Recently a momentous discovery has been published in the vintage Star Wars collecting community, that has only been made more sweet by the fact it was found by a focus collector who has been documenting, researching and hunting for related items for nearly 20 years. I’d be surprised if any collector has not heard of Bill Cable, owner of creaturecantina, or of his C-3PO vintage focus collection. He is one of the driving forces behind the PSWCS coins for charities and co-host of The Archive Party at Star Wars Celebrations. For nearly two decades Bill has been attempting to track down vintage C-3PO only featured items and has amassed a stunning collection that collectors like me can take a lot of inspiration from.
Ever since I’ve known Bill I’ve been aware that he has been hunting an ESB 45 back C-3PO Removable Limbs but also that he was resigned to the fact that one probably did not exist. After searching for the better part of two decades it couldn’t exist, right? In his hunt Bill acquired a cardback with a BASA (the Peruvian licensee) sticker on it and has some interesting theories as to how this item made it’s way to South America. He also has a couple of proof cards for the 45 back and yet nothing production wise in the States had turned up. Well, earlier this month this happened and the books had to be rewritten.
You may be thinking, it’s just a Kenner carded figure what’s the big deal? Thousands of them are out there and Harbert, Meccano etc are surely more rare? Well, for me that’s the beauty of collecting a wide range of items and yet focusing on one figure. Gaps like this can be identified and shared with other collectors, improving our knowledge of the hobby and giving tips as to strategies which are successful. It stresses once again that to truly understand and appreciate what you have or want you need to do your research.
Bill bought this for an amazing price of around $250. He was very fortunate that this went under the radar and that the seller did not know what they had. Congratulations are thoroughly deserved for Bill and he is now spending a little time conducting research into the history of this piece. However, this story does not end there and he can also bring us more. Unbelievably within a week a second one appeared on ebay!
This second discovery has enabled Bill to put some more pieces of the jigsaw together and also gives hope to all focus collectors and completists out there that we need to keep searching and discovering. Bill is also searching for a C-3PO with Anakin offer sticker and I wouldn’t be surprised if he uncovered one too.
Photos (c) Bill Cable