Publishing a book of all the 3 3/4 inch Star Wars action figures ever produced by Kenner/Hasbro is quite the daunting task. Adam has been writing his Figure Of The Day feature for the past 5 or 6 years and has yet to hit 2,000. Steve Sansweet's Action Figure Archive has always been the seminal book in prose, style, and format and we've been waiting for an update for 13 years since the Power of the Force 2 collection from the Nineties.
His latest, The Ultimate Action Figure Collection that's slated for release this November, isn't the follow up to Archive we've been waiting for but looks to be a worthy book on its own. Steve enlists the aid of Dan Curto, formerly the photographer and archivists of Rebelscum, and Paul Harrison, reviewer and photographer of Jedi Temple Archives, to assist him not only with the photography but also the arduous project of vetting and determining which figure to count, which variants, and which to leave out.
After months of collaboration, they've come up with their "ultimate list" and one that's exponentially grown since the modern line and counted up to 2012's Movie-Heroes/Discover The Force assortment. With the goal of photographing only the most accurate representation of the figure, Steve's team even had to turn down actual Hasbro product shots because there were variances to the final product that made it to the pegs since many Hasbro photos were of painted prototypes. Character with the most unique figures made? Luke Skywalker.
The panel yesterday previewed a few pages from the book that featured great photography and layout and of course the superb and expert commentary from Sansweet. With Hasbro continuing the license at least through the rest of this decade, this book certainly signifies a constant work in progress, but as with all Steve Sansweet books, is an essential for any Star Wars library collection.
Steve, Dan, Paul and Anne Newmann are signing a book plate to sticker to your actual copy once it's released at the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience at Celebration VI. If you're at the show, make sure to stop by and say hello.
Pre-order your copy of The Ultimate Figure Collection and support Rancho Obi-Wan by clicking here.
You can view more photos from the panel as well as some spectacular shots of rare collectibles that were exhibited at the Rancho Obi-Wan experience by checking out our Image Bank gallery here.
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE SULLENGER