

The full thread can be found here:


There’s a Hole in My Cardback!

Carded action figures produced in Mexico in the Return of the Jedi era will usually have a crudely punched hole in their cardbacks behind the figure. Collectors discuss this odd feature on The Imperial Commissary Paper Group.

The full thread can be found here:

Further reading:

Uncut Sheet of Vintage Bookmarks

Every now and again you see something which reminds you of just how vast the world of pre-production stuff is. Literally every single thing you can buy has any number of stages before you're able to purchase it in stores. And in this thread, a collector showcases one of the cooler examples of that: an uncut sheet of the vintage bookmarks released by Random House! 

The full thread can be found here:
ROTJ Bookmark Sheet

Star Wars / Disney Record Tote

In this thread, a collector finds an interesting carrying case for 45rpm records, which leads into a discussion of this early collaboration between Star Wars and Disney.

The full thread can be found here:
Star Wars Records Tote

Further reading on the Archive:
Buena Vista Record Tote 

Frosting on Vintage Star Wars Figures

The nature of collectibles is that they are not eternal. We are interested in their condition because we like to see them as pristine as possible. We encase them in acrylic because we like to imagine that we can keep them from ever changing. Unfortunately, Star Wars toys are, in actuality, merely solidified clumps of garishly painted chemicals, constantly going through unseen processes. The plastic bubbles are yellowing, the cardback seals are failing, and the plastic figures themselves are deteriorating. They will almost certainly outlast us all, but they are not eternal. As such, it falls on the individual collector to watch for signs of this processes and to help preserve the toy for as long as possible.

In this thread, a collector tries to remove the effects of plastic degradation (which collectors refer to as "frosting") from a carded figure, and asks the community for help.

The full thread can be found here:
Vintage Frosting

Further reading:
Crystals formation on Vintage carded fig
Any collectors concerned about long-term collection plastic degradation?
Has anyone successfully "de-frosted" an AFA encased MOC figure?
Frosting, and I'm not talking about the delicious kind. . .
Frosting
white crystal stuff that seems to show up on some limbs.
Frost on MOC Figures - Does it Return???

Zombie Ewok Invades Jawa Outpost

For our money, there is no vintage Star Wars collectible quite as terrifying as the line of bootleg Ewoks released in Poland. They have scary zombie eyes, rodent fangs, and the coloring of a 1940s sci-fi monster. In this thread from the Jawa's Outpost Group collectors discuss these horrid little guys, and try to figure out what they most resemble.

The full thread can be found here:
Polish Vampire Bears

Further reading on the Archive:
Scary Ewoks on the SWCA  

Our Star Wars Community Digest Time Capsule Thread for this Issue:Return of the Jedi is the First Prequel

As regular readers of the Star Wars Community Digest probably know already, 1982 had no real idea what was going on in Return of the Jedi. In previous issues, we've seen them debate whether or not Vader is Luke's mother, whether it's "Clone Wars" or "Colon Wars," and just what would happen in ROTJ at all. In this week's installment of the soap opera which was 1980s Star Wars fandom, we will introduce a new complication: Is Return of the Jedi a sequel to ESB? Or does it in fact take place before ANH?

The crux of this debate seems to be pre-release images of Obi-Wan, which were shown or leaked somewhere. The fandom noticed that Obi-Wan appeared corporeal (a word you don't get to use often in SW fandom), rather than as a Force ghost. They deduced that Obi-Wan must have somehow returned from the dead (a Jedi Master appearing across the galaxy as an apparent corporeal warrior, when he is in fact just a spirit? That is the STUPIDEST idea for a Star Wars movie I've ever heard.  No fan would accept something so asinine). Unhappy with that explanation, some in the fandom speculated that the then-titled Revenge of the Jedi was in fact a prequel to ANH, rather than a sequel to ESB.

So, if you logged onto the net.sf-lovers newsgroup on ARPANET on December 9, 1982, you could have gotten involved in this debate:

Stardates and ROTJ
Stardates and ROTJ - (Continued)
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Ron writes:

 Do you remember the early days of Star Wars merchandising? Many of us were too young to have clear memories. So ephemera such as old ads and newspaper stories are vital in helping us determine what hit store shelves and when. In this post, guest blogger Kevin Lentz gives us a peak at the early days of Star Wars mania in Louisville, Kentucky, where, in 1978, an action figure would run you as much as five bucks -- if you were silly enough to buy it at the airport.


Kevin writes:

Mike Heicken, a local friend and member of the Kentucky Star Wars Collectors Club, recently posted this Louisville Courier-Journal clipping from May 25, 1978, one year to the day after the cinematic debut of Star Wars. Mike was 9 in 1978, and remembers asking his grandmother if he could save the article, and has kept it since.


We've had plenty of reporting on the Star Wars merchandise phenomenon in recent years, from the surface-level episode of The Toys That Made Us to the in-depth work done by Brian Stillman's Plastic Galaxy, not to mention the minutiae documented by collectors, publicly and privately, about the employees and internal workings of Kenner.

  
What makes this 1978 article so special is twofold. First, it's local -- it drops the names of roads we still know in the area (e.g. Shelbyville Rd.), plus stores that haven't been heard of in decades. In fact, of all the store locations mentioned in the article, only the J.C. Penney is still open. (Side note -- several Louisville KSWCC members have fond memories of the cycling monkey at Thornbury's Toys -- more info here.)


Second, the writer, Yvonne Eaton, does something easy for a contemporaneous writer and something I haven't seen from more recent documentarians -- she interviews store clerks! Eaton also does a nice job of understanding and reporting the breadth of 1978 Star Wars fever (one misspelling of "Vadar" notwithstanding).

Early in the article, Eaton rattles through a litany of Star Wars products that a kid might experience through the day. Everybody's favorite non-figure thing is likely to be listed -- yes, she mentions the Star Wars album playing "background music for dinner."


Through the aforementioned interviews with local clerks, as well as quotes from distributor Dave Glick, though, she moves the reader to the main course -- the action figure toys. 


She provides some fascinating information and anecdotes in these sections -- the clerk who takes a regular 5:30 call from a kid asking if any new figures are in, the popularity of Vader and Luke figures, stores selling through hundreds of figures in days, the exorbitant airport price of $5 a figure, and kids hunting the newest figures (Jawa and Sand People). 


Apparently, Death Squad Commander, also new, did not rate much attention. Eaton notes that the J.C. Penney store, as of May 1978, had sold through 4,000 figures! Remember, that's with action figures not hitting stores at all until around March of that year.


Eaton also notes, with journalistic detachment,  a woman having spent $60 on figures thinking they might someday become "collectors' items." Anyone want to do the math to figure out the average value today of 30 12-Backs?


The article closes with information from an unnamed Kenner spokesman assuring everyone that Kenner was not inflating demand with intentionally scarce supply and was working ahead on more merchandise for 1979.

I'm a little younger than my friend Mike -- I was only four in 1978 and wasn't shopping yet for Star Wars toys. Like many of us, I've entertained the fantasy of building a time machine, flying back to 1978 with a suitcase of vintage money, and coming back with a suitcase full of 12-Backs. Before reading this article, I didn't realize there was such a scramble to find them on the shelf -- I imagined just being able to walk into a store, plop down $50, and walk out with a case. It's good to know that, once I get my time machine built, I will need to factor in some patience and perseverance.

Fantasy aside, this article makes for a nice time machine in and of itself. Thanks to Mike for sharing!
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Tommy and Yehuda write:

 Welcome to the latest issue of Star Wars Community Digest, your place to get summaries about what's going on in the Star Wars collecting community across all of the forums and Facebook groups. We will present the news and current events each week, so that you don't miss anything. Please be aware that many of these are closed Facebook groups though, which means you will need to join them in order to read the conversations. But don't worry, it's free and almost instantaneous.

Participating Groups and forums:
Star Wars Displays and Advertising
Star Wars Records and Tapes
Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group (A New Hope 1977-79)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Vintage Collecting Group 1980-1982
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Vintage Collecting Group 1983 - 1985
Star Wars: POTF (Last 17) Vintage Collecting Group 1985
Star Wars: The "Dark Times" Collecting Group (1985-95, Droids & Ewoks, etc)
Jabba's Court - Vintage Star Wars Collectors Group 1977 - 1988
The Imperial Commissary - 1977-1985 Vintage Star Wars Toys, Buy Sell Trade
Power Of The Force Coins
Star Wars bootleg and knockoff collectors
Star Wars Micro Machines and Action Fleet Collecting Group
vintage star wars action figures
The RebelScum vintage forum
Jawa's Outpost (UK and EIRE Star Wars trading group)
Echo Base Vintage Star Wars Trade/Sell/Buy

If you are an administrator or moderator and would like your community to be a part of this feature, please let us know. We are always happy to include additional groups/forums in our summaries, but be aware that not every group can be featured every week.

In any case, lets get right down to it and get everyone caught up to date on what they may have missed last week...

The King of Burger King Displays

Burger King had some of the most colorful and interesting displays during the vintage era. And they sold enough Star Wars glasses to fill up every collector's eBay and Craig's List searches forever. Surprisingly though, never before seen store displays from the restaurant are still showing up. In this thread from the Star Wars Displays and Advertising Group, a recent auction of BK displays is discussed, including a translite which collectors have never seen!

The full thread can be found here:
Burger King Displays Thread

Further Reading on the Archive:
Burger King Promotional Material in the Archive Database

Han Hoth Has a Holster!

Many of the more creative kids realized that the Han Hoth action figure has a functional holster. In this thread from The Imperial Commissary group, collectors debate if this feature was sculpted purposely or whether it was a happy accident. Other less known action figure features are discussed as well, including the swiveling claw arm on FX-7 and the functional backpack on Leia Boushh.

The full thread can be found here:

I Wanna be a Toys "R" Us Kid: 1948-2018

With the recent announcement of the upcoming closing of Toys "R" Us, there has been an increase in appreciation and nostalgia for the mega toy store franchise. The previously much maligned large orange price stickers, which often obstruct a portion of the cardback imagery, are given their due as a piece of toy history in this thread from the Empire Strikes Back group.

The full thread can be found here:


Insuring  a Collection Against Damage or Theft

With the skyrocketing values placed on Star Wars collectibles, the Empire Strikes Back group discusses options for insuring a collection. The discussion includes the benefits and risks of using a pre-existing home owners or renters insurance policy as compared to taking out a collector specific insurance policy.

The full thread can be found here:

Further Reading on the Archive:
Surely You Must Ensure to Insure 

An “Early Bird Certificate” in Question

An Early Bird Certificate with a different perforation pattern is found and is compared to known original examples in this thread from Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group. The authenticity of the certificate is evaluated by collectors.

The full thread can be found here:

Further Reading on the Archive:

The RocketFett Mailer

While technically a thread from 2016, it was bumped last week because of the recent RocketFett auction results. And since it's a relatively slow news week, we will count it as a current event (especially since it's awesome!).

The thread does a good job of explaining what it's about, but to put it simply: a member of the community found a vintage RocketFett in an original mailer box. Exactly how it would have been shipped to kids, had the mechanism not been removed. If that doesn't make you want to read about it, I don't know what will.

The full thread can be found here:
Rocketfett in a Mailer Box

Further reading on the Archive:
Pawn Stars: Rare Boba Fett Action Figure Prototype
Tommy Garvey and John Alvarez Firing a Vintage Prototype RocketFett

Rocket Firing Boba Fett (L-Slot Version) First Shot

Boba Fett and Battlestar Galactica - The Firing Missile Crisis

Our Star Wars Community Digest Time Capsule Thread for this Issue:The Continuing Saga of People in the 80s Trying Desperately to Explain Luke and Vader's Relationship.  In this week's episode: Vader is Luke's Mom!
Darth Padme.  She hates sand too, but mainly the emo guys who keep whining about it all the time.

The 1980s came up on people fast. They were just finally getting used to it being the 70s, and then all of a sudden that effort was wasted. The surprise details of Luke's parentage were just the start of what would undoubtedly be a decade of baffling mysteries for the public.

As the geeks, soldiers, future millionaires, and university professors who made up the then fledgling ARPANET sat around and looked for something to talk about on their futuristic electronic gizmo (it's like HAM radio! But for written things!) the fact that Vader was Luke's father was one of their absolute favorite topics to dwell on. As we've seen in past issues of the Community Digest Time Capsule, anyone who had a theory, access to computer equipment then worth tens of thousands of dollars, and had five minutes to kill, would launch into detailed explanations as to why Vader couldn't be Luke's father. (Because why not? What else are the country's greatest minds going to talk about using the most astonishing technological leap in humankind since the printing press? Nuclear disarmament? Heck no! That's not what the internet is for! The internet is for venting about plot twists in movies you don't like, making obscure Tolkien references, and rating the attractiveness of TV stars.)  Most of the arguments as to why Vader wasn't Luke's father hinged on actual lines of dialogue from the films, and the conclusion would be kind of reasonable... if Lucas cared at all about that. But in a space opera, everything is merely transitory, always in motion until something better comes along.

But in 1982, before the release of Return of the Jedi settled the matter forever (no one argues with Yoda, that puppet can solve paternity questions faster than Maury Povich), fans could still log onto the net-sf.lovers newsgroup and dream. Let their imaginations run wild, trying desperately to explain how it could all make sense, no matter your point of view. Among the most interesting theories you'll see presented in that proto-internet community: Darth Vader is Luke's mother!

Case closed!  The evidence is all there, people!  Get your heads out of the sand (it's course, irritating, and it gets everywhere)! 

Here are some sample threads:
luke - vader relationship
Darth Vader and Luke
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