I'm having an existential re-think of my Lightsaber collection

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've been thinking a lot recently about my Lightsaber collection and I'd like to hear some outside perspectives to maybe give me some insight on what I want to do.

For some background: I grew-up a die hard Star Wars fan. I was born in the early 1970s and SW ANH was the very first movie I saw in a movie theater (it was a 1978 re-release getting ready for ESB in 1980). As a kid my brother and I had all the toys and we watched and re-watched the movies 100s of times on cable TV and on VHS video tapes.

When the movies and toys were re-released in 1997 I was in my 20s and I started collecting again, OT stuff and then PT stuff as the new movies came out starting in 1999. I remember seeing the ICONS lightsabers in the SW Insider and to me that was the ultimate- metal replicas of the movie lightsabers. I never got any of the ICONS versions, but in the early days of the internet I discovered ASAP in 2001 and that lead me to joining the RPF in 2002.

Back then in the early 2002s good lightsaber replicas were hard to come by. There was makers like Marco and Parks but those were lacking the accuracy we wanted. Then Master Replicas came along and started making officially licensed lightsaber replicas and all I needed was $250 for each saber and instantly I had an awesome lightsaber collection. MR sabers were far from perfect, but they were accurate enough for me and mixed with real Graflex replicas and a real parts Obi-Wan ANH I filled out a good sized lightsaber collection with a version of each characters saber from each film (all the Luke's, all the Vaders, all the Kenobi's, etc...)

Master Replicas lightsabers always seemed like a trophy to me, a prize, lightsaber versions held above 3rd party replicas because of their materials, finish, and (honestly) their status among collectors. Accurate or not when MR sabers go for sale they command a high price, triple or more their original cost, because MR sabers are still prized by collectors.

When I bought many of my MR sabers there were no other good alternatives available. No one was making a good Luke EP4/5/6 Vader EP4/5/6, Anakin EP3/2, or Obi-Wan EP1/2/3 that compared to the MR versions. Now, of course, there are several saber makers that make replicas of those lightsabers (and more) that look as good or better than the MR version and some that are more accurate then the MR version.

All I ever really want was a good version of the lightsabers I want in my collection. MR used to mean something to me because of their status but I'm starting to re-think how I think about what I want.

Part of me says, I've already got the MR version of X lightsaber and I'm happy with the MR version. Another part of me says, I could sell the MR version of X lightsaber for $XXXX and buy this really nice 3rd party replica of the same saber for $XXX and pocket the difference. But, on the other hand, owning the Master Replicas version means something in the collector community, and I'd be giving up my status as an 'old school' collector who was in the game before 'Big Bang' and pop-culture made Star Wars popular again.

I have never seen collecting as an investment and I have only ever sold 2 lightsabers since my first lightsaber purchase 20 years ago. I don't 'need' the money and the MR versions are already paid for, but on the other hand I have joy from having a version of that character's lightsaber and not because I have the MR version of that character's lightsaber.

My conundrum is I can't decide if I should just keep all my MR lightsabers because selling and re-buying is a lot of hassle and I'd lose the 'status' of owning the MR version, or sell off all my MR sabers and re-buy new versions of the same sabers to keep my collection where I want it with character sabers.

What do you think? Do you still own and prize your MR lightsabers or did you sell yours off? Would you never sell your MR sabers if you didn't need to?
 

nickytea

Master Member
I have joy from having a version of that character's lightsaber and not because I have the MR version of that character's lightsaber.
I think that's your answer. Unless you want to focus your collection on being an MR archivist (Which is a fixed pursuit -- if you want to stop collecting, do that!) I'd say sell them off one at a time and replace with more accurate replicas that better represent the prop or character. I can't think of a single one that feels definitive at this point.

Side note: It bugs me when MR is treated as the master reference for 3rd party replicas. They made mistakes. I've never seen anyone do an accurate Dooku pommel. They messed up the diameter, and now everyone copies it.
 

Ridire Firean

Sr Member
Hey James Kenobi 1138 ! Boiling it way, way down into blue Bantha milk...

You have Master Replica lightsabers that you love because they were the best version of those lightsabers when they were released.

They hold special meaning to you because those were the first lightsabers you held in your hand and saw them as real.

A powerful connection was made at those moments between you, the lightsaber, and the Star Wars Universe.

As a Star Wars Geek, they will forever remain your first loves.

As a grown, fully fledged RPF'ing Star Wars Geek, you see the perfection in the replicas that are being created by our fellow RPF'ing Star Wars Geeks, and you recognize and appreciate the research, development, and follow through involved in bringing these perfect lightsabers into reality.

You feel compelled to purchase those because you know the lightsabers you have aren't as accurate as these new offerings.

The difficultly you face can in collecting "perfect" lightsabers, is that every year or two, someone comes out with a "more-perfect" version of that lightsaber. And the fully fledged RPF'ing Star Wars Geek within you HAS TO HAVE IT! because it's the best of the best.

You know that noone will ever make anything perfect if they don't start the process of creating it from their soul. You know that as a kid, that plastic, glorified flashlight with a plastic tube was the coolest lightsaber EVER. You didn't know that at the time, the maker was only interested in making a quick buck off of the popularity of Star Wars, and you didn't need to. Nor will that knowledge now, tarnish the love you have for that simple toy.

But now as a collector with a trained eye, purchasing new lightsabers is a process to satisfy the link between what you see held in your hand and the object you see on screen. It can still have an end result of "DUDE! THIS'S SO COOL!", and you can find great enjoyment in swinging it around making "BBBRRROOOM-BBBRRROOOM!" sounds. Or having FX sabers that do that by themselves, even further bringing a connection between what you see in your hand and what you see on screen.

The tricky bit is with "perfect" lightsabers is that there are several makers creating lightsabers right now who are equally invested in making the same perfect lightsaber. In this instance, you have to choose which YOU feel is more accurate in YOUR minds-eye.

So, what's the sollution...

Create two display cases: The first will contain your prized Master Replica lightsabers. They will always hold a special place in your heart because they are your first loves, and their eccentricities are now a part of what cements that emotional attachment. The second will contain one of each of the latest. greatest, most accurate RPF'ing version of those lightsabers in your Master Replicas collection.

These are the lightsabers that you can replace (AFTER YOU GET THE NEW VERSION, don't sell something before it's replaced!) as greater accuracy is achieved in the community.

In this duel case manner of collecting lightsabers you can maintain the emotional attachment with your first loves, and further your appreciation of lightsaber craft with your new ones.

O.K., O.K. I recognize that before you "boil down the Bantha Milk" you first have to milk the Force out of that Bantha. ;)

I hope this helps you!
 

JoeG

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I once sold off my entire lightsaber collection (including a real parts Obi ANH) and ended up regretting it. Even though I've had a couple MR sabers in my collection in the past, personally I'm not a fan of them. I say sell the MRs and go for more accurate versions. Especially when it comes to the OT sabers. Most can be built from the same parts as the actual props and those will always be infinitely better than anything made by a licensee.
 

SethSolo510

New Member
My hilt collection can be mostly summed up as a very select few MR hilts from the prequels, along with a Larbel Q, then the rest are OT hilts that are custom made and far more accurate. The only MR from the OT I have is the Darth Vader ANH, which is obviously quite inaccurate but not such a serious offender as the V2 they produced...yikes.
Personally, I think having the licensing, wonderful display cases, and those plaques, especially the Signature Edition ones, is what drives those high prices for them on the market now. But I would agree JoeG and nickytea, that there are far more accurate models out there.
I suggest, if you're a big prequel fan and you have many of the MR hilts, to keep those, as many are fairly accurate and are absolutely stunning pieces, like the Sidious, or Anakin EP2, or the coveted Windu hilt.
If accuracy is your major driver for your collection, and you have mostly OT hilts, selling them and pocketing the cash is a viable option. They're still extremely sought after by collector's looking for 'licensed' props.
 

Lost in Trek

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I think what concerns me is your statement about "status" within the community. That sounds like you are not keeping the MR sabers for yourself but because others respect you for having them.

I don't buy for others... I buy for myself... And when I no longer want a piece I sell or trade. I don't keep something because others think I should.

If you love the MR pieces keep them because you want to. If you don't... Sell them and move on.
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Legendary Member
Yeah I don't care what any of you think! :lol: ;) I totally get that though because in the early RPF days there was a pressure to have a huge collection to post to show your worth to the community. I think most people are well past that by now. I just say if something makes you happy and there's no immediate financial reason (like your power is going to be shut off or something) then keep it and maybe upgrade to the latest/more accurate version to keep alongside it. I still have an old SD Studios ROTJ Luke lightsaber, which is probably not 100% accurate now, but that design is my favorite lightsaber, so I've kept it. In the end though they're just things.
 

SethSolo510

New Member
Gotta love that SD Studios Luke hilt, have one too!
20210210_124954.jpg
 

russellsch

Master Member
I have many MR items, & love them dearly. I also have many of the 3rd party items, from the absolutely amazing builders here on the RPF & other sites. I’ve also hunted parts & built pieces myself. All of them are special to me, for different reasons. Both tell a story.
I’ve never sold anything of my props. However, in the last few years, I’ve begun considering selling some MR pieces. The reason being, when I hold something I’ve built next to the MR pieces…the journey of that build has more meaning for me. I say, keep your MR & begin collecting these others pieces. Once you have them, see which you like better, or has more meaning to you. Then, if you wish, sell the other. Or keep both.
Are MR good? Absolutely. However, for me, they were stepping stones to things much greater. MR was my first steps into a larger world.
 

CopperRevan

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
To quote you,

"My conundrum is I can't decide if I should just keep all my MR lightsabers because selling and re-buying is a lot of hassle and I'd lose the 'status' of owning the MR version, or sell off all my MR sabers and re-buy new versions of the same sabers to keep my collection where I want it with character sabers."


you asked for what we think so I feel compelled to give you a short, no BS answer..

If status is what you are worried about, throw it in the trash right now...it's a hunk of metal...I very expensive hunk of metal. I would never pay $1500 for an inaccurate hilt when I can pay $300-$400 for an accurate one. As time goes on and more accurate hilts are presented it will decrease the value of the MR because no one will want to spend that much money on an inaccurate hilt. With inflation being what it is, the sales of your MR collection could be money in the back for things that matter more to you in life or could be a way for you to invest that money into a business or venture of your own that is Star Wars related. Choose wisdom over emotion...you already know what you should do. Status is non-existent. Please don't let it blind you. Until you mentioned Status, nobody knew you had it except you, in your own mind. Your post is very honest and transparent...you deserve your responses to be as well. Thank you for this post because it's going to help a lot of people who are struggling with letting go. I know you said you don't need the money, or look at it as an investment but at the end of the day, it's either an over priced inaccurate hunk of metal or it has sentimental value to you. From what I hear from you, it's really the characters themselves that you value and the memories Star Wars has given you.
 

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I think what concerns me is your statement about "status" within the community. That sounds like you are not keeping the MR sabers for yourself but because others respect you for having them.
In the ‘old days’ of the RPF, owning MR sabers was a status symbol but those days are long gone. Outside of the RPF ‘joe public’ collectors still hold MR sabers in high regard, hence the sky high prices MR sabers fetch on the secondary market.

You couldn’t be more wrong about why I’ve kept my MR sabers. Master Replicas released an EP2 Obi-Wan lightsaber in 2003. I wanted that saber, the MR was the best version available at the time, so I bought the MR version and I still have it- I’ve never ‘upgraded’ to a better version because I already had a version of that hilt so why buy a new one? I’ve kept my MR sabers because before recently it never occurred to me to replace them. I’m the type of person who rarely buys anything new if my current one still works and isn’t broken. For example I’ve been driving since I was 16, I’m almost 50 years old now and I’ve only owned 4 cars in my life.

My comments about MR status is more about how they used to be viewed within the RPF vs how they are viewed now outside the RPF.

Owning the MR EP2 Obi-Wan saber used to mean something on the RPF. I doesn’t really mean anything anymore here, but it does still have status/value in the collector market outside the RPF. I own my MR version of that saber, really, just because I bought it, it’s fine, and I don’t have another version. I don’t own it because I think it elevates me or gives me status. I own it because I own it, that’s the only reason.

I do respect people based on their actions and how they treat others, not on what they own. I would never want respect from someone because of something I own, I would feel sorry for anyone who only respects me because I own something. I can also tell you, I’ve been here for 20 years and I’m still a tiny fish in a giant pond. I’ve never been one of the ‘big shots’ here and I’m good with that.

I think I am still a little brain-washed on the value of MR sabers, and I think that’s why I’m unsure if I should sell them and replace them with non-MR versions. I want good, well-made, mostly accurate versions of the lightsabers I want. I’m so basic and practical it’s hard for me to sell a perfectly good MR to buy the same saber again if I already own that saber (as an MR). I can see some advantages to owning a newer non-MR saber, but I do already have a version…. I just go round-and-round…
 

OddballFett

Active Member
I suggest, if you're a big prequel fan and you have many of the MR hilts, to keep those, as many are fairly accurate and are absolutely stunning pieces, like the Sidious, or Anakin EP2, or the coveted Windu hilt.

Ooh, I have a Windu Hilt! It is one of the nicest hilts they made, and doesn't suffer from the "fat hilt" effect that most others have in order to fit their electronics. That said I'm not unhappy with the rest, and the only disappointing thing about them for me is you can't remove the blades, and the blades would break if you attempt to duel with them.

Right now I'm being haunted by the ghost of Vader. I have an ANH hilt and even when it's deactivated the first six inches or so flashes and lights up at random. I thought it might be because the batteries were going, but it still occurs with new batteries. One of the old batteries had leaked a little, don't know if that's the cause. Or the activation switch does seem a bit loose. It still works otherwise though.

I'm not rich and to get more accurate hilts would definitely mean buying a luxury item. I'm on the Darksaber run and that is essentially my first real foray into high end expensive sabers. Ideally I would like to get more, there's some other hilts I'd like, plus I'd also like to upgrade my MR ones to something more accurate, duel worthy, and have removable blades. But unless I end up stupid rich I'm not gonna fork out for a real parts original saber prop simply for the sake of it (not a criticism of those who have exactly that btw)

But in the end I'm tied down by money, and space. If I upgrade I'd have to get rid of the old MRs. But for me personally, I don't think I'd regret it and it wouldn't affect my joy of owning my first lightsabers at the start - heck, my first sabers were the older cheap plastic toy ones with extendable blades that came out around Episode 1! In the end it was those things that made me catch the bug. Then came MR, and eventually led to finding the RPF.

Everyone's all giving you different contradictory advice so this is only my two cents. As long as I can get replacements I would not be upset at getting rid of the MRs, and I'd run out of space real fast anyway if I kept them. I'd never lose the joy I had at owning my first lightsaber, and would just look at the ones I no longer had as stepping stones to the ideal prop I'd always wanted.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've been thinking a lot recently about my Lightsaber collection and I'd like to hear some outside perspectives to maybe give me some insight on what I want to do.

For some background: I grew-up a die hard Star Wars fan. I was born in the early 1970s and SW ANH was the very first movie I saw in a movie theater (it was a 1978 re-release getting ready for ESB in 1980). As a kid my brother and I had all the toys and we watched and re-watched the movies 100s of times on cable TV and on VHS video tapes.

When the movies and toys were re-released in 1997 I was in my 20s and I started collecting again, OT stuff and then PT stuff as the new movies came out starting in 1999. I remember seeing the ICONS lightsabers in the SW Insider and to me that was the ultimate- metal replicas of the movie lightsabers. I never got any of the ICONS versions, but in the early days of the internet I discovered ASAP in 2001 and that lead me to joining the RPF in 2002.

Back then in the early 2002s good lightsaber replicas were hard to come by. There was makers like Marco and Parks but those were lacking the accuracy we wanted. Then Master Replicas came along and started making officially licensed lightsaber replicas and all I needed was $250 for each saber and instantly I had an awesome lightsaber collection. MR sabers were far from perfect, but they were accurate enough for me and mixed with real Graflex replicas and a real parts Obi-Wan ANH I filled out a good sized lightsaber collection with a version of each characters saber from each film (all the Luke's, all the Vaders, all the Kenobi's, etc...)

Master Replicas lightsabers always seemed like a trophy to me, a prize, lightsaber versions held above 3rd party replicas because of their materials, finish, and (honestly) their status among collectors. Accurate or not when MR sabers go for sale they command a high price, triple or more their original cost, because MR sabers are still prized by collectors.

When I bought many of my MR sabers there were no other good alternatives available. No one was making a good Luke EP4/5/6 Vader EP4/5/6, Anakin EP3/2, or Obi-Wan EP1/2/3 that compared to the MR versions. Now, of course, there are several saber makers that make replicas of those lightsabers (and more) that look as good or better than the MR version and some that are more accurate then the MR version.

All I ever really want was a good version of the lightsabers I want in my collection. MR used to mean something to me because of their status but I'm starting to re-think how I think about what I want.

Part of me says, I've already got the MR version of X lightsaber and I'm happy with the MR version. Another part of me says, I could sell the MR version of X lightsaber for $XXXX and buy this really nice 3rd party replica of the same saber for $XXX and pocket the difference. But, on the other hand, owning the Master Replicas version means something in the collector community, and I'd be giving up my status as an 'old school' collector who was in the game before 'Big Bang' and pop-culture made Star Wars popular again.

I have never seen collecting as an investment and I have only ever sold 2 lightsabers since my first lightsaber purchase 20 years ago. I don't 'need' the money and the MR versions are already paid for, but on the other hand I have joy from having a version of that character's lightsaber and not because I have the MR version of that character's lightsaber.

My conundrum is I can't decide if I should just keep all my MR lightsabers because selling and re-buying is a lot of hassle and I'd lose the 'status' of owning the MR version, or sell off all my MR sabers and re-buy new versions of the same sabers to keep my collection where I want it with character sabers.

What do you think? Do you still own and prize your MR lightsabers or did you sell yours off? Would you never sell your MR sabers if you didn't need to?
Here is toms answer:

My collecting goals have changed. Early on I wanted all the MR products, but the more I’ve learned about the props… the more I’ve wanted those places in my collection to be more accurate to the real thing. Even with how ugly it may be. I’ve also learned to build things so I’ve wanted my own work in place of those collector items, no matter how ugly it is. Then that is something to update.

I also now have a bit of a museum collection aspect to this - some of the old replicas are iconic in and of themselves (pun intended) so I would hate to get rid of them.

I sell things when I need money for more projects (or life) or when I have duplicates and other people in the hobby can have some of my stuff. I remember the feeling of dying to find something, so being able to be a source for that is rewarding.

If you don’t run out of space, I would think about what you want out of your collection - I didn’t know until I had to put words to it.
 

Jamesfett

Sr Member
Okay there is one argument that should settle this.

In the words of the great Frasier Crane, "If less is more, just think how much more more would be."


If you keep all the MR sabers and buy later made ones you will have more lightsabers. That is good.

I have spoken.
 

corliss1

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My personal rule - I don't have duplicates. Variants, yes, but not two of the same thing. I go for accuracy as best I can, and if that means selling something that is "cool" or what not, then it goes. I sold all the MR/Parks/Larbel stuff as more data and newer builders came out, with no regrets.
 

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