Calling all Star Wars fans!

Discussion in 'Collecting' started by Chewbaccasbrother, Jan 20, 2014.

Moderators: CrazyMike, LAJ_FETT
  1. Chewbaccasbrother Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Good afternoon!

    I am looking for some 'gold dust' Star Wars fan information. (apparently I need more information than my own opinion!)

    I am a product designer for a company in manchester. We have the dream opportunity to pitch for all Stationery, Arts and Crafts and Novelty Toys to Disney.

    The ideas I will be developing will need to be tailored so that it will appeal to the mass market as well as the dedicated Star Wars fans (us).

    Any information you can give to me regarding character usage,
    The do's and dont's for Star Wars design,
    Special characters that might be close to your heart that you would love to see on the shelf,
    Direction of what you would love to buy,
    If the product was good enough how much would you spend?,
    Any ideas that you thought were brilliant & the ideas that you thought didnt work!
    Finally any product ideas you think the Star Wars fans would love that haven't been seen!

    Any information that you could give to me would be greatly recieved and I will do my upmost to direct the company down that path!

    Thank you and I lookforward to hearing from you!

    Chewbacca's Brother!
  2. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Gonna move this over to Collecting as it will get more attention there. Remember - you asked.. :p
  3. Juke Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 5
    First of all, I wish you and your company the best of luck. It's about to be a good time to be in the Star Wars business (well, it's always a good time to be in the Star Wars business, but it's about to get better).

    I saw this thread yesterday, but I drew a blank and decided to chew(bacca) on it for a while. Unfortunately, I'm still stuck on zero here. Stationary and arts and crafts really aren't in my wheelhouse. Any advice I would have would be quite broad; 1.) Stick with core characters. No one wants a Ki-Adi Mundi diary (Though a desk plaque that says "I love Mundi's!" with a picture of the character would be cute). 2.) Saga-spanning characters (Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO) allow you to cast a wider net, capturing the often very distinct fans of each trilogy. 3.) Stationary products are a good opportunity to appeal to often under-served female fans. 4.) I wouldn't be afraid to use humor in these products. Maybe Yoda Post-It notes that say "Remember this, you must." on them.

    Sorry, that's the best I could come up with.
  4. Chewbaccasbrother Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Hi Juke Skywalker!

    Thats brilliant thank you!

    Yes, its a brilliant opportunity and we want to do it justice! So any feedback/direction we can recieve we will completely take it on board.

    We want to appeal to the mass market so I think humour could be a great angle thanks!

    In terms of the 'under-served female fans' how could we approach this in terms of design? Types of material? colours? characters?

    I know I am asking a great deal, but any information to guide us would be fully appreciated!

    Thank you,
  5. Juke Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 5
    Star Wars fans take anything canonical (the movies, TV shows, books, etc.) pretty serious, and they tend to like their collectibles (statues, action figures, mini-busts) treated the same way, but you need look no further than the huge success of stuff like the Family Guy and Robot Chicken Star Wars themed specials, books like "Darth Vader and Son" "William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope" or the various funny Star Wars t-shirts to see that humor sells big with fans.

    I wish I could help you out with how to appeal to female fans, but I've been trying to appeal to female fans for the better part of my 39 years with mixed results :p. We have lots of female collectors here, so hopefully they can be of more help there.
  6. Chewbaccasbrother Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Ahhh ok, great!

    And I am in the same boat as you with trying to appeal to female fans!

    Thank you again for all your help!
  7. Juke Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 5
    You're very welcome. Good luck!
  8. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    You could do worse than look at some of the threads here for ideas. One complaint I see from female fans is the constant repeat of 'Padme in the skintight white suit from AOTC' or yet another 'Leia as Boosh'. We have tons of Luke/Han figures yet not many good female figures in different outfits. I seem to remember a series of Padme dolls in different costumes - maybe something like that? In fact, we have a Female Collectors thread here in Collecting.

    @PadmeLeiaJaina - you might want to comment here.
  9. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    Hi there!

    Yeah if you want to cater things towards girls - remember that girls like pretty things. The 2 main characters to focus on are Leia and Padme/Queen Amidala - think outside the box when promoting them and use them in their dresses. Craft things - I don't know maybe something that allows you to make jewelry inspired by the movies (like Leia's necklace at the end of "A New Hope" or Padme's Japport Snippet necklace?)
  10. Chewbaccasbrother Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Hi Guys,

    Yeah I havent seen a great deal of expansion with Female orientated design.

    Thats brilliant thank you, so for instance if we had a product where you could change the dresses and or design you own outfits? we could potentially be going in the right direction?

    I really like the jewellery idea! There are a lot of elements to replicate. Or maybe to design your own items?

    What about using some of the other characters such as the Ewok's to evoke the 'cute/like-ability' theme?
  11. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I think the Ewoks would work if you were aiming at a young audience. What age group are you aiming at - older/adult collectors or younger fans that might play with items like Ewok plushies?
  12. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I'm probably the worst collector to ask, as both a general collector and a female collector, seeing as how my collection is Zuckuss-centric. :p

    That said, though, products featuring the ESB bounty hunters as a group (or individually as a set) wouldn't be a bad idea. Coffee mugs, for example, or a set of shot glasses.

    And speaking of coffee mugs, that's another place where you can get creative and humorous. "I like my coffee like I like my Death Star: Big, on the dark side, and with enough power to destroy a planet."
    Last edited by TrakNar, Jan 21, 2014
  13. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    Characters for girls: Ewoks, Leia/Padme, Yoda, R2 & 3PO, and maybe the cool Jedi ladies from the prequels. Girls also like the cute boys - Luke, Anakin, and Han.

    I think a "make your own jewelry" inspired by the films would be cool. The kits could include some you bake it colored clay and some pre-made beads. Maybe you could do something where you can have either some stamps or molds for making beads that would have different insignia on them - like the Rebellion insignia, Empire, or Queen Amidala's crest.

    I'll work on thinking of more stuff.
  14. Chewbaccasbrother Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Laj_Fett i think our ideal demographic ranges dramatically really.

    We are looking into Stationery (both young kids to adult and office professionals).

    For Arts and Crafts it will be 3+ so a Create your own Ewok or a plush would work for that age group!

    Thank you all for your help it is really helpful!

    Any other ideas or direction you have will be greatly appreciated!
  15. Chewbaccasbrother Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Hi Guys,

    With regards to character useage across the whole demographic of fans. Are there any that we should not use? For instance, my idea is to develop a full range for Boba Fett, Han Solo, Leia, Vader and Chewy individually as well as a 'generic' Star Wars. I plan to use materials and textures to highlight the different characters. Would this work?

    Also we are looking to develop 'limited edition' pieces that have 'realistic' materials and unique manufacturing techniques. Again are there any character that really would appeal?

    Would there be a limit on how much you would spend? Or how would we be able to (as a manufacturer) lure you into buying? Would the shop display or additional extras such as personalisation through technology be a driving force to make you purchase an item?
  16. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Jar Jar would probably be one of your less successful attempts, I would imagine. :p So would 'kid' Anakin from TPM.
  17. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    That depends on who they're directed towards. Making tiny kids toys (like arts and crafts stuff) w/ little Ani and Jar-Jar would be a good fit. For adults? Yeah that would be a bust.

    There's a growing hole in the collectibles market for quality mid-range priced collectibles. There are a LOT of companies out there who offer items in the hundreds of dollars, but not a lot who focus on items that are nice quality but under $50. (You might want to check out the discussion HERE for our group bemoaning the end of Hasbro's Unleashed line as an example. Also we have a discussion going on for things we'd like to see in collectibles going on HERE.)

    I think if you entered the market producing beautiful collectibles at a reasonable entry level price, over time you could start offering more higher end items to go along with the lower priced ones.

    If you were thinking of doing some sorts of models/statues/toys that incorporated hard goods (plastic/ceramic/polystone,etc) and soft goods (fabric/hair, etc) into your pieces I think you'd definitely get collectors attention. I know that there's been A LOT of moaning and groaning over the years for nice "furry" Chewbacca collectibles (pretty much all statues etc have molded hair.) There's also been a huge glut over the years of collectibles based entirely on clones and troopers of all sorts. Focusing in the beginning on actual characters would be nice.

    There also haven't been very many "ships" for display purposes that have been made in years either.

    Although your old timers collectibles prefer original trilogy characters, the kids who grew up with the prequels are coming to collecting age, you want to give something for them as well.

    Let's see here are some characters who I think have gotten the shaft in the last decade or so - we haven't seen a lot of product come out for them:

    Lando Calrissian (particularly either in his Skiff guard costume or his General costume from RotJ.)
    The Emperor
    Bossk, Dengar
    X-Wing Pilots - Wedge, Biggs, Luke in his uniform
    Generic other Rebel pilots - B-Wing, A-Wing
    Lobot
    Grand Moff Tarkin
    Qui-Gon Jinn
    Shmi/Beru/Owen
    Padme/Queen Amidala
    Mace Windu
    Aayla Secura
    Luminara/Barriss Offee
    Watto/Sebulba
    Count Dooku

    For your questions about stationary, I think some awesome printer paper would be nice with matching regular stationary/envelopes. Again you can use different insignias, or use different planets for backgrounds. Ex: pale green paper with images of Ewok villages, golden/yellow could be Tatooine, gray the Death Star/Coruscant/Dagobah, blue Naboo/Cloud City, etc. I personally love stickers - kids love stickers too.
    Last edited by PadmeLeiaJaina, Jan 22, 2014
  18. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    No love for Zuckuss and 4-LOM?

    :(
  19. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah sorry, I'm just not a big Bounty Hunter collector. I actually prefer Zam Wessel over all other bounty hunters and she gets zero love.
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