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