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GH: What sort of vetting took place to determine which figures qualified? What was the criteria? Dan Curto’s mantra is “Count them all.” Do you feel you counted them all?
SS: I needed to come up with a rough count of figures at the outset so that the publisher would have a good idea of the size of the book. So I spent a lot of time going through online lists—especially those of Rebelscum.com and a few other sites—to start to get an idea. The book’s introduction spells out most of the criteria: straight repacks don’t count; deliberate changes do, but not mistakes that affect only a small part of the run; it’s not a new figure if nothing changes but accessories. Like the Star Wars movies, the book concentrates on characters and how the look of the figures has changed over the years. My initial list was somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,400, give or take a hundred. Dan’s was around the same; although we differed on a lot of specific figures.
As we got into the book, and Anne and Paul Harrison also got involved, it was a matter of looking at every single figure to determine if it met our definition of unique. I was flexible and listened a lot, but in the end the final calls were mine, so if someone disagrees with certain figures, they can blame me.