Welcome Our SW Collecting Guru – Eric Ewton!

Hi everyone. Welcome to the first edition of this collector’s focused portion of the Dork Side of the Force. This is the first time I’ve ever attempted anything like this so bear with me for a little while I get a handle on things. I am also in the process of coming up with a super clever name for the column.

I thought for the first time out I would tell everyone a little about myself and about one of my favorite parts of Star Wars fandom: collecting. Specifically, collecting vintage/modern toys. Now I realize that Star Wars fans and their collections can cover a lot of other areas beside toys and we will look at those areas from time to time also, but toys are where my passions lie when it comes to my fandom. The vintage line of figure gave us fans an amazing heritage and a way of connecting with these movies as children that few other franchises did and older fans like myself and younger fans carry on this tradition still today. That is what this column will try and focus on, this legacy, the collectors, the toys (past and present), where the line is today, and where it may be going in the future.

So a little about myself. I’m 38 years old, my wife and I live in the same community that we were born and raised in Southeast Tennessee. Our family consists of our two cats, Anakin and Ben: who fight with each other and take care of each just like their movie namesakes.

Now if you have done the math, I was born in the late 70’s, 1978 to be exact, so I missed ANH and was too young to remember TESB. My love for these toys started with ROTJ in the early 80’s. Looking back, what Kenner accomplished was amazing for that time. They were completely at the top of the field and the action figure and vehicle lines that they produced show it. My childhood, as well as millions of other children during this time is littered with awesome memories of these toys.

But boys grow up…for a little while anyway.

After the customary period of baseball cards, sports, etc. that most boys go through, I found Star Wars again. In 1995, POTF 2 was released and I just happened to working at the local Wal-Mart and had easy access to all the new figures. I have never looked back. I stayed with modern figures during the prequel films. The product that HASBRO put out during those was amazing too and continued the great legacy of toys that was started in the 70’s and 80’s.

It wasn’t until the prequels were over and I felt the modern market getting a little stale that I ventured in the vintage market, but when I finally did, I realized that I was in a new world of collector’s that required one to be educated on the history of the line as well as the figures themselves. I quickly snapped up as much as I could and to this day am still learning. I think that is what I love the most now, learning so much about the behind-the-scenes history of the line that gave me so much enjoyment as a child.

My vintage figure collection is not huge even after all these years. As a matter of fact it’s not even completed yet. There are still a few figures that I want and need to pick up. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is simple and will be something that I will probably come back to in a later article: I collect on a budget. This means that I don’t buy one of everything that comes out. I pick up what “speaks” to me. If it is in one my cases or on my shelves it has meaning to me as a Star Wars fan. I firmly believe that a collection tells the story of the collector, and a collector can tell you the story of their collection.

These articles will be focused on vintage and modern toys but I would like to talk about different areas besides toys also. The collecting community is huge and with that comes tons of different topics, debates, history, and just general knowledge. Plus there is always new stuff coming out which is always fun to talk about especially with new movies every year and the toys to go with them.

Some vintage topics that I already have in mind range from the debate over reproduction figures and accessories, figure grading, and what are the best resources for a toy enthusiast to connect with other collectors and get information.

A more current topic I want to look at is whether HASBRO is really doing a good job with the Star Wars license. The next celebration is around the corner so we can expect and lot of information of upcoming figures, including the rumors of a 40th anniversary line for this year.

All this will be from the point of view of a Star Wars fan that has been a fan since before he was old enough to know what that meant. I hope you all will enjoy what I have to offer.

I would love some feedback to let me know what you think or if you have any comments or questions send them in, and check out a few pics of part of my collection below!