Welcome to the fourth episode of our regular segment, where a vintage collector is given 10 short questions to answer. The same questions will be given to the next collector appearing on the segment.
Our victim this time is Richard Hutchinson, known on the forums as ‘Cc4rhu’. Richard’s second home is Star Wars Forum UK (SWFUK) and he is actually one of the hosts of their fantastic podcast. I love Richard’s role on the podcast and I for one appreciate the time that he and the rest of the crew put into recording it for our viewing pleasure. Keep it up fellas! Check it out if you get the chance. Also see our review of the SWFUK podcast here:
So a little bit about Richard, He’s 38, lives in Gateshead, UK and while he’s not getting paid millions to host the SWFUK podcast he’s working for free as an Assistant Head Teacher, mainly teaching computing and running the ‘Duke of Edinburgh Award’. Richard’s a huge Arsenal FC supporter, loves reading (mainly Tolkien and other Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels), and is into rock music (Guns n’ Roses, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden etc).
Check out the photo of Richard at Celebration Europe 2 in Essen, Germany.
So to the questions!
1. How long have you been collecting
I have been actively collecting vintage Star Wars items for a little over two years now. It took a lot to sit down the other half to say, “I want to start collecting children’s toys!” It was a lot easier than it could have been though as my family knew I was Star Wars crazy from my already impressive collection of Expanded Universe (EU) and video games.
2. What do you collect?
The EU is my main passion and most of my focus goes on novels and comics. When it comes to vintage Star Wars I am aiming to collect every playable item in good condition but loose. The packaging, fortunately, doesn’t interest me and while it is nice to see the awesome displays from some collectors, that route isn’t for me. I enjoy touching my items and easily moving them around for a different visual experience. My only limitation is space as I’m confined to my bedroom and the shelves that I have available. It has gotten to the point where if I buy a new novel I’ve been told to get rid of two! I have completed the entire loose figure run, including the double telescoping sabers and other major variants in varying conditions, own most of the ships and vehicles and hunting down the last of the playsets and 12” figures as and when they become available at the right price.
Some photos of Richard’s collection. Outstanding job for someone who has been collecting just over two years.
3. What’s your grail?
I don’t really have a grail. As a loose collector most of what I want is obtainable, also I am not interested in pre-production which makes things easier. I suppose the early bird gift certificate set which I acquired recently was my ‘grail’ for the nostalgia and importance of the piece. It’d also be nice to own a better condition DT Ben which I will one day.
Richard with his early bird set
4. What collectors inspire you?
Every collector inspires me but especially those who are active members in the hobby. I don’t care if you have one beater figure, or a collection to rival Sansweet’s, they are all lovingly put together by like-minded individuals with the sole intention of sharing their Star Wars goodness. It’s part of the reason I love co-hosting the SWFUK podcast.
5. What is your most embarrassing moment as a collector?
As a teacher I have plenty of embarrassing moments in real life so I can’t think of any with regards to Star Wars offhand. With the correct intent sometimes I may have given out some advice which may be incorrect or inaccurate but I don’t make the same mistake twice.
Actually I have just thought of one. To put this story in context it was difficult growing up in one of the northern towns of the late 70s / early 80s – think Billy Elliot. BE was a tale about a boy wanting to do something different. It didn’t matter what it was but if you didn’t follow the norm then you were often shamed or beaten. I remember being beaten and humiliated for wearing a Batman t-shirt when I was around the age of 12 by my father and told that I had to grow up. All my childhood stuff went very quickly after that.
Fast forward to 1996 and I had just read the Timothy Zhan trilogy for the first time and I wanted to read more. I found online that the next book (or so I thought) to read was Dark Empire and could not find that novel anywhere. Eventually I ordered it at a local book store and was surprised when I picked it up a week later to discover it was a comic. My girlfriend was waiting outside the store and I felt so embarrassed showing her my new comic – I’m sure she replied with a typical northern attitude along the lines of, “aren’t those for kids?” Needless to say that once that barrier was crossed things got a lot easier. Sometimes my friends from the north don’t understand why I collect. I don’t get embarrassed by it anymore but it does annoy me when most of their questions focus on price.
6. What is your favourite Star Wars film?
I like all of the Star Wars movies for different reasons. I’m going to say Empire, although I’m not fussed on Yoda, for the Hoth scene which is by far my favourite from all the movies. Jedi is a close second.
7. What would you change about the collecting community?
This is a difficult one. The most obvious aspect is repro items and the tolerance, or disinterest, from many collectors who I respect. However, I wouldn’t want to see a forum where everyone agrees which would become pretty boring very quickly. I have many gripes with regards to the following – u-grading, bashing newbies, AFA is gospel, arrogance and finally America having so many cool Star Wars events.
8. Forums or Facebook groups?
Forums, although without facebook I wouldn’t have gotten to meet so many great collectors either. For me it’s quality over quantity and the three main forums, together with about half a dozen of the facebook groups are awesome. It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next few years
9. What Star Wars character do you most resemble?
At the end of A New Hope when the rebel troopers are all lined up from the back if you count forward four rows and then three guys to the left – that guy looks like me.
Oh yeah there he is. Or is it? I can’t tell. I give up!
10. Is there one thing that collectors may not know about you?
Many! Although I am a very open person so perhaps some may know this. Here goes….. we were so poor as kids I remember getting nothing for Christmas once, I left home at 14, I have two children, I’ve been engaged for 20 years, I enjoy working with children in pantomimes (I’ve written many scripts) and taking them hiking and camping, and finally I love the SW community and would be at Anaheim if it wasn’t for my job and the fixed holidays!
Well thanks Richard for joining us. Look forward to hearing you on the podcast and seeing around the boards.