‘How Star Wars Figures are Made’ – fantastic article by Tommy Garvey at theswca.com

Just a quick post to bring to your attention the publication of one of the most informative articles on vintage SW collecting that I have ever read. Tommy Garvey from theswca.com explains the entire process behind the production of a vintage Star Wars figure; using Kea Moll as an example. Tommy is also a moderator on Rebelscum and admins the ‘Dark Times’ group on Facebook.
Ever wondered what a ‘proto mould’ is? How about a ‘mock up’ or an ‘engineering pilot’? Read below for your lesson is Preproduction 101!
Thanks to Tommy and all the guys at theswca.com for all of their hard work.

Target ‘Share the Force’ commercial – featuring VSWC competition winner Jad Bean!

We recently ran a competition here on the blog, with the prize being a mint set of Cantina Crew aliens. All you had to do to win was to post a photo on the page of yourself as a child with a vintage Star Wars collectible.

We were hit with so many outstanding entries that we decided to give away several runner up prizes. One of the winning entries was from Jad Bean. Here he is with his Ewok Village on Christmas Day.

Jad Bean

What I found out later was fantastic. Jad actually had this special moment captured on video and this footage was included in the Target ‘Share the Force commercial’. You can catch Jad in it, opening the very same Ewok Village. That’s him in the video at 0:09 (labeled Christmas 1977) and again at 0:12 (Christmas 1983). Not only does Jad appear but there is footage of a bunch of other kids with their vintage SW toys. The video is a joy to watch and really captures why so many of us collect vintage Star Wars.

Check out the video here:

Target ‘Share the Force’ commercial

Are any of our readers in the video? Let us know!

What is even cooler than Jad appearing in this video is that he also has the honour of having a Star Wars character officially named after him. Yes that’s right, unbelievable. Check out the full story on his blog:

Jad Bean character in ROTJ

Thanks Jad for sharing and keep up the good work!

The nostalgia of vintage Star Wars collecting – article by ‘From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com’

Just a super quick update for my non-Facebook readers. I post a lot on our Facebook page but always forget to update on the website as well. Will do my best to remedy this.

Here’s a very cool article from the guys at From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com, one of our favourite Star Wars collecting websites.They discuss the nostalgia element of vintage Star Wars collecting and the article features an interview with Tom Berges – the man behind igrewupstarwars.com.


Also check out our previous interview with Jake Stevens, the founder and main force behind From 4-LOM to Zuckuss.

Collector Snapshot #13 – Jake Stevens …/


Thanks for the 1000 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page!

Just a really quick post to thanks to everyone for the 1000 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page! Like I always say, I don’t do this to accrue likes or followers but I sure as hell do not want to be blogging to an empty audience. It’s not always easy to find time and energy to write articles and interview collectors so it’s nice to know that you guys appreciate it. I do feel passionate about this hobby so it is an incredibly rewarding exercise.

Thanks again to everyone who reads the blog and a big thank you to those collectors who find the time in their busy lives to actually appear on my page. Without you guys this page would not exist! I’m honestly honoured to have had the chance to interview such amazing collectors and people and to get to know you all in the process.

And yes I did promise to run a competition to give out a prize once we reach 1000 likes (we are almost at 1100). Sorry for lagging. I have the prize now so I just have to get the competition rules sorted. Stay tuned!

Apologies for recent blog inactivity but we’re back!

Hi guys,

A lot of you may have noticed that the blog has slowed down a bit these past couple of months. My personal and work life has been a little insane and I haven’t had much time for blogging..I have though started work on a  few articles and contacted several collectors about interviews so it’s safe to say that we are back!

Thanks everyone for their ongoing support!

Jordan Hembrough sells three Luke DT MOCs on the 12 Back Facebook Group!

Hi guys,

Just a really quick post to update my non-Facebook audience to an amazing sale yesterday on one of my favourite Facebook groups – the Star Wars 12 Backs and Early Vintage Collectors Group. The guys who run it are some of  my best mates in the hobby and I’ve previously interviewed the three founding members. Check the interview here:


Okay, back to the main story. Yesterday, Jordan Hembrough aka ‘The Toy Hunter,’ posted three AFA 80 mint on card double telescoping saber original Lukes for U.S. $17,000 each in the Facebook 12 back group. These pieces were snapped up in just a couple of hours.

Here are the three beauties!

luke DTsThis photo is published on vintagestarwarscollectors.com with the permission of Jordan Hembrough. 

I generally don’t flag sales on the blog but these sales were noteworthy for several reasons:

– The sale of three mint on card double telescoping saber original Lukes at the same time was a great sight to behold. I myself am a Luke focus collector so it was fantastic to see that there must still be a few more of these pieces hidden out there in people’s closets;

– Now if this sale wasn’t mind-blowing enough, it was even more significant that it took place in a Facebook group! I’ve pretty much been active on the Star War vintage FB groups since close to when the action first started to heat up and I’ve never witnessed a sale even close to this huge. Not only that, but it wasn’t even a secondary sales thread (i.e an eBay or forum thread being shared in the FB groups). What does this say for the future of big ticket item sales?; and

– Jordan chose to sell such a huge score on a Facebook group! I’ve watched a few seasons of his show and I don’t remember him ever mentioning the Facebook groups as one of his selling markets….The fact that such a huge player in the vintage buying/selling game chose to sell on FB is not only a huge nod to the potential that Facebook offers as a trading place but it also pays a massive compliment to the admins of the 12 back group. I very much doubt that Jordan would have chosen this group if it was run by a pack of clowns.

I’d love to hear more about the story behind what Jordan referred to in one of his comments as the ‘General Mills find’. He did mention in a subsequent sales thread in the same FB group that this find actually resulted in four MOC DT Lukes but that one was going into his personal collection. He elaborated that the figures from the ‘General Mills find’ (there were others on top of the DT Lukes) originated from a GM employee who had worked on the Early Bird kits.I might reproduce Jordan’s own words about the figures’ provenance (well the GM employee’s claims at least – to which Jordan claims no responsibility for their veracity) on his sales thread as they are pretty succinct, rather than try to break them down:

“The figure came from a former employee at GM in St. Paul MN, who worked on the Early Bird kits and assembled them for shipping. It was his job, along with others to send the follow up figures to consumers.

When the promotion was over, the factory not only had excessive amounts of Early Bird figure mailers as a whole… but also bagged figures as well.

The story goes: there were a number of figures assembled at the factory to be used for promotional purposes, as well as salesman samples. They were all on 12-Back C cards.

This figure, exhibits unique characteristics found in samples in the past. The figure is backwards in the bubble, and the footer appears to be thinner than a standard footer. The nesting cradle, which was used to adhere the bubble, is larger than one found on a figure of this size.

The figure, is also dark blue in nature, one found in the Early Bird kits.”

Now a lot you will be gasping at the price. I mean,17K (U.S) is a hell of a lot of coin to drop on one of life’s non-essentials. But I’m not going to get into that, at the end of the day we are all collectors and we should do our best not to judge our fellow collectors about how much they spend on the collectibles we all love so much. Paying too much for an item is a different argument altogether and this was the topic of our previous blog post (below). I’d be a hypocrite not to address this issue.


So where do these three MOC DTs fit into the scheme of my previous article? Well it’s difficult to say to be honest because my article refers to relatively common collectibles and the items sold by Jordan are not common by any stretch of the imagination. Do I think they were overpriced? Tough one because they don’t exactly pop up on the market often so it’s hard for me to gauge their value and I haven’t done my own research to see what they’ve sold for in the past.

Thanks for reading!

UK Graders agree to cease u-grading!

Just a quick post to help spread this great news. UK Graders (UKG) have officially agreed to cease their destructive practice of u-grading vintage items (other than mailers)!

Check out the Rebelscum thread below to gauge some collector reactions.


I’d like to personally congratulate UKG in this huge decision, one that comes hot on the heels of the recent vintage Star Wars Facebook group joint initiative to generate as much anti u-grade and repro press as possible. Check our previous post below:

The day Facebook groups united under the same banner!


Well done to everyone involved! However, as great a victory as this was, the anti u-grade movement has bigger fish to fry….We’re looking at you AFA. Get on board!

New action figure grader in town?

Well not really.

But I did have a unique COA issued to me recently by one of my collector friends – Alex Magraw. Check his interview out and you might get some insight into the type of mind that would create such a COA:


It was actually this interview that sparked the events leading to this post. In the interview Alex flagged the “Dark Ginger” Bespin Luke as one of the hardest to find variants of this figure. I have almost 20 of these variants and I was pretty sure one of them was the elusive dark rangas (non-Aussies can google that), oops I mean dark gingers. I emailed Alex a photo but he couldn’t quite tell from the pic so he offered to examine it in person. I sent it to him and a few weeks later, much to my pleasant surprise, I received a nice little package from the big man. I was even more surprised when I found this one of a kind COA:


And here is the little fella standing proudly with his brothers, no longer is he conflicted by the existential angst of not knowing what variant he really is.


I’m not necessarily against AFA, except for their u-grading antics, but this really highlights that we don’t always need their assistance to identify hard to find variants and I’m pretty sure this same logic can be applied to the AFA’s identification of repros, reseals and other surreptitious methods of ripping off collectors. Let’s help each other out once in a while and strengthen the bonds that tie our community together. It shouldn’t all be about money or having the best collection. That said, I recognise that all collectors aren’t lucky enough to have friends in the collecting community that can help them out. Then again, Bill McBride, Darth Vader collector extraordinaire (see his interview with us here – http://vintagestarwarscollectors.com/collector-interview-2-bill-mcbride-dark-lord-of-the-sith/) issues COAs for double telescoping saber, for which he charges a very small fee. He used to do it pro bono but I guess getting 100 requests a week can take some of your time! If Bill and Alex can do it, then I’m sure other experienced collectors can do it.

Thanks again Alex and thanks all for reading!

Bill McBride sets a record for the largest Darth Vader collection in the world!

I’d like to quickly offer Bill McBride a belated congratulations on being recognised by the World Record Academy for his amazing collection of Darth Vader memorabilia!


Photo below of some of Bill’s collection. Simply amazing. 


Not only does Bill have an amazing collection but he is also one of the friendliest and most approachable collectors doing the rounds. Bill kicks it with some of the world’s most well-known collectors but then will equally give up his time to newer collectors like myself who have no idea what they are talking about! Rather than extolling Bill’s most obvious virtues and drowning you in superlatives, I’ll let you decide for yourselves. Here is his previous interview with us:


He has received quite a lot of press recently, all well deserved, and we like to think it was his interview with us that kicked it all off. Well maybe not. It may possibly have had something to do with Bill’s indomitable stash of Darth Vader contraband…

Once again, congratulations Bill and hoping to catch up with you at Celebration Anaheim!

‘Toy Toni’ scandal featured on BBC1 in the UK

Hi all,

Sorry it has been a while since my last update. Health issues have put me out of action for a few weeks. I do though have to take the time to briefly mention the BBC1 show ‘Fake Britain’ and their discussion today of the ‘Toy Toni’ scandal. Don’t worry if you missed it, someone kindly shared this with me on Facebook:


In December 2013 it was alleged that Antoni Emchowicz (aka ‘Toy Toni’) had been selling non-factory sealed mint on card figures as original factory sealed MOCs (AFA even subsequently graded many of these as authentic) for 20 years. Allegedly he purchased a large amount of unused cardbacks and bubbles when the Palitoy factory closed down. He then purchased loose figures which he sealed to these original cardbacks with the original bubbles. I actually own two of these allegedly fake figures, one of them being a Palitoy Hothtrooper with the suspected iron marks on the bubble and front of the card.

Here is the original thread on SWFUK where the scandal was first unearthed. Great work by the guys on that forum!


I’m not going to go into any more detail about the scandal but I just wanted to congratulate Jason Smith (aka ‘Mr Palitoy’ and founder of the largest vintage SW group on Facebook’) for doing a sterling job being interviewed on Fake Britain. Was cool too to see footage of Jason’s vintage collection room.

Jason was stung significantly by the scandal but rather than being knocked down by it, he worked tirelessly to record on a matrix all of the cardback/figure/bubble combinations potentially affected by the scam. On behalf of the collecting community I’d like to express our gratitude to Jason for this. Check out his Toy Toni matrix here: