I feel like it’s been a minute since I talked about Star Wars here on the blog, and it’s certainly been awhile since I last shared a con experience with y’all! For reasons I’m sure we’re all aware of! But all of that is about to change! Because last weekend was Star Wars Celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center, and Patrick and I were there for all four glorious days of it.
If you’re new, then I guess it’s time you know I’m super into Star Wars and love attending “geek” oriented conventions. Star Wars Celebration is basically a con that celebrates all things Star Wars and has been happening in various places around the globe since 1999. It’s a time for Lucasfilm to engage with fans, and includes panels, autograph sessions with Star Wars actors, shopping, and more. It’s also the best time for fans to get dressed up! While I’ve done cosplays for cons in the past, I knew I was doing a lot of running, standing, and sitting (there were a ton of panels I wanted to attend) I opted for some more casual and comfy looks that were more “inspired by” type outfits rather than full on cosplays, including a Han Solo look, a Sabacc (the infamous Star Wars version of poker) look, a Cobb Vanth look, and an ultra casual jeans and tee that didn’t get photographed. Oops! So enjoy my looks, some of the sights, as well as an interesting tale of woe from the makers of the original Star Wars toys!
Some panel highlights including catching Joe Johnston talking about his time working on visual effects on the original films. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed 90s classics such as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, Jumanji, as well as 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. We caught the Madalorian himself, Pedro Pascal, twice, including the Mando+ panel which discussed the show as well as shows connected with it, such as Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka. We also attended a panel presented by Doug Chiang, who did the art direction for The Mandalorian, as well as work on other Star Wars films.
One panel coincided with an exhibit rather well. There was an entire panel dedicated to the tumultuous story of the failed rocket firing Boba Fett action figure, with former Kenner (the company that produced the original Star Wars toys) employee Jim Swearingen. In 1979 Kenner offered a free “rocket firing” Boba Fett action figure if customers sent in four proof of purchases from other Star Wars action figures. Boba Fett first appeared in animated form in the infamous Holiday Special the previous year, and they were gearing up for the upcoming Empire Strikes Back. The toy was designed with a spring mechanism firing a tiny red rocket from the pack. Prototypes were developed, but in the meantime Mattel had created and sold Battlestar Galactica toys, including ones that fired tiny missiles. Shortly after the toys hit the shelves, children fired the missiles into their mouths, resulting in injury and eventually one death. Mattel recalled the toys, and Kenner brought the development of their rocket firing Boba Fett to a halt.
Ultimately Kenner decided not to move forward with the rocket firing design. Despite Kenner demanding that all prototypes be destroyed, a few of them were smuggled out. Roughly 100 are known to exist and a few have hit the market, with staggering prices, as displayed in the slide photographed below.
With no rocket, Kenner still continued with their free offer, choosing to include a note apologizing to customers, and even offered for them to send it back and exchange it for another action figure if they wished.
Despite being extremely rare, Star Wars Celebration is a time when you’re likely to see something you may never otherwise see in person, such as multiple rocket firing Boba Fett action figures, which were on display at the Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit that was dedicated to the world of the Mandalorians, titled “From Boba Fett to Bo-Katan.” It also displayed Swearingen’s original concept art for the action figure, which was white, just like the early concepts for Boba Fett.
Day Three – Cobb Vanth
Belt & Pouch: I honestly can’t remember. Buckle made by me literally morning of!
Dress: Her Universe, no longer available.
Boots: Buffalo Exchange
Purse: Loungefly, no longer available