Friday, July 30, 2010

Uptown Charlotte "Flash Mob"

Okay, so the term "flash mob" is a bit of an exaggeration. This early-morning 501st event in uptown Charlotte, NC, was a planned promotion for Star Wars Celebration V on behalf of Lucasfilm and Reed Expositions (the folks running the big summer 2010 Star Wars fan gathering). We were asked to help drum up some media coverage in regions outside of the Florida market to ensure that fans in the Southeast USA were aware of the August event. I created some picket signs with relevant phrases like "TO ORLANDO...HAVE BLASTER WILL TRAVEL," "THIS IS THE VACATION YOU'RE LOOKING FOR" and "STAR WARS CELEBRATION OR BUST!" David, TI-1626, even went shirtless as a vacationing TIE Pilot complete with swim shorts.

Jon Wilson of the local FOX Charlotte television early morning show, who has helped the 501st promote various events over the years, met us in front of the Omni Hotel at 6 in the morning with his faithful cameraman and we amused and confused passers-by and commuters on their way to work. The end result was about 10-15 minutes of teasers promoting Celebration V and the 501st Legion. Lucasfilm was pleased and I squeezed in another event for 2010. Not a bad result for a last-minute Friday morning troop. Thanks to David, Andy, Cher, Hope, Ken and Ryan for showing up!

Click here for video (not sure how long they keep the link active).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Museum Replicas Stormtrooper Prototype Revealed

It's been a few years since Museum Replicas acquired the license to produce Star Wars costume replicas, but we finally got a gander at the new original trilogy Stormtrooper armor this past week at San Diego Comic-Con 2010.

Bearing in mind that some costumers are very particular about the accuracy of their reproductions---sometimes down to the inclusion of what are clearly shortcomings/errors---this armor is the best licensed offering of white armor we've seen thus far (one could argue that the Shepperton suits are more accurate, but he's not officially licensed by Lucasfilm to sell anything). Sticklers will immediately call foul on parts like the one-piece molded right knee "ammo belt" or the grommets in the webbing belt or even the lack of a separating strip down the backs of the calf armor...or the funky abdomen buttons...or the lack of sharpness on certain get the idea.

Still, the armor isn't set for release until 2011 and there will likely be changes and improvements between now and the time these hit the market. Maybe fans can offer up some suggestions that might result in a better end-product. No word on price-point or accessories (like the blaster or the special storage crate) at this time.

Click here to see the full-size detailed photos of the prototype. Photos courtesy of the very generous Lesley Farquhar.

Friday, April 23, 2010

eFX Releases PCR Helmet

The company known as eFX Collectibles acquired the license to produce certain items that were being made by the now-defunct Master Replicas. While the Master Replicas Collectors Edition (MRCE) Stormtrooper helmet is still available though a number of online retailers, eFX is now releasing an Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back version that appears to be made from the same molds as the MRCE. The paint scheme is a bit different---most notably the black vs. gray frown---and the manufacturer is now calling this a Precision Cast Replica (PCR) made from injection-molded ABS (same as the MRCE).

Click here to pre-order from or here for $159.99 US. Both sites offer free shipping. They claim these will be a limited edition (as were the plentiful MRCEs) shipping in early July 2010.

Essentially what we're seeing is a $40 jump in price for the same helmet which still requires modifications to meet 501st standards, but at least this style of fairly-accurate TK helmet won't be in short supply.