Published on December 27th, 2012 | by greg0
Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection:: Review
Star Wars has always been one of my geekiest passions ever since I saw Star Wars: A New Hope on its initial release in 1977. I was an influential tot and Star Wars had me under its spell. This translated to an insatiable desire for every Star Wars associated product that was ever released and a hearty competition to be the first in my neighborhood to have the most recent toy. I guess what I’m saying is that I was a jealous kid who didn’t play or share my Star Wars toys with anyone. My favorite of my collection were Star Wars action figures which like a modern day Gollum, I gleefully hoarded whatever I could including exclusives.
During the 1970’s, Star Wars was a great promotional tool and being that I lived in the same town as Kenner Toys, businesses that had no affiliation with Star Wars used Star Wars action figure exclusives to bring in customers. There was a Mercury dealer that would often give away figures so my father would take the family to get as many as we could to keep me happy. We never bought a Mercury Cougar car but those trips were mind blowing as the dealership would also bring in a real mountain lion to admire. I never understood the correlation between the big cat show and Star Wars, but it was the 70’s so I guess it didn’t matter.
When I did allow others to play with my Star Wars figures, the most bizarre and dangerous adventures were concocted. For example, my family’s expansive Kenmore freezer became the planet Hoth and another friend of mine would crawl into the freezer with the lid shut to replicate the inhospitable planet. Figures and assorted weaponry were lost in sandboxes as it was a poor substitute for Tatooine and fire was occasionally used as a backdrop/torture device to various Stormtrooper figures. As I grew older, I kept my figures in pristine shape but that was difficult when other neighbors would come over and handle them roughly. Once a friend went with us to the airport to meet the Cincinnati Bengals after an away game. I brought Star Wars figures along for the ride and this only resulted in calamity. My “friend” broke off Hoth Han Solo’s head as he claimed that the decapitation would happen on film. I never forgave him for that. There was a momentary pause in collecting Star Wars figures after Return of the Jedi as my interests were now piqued by the lure of toys like Transformers.
When Star Wars was rereleased in 1997 with the Special Editions, I began collecting figures again as their sculpts had greatly improved. Who knew that Luke Skywalker was so beefy? He always appeared lithe in the films. I bought figures at midnight at the local Wal-Mart and admittedly had an inside guy who would hold figures if they were rare. After a while, my collecting stopped because I didn’t have adequate storage space and partially because I couldn’t relate to the prequels. However, my love of Star Wars action figures didn’t really die out and I’m thankful that uberfan Stephen J. Sansweet is around because he has written the best book on the subject entitled, Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection.
Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection compiles the definitive collection of more than 2,500 Star Wars action figures produced over the last 35 years. Fans can trace the lineage of certain figure and admire variations as well as detailed descriptions of each figure. Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection is an awe inspiring read as each page is so chock full of information that it almost becomes overwhelming. When this book arrived, I easily spent three hours reading it and I was nowhere near completing it. While I was reading it, the world could have ended but I was content as each page brought back so many fond memories. Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection is an excellent book but it does have a dark side, it will make you want to track down that one rare figure that you could never find.