About 4 weeks ago I bought a vintage AT-AT walker off of a local seller who was indeed the original owner of the item. It was a little beat up and in desperate need of a cleaning, but the price was right and the seller actually met me at a location equidistant from our respective houses.
Now it’s one thing to buy vintage toys off of eBay. 99 times out of 100 you’re not dealing with 1st generation ownership. But it’s always an odd thing to relieve an original owner of their childhood toys.
In this situation I’ll occasionally interact with the seller and try to find out why they’re parting with such a wonderful part of their childhood — especially considering that they’ve been holding on to it for 30 years. Other times I don’t want to ask questions for fear that they’ll change their mind about the sale. When I do bother to ask, the responses are typically either the ‘need to raise money’ variety or the ‘just no longer interested’ variety. Either way is sad to me. I just have the feeling they’ll regret the decision down the road.
Anyway, that’s my story. That giant AT-AT now has a loving new home and makes his debut on these pages today. See above.
Have a story about buying or selling childhood toys that have only had one owner for decades? Share it in the comments.
I’ve often wondered the same thing … these toys aren’t particularly worth bank unless their mint in box or along those lines, so a seller can’t be making much dough for parting with these childhood icons! I once sold my Dukes of Hazzard General Lee, with Bo and Luke Duke figures, at a garage sale when I was around 10 years old … and I regretted it for about 15 years! Then I finally picked up another one to replace it, and the world was at peace again.
Funny story. I’ve always wondered about the 4″ Hazzard figures. I never had any but many I loved the show.
I sold my collection in High School, to a local antique/junk shop for peanuts, and I have always really regretted it. I was exactly the right age to hit all 3 Star Wars movies on original release ( except “Star Wars” – AKA A New Hope – which I saw at a Drive In Theater for the first time in 1979). In addition to the toys, I had any possible Star Wars merchandise you could think of. I probably got $40 for my entire collection.
Growing up in that time period of Toy Madness, I did enjoy other toys ( including an odd obsession with “Star Trek The Motion Picture”), but Star Wars was the one thing I specifically and meticulously collected, knowing I was actually collecting. I would cross out what I had on card-backs, the mini catalogs etc..and in addition to some multiples ( 6 Stormtroopers, Hoth Rebels etc..) I was pretty close to having all the original Kenner line. I grew up literally on the Canadian boarder ( I am American) on the American side, and since the family would go on day trips to Canada, I actually was able to acquire a lot of the POTF figures while Stateside stores would be plagued with one peg warmer = 30 figures scenario.
I didn’t have Yak-Face, but I did have Armanaman, and you’re right! LOL! It just stood hanging around in my make-shift Jabba’s palace. I liked looking at it, but I never could really figure out what to do with it in terms of playability.
Over the past five years or so, I would start to collect new Star Wars toys from the Original Trilogy. Then give up. There was something missing? A few months ago I saw this blog (yours) and realized why I wasn’t connecting to the new Star Wars toys. It was because those/they were not ‘MY’ Star Wars toys. So I casually began collecting the vintage Kenner Star Wars, and have to say it’s become a happy obsession!
Thanks for doing this blog. I know it helped inspire me to find happiness in a hobby that is more fulfilling to me than any other I’ve ever had.
Steve, thanks for the great story. If I’ve brought one peer back to the joys of re-collecting vintage Star Wars toys then my mission is fulfilled!
Be sure to join up on the discussions at rebel scum and imperial gunnery. Lots of great people around the world sharing the experience.
And don’t worry, I fell into the same trap at first with the Hasbro stuff. Those toys have some exciting qualities as well, but ultimately they just can’t measure up to the real thing.
Yeah, I think the Hasbro stuff looks incredible, and above all I am just really happy that there are good/new Star Wars toys out there for kids to claim as their own, love, and enjoy. But being a first generation fan, the older more primitive stuff just has an allure to it.
It is funny, because a lot of young people today don’t even realize that there was a good 10 years (?) or so where there weren’t any Star Wars toys, and not really any Star Wars at all ( except for some books and roll play). So it’s wild to think the 90s toy line is actually getting long in the tooth now that it’s 2013. haha.