Matt Hamm on his vintage Star Wars toys
Nobody can ever forget the first time that they watched Star Wars. Aged only six years old, I remember going to the cinema with my older cousin Mike to watch The Empire Strikes Back. It blew my mind. I was hooked. Luckily, Mike already had a few Star Wars toys, so we could immediately re-enact those epic battles.
Now I wanted my own collection of Star Wars toys. I used to regularly go to my local toy shop, Dentons in Witney, Oxfordshire and pore over the wall of Star Wars figures on display. As you can imagine, now top of my Christmas wishlist was the iconic Millennium Falcon ship.
After Return Of The Jedi was released in 1983 and my cousin started to grow out of playing with toys, I inherited his Star Wars figures and ships. As a designer, Star Wars has always been a major influence on my aesthetic taste. The design of
Star Wars seems like an infinitely deep rabbit hole of superbly designed characters, clothes, creatures, planets, buildings and ships.
I also grew out of playing with toys and passed on some of my figures to my younger brother Nathan. But, the memory of selling my beloved Millennium Falcon for £5 still haunts me.
A couple of years ago, my wife, Helen came home with a bag full of old toy soldiers. I opened the bag and staring right back at me was Yak Face – a well-known rarer Vintage Star Wars figure. What a find! This little old piece of vintage plastic was worth about £150. We could have just sold it, but no, instead it kick-started the inner child within me and I decided to embark on a mission to buy every single vintage Star Wars figure that was released between 1977 to 1988.
I stumbled upon an addictive Facebook group called Echo Base UK, with a great community spirit, which enables collectors to trade vintage
Star Wars toys, avoiding eBay fees and scams. Since then I have managed to collect the full complete set of 96 loose vintage figures, a couple of ships and two MOCs (Mint On Card) figures. I’m now starting to collect all the major variants, which have minor detail differences and can be harder to find. I can’t tell you how much happiness collecting these vintage figures has brought me. I now eagerly await the postman/postwomen with my next delivery of plastic crack.
Matt lives in Witney, Oxfordshire and is the Creative Director of Supereight Studio, a web design, UX and branding agency.