Monday, March 23, 2015

Celebration Anaheim 2015 Briefing

At long last, Star Wars Celebration is returning to sunny Southern California from April 16th-19th. For the first time ever, CAVSWCC will not only be in existence for a Celebration taking place in our home state, but we'll have an official presence at the convention. With so much in store for the club, I wanted to lay out a briefing of sorts so that members can get an idea of what to expect and how they can participate.


The club will have an official booth/table set up in the Main Exhibit Hall of the Convention Center (Booth #1065) that is required to be staffed by at least one club representative from 10:00am to 7:00pm each day during the show (aside from Sunday, which will wrap up around 5:00pm). This is a great opportunity for major outreach to fans and collectors both local to the Southern California area and throughout the state (and world!). Visitors will be able to receive printed information about the club, join our mailing list and Facebook group, as well as take home some unique CAVSWCC swag (detailed below).

I plan on manning the booth for a significant portion of the show, but will certainly need some volunteers to provide coverage whenever they're available, and particularly at crucial times where I'm required to be elsewhere. It would be great to have some folks available as back-ups as well. I'll be posting a schedule to the Facebook group and via email which will be finalized once the Celebration schedules have been released. That way, volunteers can be sure to sign up for shifts that do not conflict with panels, screenings, and other events that they don't want to miss.


New CAVSWCC t-shirts will be available for members and other fellow collectors (while supplies last) for $10 each and ideally paid for in advance (details will be sent via the club emailing list and Facebook group). Fan Table Volunteers should be receiving their shirt upon their first shift at the booth. The shirts for remaining members will be distributed at the Dinner & Pub Night gathering on Saturday April 18th (details below).

A selection of exclusive giveaways will be available to hand out to the general public at the booth throughout the course of the show (or as long as supplies last). The following images are mock-ups and subject to change.

2.75" x 3.75" full color, high gloss stickers featuring the club flag designed by club member Barth Paine will be available to all.

1.25" diameter buttons inspired by Barth's original logo and designed by club member Ryan Savas will be available to all.

A limited number of 2.8" x 4" patches of the club flag will be available to current club members, new members that join during Celebration, and other fellow collectors (while supplies last). 


A set of exclusive interlocking Collector Club patches has become a long-running tradition for Celebrations. This year, Bill Cable (of has designed a killer set of patches based on vintage Kenner figures, which are being manufactured through fellow Californian Mike Kurtz. Each participating club will represent one of the six bounty hunters. Through random draw, CAVSWCC got IG-88. Each club will have 1,000 of their individual patches to hand out to Celebration attendees at their club tables. CAVSWCC will be distributing 250 per day from our booth (1 piece per visitor). For those members who purchased sets of the patches in the fundraising effort, be sure to stop by the booth and see me to pick them up!


On the night of Saturday April 18th, the club will have an informal after hours dinner/pub get together. As for the time, I'm imagining meeting up sometime around 8pm, depending on how the day is wrapping up back at the convention center. As for the location, the top choice as of this posting is looking like Lazy Dog, which is a short drive down the road from the convention center and Anaheim Hilton. They have a diverse menu, plenty of beers on tap, and a nice outdoor seating area if the weather agrees with us (which it likely will). This will also be the time and place to pick up your CAVSWCC t-shirts.

This is going to be a great four days and I'm really looking forward to seeing many old friends as well as making many new ones. Hopefully we'll be able to welcome some new members to the ranks as well!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It's only a model...May 4th Vintage Gathering

"Camelot...Camelot....CAMELOT!...." err, wrong film. Sorry, sorry everyone! 

An interesting MPC banner from Return of the Jedi

Continuing the May 4th tradition from last year, we had a great get-together hosted by Mark Enright this past Sunday in sunny La Crescenta. Beyond the delicious BBQ and brews, the group got a first-hand glimpse at the "Mortar Heads" workshop and of one of the coolest and most unique focus collections out there. Mark's model kit collection has everything that a vintage Star Wars enthusiast could want -- multiple toy companies represented, international flavor,  kitsch advertisements, displays...essentially, stuff you just don't see every day and most likely wouldn't find unless you knew how and where to look.

Here we go with a photo re-cap of the afternoon....

The man behind "Mortar Heads" poses with one of his recent molds.
4-LOM from concept.... incredible sculpture.

Tessa and Ara enjoy the spread (while Steve chugs).
The traditional cardback swap-meet (with two ESB carded figures that have made their way to every meeting thus far!)
Ara brought along a great stash of vintage Marvel comics.
Several of which made it back to West Hollywood -- thanks Ara!
Mark's extensive run of R2 & 3PO model kits.
Jedi kits and other model gems.

This ROTJ Airfix 4-Kit Set was sold through the 1983 Sears Wish Book in the United States, even though Airfix kits came from the UK.
Meccano Millennium Falcon Kit - Canadian Parker Box with English and French text and a Meccano sticker.
Phidias acquires a neat addition to his Bib Fortuna focus -- a snap kit Bib from Mark.

Thanks again to Mark for being such an awesome host and for sharing his killer collection. Hope to see more members at the next gathering -- stay tuned for details!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You...(Rain Delay)

Hey guys -- it has been an extreme delay since the club's last dispatch, but I've finally squared things up with the blog and wanted to share a post that I had prepared shortly after our last SoCal meeting on May 4th, 2013. Here it is as it was composed:

The club’s recent meeting in Orange, CA was small in scale, but fun beyond measure. Member David Carr graciously took the helm, organizing and hosting a great event that completely captured the spirit of this awesome holiday that Star Wars has created. It was a day that saw incredibly rare special offer boxed items, a fantastic Vintage Kenobi run, and even a couple of unloved items. Even more fascinating were a handful of photo albums featuring the beginnings of Sansweet’s museum-filled collection, set photos from Return of the Jedi, and...this?!

This insane clipping was one of many phenomenal pieces of history which came from the collection of a newcomer to our gatherings, Lisa Cowan. Lisa was a former Lucasfilm employee who also ran the Mark Hamill Fan Club and edited its associated magazine, On the Mark, during the heyday of the original trilogy. Her personal mementos and incredible stories were major highlights, but it was Lisa’s personality as a true fan (and collector) that made them all the more enjoyable. Here are some more gems from Lisa's albums that she shared with us:

Gary Kurtz's familiar beard on the left - a man named Sansweet on the right
A sample page from On the Mark

Phidias, Marty N., and Mark E. represented the rest of the group, though unfortunately Mark and I missed each other by a couple of hours due to my early exit. The reason for this was an amazing opportunity to see Jedi on the big screen in the same theater it premiered in May of 1983 – Grauman’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Vintage Kenner commercials for the ROTJ line flickered on the big screen as the theater filled to capacity. Fittingly enough, none other than Mark Hammill was among the spectators. Thus, it was a Star Wars Day through and through. Thanks again to David and his family for being such welcoming hosts!

Here are the rest of the photos from the day:

The crew sets up shop in the "club house"
Marty with a Special Offer Radio Controlled R2-D2
More Special Offer boxed specialties
Lisa's stall full of vintage goodness
I was lucky enough to not only see one "unloved" item...
But take a second one home!
David's Blue Snaggletooth...
Complete with head pin.
David stands by his awesome vintage collection.
Lisa adds her autograph to the flag.
Group Shot #1
Mark E. joins the fray later in the day.

Darth Vader guards the entry to the historic Grauman's Egyptian Theater 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A double Chubby-Chuck, a chili-barb, two orders of French fries and...

...the largest privately held Star Wars collection in the world.

A fitting crossroads...
 Though the California Vintage Star Wars Collectors Club doesn’t get a chance to meet all that often, the get-togethers always seem to pan out pretty well.  Our second meeting of 2012 set the bar much higher with a personal tour of Stephen Sansweet’s Rancho Obi-Wan – a 9,000 square-foot non-profit museum located on the borders of wine country in Sonoma County.  The road to the ranch proved symbolic on several fronts, beginning with a stop in Modesto (perhaps the point of genesis), a drive past Lucas Valley in San Rafael (the hidden fortress), ultimately ending in the small town of Petaluma (where American Graffiti was filmed in the summer of 1972).  As our van full of vintage collectors drove into town and into the path of a Veteran’s Day parade, I got an uplifting feeling that this place really hadn’t changed much since young Terry Fields placed his order at Mel’s drive-in (though the real location for the scene happened to be in San Francisco, I could easily imagine such a place on a street corner in Petaluma).

The Petaluma Veteran's Day Parade
What CAVSWCC road trip wouldn’t be complete without a slight detour?  In an attempt to bypass the hustle and bustle of the parade route, our van somehow ended up in an industrial yard complete with run-down warehouses, train cars, trucks, and a dead end.  As one of us described it, we were on the set of RoboCop.  Luckily, everything had been going so smoothly beforehand and we still managed to arrive at Rancho Obi-Wan within minutes of the other Northern California constituents.  Two new club members were in attendance – Keita of the 501st (who also brought his awesome gear for photo ops) and Dwayne along with fellow Petaluma resident Dan.

Rather than trying to recount the overwhelmingly incredible Rancho experience, I’ve compiled the following slideshow from our 4+ hour tour hosted by a collector whose passion truly has no bounds.

After the official tour was complete, the group embarked on a series of double-takes and deeper investigations with additional commentary from Steve. 
Main Exhibit Hall

Trevor on a quest for bootlegs.
Marty and Keita

Will and a sage

The flag signing ritual and group photo signaled the end of the main event, and what an event it was. 

For a post-game wrap up, the group enjoyed a late-night round of brews and grub at McNear’s – a funky yet classy joint adjacent to the charming Mystic Theater.   

Thus, another successful meeting was adjourned.  Huge thanks must be passed along to Will for getting this event rolling, to Phidias for providing transport, and to Mark H. for offering a much needed place to sleep before the long ride home.

Thanks to Steve, Anne, and the rest of the Rancho Obi-Wan staff for an amazing experience – and hopefully the first of many to come.