Over Labor Day weekend in 2013, about 150 collectors from around the world converged on Seattle for a fun 5 day weekend, meeting fellow collectors, touring collections, enjoying swag, swapping collectibles, going on toy runs and much, much more. The event, which was by invitation only, was put together by the local Seattle SARLACC collector group. SARLACC, a club driven by the passion for collecting Star Wars with no member fees or officers, planned this event for about a year, relying on sponsors, its members diverse skill sets, and lots of volunteering to organize the event.
The reason for the secrecy leading up to the event, and the by-invitation-only access, was the fact that collectors would open their private homes for touring. So, each attendee had relations to either the guest hosts or one of the collectors attending the event.
The commemorative items created for I.C.E. rivaled any convention merchandise in quality, quantity and creativity. There were glasswares, posters, pins, a custom made playset, craft items, coins, patches and many more unique collectibles! At the end of each hosted event, goodie bags full of swag were handed out.
The event began on Friday, August 30th at Wine World in Seattle, which gave attendees the chance to get to know each other while enjoying appetizers, beer and of course wine. The room featured a beautiful look over I-5 going into downtown Seattle.
In one corner of the room attendees were given a first look at the exclusive items available for sale, such as the I.C.E. Star playset and Star Wars paintings by a local artist.
Some of the swag given out included a lanyard and a passport, which was fashioned after the crew passport used during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. The swag bag also contained the first of five exclusive coins which could be collected over the course of the weekend.
After the gathering wrapped at Wine World & Spirits, it was time to meet up at the local hotel bar, where collectibles were sold on several tables. There was a nice variety of items up for grabs, such as carded and loose vintage figures, prototypes, custom acrylic cases, Japanese Star Tours items, etc...
The second day started with a toy run, which included a visit to the local Toy Stable and the Star Wars store in Aberdeen, WA. Later that day the second officially hosted event took place at Lake Kathleena. Collectors could get their passports stamped, grab a "blue Snaggletooth" at the bar, eat a slice of Sail Barge cake, play some pool, check out the collection rooms, enjoy the "Vader burning" and the Fireworks outside.
Another highlight at Lake Kathleena was the silent auction and the sale in the garage. Some items in the silent auction included a hand-made Jabba The Hutt pillow, fully sculpted Star Tots, a Wampa pillow, Boba Fett and a Power Droid made of beads, crocheted Yoda cellphone covers, various stained glass items in the shape of SW vehicles, plus more.
Some of the swag handed out at the end of the day was a bottle of cider, a bottle of beer and a bottle of root beer, all with custom labels, a custom tray, custom coaster and bottle opener! In addition to that, the swag bag contained the "Lake Kathleena" coin!
Day 3 started out with the Kessel Run, where collectors could stop by seven other local collectors to take a look at their private collections. After the
Kessel Run, it was time for the third officially hosted event, which was the grand re-opening of Gus Lopez's BOBACABANA museum. Here people were treated to an amazing array
of original screen-used movie props (e.g. the original Death Star prop from ANH!), pre-production pieces, prototypes and an entire room dedicated to Star Wars cereal boxes, plus so much more. Besides a tour through the museum, people could hang out on the deck to enjoy some BBQ and a beautiful sunset with a view of the Space Needle.
Some of the swag given out included a View-Master with 3D pictures of the collection, a poster, a Bobacabana coin, a coin album, plus more!
The fourth day started early with a gathering at the movie theater in North Bend for a showing of an original 35mm print of The Return Of The Jedi. The oldschool art deco movie theater, which was built in 1941, took everybody back in time. Before the movie started, the audience was treated to a 42 minute surprise screening of The Plastic Galaxy documentary by Brian Stillman, which featured many collectors in the audience.
After the screening everybody headed to the Death Star Theater & Museum, which is owned by Vic Wertz and Lisa Stevens, the previous Star Wars Fan Club owners. Aside from the largest collection of Star Wars action figure prototypes, the museum boasted unproduced Star Wars toys, original movie props and an entire room dedicated to fully functional Star Wars arcade and Star Wars pinball machines.
Some of the swag given out at both of these events included a beautifully designed Return Of The Jedi poster by Curt Hanks, a high quality Death Star Theater pin and the Death Star Theater coin among other goodies!
The final day started out with a visit to the Sci-Fi museum in Seattle. This was also a good chance to visit the Space Needle and have a look around the downtown area before heading to the final hosted event at the Bock residence, which houses one of the largest Star Wars collections in the Pacific Northwest. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of Star Wars action figures on display, vintage to modern, among life-size versions of Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, R2, C-3PO and Boba Fett! The beautiful deck gave attendees the opportunity to enjoy some BBQ and mingle with fellow collectors.
At this event the last coin was given out, along with a vintage-style coloring book designed by Lauren Bock.
All in all, I.C.E. happened at just the right time, and all the stars seem to have aligned perfectly. It was such a unique opportunity to meet fellow collectors from around the world and tour some of the most impressive Star Wars collections on this planet, all while enjoying good food and sunny Seattle weather!
Now the question is, is there going to be a follow up event? If yes, where will it be? Time will tell ... until then, we will all meet again at Celebration Anaheim in 2015!
If you'd like to see all the pictures taken at the event, please have a look at the International Collectors Event photo gallery
For more information about this event, please have a look at following websites: