Welcome all to the seventeenth episode of our collector snapshot, where a vintage collector answers 10 short questions. The same questions will be given to every collector appearing in this segment.
This is a very special episode as our guest is one of the most active contributors to our hobby. I’m stoked that someone of Amy’s collecting caliber agreed to come onto the blog and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy reading through her responses as much as I did.
Amy is a 34 year old human resource professional from Seattle, Washington. I met Amy only briefly in the Collectors’ Social Room at Celebration Anaheim, where she was kind enough not to crack up laughing at the terrible pin I gave her advertising my blog (trust me, I’m not being modest).
Here she is on a SARLACC ((the Seattle Area Lucasfilm Artifacts Collector Club) film location trip to Death Valley.
Amy actually presented at C7 and you can check the video of the panel here; where she and Jarrod Clark discussed Ewok collectibles. Thanks to Tommy Garvey from theswca for continuing to post these great videos of the C7 collecting panels.
Ewok Collectibles Panel – Celebration Anaheim
She also also had an entry in the Vader Case Project at C7; a fantastic event which raised loads for charity. Read more about the project here:
theswca – celebration Anaheim Vader Case Project
Amy’s entry: ‘Sunset on Endor’.’ Stunning…
Amy is extremely active on the collecting scene. She’s a member of SARLACC, R2 Builders, Ewok Builders and even has time to blog at http://blog.theswca.com and www.SARLACC.org. I’ve actually recently shared one of Amy’s great blog articles on our Facebook page, here it is again if you missed it:
theswca – Creepy Star Wars Collectibles
Would you believe she’s involved in even more SW vintage endeavours? Check out the Star Wars Collecting Cosmos Collecting Cosmos – Facebook podcast and Amy’s Etsy shop ‘Nerdventions’ – Nerdventions – Etsy.
1. How long have you been collecting?
I was introduced to Star Wars at a young age with Return of the Jedi being the first film I remember seeing (and still my favorite Star Wars movie). Ironically, it was my brother, Karl, who was the Star Wars collector in our house in the 80s.
Amy and her brother, Easter 1984. Yep that’s a stuffed Ewok!
It was at Celebration 3 where I bought my first vintage item, a loose Jabba with throne. I also met collectors in my area, this eventually led me to joining SARLACC. It was an eye opening experience to meet other collectors. I have learned so much from them and had amazing adventures along the way. I had the opportunity to host panels on collecting and can typically be found volunteering at the collecting panels at Celebration. As with my friendships, my collection has been growing year by year.
VSWC: Amy tells me that seeing friends is always the highlight of her convention experience, especially the Archive Party (the party hosted by podcasters Stephen Danley and Skye Paine – check out our previous interview with Steve and Skye – VSWC Interview – Steve and Skye.)
Here she is with some of her collector friends at C7 – (left to right) are Jim Gibbons, Steve Sansweet, Michal Stewart, Aaron Leonard, Amy, Tom Stewart, and Earl Bergquist
2. What do you collect?
It has always been a ‘collect what you like motto’ for me. Lets just say it is still a work in progress and ever evolving but can be mainly narrowed down to the following categories: vintage and modern 12″ figures from Kenner, Hasbro, and Sideshow toys. I’ve always had an affinity for the 12″ scale and am close to completing my Kenner 12″ collection. Sideshow has made some great figures over the past 10 years and I have almost every Star Wars rebel/hero figure they made. I also have paired these with Gentle Giant busts and statues for many characters including Obi Wan, Leia, Han, Luke etc.
Return of the Jedi, Ewoks, and the huts they live in vintage and new. I have every ewok action figure sold by Kenner and Hasbro. My affinity for my favorite playset of all time, the Ewok Village, is plain to see. My collection is called ‘The Ewok Village’ so I have a reputation to maintain. 😉 I own three Kenner villages, two loose and one boxed. Then there’s the preschool ewok line, catapult, hang glider, and battle wagon which are all boxed. I have an Ewok plush infestation and that slimy gangster Jabba and his denizens are everywhere. I also collect ROTJ Lego sets (including the Ewok Village of course!)
Prequel and Clone Wars Obi Wan collectibles. I have a collection of art cards collected over five years at various conventions by some of my favorite artists. My other favorite piece in this category is the mythos Obi wan statue by Sideshow.
I got to meet Ewan himself a few years ago. To be honest, I’m amazed I didn’t keel over. After all this the person who graced the Obi Wan calendar in my high school locker.
Event collectibles and hand made Star Wars items, plush, and ceramics. I have plush from art shows including a handmade Wampa. Collectibles from past celebrations, items made by SARLACC and gathered from our many film location trips. There’s a shelf for bootleg and licensed ceramics including the infamous Taun-Taun Teapot and C3PO tape dispenser by Sigma. I like to use the bookshelf edges to hold all my lanyards. My favorite Celebration collectible is the buttons people make. There is so much generosity and creativity there. They remind me every day of all the great collectors out there from all over the world.
3. What’s your grail?
I’ve never really had just one grail item. Grail items are like the future…. ‘always in motion’ and ever growing as I discover more things. Most recently I was looking for a 1986 Ewoks Ice Capades light up button, a 1983 set of ROTJ valentines, and a 1984 Ewoks calendar. Both I’m happy to say I got all of these in the past month.
And here they are….
Note: These pictures are from the sales listings themselves.
I also do all of this without using Ebay so I defiantly play the long game on a lot of pieces. And I rely on my network of collector friends who alert me to new stuff posted out there. Thankfully with SARLACC, many of the items that I would love to have are in other collections locally that I get to visit at least once a year. So I get to see them even if I don’t have them.
4. What collectors inspire you?
There are so many people who have inspired me in this hobby. Gus Lopez for sharing his collection, his knowledge, and creating SARLACC. Jarrod Clark, fellow ewok collector who always keeps a look out for stuff I need. Mike Ritter, Tom Stewart, Lauren Bock and Bill McBride; all some of the nicest guys in the hobby. Pete Vilmur for his generosity and our in depth discussions on things like bootleg ceramics. Steve Sansweet for opening up his collection for everyone to see. Duncan Jenkins for his incredible encyclopedia like knowledge of collecting. Shane Turgeon for giving me the idea to focus on collecting memories and friendships over collectibles. There are so many more that I want to list, everyone I’ve met in this hobby has inspired me in some way.
5. What is your most embarrassing moment as a collector?
Those times in the past when checking out at Toy’s ‘R’ Us and the clerk asks if I want a gift receipt for my (non existent) son’s Star Wars toy. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen anymore. I think now they just assume the adults are getting Star Wars stuff for themselves.
6. What is your favorite Star Wars film?
My favorite film is Return of the Jedi. I know it may not be the best, but it is a sentimental favorite for me.
7. What would you change about the collecting community?
Star Wars collectors online can be negative at times. Sure we won’t all agree on what our favorite episode of Star Wars is, or what to collect. We should be welcoming, it is a large hobby and there is room here for everyone. Collections also come in all sizes and focuses. Thankfully, collectors I have met in this hobby are inclusive, supporting, friendly and willing to lend a hand by helping others get something they need in a collection. Those are the best people in the hobby, the ones that aren’t in it for the competition, or the money. Instead they share their knowledge, collections, and sometimes even collectibles. I guess you could sum that up as good collecting karma.
8. Forums or Facebook groups?
I still use both but I do like Facebook for the format. It is easier to meet folks within your collecting focus and view all the posts at a glance.
9. What Star Wars character do you most resemble?
Probably young Aunt Beru played by Bonnie Piesse. There aren’t many blonde women in Star Wars.
10. Is there one thing that collectors may not know about you?
Collecting is in my genes. My father has it, my brother had it… 😉 My first collection was Disney stamps (now that the Mouse owns Star Wars, I guess I’ve come full circle). It wasn’t until I got to college that I looked back and thought, Star Wars has always been there. Other hobbies have come and gone, but as the slogan goes, ‘Star Wars is Forever.’
VSWC: Well thank you Amy for coming onto the VSWC Blog! I absolutely love your passion for the hobby and it’s one of the main reasons I invited you on. It has been great hearing some of your collecting philosophy and your general views on our fantastic hobby. Hopefully your inclusive attitude can positively influence some of the more negative aspects of the collecting community. Thanks again!