Nearly two months later and it still feels like we're in recovery mode (and maybe a bit of withdrawal) from Star Wars Celebration Chicago. This convention was a whirlwind and a whopping 5 days long, but it was an absolute blast. The club had a great contingent and official presence in the main hall for the first time since Celebration Anaheim 2015. Here's a quick photo recap for posterity!
Before the convention was upon us, a good deal of design work was undertaken by two of our most talented artists. One of the last minute challenges was the creation of a new alternate club logo. Barth Paine, the artist behind our original CA state flag themed emblem, ingeniously designed what he described as "In-N-Out meets Tatooine." Our trusty Dewback mascot remains true, as does our Golden State vibe.
With the new logo locked, Ryan Savas got to work revamping our "First Ten Years" logo which manifested in the form of buttons that were handed out to thousands of convention-goers.
Also a huge hit were a pair of Vintage Star Wars/State Park themed travel postcards. Ryan crafted two incredible pieces of original artwork inspired by California filming locations from the Original Trilogy, integrating Kenner toys with locally significant environments, all the while perfectly capturing the aesthetic of the travel posters of yesteryear. The first design available for the initial days of Celebration featured our ever present Dewback overlooking a droid sale below in Death Valley/Tatooine.
The second design, handed out over the second half of the convention showcased a stunning image of the California Redwoods overrun by Endor's finest. Below are some shots of the postcards on display along with some of their corresponding vintage toy ingredients.
These postcards were immensely popular, particularly with some fans that also happened to work for the National Parks Service or had visited the filming locations depicted. Ryan definitely set a high bar with these!
Over the course of the show, the club booth had a wide variety of visitors ranging from fellow vintage collecting enthusiasts and nostalgic cosplayers who grew up with the toys to the newest generation of young fans having seen and enjoyed them for the first time.
|One young visitor staged the bizarre Ewok/Gamorrean race depicted here.|
|Tessa poses with Vintage Kenner Teebo and his namesake's impressive cosplayer.|
A key component of any Star Wars Celebration is the SWCA's Archive Party thrown on the opening night. This year, a number of CAVSWCC members (in partnership with several other great collecting clubs) were involved in making the event the incredible success that it was, with all of the proceeds raised donated to the West Suburban Humane Society.
|Poster Key Art designed by Bill Cable|
|A view of Archive Party IV from the balcony of Row 24 Chicago|
|Mark and Dora Huber along with Jason Thomas of the Empire State Collecting Club|
One of the highlights of the entire convention was a scene that unfolded at the club booth on Saturday. Original club founder and Rochester NY's own Skye Paine (seen below as his alter ego, time-traveling superfan Jasper Nixon) had acquired a rare plush Chewbacca display FULL of stuffed Chewies that had remained unkempt for over 40 years.
Prior to getting the display encased in acrylic by Collector Archive Services (CAS), a group of us partook in an intense Wookiee grooming session.
As you can see, the results were incredible (Tessa was particularly masterful with the comb). Wookies [sic] indeed need love too.
|Photo Courtesy of Narayan Naik (pictured on the left) of the Georgia Alliance of Star Wars Collectors|
Below are a few more group shots of the booth, though a few members who attended aren't pictured.
|Photo Courtesy of Darren Gin|
|Photo Courtesy of Darren Gin|
|Photo Courtesy of Darren Thomas|
Thanks so much to everyone for making Chicago the amazing Celebration that it was. Anaheim 2020, here we come!