Swansea Creative Focus Advent Calendar
Day Nineteen: 19/12/2019

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a franchise was born that would revolutionise not only popular cinema but also the memorabilia industry. Today, 42 years after Luke Skywalker’s first encounter with Darth Vader, the final chapter of the Star Wars saga reaches the big screen. Part Nine, The Rise of Skywalker, is predicted to generate over $2 billion in global ticket sales, with plenty more to follow from the sale of action figures and other souvenirs. For many avid Star Wars fans, it’s not enough to have seen every film. It’s not even enough to be able to recite every script word for word. If you want to impress hard-core fans, show them your collectibles.

Boba Fett is a minor character in the Star Wars universe, but a 1979 Boba Fett action figure in mint condition would start a bidding war with all light sabres blazing. The rarity of this particular item is the key to its valuation. Check your bottom drawer; if one of these figures has found its way to you, it may be worth up to £35,000.

One person who understands the value of memorabilia and the passion of collectors very well is Steve Speakman, the owner of Freaks, Geeks and Autographs. Since opening in February 2004 Steve has been a champion of Swansea High Street, spending five years in the Arcade and the past ten and a half at number 236. The shop is an Aladdin’s Cave for fans of cinema, TV, comic books, music and sport, and a focal point for popular events. Steve hosts Yu-Gi-Oh! card tournaments every Wednesday from 5:30pm, and for over a decade he has organised regular Heroes and Legends events, uniting famous names from TV, film, music and sport with their fans in South West Wales. If you’re one of the many Swansea dwellers who rubbed shoulders with Dave Prowse – Darth Vader himself – or Dr Who Colin Baker when they attended events at the Dolphin Hotel, it’s Steve you have to thank. The best way to thank him, and the best way to indulge your enthusiasm for action figures, comic books, posters, autographs or music on vinyl is to pay a visit to 236 High Street.

A long time ago on a street not very far away, Steve Speakman set out to give Swansea shoppers an immersive retail experience that would fuel their passion and, quite simply, make them happy. He’s succeeded every day for almost sixteen years. May the force be with you, Steve.