Plastic Galaxy: The Story Of Star Wars Toys

A short documentary that I assume is only really of interest to Star Wars fans, and even then only the ones of a certain age who played with the Kenner toys in the late 1970s and 1980s (I still regret to this day giving my parents the go ahead to give them all away, but at the age of 41 I probably ought to let it go). The collectors interviewed here are exactly how you probably picture them: slightly nerdy, wearing t-shirts, mostly men (only one woman appears) and usually over 40, driven by a need to maintain links with their respective childhoods and an innate desire to, erm… hunt and gather. They’re actually pretty insightful about their collections, the history of film and movie tie-in toys and with regard to Kenner, the company that made the Star Wars toys when other manufacturers stupidly passed on the opportunity. Kenner designers and other staff came up with several very successful and imaginative marketing ploys to both create and satisfy demand during the early days, and several are interviewed here, which are on balance the more intriguing sections of the documentary. Of course it’s also packed with people getting excited about things like rare Boba Fett figures (I could have lived without knowing the difference between an ‘L-shaped’ rocket-firing figure and a ‘J-shaped’ rocket-firing figure), but if you get a little buzz at the sight of a plastic Dengar or a lightsaber extending from Luke Skywalker’s hand, then you’ll probably enjoy this. (**½)