It all began with a simple search on the Internet for “Star Wars sleeping bag,” hoping to find the famed tauntaun version. The longer I searched, the more sleeping bags I found from the original releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Although these were sleeping bags designed for indoor slumber parties, I loved the artwork on all of them and couldn’t resist bidding on as many as I could find. Weeks later, I was in possession of eight different “sleeping bags,” which were essentially vintage quilts with zippers attached to them. Despite having been a Star Wars fan for 15 years, this was the beginning of my very first collection.
No matter how much you love Star Wars, the prospect of showing your passion for the films, shows, and characters can be intimidating. Surely no matter what objects you start to amass, there’s probably someone out there who has a more impressive collection than you. But don’t let that stop you — even Rancho Obi-Wan had to start somewhere! Hopefully we can help inspire you to start cultivating a collection. Considering the popularity of Star Wars over the last 40 years, there’s something out there for everyone. I’ve put together some ideas on what you can collect, no matter the size of your house, your budget or your personality!
A staple for any Star Wars fans, toys have been an integral part of the saga’s legacy since the beginning. Although supply famously couldn’t match demand back in 1977, manufacturers have aimed to avoid this problem by creating toys of virtually every character from every film, TV series, book or game. The vast amount of available toys can quickly boost the size of your collection no matter what your budget. Today, there are toys varying in scale, style, and function, so you can definitely figures that fit your tastes. The Black Series from Hasbro (above) are highly detailed, articulated, and beautiful; Funko’s POP! vinyls are cute and stylized, perfect for home or your desk at work; LEGO has toys spanning the entire saga. When it comes to collecting toys, there’s never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan.
When you are waiting in line for coffee with someone and notice them wearing a Star Wars shirt, it’s hard to avoid complimenting their attire. From shirts to sweaters to hats to pins, building a collection of Star Wars apparel is the best way to make your collection public and put your fandom on display. An added bonus is that publicly showing your love for the saga will instantly connect you to other fans and is a great way to strike up a conversation! Whether you go for a standard logo or a relatively obscure character reference, you’ll never run out of options to exhibit your fandom. There are many options to match your style: WeLoveFine.com is home to cool fan-made designs; HerUniverse.com makes cleverly-designed shirts, dresses, accessories and more. Now get out there and start wearing Star Wars.
For those who wish they could live in a galaxy far, far away, immersing yourself in the right game is the next best thing! From tabletop to tablet and from cards to console, embark on adventures like entering the fray of a ground assault on an Imperial walker with Imperial Assault, reenacting the events of the latest episode in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or recruiting heroes for a customized team in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. (And let’s not forget the awesome Star Wars: Battlefront, soon to have VR experiments on PlayStation!) Whether your gaming preference is of the digital or analog variety, gathering games is a great way to put your collection to active use.
Despite the Star Wars saga’s success being heavily attributed to theatrical releases, the first film’s novelization (Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker) debuted six months before the first ticket was ever sold! Meant to build excitement for the adventures of Luke Skywalker, the first novelization kicked off a long history of novels that further explored the destinies of characters from the original trilogy and beyond. Novels and comic books celebrate the magnificent exploits that reach further than the Outer Rim!
For the fan who likes to stay on top of technological trends, you can find plenty of gadgets available with a Star Wars twist! Need some new LIGHT UP chopsticks (or rather, chopsabers)? Need a thumb drive? Need a miniature droid you can control with an app to play with your pets? Well, arguably no one needs these things, but if you have a high-tech or low-tech gadget itch you need scratched, you can find the Star Wars version of all these products, and many more!
Accumulating figures or other large collectibles can sometimes cause a sense of clutter around your home or office, which makes posters and other official artwork a great alternative for collectors. From commercially available theatrical posters to limited edition silkscreened prints, countless artists have unique interpretations that showcase the diverse perspectives found within the saga. Keep your eyes out for the latest artwork from Mondo, Acme Archives Direct, and many more!
Easily the most expensive items for fans, buying screen used props allows you the opportunity to own a piece of genuine cinematic history. Actual props from the franchise are more difficult to come by than all of the other items mentioned here, but fans can still find them through various auction houses as well as conventions. With items as small as a piece of Chewbacca’s hair from the original costume starting at around $200, collecting props isn’t for everyone, but is sure to impress any Star Wars fan you meet. For those fans who might have trouble tracking down (and affording) one-of-a-kind items, check out Star Wars Collectibles: Ultimate Studio Edition, featuring screen accurate replicas of props from The Force Awakens.
If props are (understandably) out of your price range, the next best thing would be getting your favorite members of the cast and crew to sign autographs. Many cast and crew from the various films and animated series attend conventions around the world every year, but attending Star Wars Celebration or special events are going to be the best chance to share a moment with someone directly involved with the saga. Most convention-goers also participate in photo-ops that preserve the meeting for all-time! There’s no souvenir quite like getting to express your admiration for someone’s work in person. Even if you can’t make it to conventions, much of the cast and crew have public addresses or websites with instructions on mailing items for autograph requests.
Now get out there and begin your collection that will put Jabba’s to shame! What do you collect? Let us know in the comments below!
From Ackbar to Zuckuss, Patrick loves all things Star Wars. He has sworn to use all profits from selling his script “Who’s the Bossk?” to bring back the Decipher CCG. For more of his musings on Star Wars, horror movies, and comic books, you can find him tweeting as @TheWolfman.