A new collecting book has recently hit the market and it is a very exciting endeavor. The book is called: La French Touch: : History of Star Wars French merchandising & marketing France 1977-1986. This book is written by Author Stéphane Faucourt who also wrote the previously released book: Meccano to Trilogo.
The previous book focused solely on the toys that were available to France and then on to the Trilogo packaging that replaced most packaging in Europe. Unlike the first, this new book not only has a great section on the toys, but also a lot of information on how the entire franchise was marketed in France.
One of the first sections in the book is devoted entirely to the press coverage the films received upon release and subsequent releases. Another new tidbit that I did not know, was that the abysmal Star Wars Holiday Special actually aired in France when I thought the U.S. was probably the stopping point for that.
The action figure section not only has a lot of the great information from the previous book, but has also been expanded with some amazing additions. The first that caught my eye was a page that shows some of the original transparencies of the French cardbacks. This page talks about each stage in the now antiquated process in making the packaging that we all know and love. Some other gems worth noting that are shown are fairly recent discoveries like the Meccano Vinyl Cape Jawa, Trilogo Y-Wing, and many of the Ewoks Preschool items that weren’t thought to exist not long ago.
The last sections of the book go through a lot of the advertising, retailer catalogs, books, records, press materials, etc. These items really give you an idea at some of the unique items that were available in France. I particularly like seeing all the action figure related advertising that appear to have been French exclusive with the photos/scenes that were used in them.
Finally, at the very end of the book is an updated figure/card matrix which is always an invaluable asset to a collector on the hunt for carded figures to know what is known out there. I highly recommend this book for any collector with an interest in how Star Wars was marketed outside the U.S. These types of books are few and far between, with this one, feeling very complete. I’m sure once it has sold out it will become a collectible like many others have in the past.
The pricing is:
FRANCE: 35 euros
EUROPE: 39.5 euros
REST OF THE WORLD: 42 euros
And can be ordered at http://www.meccano2trilogo.com
Here’s a few of the sample pages from the website.