Most people in the world have probably heard of the Star Wars saga. This epic story, created by George Lucas, is not only an outstanding movie, but is also a worldwide pop culture and sociological phenomenon. Moreover, it's a real goldmine that generates royalties from copyrights via games, books and all sorts of gadgets.
This entire madness began in the late 1970s, when the movie entitled “Star Wars” (back then it didn't have the subtitle “IV – A New Hope,” yet) had its premiere. The story of a battle between the Empire and the Rebellion charmed the audience in the United States, and later on worldwide. - A lot can be said about the Star Wars phenomenon, but I think that the most significant is the fact that the whole story is universal and presented on a grand scale. After all, there is a princess, knights, a supernatural force and an immemorial fight between good and evil. This is a story that anyone can relate to, regardless of age – said Michał Głógiewicz of the Polish Star Wars Fans Bastion (star-wars.pl). He also emphasized the very spectacular way that the story is presented for the movie standards of the time when the first Star Wars movies were made.
It has been said in many scientific studies, that Star Wars characters, as well as the storyline, refers to mythology. Due to these references to archetypes known in every culture, the events that occurred “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” are easy to understand by recipients all over the world. Luke Skywalker is an example of such an archetypal character. At first, he's not even aware of his descent, and he leads a boring life. However, as the story develops, he manages to become a crucial figure, fighting for the Rebellion. This is the type of a character that millions of viewers around the world can relate to.
Just as anything that gains worlwide popularity, Star Wars is a cash cow. The industry of the Star Wars saga-related gadgets and toys has bloomed. Star Wars characters can be found virtually everywhere. These consist of not only T-shirts, long-sleeves or caps, but also mugs, calendars, lamps, bedsheets and mobile phone cases. This list can go on without end. There even are drones shaped as the famous Millennium Falcon. However, when asked about the most bizarre gadget, Michał Głógiewicz mentioned something different. - It will never cease to amaze me what types of Star Wars gadgets have been produced. When I think everything has already been made, I am quickly proven wrong. One of the most bizarre things I have seen, was a fish tank shaped like R2-D2 – he said.
In Głógiewicz's opinion, the Star Wars action figures have always been the most popular. They were previously distributed by Kenner and are currently distributed by Hasbro. An interesting thing regarding their popularity, is the fact that the first batch was sold before it was even delivered to stores. Kenner was not prepared to issue the action figures in 1977, so they were selling Christmas coupons to allow consumers to collect four action figures when they reached the stores. This operation would be bound to fail in any other situation. However, the huge popularity of Star Wars caused people to buy these coupons.
Even though access to Star Wars related gadgets is quite wide in Poland, the stock is still much smaller than it is in the United Kingdom or in the United States. However, thanks to online shopping, Polish fans can easily ship desired products from these countries. Moreover, they can save money, thanks to online currency exchange offices, which offer more favorable exchange rates. - Customers save money mostly on low spreads – said Piotr Kiciński, Cinkciarz.pl vice-chairman of the Board. Cinkciarz.pl is one of the largest online currency exchange offices in Poland. - For example, if you buy an original action figure for 250 USD, you can save 42.30 PLN by exchanging currency in our company in comparison to the exchange rates offered by banks or stationary currency exchange offices – adds Kiciński.
There are many stores with a rich stock of the original Star Wars gadgets in western Europe, the USA and in Japan. Apart from toys or clothes, they also offer office and apartment accessories. It would seem that it's most advantageous to buy these products in Europe. However, it's even better to order them from the United States. - Despite the long distance, which forces you to include large shipping costs, it's very often cheaper than shipping these products from countries that are closer in proximity to Poland. This is because many companies that sell Star Wars gadgets, ship them from the USA originally. When buying in Europe, the dealer’s profit margin will be added – said Głógiewicz, the star-wars.pl representative. He also emphasized that the prices are determined by how desired each product is. Nevertheless, a purchase from the United States is usually the best solution.
How much does this cost? We will take the official Disney store (disneystore.com) as an example. Every Star Wars fan can find anything their heart desires there. A figure in the collection of six small figures (including Darth Vader, princess Leia or Yoda) costs 14.95 USD* (approximately 58.78 PLN, all currency exchange rates as given by Cinkciarz.pl on 02.09.2016). Prices of T-shirts are within the range of 22-24 USD (approximately 86.50-94.36 PLN). If you wish to buy something less conventional, you can buy an apron with Darth Vader's image for 24.25 USD (approximately 95.33 PLN) or Christmas tree ornaments for 16.95 USD per piece (approximately 66.63 PLN). However, it's worth buying more expensive items. This is because the store offers free shipping on products worth at least 75 USD (approximately 294.83 PLN). Normally, you need to pay 50.70 USD for shipment (approximately 199.35 PLN). You can also look for Star Wars gadgets within Think Geek (thinkgeek.com) or Entertainment Earth (entertainmentearth.com), for example.
In order to find any unique Star Wars gadgets, you should look for them on foreign shopping websites, such as eBay. You will often find products there that are not available in many stores. However, Michał Głógiewicz advises being very cautious. - The case is quite simple when it comes to buying new gadgets from a store. You receive a brand new, originally packed item. It's much more difficult to enrich your collection of antique or collector’s items issued in the past, especially when buying them online. It's necessary that the photos show the gadget from each angle, so that you can see that there aren't any flaws. It would be perfect if the product were still in its original packing. Cautiousness is required because of the high prices of these unique gadgets.