Star Wars Weapons of Choice
Within the Star Wars collectors circle, particularly those who are interested in the figures, vehicles and playsets from the vintage line (late 70's - early 80's) there exists people producing reproduction weapons. Many of the blasters, rifles, staffs and such that came with each figure ended up getting lost by one means or another leading to complete (original figures with original weapons) characters being sought after and highly prized. The scarcity of weapons has led to the value of them increasing vastly, with some original guns fetching more than some figures!
For those collectors who are happy to just display their toys with items that, for all intents and purposes look like the genuine accessories, then reproductions are easily sourced on sites such as Ebay for a lot less money. Many collectors and enthusiasts however don't appreciate the 'repros' and will analyse weaponry under lighting and use float tests to discern the true nature of the guns in their possession.
Personally, as a toy collector I am on the fence about this. On one hand the abundance of reproduction weapons makes it easy to complete a collection for those on a budget and who are more concerned with a display than the age of a small piece of moulded plastic. On the other hand the amount of 'fake' guns makes it harder for collectors to be sure of what they are buying and easier for people to part with large sums of cash for what is (regardless of your position on any angle of this) a piece of cheap, modern plastic with no heritage.
To counter all this and being of a creative persuasion - because within my collection I have figures for which I do not own the weapons for - I challenged myself to produce, from card and paper my own 'repros'. Using vintage weapons that I have as guides I carefully cut out and assembled a small selection of 'army builder' accessories staying as faithful as possible to the original designs. The beauty of these weapons is that whilst they emulate the vintage pieces and (if I may be so modest) do look quite nifty when displayed, they do not dupe. Each gun, axe and staff is individually handmade and from a material that is completely differentiated from hard plastic. Whilst they will never be durable enough to be played with I am very pleased with the resulting look, plus, with adjustments they do fit in the hands of the figures.
This isn't a venture that is going to make me rich and the process of crafting each one is reasonably lengthy but it has been enjoyable and satisfying.