Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Card Number 5

I just received a great note from a fellow trooper...

I was going through some old boxes yesterday and I found my son's first wallet which he lost about a year or so ago. It's a vinyl Darth Vader wallet I got for him at CIV. Inside was a single dollar bill and a single 501st trading card with a trooper holding a paper ewok target. :wink:
Happy New Year

The trading card referenced is my own 501st rookie card. My armor and blaster have changed and I'm not producing the Ewok shooting targets anymore, but I've still got plenty of cards available for free...there were 2,500 of them produced, so just e-mail me. Just don't put them on e-bay; they're meant to put smiles on faces, not profit in pockets.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hasbro Spacetrooper Arrives

Thanks to JediInsider.com, here's a peek at the soon-to-be-released Spacetrooper figure from Hasbro. You might recall my previous posts about the zero-G backpack, an original trilogy "Holy Grail" prop that has not yet been identified in full. Click the image above for an enlargement and I think you'll agree that this action figure interpretation probably isn't as accurate as we prop-builders might hope. And what's with the T-21 blaster?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Inspired Cannister Mod

Over the years, I've fielded many inquiries regarding armor-building. In fact, finding a distinct lack of helpful feedback from existing armor owners was one of the main reasons why I launched this website six years ago. While I enjoy the dispensing advice about all things armor, it's enormously satisfying when I receive thanks from fans who have completed their own costume. And it's even sweeter when said fans have gone that extra mile to share one of their own modifications. Such is the case with this thermal detonator/O2 cannister mod sent to me by Rick:

Your sites have been an invaluable resource for my first experience at building armor. I thought I would share a mod of my own that I’m really thrilled with.

Basically, it is a thermal detonator with threaded caps, perfect for storing keys, cash etc.

FX Armor Thermal Detonator Caps and Control Panel
Two 2” Threaded female to pipe fittings
Two 2” Threaded male to pipe fittings
2” PVC pipe cut to exactly 2.5”
Aluminum Tape
Two keychain belt clasps
Four rivets
Gorilla Glue

Glue the 2.5” section of 2” PVC in between the two male threaded fittings to join together. The threaded ends will face outwards. The 2” PVC makes a nice flush tube through the center.

Wrap the Aluminum Tape around the smooth end of each female threaded fitting.

Glue the FX armor cap over the open aluminum end of each female threaded fitting.

Bend open and flatten one end of each belt clasp. Leave the other end in its bent shape to attach to your belt. Drill two holes approx 1.5” apart on the flat end and then bend it into a curve to fit around the canister.

Attach the belt clips to the center portion of the canister by drilling the holes and securing with rivets.

Attach the control pad to the center section with industrial strength velcro.

Hope you guys can share this with other troopers out there. If I get some free time, I’ll build another one and take more detailed photos of the assembly.

I just completed my first set of armor and have had a great time building it.

Feel free to contact Rick for more details on this mod.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Imperial Cadet Training Manual

In 2005, with Star Wars Celebration 3 quickly approaching, I saw the need for something to hand out to young fans at troopin' events. During this time, the 501st typically had stickers, temporary tattoos, buttons and such, but those were consumables and supplies often ran low, or the event organizer simply didn't have enough lead time to have them produced. Inspired by an early Legion coloring book produced by Dallas "Dustin Crops Boy" Poague (an ex-501st member who now runs Monkey In A Dryer screen-printing business in Minnesota), I decided that a black and white printable pdf file filled with Imperial-style games, puzzles and activities would be an economical turnkey solution for 501st events around the world...well, at least the English-speaking world! Presented as a 12-page "Top Secret" Imperial Cadet Training Manual, the activity book proved to be quite popular over the years, making itself useful as a giveaway at events both large and small. In September 2008, however, I was thrilled to hear that my design was selected to be used by 78 Pottery Barn Kids stores as part of their classic Star Wars decor product launch in North America. (On a side note, PBK donated $15,600 US to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital on behalf of our participation.) In the photo below, you can see some of the activity books in the hands of an employee as BH-3384 takes a break at a Florida event.

I recently added a few pages to the book and, after finding out it was being sold by scalpers on ebay, made it a free download via 501st.com. I have to also give thanks to TK-742 of the German Garrison for a lot of the initial artwork used in the book.

TRIVIA: The back page of the Imperial Cadet Training Manual is a mostly-blank page labeled "Imperial Endorsements" which is used for fans to collect autographs from their favorite characters. While proving quite popular at the Pottery Barn Kids events, this page was really just filler when I originally ran out of ideas for additional content!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grappling Hook

One of the more iconic scenes from 1977's A New Hope is Luke and Leia's swing across the Death Star chasm. Ironcially, the basis of this scene is one of the least-realized Star Wars props---the Stormtrooper grappling hook.

I posted some early reproductions of this item under Accessories on my original site, but here's a new one from Andy (TD-6372).

Although there are no clear shots of the original prop (please don't use the Star Wars Visual Dictionary as a reference since the grappling hook featured in there is a modern redux), Andy has done a nice job with this one, creating versions in CNC milled aluminum as well as a less expensive resin model. You still need to build your own grappling hook holster though.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

TK-899 Fan Art

TK-899 celebrated 37 revolutions around the sun today. A somewhat mild day for a Stormtrooper, playing with the little clones on the farm and doing some financial planning. However, I did receive a very cool piece of fan mail from a listener of the 501stCast who illustrated me as seen on my Florida Garrison rookie card from 2005. Thanks, John!

Dragon*Con 2008

Dragon*Con 2008 was a blast, as expected. Of all the cons that the 501st is known to attend regularly, D*C is the most laid-back in terms of 501st costuming. Honestly, aside from the Saturday morning parade down Peachtree Street, it's difficult to find a plain ol' Stormtrooper or otherwise canon Star Wars costume. On the other hand, if it's FemTroopers or Darth Hello Kitty that you want, you've come to the right place. After last year's virgin voyage to downtown Atlanta's version of Mardi Gras, DZ-4009 and I were amped for a return visit...in fact, we had our tickets and hotel room at the Marriott squared away well in advance (and, yes, the Marriott is now the hotel of choice for many reasons). We also had new costumes planned to debut at the con, but Darth Real-Life has been a real bugger lately, so we were just glad that we were able to attend and I wore my AT-ST Driver as seen in the above pic. I assisted with the 10th Anniversary at Dragon*Con Meet the 501st panel and helped out at the 501st booth when possible---always fun to interact with fans and prospective members. I also captured a lot of audio and conducted interviews for 501stCast episode 23, too. Despite the fact that this is a 4-day con, one really cannot see it all. Of all the panels, tracks and events on the convention schedule (aside from the 501st-related activities) I only participated in one true session which was a Star Wars prop challenge scratch-building prop contest. Scott TK-408 and I thought it might be fun since we've not only built hardware props for years as part of the 501st, but also hosted seminars at MegaCon in Orlando and even Star Wars Celebration. It was a packed house (albeit a small room) and we felt a little guilty for being so overqualified for the competition---something like Emeril Lagasse entering the neighborhood bake-off. Our joint creation, the DS-71 Sniper Rifle, ended up winning third place in the adult category but it was clear from the audience reactions that we were the fan favorite.

If you've never been to Dragon*Con, I highly recommend it. Just click here for some images from Flickr and you'll get a sample of the amazing quality, creativity and craziness that people put into their costumes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

YouTube is Timeless

YouTube is interesting. Since it's user-created content, things will appear at seemingly random times without any regard for when they actually happened. I just came across a video uploaded this week that shows the Disney Star Wars Weekends parade from back in June. Check me out at 3:21 with my homemade "Go 501st!" banner...make sure you watch in high quality mode. Also worth noting is the chanting of "501! 501!" at the start of the video. Sounds goofy (no pun intended), but that kind of love from the fans can make a Stormtrooper tear up in white-armored pride.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oh, the Humanity!

Attention: Owners of TE, AP, RT-Mod, SDS or even FX armor proceed at your own risk. The following images of the Rubies Supreme Stormtrooper costume are graphic in nature. TK-899's White Armor Chronicles assumes no responsibility for involuntary regurgitation or gouged eyeballs.

If you are searching for Stormtrooper armor to join the 501st Legion, please do not purchase this costume. If you are searching for a Stormtrooper Halloween costume, are you really willing to spend $595-850 US for this?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kanye Glows in the Dark

The reason for this seemingly random post will be revealed at a later time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fast Facts Display

I've been creating 501st PR material for some time now, on both the local and Legion level. I really enjoy creating flyers, advertisements, banners, posters, trading cards, the Legion PR kit, kid's activity book, the first official Legion typeface and more. I heard that the 501st booth at Dragon*Con was in need of some things, so I put together a 3-sided "Fast Facts" display using the trivia list I've compiled over the years for use on 501st.com's page headers. The 3-sided design is based upon a 7-inch-tall acrylic display that looks like sample A in this image. Each side features a different photo of a Legion member in costume with 4 factoids. I think something like this would work well in larger sizes as a series of ceiling-danglers (we've got plenty of facts to choose from). If this is a hit at D*C, I'll propose the idea on the Legion level.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Clone Wars Midnight Premiere

Star Wars: The Clone Wars premiered on Friday, August 15th, so many theaters around the world contributed to the hype by hosting midnight screenings for eager fans. I have to say that a lot of the fun surrounding new Star Wars films is the anticipation, the lining up, the going to the movies in costume, and the instant connection you feel with fellow fans at events like this. There wasn't a huge turnout at the AMC Concord 24 in Concord, NC, but those who did show up truly appreciated the interaction with the 501st Carolina Garrison as we took endless photos, did interviews for the local Fox television news crew and handed out flyers I designed for the following Saturday's big event. A couple of fun highlights were kids asking me to autograph their trading cards and also asking one guest to look up 501st.com on his iPhone right after he took my picture (low and behold my image randomly appeared on the home page!). This was also my first trooping event using the ROM/FX, and I have to say that using a voice amp makes a huge difference in the overall character presence and serves to intimidate the public (in a good way). I'll talk more about that particular electronics mod in another post. On a side note, I'm really starting to feel I need a Clone Wars-era costume! Click here for a gallery courtesy of the sister of TB-1345.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Clone Wars Press Screening

The 501st Carolina Garrison was asked by Warner Brothers to supply some characters for a Charlotte, NC, press screening of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Monday, August 11th, at Regal Phillips Place Stadium 10. Ironically, I didn't see anyone who really looked like press, but, as an extreme anti-bootlegging measure, WB supplied three very intimidating bodyguard types who wanded everyone entering theater number 8.

The small crowd seemed to enjoy the Clone Wars-era characters as they mingled with guests, but R2-KT was the real star of the evening as she gleefully accepted hugs from kids of all ages.

Now the meat of this post...my review of The Clone Wars.


Likes: Nicely colored and textured marionette-like "Thunderbirds" style animation, some new Clone types, reasonable derivative design elements (as opposed to all new droids, ships or objects that don't look "Star Wars"), vintage newsreel-style introduction vs. the "opening crawl" that we're used to seeing, realistic ambient lighting from lightsabers (jeesh, did we have to wait until an animated film to get it right?), parts of the musical score, R2-KT guest appearance in the film

Dislikes: Battle Droid antics, Rotta the Huttlet (really?), Ziro the Hutt (seriously?) , no mention of the 501st Legion by name (although mentioned in the Karen Traviss novelization and on related toy packaging)

I can't really tag this blog entry as a "tour of duty" but it was a fun evening hanging out with the Carolina troops in and out of costume, and I got to operate R2-KT once again. I was talked into helping load her back into her chauffeur's vehicle after the screening, and that pink astromech really needs to lose some weight! Thanks to Cockroach for the photos.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cheesegraters and Jawbones: The Hearing

I came across the full hearing document from propmaker Andrew Ainsworth's recent court loss to Lucasfilm regarding claims of intellectual property rights over various Star Wars helmets and armor including those of the classic Stormtrooper, Imperial Gunner, TIE Pilot, and others. Hardcore costuming enthusiasts may find a few gems within the lengthy court document. Although not directly mentioned by name, I was excited to see the 501st Legion get a tip of the hat in this passage:

85. In 2004 Mr Ainsworth set up a website (www.sdsprops.com) and started to sell products in a concerted manner. There is a significant market for such products amongst aficionados of the Star War (sic) films all over the world, some of whom organise themselves into "Garrisons".

Yeah, we crazy fans will actually pay money for this stuff. And on a related note, it seems that Ainsworth's invoice for Stormtrooper helmets in 1976 was about the same as one can expect to pay now for a Master Replicas Collectors Edition bucket ($98 US):

39. Mr Pemberton told Mr Ainsworth that he wanted 50 helmets and Mr Ainsworth quoted £20 per helmet. Mr Pemberton said he would have to get back to his customer about that and a couple of days later the price was approved.

And, believe it or not, the armor itself was also priced very similar to what a fan-made kit would go for today on ebay (~$755 US):

43. Mr Ainsworth agreed to attempt to produce armour. Over the following weeks he did so, both for the initial filming and for subsequent studio production. He also modified the armour in order to make it more wearable, based on the experience of actors on the Tunisia shoot, and produced modified tools to produce it. The armour that one sees in the 1977 film was all made by him. He made 50 sets. In relation to the armour, Mr Ainsworth contracted directly with Lucas. His invoices were drawn on the instructions of Mr Mollo. He did not have an order number before the Tunisia shoot, but he obtained one afterwards. His first invoice was for 50 sets of armour at £385 per set, and his invoice for new tools, including some for additions, apparently, was for 12 sets of tools at £200 per unit.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rubies Redefines "Supreme"

More dreadful shots of the Rubies Supreme Stormtrooper costume are surfacing. Here's one from Celebration Japan which shows that you, too, can have an Imperial mannequin that does "The Robot" for the price of 90,000 yen ($837 USD):

An out-of-costume 501st member approached the Rubies booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2008 and had an interesting conversation with a sales associate:

The Rubies guy actually told an interested party ahead of me that the armor they see on most people costs $4k to complete and this is licensed and only $1k. When I came up, he answered some assembly questions (mostly velcro and elastic) and told me that most other suits run $6k to complete and this is only $1k. He asked if I'd seen the other suits, I replied politely that I have one, he hesitated and asked me how much it cost to complete, I told him about $800. He said well, considering the work it must have required, the two are about the same.

And here's some shots from Comic-Con (where the sales price is shown as $1000 US):

Among the costuming community, there is great disappointment in the quality. Among the 501st, there is great concern that newcomers may believe that a set of armor like this is acceptable for Legion membership and unwisely drop $1000 in "off the shelf" armor. While no official statement has been released, I feel confident in telling potential 501st recruits that the general consensus is that the Rubies Supreme Stormtrooper is not eligible without considerable modification. Furthermore, the Rubies armor does not come with boots, blaster, neckseal, and other components which are needed to complete the costume. Trust me when I tell you that you can find a more complete and more accurate set of Stormtrooper armor for less money. And I'm still waiting for Museum Replicas to unveil their take on Stormtrooper armor at Dragon*Con 2008. Click here for other related Rubies posts on my blog.

Shepperton Loses Lawsuit Again

I first posted about the case of Andrew Ainsworth's unlicensed replica armor back in April 2007 (click here for the background info). It took months to come to a conclusion, but on July 31 a British High Court judge ruled in favor of George Lucas and Lucasfilm regarding ownership rights of Star Wars costumes including the iconic white-armored Stormtrooper design. While many argue that Ainsworth/Shepperton's costumes are highly accurate, the costuming community also knows that many of AA's production claims are misleading (if not altogether false) and that he is breaking a cardinal rule---blatantly seeking to profit from someone else's designs and hard work. In fact, Lucasfilm's Vice President Howard Roffman made the following statement:

"We do not intend to use this ruling to discourage our fans from expressing their imagination, creativity and passion for Star Wars through the costumes and props they make for their personal use... Rather, we see the Court's decision as reaffirming that those who seek to illegally profit from Star Wars will be brought to task, wherever they may be."
You can read a press release of the outcome here.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Midnight Madness

Every so often, Toys R Us stores will host midnight toy premieres on the eve of their official release date. The closest thing I can think of outside of Star Wars is the Harry Potter midnight book release parties. It's been a while since I've attended one of these (I think the last one was for The Phantom Menace before even I joined the Legion), but since there was a store only 9 minutes away and I wouldn't have to worry about work in the morning (it was Friday, July 25), I figured I should take advantage of it. 501st Carolina Garrison members Dave Petty (TI-1626) and Jada Diaz (DZ-5232) handling organizing this event and I contributed the flyer.

It was great to see so many Carolina members again, and many new ones as well. We met at a local Jason's Deli and then arrived at TRU around 10pm where there were a few shoppers already lining up. I suited up in my TK armor for the first 40 minutes then switched to street clothes to facilitate an international 501st podcast call where we simultaneously counted down to the toy release from New York's Times Square with Northeast Remnant Commanding Officer Dion Rupa (TK-1217) and Taiwan Outpost Commanding Officer Roy Waung (TD-1668). You can hear the countdown from opposite ends of the world on Episode 21 of the 501stCast. This was also the only toy release event to feature an actual celebrity from the Clone Wars, pink astromech R2-KT!

After the madness, the 501st participants mingled among the emptied shelves (they sold an amazing amount of merchandise) and looked through the remnants. At one point, Carolina CO Cheralyn Lambeth (TB-0976) picked up the Star Wars Ultimate Visual Guide book and joked to me "Let's see if you're in here." Amazingly, we both appeared on a page featuring a group photo of the 501st from Star Wars Celebration III in Indianapolis. I exhibited an unusual sense of self-restraint regarding toy purchases, but in actuality this was simply due to the fact that I don't collect toys anymore. I walked out the door with a $10 Clone Wars lunchbox for my son. Click here for more event pics from DZ-6570.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zero-G Troopers (Part 2)

I made a post a while back about the elusive "holy grail" of Stormtrooper costumes, the Zero-G or Space Trooper as seen outside the Death Star docking bay in 1977's A New Hope. Hasbro's presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2008 revealed that they will be releasing a 3 3/4"-scale figure of this very character which they are calling a "Space Trooper." Not a lot of detail on this image, but I have to say it does look like Joe Johnston!

Now Anyone Can Join the 501st!

If you buy the new Clone Wars 501st Legion Clone Trooper action figure you will get an instant membership in the famed 501st Legion costuming group! Well...not really. This is another case of the fictional 501st Legion being potentially confused with the real-life costuming organization which was honored by Lucasfilm's inclusion of their name into Star Wars canon back in 2004. The confusion is understandable. After all, the Wal-Mart-exclusive figure does come packaged with a "Republic Army Identification Card" that clearly implies 501st membership. In fact, the card back reads "With your very own Republic Army Identification Card, you can become a member of the most elite fighting force in the galaxy," and is emblazoned with the 501st name (several times). Not wanting to disappoint fans with misleading membership requirements, the Legion contacted toy manufacturer Hasbro (with whom we have a great relationship) and they kindly agreed to post a disclaimer on their website.

I was thinking of ways to turn lemons into lemonade and we may work out a special giveaway or contest for kids and fans who show up at 501st events with their Hasbro 501st ID card. Hasbro sells toys. The 501st gets booth traffic. Kids get prizes. That's a win-win-win situation in my book.

Trivia: Wal-Mart just recently updated their logo, but it looks like they were just a bit too late to include it on this new figure.

Monday, July 28, 2008

On Collecting

I stopped collecting Star Wars toys twice. Once around 1985 when I thought I was getting "too old" to play with toys, and then again around 2002 after a 7-year resurgence of collecting. The toys from my childhood are pretty much all gone, but I still have a ridiculous amount of items from the second coming of my Star Wars fandom. Being an adult collector meant that I had disposable income and the power to spend it frivolously. I won't lie, they were good times. Dropping by Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us on a daily basis and scanning collecting news sites like Yakface's Realm and Sir Steve's Guide religiously. I always told myself that selective toy purchases would be a great investment, but the thrill of the hunt was addictive and I have duplicates of common peghangers to prove it!

However, it was through my early-Internet toy-bartering site called "The Tusken Trader" that I met another fan named Tom Fisk who happened to have a full-size TIE Fighter pilot costume among his collectibles. I asked where he got it, he gave me some contact information, and that's how I began my tenure with the Fighting 501st Legion. I put a stop to collecting the toys and pooled my finite resources toward costuming. Sure, costumes are individually more expensive, but they take up less storage space, help you develop skills like vacuforming, sewing, mold-making, and painting, and---most importantly---they are not static items like an action figure or statuette. Costumes encourage you to put them on and go out into the world and interact with others to celebrate your fandom, to promote the art of costumes and props, and to contribute to your community through charity and volunteerism. Now that's a good investment.

P.S. I still have a ton of Star Wars collectibles from around 1995-2002, so drop me an e-mail if you're looking for something from that era. It's all for sale!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Marching on the Mouse

Star Wars Weekends is upon us again and this year DZ-4009 and myself loaded up the family and made a trip to that wretched hive of sun and humidity known as Florida. This would be the third Star Wars Weekends troop for me as well as my first troop of the year (current home construction is occupying most of our time). The Florida Garrison did an excellent job of tightening things up this year and we had such a huge number of participants this year that Disney actually put a cap on our numbers! We only marched on Friday, June 6th, but watched the parade as spectators on Saturday, June 7th and supported the troops with a home-made banner. While keeping in character during the march, we got a few nods from our members as well as hoots and hollers from the three 501st Honorary Member celebrities in the motorcade (Jeremy Bulloch, Warwick Davis, and Daniel Logan). This was also the first official troop for my AT-ST Driver costume. Watch for me with the Imperial Gunners and DZ-4009 as Friday's only female Tusken in the videos below:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Zero-G Troopers

One of the most obscure and overlooked Stormtrooper variants from the original trilogy is the trooper type seen outside the Death Star docking bay as the Millennium Falcon is being pulled in via tractor beam (pictured above). Although some fans refer to this trooper as the "Spacetrooper", the official Star Wars databank already has that particular name reserved for another Expanded Universe character. As such, I'm calling this a Zero-G trooper to avoid confusion and to emphasize the spacewalking nature of these troops.

There are only a few photos known to exist that document this rare piece of trooper equipment, and none show a great degree of detail. We know that the basis of this costume is the Stormtrooper armor with some additions (much like the Sandtrooper is really a Stormtrooper variant). This trooper wears some kind of oxygen-supplying backpack with a hose leading to the front of the helmet, and also wears his gloves untucked and pulled up over the forearm armor (giving the appearance of really long wrists!)

An interesting thread on the RPF (which has been going since 2005) revealed an unproduced Marmit 1/6 scale Zero-G trooper:

Marmit is known for their attention to detail and realism, but what is interesting is that the backpack tanks on the figure appear to be based upon the tanker truck model parts that were kit-bashed as part of the Death Star trench seen here:

This was speculated by RPF members even before the awareness of the Marmit prototype and you can see the same tanks in this screen capture:

TK-8456 of the UK Garrison has made a fantastic effort in reproducing the space pack with little reference to rely upon. A groundbreaking first try:

Meanwhile, the hunt continues as, even 30 years later, new images continue to pop up from the Lucasfilm archives.

TRIVIA: The two Spacetroopers from Episode IV are believed to be Star Wars alumnus Joe Johnston filmed twice and superimposed. However, this production photo seems to suggest otherwise:

Special thanks to everyone on the RPF for helping to source this information.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Joined the Chicken Walker Club

Since my retirement as 501st Legion Webmaster earlier this year, one of my goals was to get back to finishing up some other Star Wars costumes that I've had in various stages of completion. One of them, started in 2004, is the AT-ST Driver from Return of the Jedi. Finally finished this one up this weekend after sourcing a decent jumpsuit with the proper stitching and color (I'm no seamstress!). The helmet comlink (which is composed of the carburator on a classic V8 engine model kit) was another "holy grail" for this particular costume...and now it's becoming more readily available from a number of sources. If you want to know more about this costume, visit the 501st Armored Cavalry Detachment (ACD) message boards by clicking here. I'll add more posts about this particular costume using the "AT-ST Driver" tag so you can view all of the posts at once. Can you believe this is only the second complete costume I own?!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


I just found out that the Master Replicas Collectors Edition (CE) Stormtrooper helmet that I mentioned in a previous post is now available in the U.S. from a shop in California, and at 54% off retail (just $90 US!) it's quite a steal. If I wasn't already in possession of two TE2 buckets, an RT, and an FX, I'd be quick to jump on this one. If you are in search of a more accurate helmet for your FX armor, click here for this great price from Redford Films. (EDIT 1/29/09: Price has gone up to $110 with free shipping) You will also want to make some modifications to fine-tine this helmet. On a related note, they also have MR Clone Trooper helmets (not the Limited Editions) for just $199 US (but they were out of stock at the time of this blog). It may be worth watching this seller to see what other deals pop up in the future. Thanks to TK-5766 for the tip.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A World Record of Sorts

This is actually some older news, but I wanted to document it on tk899.com for posterity. The 2008 Guinness Book of World Records has declared the 501st Legion the world's "Largest Star Wars Costume Group." Page 174 of the annual guide features a write-up and photos of the Stormtroopers from the 2007 Rose Parade. Technically I'm not pictured (I think I'm just out of frame), but I'm still quite flattered by association. It lends an odd sense of credibility to the hobby when I can tell neighbors that dressing up in plastic en masse is now considered a world record category, and it was fun to do so at a recent party where I pointed to a copy of the book on their coffee table and said, "Hey, I'm in that!"
I haven't personally read the Guinness Book in quite some time, but it's apparently still popular with kids and it was, in fact, the Legion Founder's daughter, Allie, who first made the discovery that the 501st was included in the 2008 edition. Funny thing is that we have already gained more than 700 members since the publication date. I'd bet we also hold the world record for "Fastest Growing Star Wars Costuming Group."