Most helpful positive review
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Does what it set out to do extremely well
on November 25, 2012
The very first review I ever wrote for Amazon.com 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is a reference book and not a price guide (so, it contains tons of timeless information, but no prices that are quickly outdated).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.