As a vintage Star Wars collector, you learn very quickly that this hobby takes two things more than anything: money and opportunity. Money more than anything, as in the last couple years prices for vintage Star Wars have gone through the roof. The Kenner line of action figures are some of the most saught after collectibles out there, but we are talking everything here: store displays, tooth brushes, foreign food products, newspaper clippings, even school supplies. It was with an eye twards acquiring some of these objects that I went to a unique and mythological event last night: The Room Sales.
Room Sales started taking place at Celebrations past, with some of the highest end collectors getting together quite literally at the hotels around the convention and going floor by floor, room by room and selling Bintage Star Wars off their beds and in hallways. I used to listen and read the stories hoping that I could attend. Well, I know the right people now, and this year I got my chance. The Rosen Centre hotel was about to be overrun by collectors, and boy was it jaw-dropping.
While not in the rooms anymore, the sales took place in a random closed off hallway near the hotel bar. The spirit of the rooms is alive and well however, and collectors and sellers filled the floors, chairs, information desks, and railings with the type of collectibles you speak in awe of. Right away the first collector had a carded Return of the Jedi Boba Fett, a tough to get, expensive piece for $700. Two people down from there, all the Burger King displays from their glasses promotions are there for hundreds. Foreign cardbacks and bootleg figures are everywhere. Prototypes, Kenner boxes and character key pages. And it all just spread out on the floors of a random hallway on the floors. Wild stuff.
The hot figures carded-wise were as always 12 backs and anything foreign. Leia seemed like she had some of the highest prices in the room, with loose complete figures going for almost $100. Finding a loose blaster to pair her with is almost as expensive, with a guy buying three for $120. If you are a loose collector like I am, matching the correct blaster to a figure can be a years-long process full of frustrations. There are lots of reproduction pieces around, and most collectors wouldn't dare have any with their figures if they can help it.
Some of the cooler collectibles, at least in my eyes, would be the old late 70's and 80's school supplies. Who didn't like taking awesome folders and notebooks out of their backpacks when you were in school, showing off your fandom? Having been born in 1984, I missed being able to do that, so I guess I am making up for lost time. I picked up 5 vintage notebooks, one folder, and an Empire Strikes Back coloring book to add to my growing collection. There were also mint on card erasers, pencil cases, rulers, and more.
After making a few rounds around the room, and saying hello to some of the biggest collectors in the world, people started packing up and getting out of there. It thinned out pretty quickly. Turns out that the hotel didn't "know" that like 200 people were filling a hallway and selling merch, so they threatened to call the police if we didn't get out. I had spent under my budget, but by that point thousands of dollars had exchanged hands in that hallway. Hopefully next Celebration, I can attend again.