The Force Was Strong At San Diego Comic Con 2015

SARLACC members Gus, Pam, Ryan, Stephanie and Amy were in attendance at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.

What began as a typical exciting weekend at the convention quickly became an experience none of us will ever forget.

We started the convention at preview night. The typical Star Wars sights were to be seen on the show floor, Hasbro, Lego, and the Lucasfilm Pavilion. Of note was the incredibly detailed Hot Toys Millennium Falcon model on display at the Sideshow booth.

Preview night as over all too soon and the next day was spent at the Hasbro breakfast and in line.

Thursday was the day before the much-anticipated Lucasfilm panel in Hall H. Thankfully we had a team that was willing to trade-off time in line so that one or two could leave for food, Starbucks, and sleep. We felt right at home at the neighboring Hilton Starbucks this year as it was decked out in a Star Wars motif and playing the movies.

Later that night, our group secured our wristbands and we were set for Friday in the largest panel hall at San Diego Comic Con the 6,500 seat Hall H.

JJ Abrams had donuts and coffee delivered in the morning and we were all in pretty good spirits despite the lack of sleep. After a day’s worth of panels featuring stars from Walking Dead and Game of Thrones we finally got to the moment we’d been waiting for.

During that magical hour, we saw new clips, actors, puppets, and a behind the scenes trailer that made me teary eyed.

And, once we thought we’d had our fill they threw in a surprise, a 2 hour concert of Star Wars music by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra with video introduction by John Williams. Topped off with a collectible lanyard, lightsaber, and an eye popping fireworks show.

And that ended only day 3 of 5 days at Comic Con. We still had Saturday and Sunday ahead of us which some of us spent at the Disney Infinity offsite playing the new Star Wars game and getting figures in advance of the games release.

The rest of the time was spent on the show floor taking in as much new information on upcoming Star Wars collectibles as possible.

But as with any San Diego Comic Con, then best moments were the ones shared with friends and meeting friends that you usually don’t see anywhere else but a convention. By Sunday, as much as we love Comic Con, we were all ready to take a much-needed break. Until next year, ‘stay classy San Diego.’

Posted in Events, Road Trips Tagged , , ,

SARLACC visits the Sarlacc
(Buttercup Valley, CA)

Shirt design by Mike Demaine

April 20, 2015
(or SARLACC participates in Earth Day by cleaning up desert ‘trash’ )

This year’s SARLACC road trip was added on to our Star Wars Celebration festivities. The day after celebration a dozen SARLACC members departed Anaheim by car for the 4 hour drive to the Imperial Sand Dunes in California. This was the filming location of the Sarlacc pit and Jabba’s sail barge in Return of the Jedi. After filming of these scenes, much of the set was scrapped and left on the desert valley floor. With a little digging and determination, you can find pieces from the set.

(photo by Jake Stevens)

We arrived at the dunes just before lunch. The temperature was a warm 95 degrees and the sky was a picturesque blue. The parking lot was the central meeting place for our caravan. There we loaded up on water and were interviewed by a visiting film crew from Lucasfilm on hand to document the trip. The film crew stayed behind while the majority of us hiked the dunes.

(photo by Ryan Beise)

Of course a trip to the dunes would not be complete without the appropriate themed collectibles.

After a strenuous walk we saw the valley floor below.

(Jake has discovered the valley)

We were looking for the original fence posts located on the valley floor that would provide clues as to where the Jedi set was filmed.

(fence post spotted by Ryan Beise)

After finding the fence, we set our shovels to work. Much of the set remains just below the surface of the sand, broken into small pieces and preserved in the arid desert climate.

Earl starts to dig near a rocky outcropping just inside of the fence line.

Michal is indicating that she ‘ain’t found s#!$.’

By the time the film crew arrived we were very successful. We had found plenty of the sarlacc set including painted foam (part of the sarlacc pit), wood nails, wood boards used for scaffolding, plywood remnants and pipes and pipe clamps including scaffolding bases.

Krister places found items in ziploc bags as Chris, Earl and Jim continue to comb the desert.

After a brief time digging, and nearly 7 full ziploc bags full of items, we surveyed the filming location once last time before heading out on ATV. Honorary SARLACC member and collector from Canada Ross Cuddie was a tremendous help ferrying folks across the dunes on ATV.

Next time we’ll have to make a button to say that we visited the sarlacc and weren’t digested 1,000 years. Smilie: ;)

As many members caught flights home that evening, the rest of the SARLACC crew went to the Angels Star Wars night at the ballpark. New York collector Mike Ritter arranged for this special surprise to show up on the reader board.

The perfect end to the perfect day. Another successful SARLACC adventure spent with friends.

Posted in Events, Road Trips, Star Wars Celebration Tagged ,

SARLACC Vintage Collectibles Cups

Members of SARLACC sponsored this set of eight Star Wars Vintage Collectibles Cups as swag for Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. The cups were designed by Curt Hanks and inspired by vintage Coca-Cola cups of the ’70s.

Promotional poster inspired by a vintage Frozen Coca-Cola advertisement.

Posted in Star Wars Celebration, Swag Tagged , ,

SARLACC at Celebration Anaheim

SARLACC Is Ready For Star Wars Celebration, Are You? One of the questions we always get at a celebration is why doesn’t SARLACC have a fan table in the exhibit hall. The simple answer, we’re going to be everywhere so pinning us to a table is extremely difficult.

SARLACC members will be volunteering en masse.

  • For Official Pix: Leonard Chavez and Marlow Weaver
  • For Reed Pop: Jody Plank
  • At Collecting panels: Tom and Michal Stewart, Amy Sjoberg, Ryan Beise, Gus Lopez, Pamela Green, and Earl Bergquist

Gus Lopez’s Completist Publications will have a booth on the exhibit floor to sell his books with Completist Publications and be sure to say hi to SARLACCians Curt Hanks and Alex Stewart who will be volunteering there.

Here’s some other places to catch up with SARLACC members and their projects:

Come see the Ewok Builder’s club Ewoks on display in the Star Wars Collecting Social Room all 4 days of Celebration! Our Ewoks would love to take pictures with you and will be bringing their Endor speeder bike trail photo background with them. (R2 not included).

Some artsy SARLACCians (Curt Hanks, Mike Demaine, Gus Lopez, Ryan Beise and Amy Sjoberg) are participating in the Vader Case Project and will have their Vader art project cases on display in the Star Wars Collecting Social Room. founder Chris Bortz will be in the Collector’s Social Room from noon – 1pm on Thursday for a special patch giveaway.

Of course founding SARLACC member, Gus Lopez, hosts the Collecting Stage at Celebration. In addition, check out the following SARLACCians panels:

  • Friday, 3pm – Vintage Star Wars Coins co-presented by Gus Lopez
  • Friday, 6pm – Ewok Collectibles co-presented by Amy Sjoberg
  • Saturday, 3pm – Props and Costumes co-presented by Gus Lopez
  • Sunday, 11:15am – Scales of Hasbro/Kenner Figures 1978-Present co-presented by Ryan Beise

Be part of podcasts hosted by SARLACC members live with the following recording:

  • Thursday, 4pm-5pm on the Podcast Stage (Room 208AB) – This Week in Star Wars co-hosted by Ryan Beise
  • Friday, 3pm-4pm in the Collector’s Lounge – Live Podcast of This Week in Star Wars co-hosted by Jake Stevens
  • Saturday, 4:30-5:30pm in the Collecting Social Room – Collecting Cosmos Podcast with Ryan Beise and Amy Sjoberg
  • Saturday, 6pm-7pm on the Podcast Stage (Room 208AB) – Galaxy of Toys Podcast with Ryan Beise, Tom Berges, Chris Bortz, Jake Stevens, and Jason Luttrull
  • Sunday, 4pm in the Collecting Social Room – Huge Collecting Podcast with Jake Stevens, Ryan Beise, Jason Luttrull, Amy Sjoberg, and Tom Berges

SARLACCian and founder Tom Berges will be hosting a meet and greet at the Earl of Sandwich on Wednesday night at 5 pm.

What’s that? You wanted to know about giveaways?
Well, of course we have that too!

Look for the exclusive SARLACC Cardback designed by Mike Demaine.

The Ewok Builders have a set of 12 trading cards to track down designed by Tom Berges.

Just about every SARLACCian will have some individual and unique buttons to hand out.

Be sure to stay tuned for an awesome surprise giveaway designed by Curt Hanks to be revealed at the now sold out Archive Party on April 16th.

Speaking of The Archive Party, Tom Berges ( and Jake Stevens ( will be offering an exclusive button set to attendees.

After celebration SARLACC will head to Buttercup Valley to dig up the SARLACC pit. Expect reports of the road trip and all of SARLACC’s activities during Celebration following the convention.

Posted in Events, Road Trips, Star Wars Celebration, Swag Tagged , , ,

SARLACC at Emerald City Comicon 2015

SARLACC will be at ECCC again this year this time with our first ever table.

Come say hello! Our members will be staffing a table in the 501st room located in TCC Annex ground floor all three days. We’ll have information on local Star Wars collecting groups, books, websites, podcasts and more.

SARLACC members Ryan Beise, Gus Lopez, Chris Bortz, and Jake Stevens will also have a panel on Kenner and Hasbro Star Wars figure collecting.

‘Star Wars Action Figures: Collect all 3000?’
Room: Hall F (TCC 304)

Saturday, March 28th 11:30AM – 12:20PM

“Join Gus Lopez (Star Wars Collectors Archive) and Ryan, Chris, and Jake (Galaxy of Toys podcast) as they go through the history of Star Wars figures from their beginnings in the early bird kit, through Power of the Force, on to Bend-Ems, in to Power of the Force 2, the prequels, Clone Wars, and right up to today with The Black Series and Rebels. We show you each line, how many figures were produced in that line, what kinds of articulation did they have, how long did it last, and more.”

SARLACC members who are also part of the Ewok Builder club are bringing their Ewoks to the 501st room. The Ewoks will be part of the charity fundraiser for the 501st photo area. Get your picture taken with some Ewoks and raise money for charity.

Want to start ECCC off right? Meet up with SARLACC for coffee and breakfast on Friday, March 27th at 9 am at the Cafe Dior on the ground floor of the Washington State Convention Center. We’ll be the ones wearing Star Wars shirts.

For more in depth coverage, check out Jake Stevens’ Star Wars Guide for Emerald City Comicon 2015 on

Posted in Emerald City Comicon, Events Tagged , ,