This week a member of the Curatorial Services donated some of their personal and treasured belongings to the collection, so for today’s Find it Friday object I am going to look at my favorite of that donation. An entire collection of Star Wars Tazos!
In 1997 these Star Wars Tazos could be found in Walkers Crisps with 50 to collect, you could also order a Filofax like folder to store the collection. The Tazos themselves show images taken from the franchise and characters. They are plastic, round disks and were used in the sense that each Tazo had a score and players would ‘battle’ to win Tazos from each other; much like the wider known ‘Pogs’. The notable difference between Pogs and Tazos was the notches along the circumference of the latter that enabled them to be connected together to make basic shapes and models. This collection is complete, including the ‘Star Wars Trilogy’ Tazo. The Tazos are stored in this folder, fitted in their corresponding holes which then allows for the image on the Tazo to complete the image of the scene from which it originates, along side a brief description of what is happening or who the character is.
The Tazos cover the three original Star Wars movies; IV: A New Hope, V: The Empire Strikes Back and VI: Return of the Jedi. This first trilogy told the story of Luke Skywalker, a young farmboy who became a hero in the struggle to overthrow an evil empire and who had to confront the dreaded Darth Vader, who held the terrible secret of his father’s fate. Star Wars became an instant cult favorite, fulling a franchise with numerous films, spin offs, TV shows, comics, books, action figures… you name it and there is a Star Wars version of it!
Contemporary collecting can be a risk, you are essentially trying to predict the future and what objects will be fruitful to a collection via research or exhibitions. How do you know what will be worth collecting in the long run? Will it be worth the hard work that goes in to dealing with the donation, the documentation, the continual maintenance of the object? The Star Wars aspect and the fact that this is a complete collection interests me greatly today, so why not some one in 5, 10, 20 years? Especially with The Walt Disney Company acquiring Lucasfilm and the announcement that they will be making three new films for the franchise with the first of the new trilogy being released in less than two years. This will bring a surge of new merchandise possibly dwarfing the amount of original material available.
This small collection is not massive and should not take up to much space, hindering the collection of something else possibly more relevant to a museum collection, which seems to be a vocal issue in the argument against contemporary collecting, after all, you can’t collect one of everything “just in case.”
This is a wonderful item to have in any collection; it is in perfect quality, its origins can be traced easily, it has relevance in a cult status (Star Wars even has huge economic, social and religious aspects that are always being explored), it is a completed set and the effort that went in to putting it together should not be forgotten. It may not go on display for a while but it is, with no doubt, a valuable addition to the collection. In fact, the Disney launch of the ‘new Star Wars’ is going to be huge, who’s to say there won’t be a display to tie in to this?
Star Wars and collections… its like my dream!!