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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 25, 2012
The very first review I ever wrote for was for this book's predecessor: The Star Wars Action Figure Archive. I liked the original quite a bit, so I immediately pre-ordered this book when I first saw it. I have spent the last couple of days carefully reading some parts and an quickly thumbing through others (for now) so I could write this review and let folks know what to expect. All things considered, I think this book is as good as the the original in most ways and believe it easily deserves at least 4.5 stars (rounded up to 5 stars since fractions were not an option). Here's why.

First, this is a reference book and not a price guide (so, it contains tons of timeless information, but no prices that are quickly outdated). Second, it shows a picture of every figure released as off the time the book was set to the publisher, including most variations and many more obscure figures (with nearly 340 pages containing 6 or more photos each, I have no doubt the author covers at lest the 2300 figures mentioned in the intro). On a related note, all of the pictures are nicely sized so you can easily see the detail for each figure. For example, there are 54 Darth Vader figures covered over eight pages, and 89 Luke Skywalker figures covered over 11 pages. Second (at least for the vintage figures and probably for the rest, too, though I can't say for sure because I don't collect those), it shows each figure holding/wearing all of the weapons/accessories it originally came with. Third, it shows at least one still photo for a vast majority of the figures from the movies, TV shows, and/or comics (this is a wonderful way to see how the figures compare to the character they represent). Fourth, there is a brief commentary on every figure, and a slightly more in depth commentary on more important figures. Fifth, everything is in full color and on high quality semi-gloss paper (the book is an inch thick and weighs over 3.5 pounds). Finally, on p. 10 it shows a sample photo of the card/packaging from each of the 29 production lines included in the book (I mention this as it was one of my favorite features of the book).

That said, this book is a reference guide for the figures themselves and therefore does not deal with packaging of each figure in any meaningful way (so, if that is what you are looking for this may not be the book for you). This is too bad as it was a great feature in the original book (and my primary reason for giving it 4.5 rather than 5 stars). But, it does what it set out to do exceptionally well, is very fun to go through, and contains a lot of useful information that is not readily available elsewhere (especially all in one place), and I'm happy to round up to 5 stars. So, I think most Star Wars action figure collectors will find it to be a worthwhile reference for their library.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2013
This is a great reference for vintage and modern figures. Most of the figures in the book are modern, but they do include all the vintage figures. All the pictures in the book are of OPEN figures, nothing MOC. Please see my video review for details. Thanks!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2012
This book is everything a long-time fan, like myself, wants from a reference book about the Star Wars toy line. This covers the entire line, up to the present, with excellent photos showing figures with their accessories. Even though I am a reformed collector, this will have a space on my bookshelf for years to come.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2012
Tony the Toyman provides a great summary of the positive aspects in his review, "Does what it set out to do extremely well." However, as a serious collector and fan of Sansweet's previous reference book, The Star Wars Action Figure Archive, I was disappointed.

For starters, almost every figure is represented but many entries don't show all the accessories that came with the figure - this is painfully apparent in the "clones" section. You get one picture of each figure, no multiple angles and some of the special features aren't properly called out. Also, some figures that came packed together are never pictured on the same page making it difficult to grasp which figures came in a set - have I mentioned the "clones" section yet?.

The introduction section shows an example of the packaging for each figure series covered, but following sections never show the packaging for individual entries let alone the packaging of sets. None of the vehicles, playsets, or other toys that are part of the Star Wars action figure line are shown or properly discussed to help give context to certain figures - see "Snaggletooth (blue)" for example, it would have been nice to show a picture of the Cantina Playset the infamous figure came in. Also, some figures come with accessories that work with vehicles and playsets but that is never discussed because a lot of accessories aren't shown and vehicles and playsets are absent.

I also don't understand the book's logic for what qualifies as a figure for inclusion. Imperial Probe Droid from the 1980's Hoth playset qualifies but not the Dianoga trash compactor monster that came with the Death Star playset, let alone a Rancor or a Wampa.

Despite my negative review I recommend this book because it is a great reference guide and fun to browse, but it lacks the level of detail necessary to be truly helpful to the collector community.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2012
This weighty volume contains photography of all the 3 3/4" SW Action Figures, highlighting the best example of each with a larger photo and verbose description. A great reference for collectors as well as an entertaining book to review all the thousands of characters that Hasbro & Kenner have produced into figures over the years. Its 352 large pages are filled with images and highlighted features of interest for each figure. If you collect figures this will be a great reference for your collection. I thoroughly enjoy this masterpiece. Great job Steve!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2013
I bought this because I can't afford to actually collect all of these figures. Excellent coffee table and great little reference to the phenom that is Star Wars Action Figures! There are other books out there, but this one I found was just right for young and old to just marvel at the vast universe that Star Wars has created with their action figure line and guaranteed you will enjoy looking at them all! Fun book to read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
This is an incredibly complete guide for all Star Wars action figures ever made until 2012.
It contains photos of each toy (loose, not carded) and also a description and differences, which is extremely useful for characteres that have several issues, like Darth Vader or R2-D2.
ALL characteres are here, but be aware that there are not ships or monsters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2013
It had to happen; the last time Steve Sansweet wrote an action figure book, the "Power of the Force" line was still in high gear, and the prequels were still on the horizon. Since that time (as compared to the 1986-94 drought), Kenner and Hasbro have been constantly pumping out series after series of SW action figures, to the point where there are thousands of characters and even more variations. All apologies to those who have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars and meters of garage space and risking their marriages/relationships in building and building their collections -- lots of those figures are all here between these two covers, albeit in 2D. Anymore, books on Star Wars collectibles can't help but dedicate around 100 pages just to listing them. And so, this new book makes a perfect supplement to Sansweet's now classic original guide (The Star Wars Action Figure Archive).

Want a C-3PO that disassembles a la "Empire"? How about each different version of Salacious Crumb? How about getting every Pod Racer or Jedi Council member or Ewok or Cantina customer? Do you prefer the original or the Special Edition Sy Snootles? Remember rocket-firing Boba Fett? 4-LOM and Zuckuss (and which is which)? "Monkey-face" Leia and steroidal Han and Luke and bloated head Lando and Pinhead Han? All of them are here, and more, even some interesting inclusions like the B'omarr Monks (Ep6 -- both versions), and Empire's Probot, and the Mouse Droid.

Unlike the first guide, Sansweet decides against a picture of each action figure card, although he does have a one-page pictorial guide to card styles for the different lines of actions figures early in the book. The organization is a weird alphabetical order, listed by first name or rank, so Tarkin (the Grand Moff) is under "G," and Princess Leia is under "P." Other characters who have had a variety of titles, like Padme or Palpatine, are under their names. The numerical-named droids are at the front, although the droids whose names start with a letter are under C(3PO), I(G88), R (lots of them, from R1__ thru R9__), etc. Although the organization is a bit wonky, it isn't too bothersome, since this is mostly a picture book meant for fun browsing as much as for collectors looking up certain characters.

As Sansweet explains in his intro, he had lots of criteria for which figures to include or not: no 12" figures (would fill its own book), no large animal/creature figures like last time around (almost ditto), none of those cute squashy cartoony figures for younger kids nor LEGOs; no statuettes, happy meal exclusives, parody figures, bend 'ems, erasers, ornaments, etc. Just Kenner and Hasbro 3"-4" figures, from 1978 on up to some 2012 figures. Also, not every single tiny exact variation of each figure is included, although he takes the time to mention such whenever he can.
Most of the main characters have their own sections (or at least 3 or 4 pages) with sometimes dozens of major versions. Thanks to the Clone Wars tv series, the Clone Troopers have about 50 pages all to themselves, with an additional 20+ pages for other armored Republic/Imperial soldiers throughout the book.
Most action figures are, of course, characters from the movies, although "Clone Wars" (micro-series and regular series) & the EU get some characters in, too. (And "Ewoks" and "Droids," too) There are also a few special category figures, from scene recreation sets, concept art series, and various special editions and sets.
It's not complete --no book on this topic can ever be-- but it is very very thorough, and a lot of fun, rounded out by a cool fun collage for the front and back cover (and inner folds, too!), and a mention of a few major SW AF websites in the acknowledgements.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2012
Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection
This is a great book for any star wars collector, whether they collect vintage or modern as have both, although predominately modern.
It has a great introduction and has figures from the vintage era through to late 2012 (right up to date)
There are little snippets for each of the characters and many that I never knew had been released.
You also get to see just how much overkill is used on certain characters, being released time and time again with little differences, if the clones are bad enough, dont get me started on how many Anakin figures there are, and this all before he becomes Darth Vader.
it is very professionally made and you never want the book to end with almost 350 pages all images in color, its a real treat at a great price. Its fascinating and detailed.
I also liked the fold at the edge of the cover too which strengthens the ends.
I dont think any guide will ever top The Star Wars Action Figure Archive but its a close second.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
I have read some complaints about this book, I do not share those complaints. I felt this book was better used as a guide to find the best sculpted piece for each character listed in this book. It helped to know the difference between original sculpts of figures and which were just re-releases of the same piece with slight chages. I felt this was for the collector who doesnt intend to sell their items , but to enjoy them and to seek a better quality in their collection. I hope to see a Vehicles version of this book in the future.
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The Star Wars Action Figure Archive
The Star Wars Action Figure Archive by Stephen Sansweet (Paperback - February 1, 1999)


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