Sunday, July 1, 2018

Review: 'Star Wars Memorabilia—An Unofficial Guide to Star Wars Collectibles'


Paul Berry is correct when he writes, “For a child growing up in the 1980s, Star Wars….collectibles meant more than the films…” We surrounded ourselves with Star Wars stuff because there was so much available. The plentitude of R2-D2 kitchenware and C-3PO toiletries, as well as the heavy nostalgia value of these things, has made Star Wars collectibles a minor subgenre in Star Wars books. The best of these come from Stephen Sansweet, who is to Star Wars what Forry Ackerman was to monster movies. However, even a book as thick as Sansweet’s Star Wars: 1,000 Collectibles fails to even wipe the dust off the surface. So there is certainly room for a more complete book of Star Wars collectibles, though Berry’s isn’t it. At just 95-pages, Star Wars Memorabilia—An Unofficial Guide to Star Wars Collectibles didn’t have much of a chance.

Berry’s book is skinny and his drily informative text makes no attempt to reflect the fun of his subject matter, but there are some nice images here that do not reproduce those in the other Star Wars collectible books. A UK publication, Star Wars Memorabilia supplies plenty of nice photos of carded Palitoy figures and adverts. There are a few odd images related to Topps’ trading cards that did not make it into Abrams Books’ recent anthologies of Star Wars trading cards. There are also some images of items too recent to appear in the older books, though Berry’s focus is mostly on the original trilogy and classic items as it should be. However, the limitations forced by the paltry page count (the chapters really only focus on toys, games, models, books, periodicals, trading cards, and home video) means that there is no room for the kinds of oddities that make these books really interesting.
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