Can you guess what it is yet? 13, June 2007Posted by babychaos in General Wittering, Humour, Life and living, Light Fluff, Play.
Tags: animation, Hobbies, Love, star wars
The smashing, surprise birthday was a Star Wars exhibition.
It was completely bloody brilliant, I even had a go on the thing where they green you out and you do a light sabre fight – I have the DVD to prove it and no, I can’t put it up here… it’s copy protected (a bit anal that).
I was hoping Mr BC and I could fight each other but that was a no-go on health and safety grounds. I ask you!
I reckon today’s insurers and lawyers have to be the most humourless, cretinous, people who have ever existed in the entire history of this planet – not to mention the most monster pissers on of fire works in world, or very possibly, galactic history. I mean, get real! If I poke Mr BC in the eye and he sues City Hall? Where’s the logic in that?
Then again, I suppose that is what happens, over and over and over again and while there are lawyers who are moronic enough to take on these cases and judges stupid enough to award compensation it’s only going to get worse.
You spilled hot coffee in your crotch? NO! It’s NOT McDonald’s fault, it’s YOURS because you are a dozy spanner! Where did responsibility for your actions get to? It’s actions like yours that result in the rest of us being treated like children! Sod off and get a life! Oh dear where was I? Ah yes, health and safety. Hey ho. So, the end result was that Mr BC stood back – he could have had a go too but I think he felt a bit awkward – and let me do the do.
Other hugely amusing aspects of the exhibition were the way the attendants were all dressed up as paduan learners – mawah ha – and yet more were dressed as Darth Vader – complete with scary breathing – Emperor Palpatine – after transformation into scary wrinkly thing – a variety of guards from both sides, Bobba Fett et al. Everyone had a light sabre, Master Replicas, Anakin model, £45 or as near as damn it, from Woolworths!
Needless to say there was a race between Mr BC and I at every single display case containing a monster to be the first to point at it and go. “See that? That’s YOU that is.” And giggle uncontrollably. Because obviously, we’re really mature.
If you are a fan, though, it’s a great exhibition and well worth catching. A splendid, albeit expensive, treat at £16.50 a head – we did ask if the child concession applied to mental age but were told that no because otherwise everyone would get in for a reduced price. Fair enough.
As well as having loads of props, you could see how the concepts for costumes and ships were developed from first drawings to finished articles, you could see how tiny lady film stars are – think people who’d need stilts to reach Kylie – and you could see just how much planning and thought you need to put in if you are going to make a good film. It was also worth it just to see them taking the head off C3P0 to reveal a live human and the lid off R2D2 to reveal… yes another real man!
Interesting factoid: When shooting the special effects for the first film they made a lot of the shots “driver’s view” so to speak, partly because it was cheaper and partly because it was pushing the bounds of technology to put the characters into them. This was not something anyone had done to such an extent before.
However, it is so much more immediate and makes you so much more part of the action that I often wonder if this sense of direct involvement is what captured the imagination of so many people… Then, of course, there’s fact you have just about every theatrical element that has ever appealed, a dash of the wild west, your frilly shirted waving swords about Dumas kind of stuff and of course space and sci-fi all wrapped up in one splendidly barking package.
I also frightened myself and put my complete spudliness beyond doubt by pointing out that the first drawings of C3P0 looked like the robot out of Metropolis, only to discover that he is, indeed, based on the robot out of Metropolis. What a potato!
Afterwards, we took a quick turn on the London Eye and went, via a pub, to have a smashing meal with one of my oldest friends – in terms of how long I’ve known them, not age, obviously – which was excellent. The food and wine were fab, it was one of these posh new curry houses in London, I’m not sure it wasn’t on Drury Lane, can’t remember, theatreland somewhere anyway.
Then it was drunken, abusive text messaging with Mr BC on the train home giving rise to lots more giggling… It was great.
Right then, I’ll be off. Here, for your delectation, are some of the photos I took!
Darth Vader (obviously).
This isn’t a great shot – check the radiator – but I was pleased with the way the storm trooper opposite is reflected twice over the top.
R2D2. How spuddish does it get?
Someone needs to pop down to the shop and get the cakes in. It’s the Sith Lords’ turn.
I’m pretty chuffed with this shot, ‘pity it was taken with the crap lens on my mobile phone.
London a la London Eye
How much is your crap worth? 16, May 2007Posted by babychaos in General Wittering, Life and living, Light Fluff, Play.
Tags: collecting, Hobbies, star wars
Ha bet that title scared you. Don’t worry, I haven’t been eating beetroot again… well, no, I have but that’s not what I’m talking about here…
I’m referring to my collection of complete rubbish; toys, things that go boink for no particular reason, things I wanted but couldn’t have when I was a kid or just stuff, a spent lighthouse bulb – a foot long, 3000 watts – and of course my extensive collection of StarWars tat.
So having discussed my collection with a friend who has amassed a similarly huge and pointless selection of railway memorabilia he mentioned his lot was worth the cost of a small house. Ca-ching went my eyes and pound signs appeared where the pupils were… well… ok, that didn’t happen. What actually happened was a horrible fear raised it’s ugly head.
What I would do if anyone nicked all of my stuff? There’s ten years worth of tat there, what if I lost it all? How would I ever replace it? I’d be gutted! For a start, I’ve never seen another used lighthouse bulb? I’ve only ever heard about one other person owning one and they’re Norwegian and fished it out of the fjords near Stavanger. Anyway, lighthouse bulbs don’t look like that these days they’re halogen and ritzy and small and really quite boring. So I wondered… should I insure my shite? What if it was actually worth something?
I think there are other people collecting stuff like this but nobody has actually sat down and comprehensively listed it all, not the collectors of Dr Who or supermarionation toys and memorabilia, anyway. Certainly not the collectors of the kind of spin off film merchandising which catches my eye sometimes (if they exist). As for me, though an avid collector, I haven’t the depth of knowledge, not to mention collection, to do something like this myself. I’m too broad brush, not obsessed enough with one particular thing.
Even the web is no help, most of the stuff is uncatalogued, anywhere. As far as I can see the only way to guess at the value is to look at the listings on eBay but even those can be misleading since, on a lot of occasions, the price achieved depends on two factors. The first is the skill of the seller in choosing which categories to sell it in, what to call it, timing for the auction end et al , the second factor is chance, is it the school holidays, were two collectors clearly after the same thing? Neither gives cast iron proof of the item’s intrinsic value. I guess, for the most part, since a lot of my crap us only about 10 or 15 years old, it’s all too recent to bother with anyway.
On the other hand, Star Wars, well, that’s a bit of a thing. Star Wars is different. I suspect this is mostly down to two men a Mr Stephen J. Sansweet and a Mr Geoffrey T Carlton both of whom are such an enthusiastic and obsessive collectors that they have pretty much anything ever produced with the Star Wars logo on it and have become kind of unwitting experts. As well as being enthusiastic and obsessive both write very well – especially Sansweet – and individually, they have produced some excellent books.
The best one I have by Mr Sansweet is called “The Action Figure Archive”, which Mr BC gave me a while ago. It’s brilliant! It identifies all the figures up to about 1999 and also shows which weapons, when I’m lucky enough to find those, go with which figure. In other words, it’s written by a collector who understands intuitively what collecting things is like and more to the point, understands the kinds of things collectors want to know and how they will want it laid out. He also produced a pocket guide to Star Wars collectibles which is worth buying if only to read the potted account of how he started collecting.
So I thought there might be some kind of catalogue of everything StarWars ever because I reckoned if I was Mr Sansweet and I wanted to help out fellow collectors that’s exactly what I’d do. So I stuck his name into Amazon and up came the Action Figure Archive but there wasn’t a new edition and there didn’t seem to be any “collector’s bible” among the other books by him. A partial success then…
However… lo and behold! Alongside it in the “if you like this you might like…” section I found the Star Wars super Collectors Wish Book (4th edition) for the princely sum of £17.99. This is where Mr Carlton comes in! To my delight he is clearly in the same league as Mr Sansweet, I don’t think he’s added two floors to his house to accommodate his collection but if he’s extended it to fit, I wouldn’t be surprised.
The Star Wars Super Collector’s Wish Book lists just about everything you could ever find with the Star Wars logo on it – including almost everything I own – and gives a price, in dollars. It is regularly updated and revised – my edition is 2007 – and contains a, frankly, ludicrous number of illustrations – 14,000 or so if I recall. Some of these are changed in each revised edition so if you buy the updated version and a picture of your piece of tat has appeared in one of the other volumes it will give you the page number. Practical or what?
At the back of the book there is also a comprehensive list of articles and links to StarWars collecting sites on the web. If I get to the point where I am editing this post anywhere near the book I will add them in but needless to say, I am writing this in my office and the book is in the house!
So I now have a vague handle on what the Star Wars half my collection of tat is worth… Hoorah! Unfortunately, it would seem that any value I could attribute to the things I have would be down to sheer weight of numbers rather than because they are genuinely rare or collectable. My collection does not have the bulk required to push the value up to “small house”. It doesn’t even make “small greenhouse” although it might possibly run to Argos Cold Frame (£39.99 from a store near you).
Am I disappointed?
Nope! It’s a massive relief. OK so in some ways it would be nice if my collection was worth a lot of money but in other ways it would be a serious pisser! I’d have to insure it. I’d have to store the expensive items in a bank vault where I’d never see them and might as well not have them. Anyway value is not what it’s there for. I’m ashamed to admit that it’s there for me to play with… even though I’m 38 now and I really should have grown out of this kind of thing.
Ah well, it takes all sorts, no?
The Most Pathetic Christmas Joke of All Time… 15, December 2006Posted by babychaos in General Wittering, Humour, Light Fluff, Play.
Tags: star wars
Darth Vader is having a lightsabre fight with Luke Skywalker. Suddenly he backs off and says.
“Luke, Luke, I know what you’re getting for Christmas!”
“No, father, you don’t.” Says Luke. “Now I must fight you.”
“Luke…” Says Darth, backing off a bit more. “I KNOW what you are getting for Christmas!”
“No, father, you don’t.” Says Luke. “Now are we going to have this fight or what?”
“Do not under-estimate the Dark Side, my Son. I know what you are getting for Christmas!”
“No you don’t, father.” Says Luke.
“Yessss, my son, I do for I have felt your presents.”
That joke was reproduced in aid of give an old joke a home week. Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your time and attention.