I'm Jerome, from Paris. I'm 42 years old and I am a very (very) new collector. But of course my interest in Starwars figurines is not that new
Like many of you, those figurines fascinated me as a kid and I spent countless hours playing with them. To me, they are true memory gems.
As an adult I've of course always been aware of vintage Star Wars figurines collectors although I never jumped in the bandwagon. But I love antics fairs and garage sales and I would always keep an eye for vintage 70's toys in general and Star Wars figurines in particular, but either I did not find anything that captured my interest or it was too big and/or expensive (and strangely, I did not see much loose vintage SW in those sales !)
Then, two things happened...
First, I went to a Star Wars expo in a museum in Paris in 2012. The expo was mainly about Kenner figurines. Seeing those sent me back to memory lane in no time. But there was more : in one diorama, right amongst other vintage Kenner figurines, there were several Emperor's Royal Guards. See, this one is my biggest childhood frustration : I never, ever, was able to get my hand on a Royal Guard despite being totally fascinated by their magnificent color and (gasp) true cloth cape ! Never got one.
Going to this expo got me a bit closer from the edge... but I did not start collecting yet. Still, I did pay a visit to a couple vintage toys stores in Paris in the two following years; every time taking a step closer to actually start a collection but stoping just shy of doing it (although I even bought a recent figurine just for the heck of it !).
Then, the second major event happened : I was recently visiting friends in London and they took me, of course, to Camden Market. There, in the stables shops, I saw a vintage toy store. And I remember almost jokingly saying to my wife and my friends something like "I'm warning you : if I find this Emperor's Royal Gua...
". And there it was. Loose, without his weapon, but that was him indeed ! In full crimson glory ! Of course I bought it (it was sold in a zip bag with a Hoth Stormtrooper with no cape nor weapon). Memory came back flooding and when I saw right next to it another blister containing a Gam guard I remembered being intrigued by those as a kid, too, and again without being able to get one. So I bought it for the heck of it (it came with a Nien Nunb figurine, again without any weapon).
Having those in hands, there was going back. I started reading a lot, googling quite a bit, learning about the figurines C-grade system, understanding about how a loose figurine without original weapons is a bit lacking, and started to explore eBay and others sellers. I guess you know how it usually goes from there
Today, my "collection" is still comprised of those 4 figurines only, those very same I bought weapon-less in Camden. But I have more (hopefully !) coming in the mail at this very moment including another Royal Guard in C9 condition with his weapon, as well as a meeting planned with a Parisian collector to buy several figurines from him (including an Emperor, yeah !).
For the moment, I expect to be collecting only vintage loose SW / ESB / ROTJ / POTF figurines with (hopefully) original accessories. But who knows where this can take me
I'm sure my story is pretty similar to every other 40-something collector out there, isn't it ?