Fantha Trackers descended on Redditch on Saturday for Echo Live Modern and Vintage Star Wars toy sales. As usual it was great to catch up with the collecting communities from Facebook, starwarsforumuk, The Vintage Rebellion and The Running Stormtrooper and to meet so many like minded people.
Shoppers in the Kingfisher shopping centre must have wondered what was going on as not only was the venue full of costumers in Stormtrooper outfits in attendance but also The Running Stormtrooper marching, well running, towards his fundraising target. It was amazing to see that he raised close to £500 on the day!
Spreading out the venue this time meant that more tables for dealers, guests and artists could be included and it was easy to get around all of the venues. The first unit I spotted had modern and vintage traders selling everything from the latest Solo products from Hasbro to vintage foreign items worth thousands of pounds.
For those who appreciate art and history based in the second unit was Topps Trading Card approved artist Marsha Parkins (another Topps trading artist Dan Tearle was in attendance and look out for amazing things to come from him!) together with Laurence Dyer. Laurence’s family has a strong connection with Palitoy and the factory in particular and he was full of stories all day. I finally got to see his vintage bottle of champagne that was given to his grandfather all those years ago.
In the main unit, together with our Running Stormtrooper, were the guests. This time we had Michael Carter (the terrifying Bib Fortuna), Tim Dry (Mon Cal Officer), Alan Austen (Bespin Security Guard), Chris Parsons (Zuckuss / 4LOM) and Brian Johnson from the Special Effects team.
Both upstairs and downstairs there were traders selling everything from action figures to comics and books and even the wacky such as a Darth Vader telephone and pop-up Darth Vader game. It was great to see so many children at the event and the delight on their faces when they clutch their £1 Yodas or Princess Leias in their hands such as we did 40 years ago. Star Wars is truly a unifying brand.
Thanks to Jason Smith and Echo Base UK for images and once again to Echo Base and their admin team for a great day out.