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Support Your Local Bounty Hunters’ Guild:

By | November 13, 2003

by Mary Jo Fox

Recently, I joined the (Washington) D.C. Star Wars Collectors’ Club, which formed in August 2003. It hasn’t been around long but already it has nearly 60 members. It has its own website (http://www.dcswcc.com) and its own group on Yahoo. The club meets monthly for three hours to trade, buy, sell, munch on snacks, and otherwise talk collecting. So far, it’s been a real success. Some of the best-known collecting clubs include the Ohio Star Wars Collectors’ Club and the Pennsylvania Star Wars Collectors’ Club. The Seattle Star Wars Society started out as a collectors’ group. New ones seem to be starting up all of the time; I just saw a club on Rebelscum that formed in San Antonio, TX about a month ago. 

The biggest advantage to joining a collecting club is you have access to a network covering a geographic region. That network can help you get those hard-to-find items, find people who are interested in buying or trading in your area, and even form pools to order toys by the case. The socializing part of it isn’t bad either. Because of the club, I’ve acquired action figures that were gone from the pegs by the time I was able to go look for them. I’ve also been able to trade or give away extras from my collection.

The only caveat is, as a chick, you must be prepared to be one of a few females in your club even though the number of women who do collect has grown substantially. Heck, I hope my columns encourage you all to take up collecting. However, I’ve never had a problem with any collector because of my gender. So don’t be afraid to represent collecting chickdom.

Whether or not a collecting club succeeds depends on the dedication of its members and its leadership. There has to be a commitment to make it work. All of us in the D.C. club post our findings on the YahooGroups list and make our offers to buy, sell, or trade items there as well. We’ve had good turnout at our three meetings thus far. The guy who started the club is really enthusiastic about promoting it through various collector web sites and the official fan club’s Bantha Tracks supplement to Star Wars Insider magazine. But it also has to be fun. Two of the great things about the meetings are the amount of freebies members bring in as well as the raffles we have for old and new goodies. There are enough prizes for all who attend, so everyone’s a winner.

The best way to find out if there is a club in your area is to search out the message boards at collectors’ sites like Rebelscum, ArtoosNews, Yakface, The Jawa Trader, etc.. Rebelscum has a board specifically for local collectors to trade information (“Look What I Found”); you might be able to find out about clubs there. There’s also FanForce.net, where one can find fan communities from all over the world. If all else fails, there’s always Google.

If there isn’t a club, why not start one? All the D.C. club did was set up a YahooGroup and send announcements promoting it to several collectors’ sites. Within a week, more than half of the current membership had joined. It was that easy.

Until next time, happy hunting!


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