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Star Wednesday: R2D2 Ceramic Bank

I told myself I wasn’t going to buy any Star Wars collectibles in 2017 and for the most part I haven’t. Then, last week, I saw this for sale at Dollar General and caved.

This R2 unit is, in fact, a ceramic piggy bank. It’s all one piece, so there’s no articulation. His legs don’t move and his head doesn’t swivel. He just stands there at attention, waiting to accept your spare change.

In the 1970s pottery and ceramics were all the rage, which led to a lot of bootleg Star Wars items. Garage sales were full of misshapen Vaders, Chewbaccas, and R2D2s. At the time people considered them to be weird bootlegs; today they’re collectible curiosities. Few of them have any real monetary value. Personally, I just think it’s interesting to see what kinds of tributes to Star Wars people were making back then, especially before toy stores were bursting with officially licensed toys.

This R2D2 unit, however, is officially licensed. On the bottom there’s a sticker identifying it as made in China by Zak! back in 2015. Zak.com has the bank listed for $12.99, although I can tell you that I found this one being liquidated at Dollar General for $3, and it was far from the last one there. Maybe kids don’t use piggy banks anymore.

One thing that interests me about Star Wars collecting is all the different ways collections can be organized. Some of my playsets are sorted by movie and location. (All my Hoth playsets are together, for example.) In other areas it makes more sense to sort things by toy line, like displaying all my vintage 12″ Star Wars figures together in one place. But there are two characters, Darth Vader and Yoda, who each have a 4′ shelf dedicated to them. Each shelf contains figures Pez dispensers, plush dolls, and other items, all in the character’s likeness. As I made room for this latest R2-D2, I’m thinking that all my R2s may need to be placed together on their own shelf.

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