Star Wars Celebration Europe: Collector Panels Announced

Collectors of Star Wars treasures from all over the world should be sure not to miss the collecting program at Star Wars Celebration Europe, July 13-15 at London’s ExCeL Center. A dedicated programming track designed just for collectors will not only feature hours of invaluable information, it will also offer random give-aways of extremely rare, and very cool Star Wars collectibles that can only be found at Celebration Europe.

Gus Lopez, who masterminded the collecting track and collectibles give-aways at Celebration IV, has put together three days of programming that’s not only informative for serious collectors, but also fun for anyone who loves Star Wars, and who loves how the saga has permeated the culture for the past 30 years. Lopez has included collectors and experts from all over the world in the programming, giving the panels at Celebration Europe a truly international flair.

In addition to programming, Lopez and his collecting compatriots have created a new set of highly collectible medallions, similar to the sought-after medallions they gave away at Celebration IV. The medallions will be given away at random times during the panels over the course of the convention.

Read on for just a few of the great panels planned for the Collecting Track at Celebration Europe…

Star Wars Collectibles Road Show
Todd Chamberlain

Have an item you can’t identify, or the value of which you can’t find in a price guide? Star Wars Celebration Europe collecting panelists will be available throughout the weekend to view items and provide feedback on their history and value. Stop by the Road Show to get a detailed, hands-on examination of your collectible. Collectors will get information about their items, and also have the opportunity to share their treasures with fellow collectors.
What to bring? Any item you think is extraordinary and about which you can’t find good information from other sources. If it’s unlisted in price guides, or the guides provide little information or no pictures, our panelists can likely help you find out what you need to know. Try to stump the experts if you think you can! 
What not to bring? If your item shows up in an online auction search on any given day, you can probably get the information you need online. A note on packaging errors: while items in the wrong package or with other minor errors are of interest to some collectors, generally these items garner a minor premium at best and are often worth less. For modern (post-1990) items, the few exceptions that have additional value are well-documented in price guides.

Star Wars Food Collectibles
Duncan Jenkins and Gus Lopez

In the first 30 years of Star Wars collecting, there have been over 10,000 different food collectibles from the hundreds of promotions in over 100 different countries. Food collectibles are extremely challenging to find due to their short lifespan and national (and even regional) differences. In addition to the well-known name-brand candy, chip, cookie, cereal, and fast food promotions, there have also been licensed Star Wars Easter eggs, ice cream, yogurt, TV dinners, entrees, hot dogs, peanut butter, cheese, waffles, mustard, curry, popcorn, and even dog food. See examples of obscure and prized food collectibles from all over the world in this fascinating panel.

Japanese Star Wars Collectibles
Eimei Takeda

For three decades, extremely popular Star Wars items from Japan have caught foreign collectors’ attention. A plea often heard from collectors in other countries is, “Why can’t we have Star Wars collectibles here like those in Japan?” This panel will show some examples of collectibles unique to Japan and cover some of the adventures in finding them, from the production process and how items make it into collectors’ hands.

Star Wars Tattoos
Shane Turgeon

Star Wars collecting takes many forms. Collections can be large or small, made up of action figures, posters, prototypes or props — but in the end, it’s all just stuff. Stuff that collectors can eventually liquidate, should they so desire. Venture with us into a realm of Star Wars collecting that involves ultimate dedication — the hardcore world of collecting Star Wars tattoos. Shane Turgeon, author of The Force in the Flesh, the recently published coffee table book all about the art of Star Wars tattoos, will lead the discussion, complete with beautiful tattoo illustrations.

French Meccano to European Trilogo
Stephane Faucourt

After a brief introduction to the recent book From Meccano to Trilogo: Star Wars Vintage Action Figure Toys, this session — an added “chapter” to the book itself — will continue the journey into decrypting the French Star Wars collectibles market. This marathon panel will successively bring attendees a quick overview of the company; odd things to spot in the toy distribution, marketing and advertising policies; some non-action figure products (i.e. puzzles, board games, models, video games, 12″ dolls, diecast…); recent finds and additions that were not included in the book; and a comprehensive review of retailer catalogs, order forms and pricing policy over the years.

Unproduced Star Wars Toys
Gus Lopez

It might come as a surprise to some collectors that there are actual Star Wars toys that were designed but never released in stores. A few collectors embark on the extremely difficult challenge of documenting, locating, and acquiring some of these rare pieces that give a snapshot of what could have been. This presentation will cover early stages of produced toys that are far removed from the final product. There are many examples of toy weapons, action figures, vehicles, playsets, video games, and packaging that never made it to retail shelves. Whether considered in design drawings, one-of-a-kind mocked-up prototypes, or production-quality samples, the toy design process yields artifacts of great interest to collectors.

Canadian Star Wars Collectibles
Shane Turgeon

There’s a lot more to Canadian collectibles than playing with Hoth toys during the great white winters! Explore the history of Star Wars toys in Canada, from the earliest twelve-backs, to the rare Sears exclusives, other special offers and beyond! It’ll be better than a 6 pack of Molson, eh!

Danish Star Wars Collectibles
Henrik Wulff Rasmussen

This talk will cover a range of Star Wars collectibles from Denmark including the Danish translations of Marvel Comics, The Read-Along-and-Listen books and tapes/records (reportedly hilarious in Danish), Poster Magazine, and the 1985 Toy Catalog with pictures of very interesting Danish Star Wars toys. The presentation will also examine food products like the Pepsi contest from 1997, and an interesting commercial promoting the contest. Also explore the challenges inherent in amassing a Star Wars collection while living in a small country.

Trading Cards
Andy Dukes

Collecting Star Wars trading cards is both fun and challenging. This panel will take a quick look at the original cards that started it all, and discuss why a collector might want to add cards to their collection. There will be a review of some of the more interesting sets, and of the challenges a collector faces when collecting Star Wars trading cards.

Swedish Star Wars Collectibles
Mattias Rendahl

Has Sweden contributed anything to the Star Wars universe in addition to Shmi Skywalker (Pernilla August)? How can a small country with only 8 million inhabitants sell over 2 million action figures between 1982-86? For the first time all Swedish items have been assembled in one presentation by Swedish collector Mattias Rendahl, also the sponsor of the Celebration Europe medallion from Sweden. Rendahl will cover everything about the Swedish toys, collector cards, movie posters, store displays, food premiums, comics, and more. Many unique and never-before-seen items are promised. M? kraften vara med dig!
James is an active member of the Star Wars collecting community, and is the Brand Director for Jedi News. James is also the host of the Star Wars Collectors Cast, and co-host of RADIO 1138 on the Jedi News Network.