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 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!

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