Star Wars Collecting Community - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

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It's been about a decade since I was most active in the Star Wars collecting community. Prior to that, from 1977 to 2006 I was largely just collecting 'off and on' in a bubble. In 2006 I discovered The Rebelscum Forums. These days it seem The RS forums are lightly visited. I just noticed that one of the moderators of the forums hasn't 'been seen' for nearly a year. Some of the threads that once housed fantastic discussions, full of pictures and an overall wealth of insight & knowledge are slowly deteriorating (broken picture links), and though the topics themselves live on somewhere, absent members are no longer sharing new knowledge in those threads.

As I understand the current state of the Star Wars collecting community, a lot has been happening on Facebook in recent years. The sense I'm getting is that Star Wars collectors have moved away from the idea of 'that one place' (which was only ever partially the case - since there have always been multiple Independent websites for SW collectors), to a scattered array of groups and pages on Facebook. In a sense, Facebook has become a microcosm of the WWW as a whole.

But Facebook itself is getting 'long in the tooth'. Inevitably, there will one day be another shift in the nature of the online Star Wars collecting community. As the Star Wars universe matures, will collectors eventually more back toward a state of 'collecting in a bubble' even? Possibly. It does seem that if we're to preserve what knowledge we've acquired as a community, individual collectors may need to see themselves as independent stewards of some small segment of that collective knowledge. Feel free to comment on where you think things may be trending.

Personally, I've come to a point where I have a renew interest in furthering those discussions and sharing new knowledge, pictures, etc. But I'm not sure where precisely to do that. So I guess my question is fairly simple... what would your advice be, to me? I'd like to know your thoughts on this.
 
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For many SWCA is enough to have certain pieces cataloged . It's up to the editors there to describe them well, show off good pictures. To me that's the main hub for reference /info in specific items.

FB is a snap shot in time, but collectors decide who to share info/ pictures with other collectors /groups. Do you know what "Group Think" is ? I'm not sure how much creative criticism goes on there day to day. Nothing is really saved there for others outside friends /groups to use as reference /info. If you are a friend /in a group, you can probably save pictures, or take screen shots of written info that was important.

Rebelscum , as a whole got boring for most collectors after 5-10 years .... and by 2013-'14 things changed. If you want to sell things faster, use FB or ebay.
 
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Getting back to FB, I meant to mention. If you're a seasoned collector 10+ years, and know what you want to focus on... and patient, then it can be a good place to be, wait for things to turn up, then jump on what you need for your collection.

If you're new to collecting vintage the last 10 years roughly, get on FB , I'm sure there is a lot to see .... lots of stuff being offered for sale so it could be easy getting caught up in the day to day dealings. I mean a DT Luke MOC for $20k .... things along that line. I've heard some stories of things selling on FB the last 6 years or so, blows my mind the values attained. I get it , no one is making anyone pay a certain price /value for something , but the platform itself could be / can be chaotic at times for its users.
 
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I guess a certain amount depends on your perspective. I'm about as seasoned a SW collector as they come, having started collecting stuff from the beginning. Prior to the release of Star Wars in '77 I was already a collector of other items. I'm not looking to add to my collection beyond specific things I have been keeping my eyes open for. So for me, the community isn't a place to acquire items... it's a place to share knowledge, experience, or personal stories.

The problem I have with Facebook is just that it doesn't really fit with my personal situation. For me, Facebook is a way to connect with friends and family outside of my hobbies. For me, 'friends' in the hobby are decidedly different than friends in the real world. Where as for some collectors, the Star Wars Collecting Community are also their real world friends. So in that scenario, I can see that Facebook might be the perfect fit for some.
 
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Not this thread again ;)

I don't know I've felt myself posting less and less on both here AND facebook although I'm on facebook a lot but mostly to lurk. I did enjoy your recent FB post about the Mcquarrie autograph you just got.

I'm relatively introverted so i'm not very social... but I do see some of my star wars "friends" on a regular basis and chat with about a dozen more at least weekly. That's more often than my real friends!
 
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I guess a certain amount depends on your perspective. I'm about as seasoned a SW collector as they come, having started collecting stuff from the beginning. Prior to the release of Star Wars in '77 I was already a collector of other items. I'm not looking to add to my collection beyond specific things I have been keeping my eyes open for. So for me, the community isn't a place to acquire items... it's a place to share knowledge, experience, or personal stories.

Stories / knowledge / experiences are good, healthy , but they're all based around the Kenner development of the toy line to begin with. The toys are the foundation. If you /. your parents would have never have bought you a vintage SW action figure in the first place, there wouldn't be any stories /experiences relating to vintage SW toys. Take a step back, if Lucas would have never have dreamt of making a toy line based off SW : A New Hope in '76-'77 , and giving the project to the workers at Kenner in Cinci .... then what?? We wouldn't have been able to grow up with these toys in the first place, and everything else that proceeded afterwards in relation to vintage SW collecting wouldn't have been a reality.

As for discussion on FB , sure personal friends /family should be separate to Vintage SW collecting. Maybe make two accounts? In regards to FB for vintage collecting , sure you can limelight / take pictures, show off pieces ( show and tell ). Is that in good faith to show your fellow collectors, to to showcase an item, hype it up (get others google-eyed over a piece), then sell it weeks /months later for some kind of $$. That has happened in the past, at least one time I assure you.
 
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I think the collecting community is spoiled with Celebration, Comic Cons, collector conventions, toy shows, Podcasts, Youtube, collector movies, books, Facebook, Web sites and regular access to almost any collector data possible!

I like this site as it is more laid back, a good mix of Vets and Newbs, so much great past collector data and generally good people!

Facebook has too much drama and I feel it highlights the money side of the hobby?

Sad part is I travel a ton for work and I go in spurts in adding comments on posts consistently.

I see a good group of members who post regularly and I enjoy their content and comment to add to a post.

Personally I see a lot more small toy shop and comic stores popping up in my travels. I enjoy these so much, but damm they focus on so much new collectables and place their vintage online rather than sell in their shops! I have had some nice antique shop and used book shop finds. This is a nice trend to see and now that Youtube and Amazon are charging tax now maybe Brick and Mortor can make a come back?
 
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The movement of people away from these types of forums to Facebook is an issue for many types of communities, not just collectors.

I greatly prefer forums like this where it is easier to search for information and threads are categorized.
I have never been on any of the Facebook groups, and have made a few friends here. Some of us in fact do not use Facebook at all.....
I like forums better because you can look back at a wealth of knowledge.
 
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The only great benefit online stores bring to the table is the fact that they can go world wide. It's so much easier to find pieces in this modern era. The funny part is , if it's easier to find, how is it still considered rare? And more importantly, why do we feel the need to pay the high premiums?

Facebook is nothing but drama and a popularity contest. Can't beat sites and forums like this one in my opinion.

And I do love seeing pieces in small stores hidden in small towns. I found one in Orlando and I plan to visit once a year.
 
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My initial thought in creating this thread wasn't so much about RS vs Facebook, but more answering the question of where should we be investing our time & energy as 'documentors' of SW collecting knowledge; regardless of where that be.

I also prefer to visit a specialized site such as RS for SW Collecting. Though some of the changes on the site haven't encouraged me. For instance, all of the broken picture links in threads that were once heavily visited because of the sharing of information and great images. Many of these images still exist people's photo libraries, but the links no longer work. An alternative might be creating a Facebook Group of Page to do this sort of 'documenting' and discussing.

If RS seemed to be more concerned with maintaining these threads better, I would even think it would be possible to encourage more SW Collectors to visit the RS forums because you could build a nice thread here, then link to it on a Facebook group.
 
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Leif_G I have the Star Wars Tracker App and I love the way I can document my collection and also track where I bought it. I hope thats were we go in the future for easier ways of us to document and organize are collections digitally.
 
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Leif_G I have the Star Wars Tracker App and I love the way I can document my collection and also track where I bought it. I hope thats were we go in the future for easier ways of us to document and organize are collections digitally.
 
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I've started to see more collectors slowly move over to Instagram. People have their own pages with their collection and post fun stuff. No politics or other distractions. FB is full of heated arguments about things nothing to do with SW. You chat with Direct Messages. I think it might start to move over there soon. Communication wise, it's more of messaging people, and less chatting, like here. I don't see people coming back to RS. So many come back for 2 weeks and leaves again.
 
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I've started to see more collectors slowly move over to Instagram. People have their own pages with their collection and post fun stuff. No politics or other distractions. FB is full of heated arguments about things nothing to do with SW. You chat with Direct Messages. I think it might start to move over there soon. Communication wise, it's more of messaging people, and less chatting, like here. I don't see people coming back to RS. So many come back for 2 weeks and leaves again.

That’s too bad. It was hard enough for me to move to Facebook. I don’t foresee myself getting on Instagram or any other social median platform anytime soon.

FB no doubt has it’s issues and annoyances, but it is a nice place to get a quick daily SW fix.
 
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Another danger of the social media sites are the possibilities of hackers getting your personal info. It's a danger period if you have an email, however, users place a lot of info on sites like facebook. Most forums like this one don't require a lot of personal info.
 
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What I find rather troubling with the community, is the lack of appreciation for the founding principles of forums like these. In my signature, you'll see the "Collect to Collect" code, which was once a vital instrument here. In recent years, I've seen a bigger shift to reselling just for profit, scalping new items, and hoarding without regard for other collectors. This is probably a bigger problem amongst modern collectors, but there has been a change in vintage diehards too. This isn't to say there aren't folks out there helping fellow collectors - there are plenty of them, and this is still the best site (alongside Yakface) to find them, but those numbers seem to be dwindling, with a focus on the individual rather than the community. These forums can contain all the information possible about the hobby, but without the stewardship of the members and Mods to uphold certain guidelines, I fear forums will become similar to the dregs of FB.
 
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I never read The Code before it's pretty neat.

My collecting has taken a lot of strange turns. I have finally decided not to "collect" anything but my own actual childhood mementos, stuff for my kids to play with, and a carefully curated private Kenner Micro Collection Ion Cannon exhibit.

Facebook unfortunately brings us down to our lowest common denominators. Which ultimately amounts, on average, to the squawking and braying of barnyard animals.

However, Facebook also allows for some very rapid information sharing, and it's a useful tool in the box. It's the only place I am going to be able to advertise my (very narrow) focus and have sellers message me with pertinent items.
 
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The FB groups are absolutely useless. When I see people post a picture of a loose Luke Farmboy figure and ask “what do I have here” I just cringe. If you don’t know what a loose figure is, then are you really invested enough in the hobby to contribute anything?

I would love to get this forum going to the point of where it once was, but I don’t think that’s even possible.

The bulletin board format is vastly superior to the IG and FB platforms, but for some reason is headed the way of the dodo, and thats really sad.

Jim
 
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I never read The Code before it's pretty neat.

My collecting has taken a lot of strange turns. I have finally decided not to "collect" anything but my own actual childhood mementos, stuff for my kids to play with, and a carefully curated private Kenner Micro Collection Ion Cannon exhibit.

Facebook unfortunately brings us down to our lowest common denominators. Which ultimately amounts, on average, to the squawking and braying of barnyard animals.

However, Facebook also allows for some very rapid information sharing, and it's a useful tool in the box. It's the only place I am going to be able to advertise my (very narrow) focus and have sellers message me with pertinent items.
Yes, the only good thing about Facebook is its popularity. More eyes and ears on a subject for sure equals more help or insight to find missing pieces or guide us to. Unfortunately , its also its biggest problem. Too many eyes and ears on the topic and that leads to greed and scalping.
 
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Stories / knowledge / experiences are good, healthy , but they're all based around the Kenner development of the toy line to begin with. The toys are the foundation. If you /. your parents would have never have bought you a vintage SW action figure in the first place, there wouldn't be any stories /experiences relating to vintage SW toys. Take a step back, if Lucas would have never have dreamt of making a toy line based off SW : A New Hope in '76-'77 , and giving the project to the workers at Kenner in Cinci .... then what?? We wouldn't have been able to grow up with these toys in the first place, and everything else that proceeded afterwards in relation to vintage SW collecting wouldn't have been a reality.

I'm a Star Wars collector, not a toy collector. But before that I collected other things. So I guess you could simply say "I'm a collector". It's a part of who I am. Star Wars, or no Star Wars. It doesn't get more personal than that. Sharing experiences, swapping stories, absorbing or imparting knowledge... it's a big part of collecting to me. From the time I first started hanging around stamp & coin shops as a kid, asking questions, and being taught the nuances of collecting by the shopkeepers, it's always been that way. Only now we're online.
 
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The FB groups are absolutely useless. When I see people post a picture of a loose Luke Farmboy figure and ask “what do I have here” I just cringe. If you don’t know what a loose figure is, then are you really invested enough in the hobby to contribute anything?

I would love to get this forum going to the point of where it once was, but I don’t think that’s even possible.

The bulletin board format is vastly superior to the IG and FB platforms, but for some reason is headed the way of the dodo, and thats really sad.

Jim

Since I first started this thread I've had some additional FB experience. I would agree with you to a large degree. I have found a few Star Wars collecting groups that are not that way, and seem to be very much worth following. But a lot of the more generic SW collecting groups are focused on which figures are being found on the store shelves at Walmart at the moment. While I can see that this is 'collecting' for some people, it's not how I know 'collecting'. Only at the surface level... like a scavenger hunt. It's more in the order of the original "collect all 66" Kenner marketing ploy. I can't discount that. But it's just not what collecting is to me. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that type of 'collect them all' is a manufactured form of collecting. I believe that true collector will collect what they like, whether it's been manufactured to collect, or not. In other words, I don't feel compelled to hunt down every products that says Star Wars on it just because Hasbro manufactures a new character sculpt. Back in 1977 I collected what I liked, and when the figures came out in 1978 I owned some of them as well. But they were just toys to me then. It wasn't until the early 90's that I began collecting the toys more as collectibles based on nostalgia.
 
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He’s at least an adequate a villain as Kylo Ren!
 
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