Ultimate Star Wars Action Figure Collection Coming to The Strong

Recently, the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY won an auction of one of the most complete collections ever offered of unpackaged, Star Wars action figures.  The collection included 1,950 different Star Wars action figures starting with the vintage line in 1978 and continuing through the beginning of 2011.  The collection was built over more than 30 years by Fon Davis, a long-time model maker for Industrial Light & Magic (a division of Lucasfilm Ltd.) and now owner of FonCoCreative Services.

Star Wars Action Figures, Finalists for the National Toy Hall of Fame

Star Wars Action Figures; photo courtesy of The Strong


The online auction benefited the not-for-profit Rancho Obi-Wan museum in northern California which houses the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia.  The Strong, an educational, collections-based institution devoted to the study and exploration of play, won the 10-day eBay charity auction with a bid of $11,500.  The Star Wars figures make up about 85% of the total in the just-published book Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection (Chronicle Books) written by Steve Sansweet, chief executive of Rancho Obi-Wan.

“The auction had over 100,000 views and more than 40 serious bidders,” Sansweet said. “I’m thrilled that the collection will be staying together and will be housed at an amazing place like The Strong.”

Strong National Museum of Play

The National Museum of Play is home to the world’s largest collection of dolls, toys, and games.  In addition to the museum, The Strong contains the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and The National Toy Hall of Fame.  Star Wars action figures, along with dominoes, were the 2012 inductees to the Toy Hall of Fame.

National Toy Hall of Fame 2012

The Strong’s curator Patricia Hogan said,

“We are so excited to have won the auction for the Star Wars Ultimate Action Figure Collection from Rancho Obi-Wan.  Although The Strong’s holdings include some of the early figures as well as later issues, this collection’s exceptional depth, breadth, and provenance makes it a wonderful enhancement to the museum.  We look forward to numerous opportunities to exhibit the Star Wars Ultimate Action Figure Collection for the almost 600,000 guests who visit the museum each year and to share them with a global audience via The Strong’s website.”

A spokesperson for The Strong said a display of the collection in the museum is tentatively scheduled for Memorial Day, May 24, 2013.  We will continue to update with details as they become available.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.