Collect These Figures and Accessories is an 8.25" x 8.25" square 96-page unofficial look at the Kenner Star Wars newspaper ads of the seventies and eighties. Each advertisement in the book started as a digital newspaper archive that I captured as multiple screenshots and then reconstructed and assembled in Photoshop. Locating, capturing, and rebuilding the advertisements in this book took hundreds of hours and fifteen months from start to finished layout.
Once the advertisements were assembled, I then started constructing the book in InDesign. To keep the book from being nothing more than page after page of gray and black images, I also tracked down toys, packages, catalogs, and assorted other materials and used those items to add some color to the pages. The above sample page spread, for example, shares an advertisement that includes the Anakin Skywalker free figure offer. I chased down an appropriate carded action figure and photographed the front and back of the packaging so that we could see both the newspaper ad and the associated offer as presented on an action figure package.
Over two hundred images fill this book and show us the sales, the clearance prices, and the popularity of Star Wars from 1977 to 1986. I was constantly surprised as I worked on the book, and I believe that everyone will find something new and entertaining between the covers of this hardcover. If you're at all a fan of Kenner's classic Star Wars action figures and vehicles then you need this book in your collection!
If you missed my earlier books then now's your chance to grab them as part of this newest project.
Universe Expanded: Exploring the 1998 Kenner Star Wars Expanded Universe subline of action figures and vehicles! 96 pages, hardcover, 9" wide by 6" tall.
Empire of Shadows: This unofficial look at Kenner’s 1996 Shadows of the Empire action figures and vehicles includes dozens of photos of the toys – both packaged and opened – as well as snapshots of other parts of the Shadows of the Empire event. 96 pages, hardcover, 9" wide by 6" tall.
Each Sold Separately: Explore a remarkable age unlike any seen since in the world of action figures. Holiday sales catalogs, comic books, mail-away promotions, television commercials, and more are touched on in this brief remembrance of the way things once were. This book is for every child of the eighties who ever stared at the cardback of his latest action figure and dreamed of one day actually being able to collect them all! 64 pages, hardcover, 9" wide by 6" tall.
Action Figures Not Included: In the companion to Each Sold Separately, return to explore the marketing tactics of the action figure makers during the eighties. This volume looks at comic books, coloring books, cereal, catalogs, cartoons, games, and more, and takes every opportunity to look before and after the 1980’s in an attempt to uncover the bits of information that will help us better understand why we always felt the urge to collect them all. 64 pages, hardcover, 9" wide by 6" tall.
All original photographs and text in Collect These Figures and Accessories is copyright 2016 Philip Reed. All scans, photographs of books, and screenshots of existing materials are copyright their respective owners, used herein for reference purposes only. Star Wars is copyright and trademark Lucasfilm Ltd and is used without permission. Collect These Figures and Accessories is an unauthorized guide to an important time in action figure history and it is the author's wish that the finished work be both entertaining and a useful reference for future collectors and fans.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is failing to complete the book on schedule. My most successful delivery of previous books was when the books were completed before launching the Kickstarter project, so that's exactly what's happening this time around. Collect These Figures and Accessories avoids the problem of my last two books -- Universe Expanded and Empire of Shadows -- because this time the 96-page book is done and ready to go.
Of course, other complications could pop up and slap me around. Fortunately, the greatest risk of all -- not finishing the book on time -- is bypassed completely because the book is done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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