Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection

When Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection by Steve Sansweet was first announced, my interest was immediately piqued. A book with over 2,000 Star Wars figures? I’m in! After I finally managed to order my copy, I was not disappointed. First, let us discuss just what’s included in this massive volume.

The book includes all of the Kenner and Hasbro figures (for a total somewhere over 2,300). According to Steve:

“We’ve tried to be as inclusive as possible in our selections, at least mentioning major variations if not picturing every single one. While we’ve excluded figures that have just been repackaged with no changes – and in recent years there have been several hundred of those – we’ve included figures that have small but noticeable paint variations. If a figure appeared first without a certain item of clothing, like a cloak, we’ve counted the newer cloaked version as a separate figure – but not if the cloaked figure came first and was followed by one that simply eliminated the covering. We’ve included distinct figures that were packaged with vehicles, creatures, playsets, and action figure carrying cases. We have excluded non-sentient creatures but included the ubiquitous army of mechanicals.”

This covers the Star Wars Vintage Line in 1978 all the way to The Phantom Menace 3D Discover the Force line in 2012. The Droids and Ewoks lines are also included. There’s even a nice page in the beginning showing a carded figure of each product line for reference.

The figures are organized in alphabetical order by the first letter in their name. There’s a little leeway here, for instance Tarkin is found under Grand Moff Tarkin, Leia is under Princess Leia, and Momaw Nadon is under Hammerhead. So sometimes the figures are listed by their rank, their old vintage names, or by their more popular names (ie. Palpatine is found under Palpatine and not Emperor). This can be a bit of an issue since there’s no glossary or contents listing each character and what page they’re on. There is a contents, but it lists the range for each letter. For instance D goes from pages 125-148 and ranges from Dack Ralter to Dutch Vander. When looking up a specific character, there can be some trial and error.

The book itself is a whopping 350 pages. It’s a softcover, but the cover is pretty thick and durable. The binding seems to hold up pretty well, too. The way the book is organized is kind of cool because you get to see the figures advance over the years. For the most part, it works pretty good. You can easily look through the 9 pages of Darth Vader figures or the 48 pages of Clone Troopers. However this doesn’t work well for other figures. If you want to look up the Ewok figures, you’ll have to flip around to each named Ewok: Wicket, Romba, Chief Chirpa, etc. If you want to look at all the Rodian figures, again, you’ll have to flip around. I think it would have been a bit nicer to have the figures organized by species then name, but then again, with so many figures, it would have been hard to pick any organization system that would please every one.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a few pictures of the actual contents of the book to give you an idea of what it looks like.

As you can see, not every figure gets their own page. Most have to share a page with other figures. Each gets a brief snippet of info which ranges from informative to amusing. There are also some film pictures included in the sidebars for some of the characters.

The big name characters often get some larger sidebar sections as seen above with Yoda. Looking at the two pages above, you can pretty much imagine what the rest of the book is like. The format stays the same for all 2,300+ figures. The images are large enough that you can tell what each figure is like, and the commentary give you a little bit of info on each figure.

As for the target audience of this book, I think it holds up well for both hardcore collectors and novices. Being a novice collector, I thoroughly enjoy flipping through the book to look for figures I don’t have and to plan future purchases. It’s also a great way to compare various character sculps to see which one looks best. There’s certainly info hardcore collectors will have to scour for in other sources, but as a reference book, Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection is a great addition to your library. Be warned, though: reading this book will give you the urge to go out and buy some Star Wars figures!

I give Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection a five out of five metal bikinis. This reference book nails the essence of it’s role: a useful source you can keep coming back to.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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