Ever wondered who Bill Cable is and why he collects Trilogos? Now is your chance to find out!
Trilogo.info – Hi Bill! Would you like to introduce yourself to the readers and tell us a little about the sites you run and what you collect?
Bill – Sure thing! I’m Bill Cable, Steelers fan and Star Wars collector. I’m from Pittsburgh and I’ve been collecting since ’95 after having sold all my childhood Vintage in ’88.
I started with modern and got into Vintage in ’98. I’m also a member of OSWCC, which I joined in ’97, and am the founder and president of PSWCS (Pennsylvania Star Wars Collecting Society).
PSWCS was started in August 2001 and currently has about 440 members. I’m also a writer and artist for my Star Wars humor and collecting news web site: CreatureCantina.com. I started that site April 1st, 2001. I’m also a member of the Vintage Inner Cir… er, um… I’m also an avid C-3PO collector.
Trilogo.info – Don’t start spreading those IC rumours again or there will be hell to pay!! SO let’s crack on with the Trilogo questions Bill – When exactly did you start collecting Trilogos and why?
Bill – I started collecting Tri-logos around 1998 or 99. I bought my first Vintage figure at the Kane County toy show in Chicago when I went there with some OSWCC buddies in spring of ’98.
After a few random buys I began to focus on what I wanted, and decided on a movie debut MOC set. Looking at the POTF options (particularly Anakin & Yakface), plus all the yellow bubbles for ROTJ figures, I decided I’d be a lot happier with my Jedi and POTF figures on Tri-logos. This was back when Tri-logos were dirt cheap compared to US Kenner ROTJ.
Trilogo.info – That was a pretty cool decision Bill, a lot of collectors complain about yellow bubbles but I think you are the only collector I know of that has deliberately switched to Trilogos to finish a carded run, it paid off too as your collection looks pretty awesome! Apart from the clear bubbles are you also a fan of some of the alternate photoart used on Trilogos?
Bill – Absolutely! Unfortunately the most interesting ones are ESB MOCs and I concentrated on ROTJ/POTF.
Trilogo.info – Are you tempted to go for a full set and incorporate the SW and ESB figures or are you satisfied with the ones you have?
Bill – I’m happy with what I have. In my head, ESB figures should be on ESB cards… they just wouldn’t feel right on Tri-logos.
Trilogo.info – Oh I don’t know..Fett or Jawa on a Trilogo card look pretty amazing! So, while you were hunting down those ROTJ and POTF Trilogos what was the hardest figure to come by and which was the last figure you found to complete your ROTJ/POTF set?
Bill – I actually looked for a Warok forever would you believe. The first mini-set I went about completing was the Ewoks. It had to have been about 2 years before I found a nice Warok. That was after forgetting to bid on a super minty one… two more years to find another.
Trilogo.info – You mentioned earlier that you got into Trilogos around 98 or 99, back then when Trilogos were less popular did you sometimes question your decision to pick them up or did you always think they were cool?
Bill – I always loved them for being different. And the beautiful clear bubbles. US Kenner MOCs just seemed a whole lot less unique.
Trilogo.info – So being an American collector, just how many Trilogos did you pick up from the States as opposed to Europe? A lot of figures ended up on your side of the pond and it’s amazing that even now Trilogos from the overstock period keep showing up from US sellers!
Bill – I got a few from Europe through eBay and web sites, but most came from the US if I recall correctly.
Trilogo.info – While on your Trilogo journey did you ever do something you regret now?
Bill – My greatest regret is not picking up the super-trashed Tri-logo Madine that Brian’s Toys had for sale in the early ’00s. It was completely thrashed, barely on the card at all, but it was like $150.
Trilogo.info – That would have been a great pick up even if it was trashed. Any interest in adding a Trilogo Madine to your ROTJ run nowadays? Do you actually have a stand in for the Trilogo? (Palitoy perhaps?)
Bill – If I hit the lottery, yes. I can’t justify the cost, otherwise. Maybe while traveling around Europe this summer I’ll stumble across one in some mom & pop store. I do have the 5-language Palitoy as a stand-in which you can see top right of the following shot.
Trilogo.info – I think a lot of people go for the Palitoy ROTJ Madine as it looks a lot like the Hybrid Trilogos from the front and you can find it with a Trilogo bubble or a double stem (like the Trilogo Madine)
Trilogo.info – What do you think about the current popularity with Trilogos?
Bill – It’s awesome and well-deserved! Its funny how the hobby has changed over the years. Back when I started collecting a US Kenner MOC set was the gold standard for many and foreign stuff was junk. Now the foreign stuff is seen as really interesting and valuable, and nobody cares about US Kenner at all.
Trilogo.info – So given the rise in popularity..if you were to put together a ROTJ/POTF set now like you did years ago would it be something you would find hard to do due to prices going up?
Bill – It would be tougher for sure but then again I make a lot more money now than I did as a newspaper IT guy fresh out of college! I could do it but I am glad I did it years before everyone else got interested.
Trilogo.info – What kind of things put you off Trilogos condition wise? Dents, card faults, stickers?
Bill – I try to avoid crushed bubbles and sticker tears, they are both deal breakers for me. I don’t mind the big yellow UK stickers at all even though I know many don’t like them. I have a few in my set that I’d love to upgrade, but I’ve never made that effort and they aren’t all that bad. Most of mine have really nice bubbles, which was what I was most concerned with so the stickers aren’t that important.
Trilogo.info – I think the yellow sticker debate is funny, people either love them or hate them! Recently you reorganised your display room Bill, did you change the way your Trilogos were displayed and how did it all turn out?
Bill – Yes I did but I didn’t really modify the Tri-logo display as part of the recent renovations. I already had the full set on custom shelves on the wall. They’ve been that way since I moved in almost 5 years ago and I wanted them to stay that way so having them up with the full set on the wall was of paramount importance. I did a write up here actually – http://www.creaturecantina.com/epicStory.cfm?id=126
Trilogo.info – Ever thought of selling your Trilogos and if so what was the reason?
Bill – No, I haven’t. There have been a few occasions where I wanted a really expensive 3PO item where I thought to myself “well, I could sell a few Tri-logos to raise some money and replace them later,” but I’ve never gone through with it.
Trilogo.info – Do you have any favourite Trilogo figures or variations?
Bill – I love the pop-up saber R2 (despite my animosity towards R2 as a 3PO collector). I love that the photo is backwards. I got that one from Denmark shipped in a stinkin’ padded envelope but miracle of miracles it arrived undamaged. The bubbles on EV-9D9 and Han Carbonite are awesome too.
Trilogo.info – Wow close call on the R2! Any love for any of the alternate bubbles that can be found on Trilogos?
Bill – I started collecting back before alternate bubbles were a thing actually! It amazes me how much better researched and documented things are these days. Back then I never thought anything beyond “hmmm… this bubble is a bit different” and neither did anyone else really.
I always focused on getting examples that had undamaged bubbles. Some of mine have minor dents, but most are pretty minty. Most of mine are the common bubbles. My Ackbar has a smaller, sharp-edged I guess it’s the Meccano style bubble. My Dignitary has a heavier bubble… thicker plastic… I’m not sure if that’s Meccano or PBP.
Trilogo.info – Nice variants Bill, your Ackbar seems to be a “German/Parker” card with the small bubble and your Imperial Dignitary is definitely a PBP release! You are also a 3PO focus collector as you mentioned, are there any Trilogo variations you are chasing to add to your run or do you have them all?
Bill – Sadly, I only have one type of bubble for 3PO. I have two examples, but they’re both identical from a production standpoint.
I’ve only begun looking for alternate bubbles in the last year or so, and none have popped up. The only other 3PO I have on a Tri-logo card is on a Zuckuss cardback.
Trilogo.info -Your miscards look great, are you aware of any other combinations involving 3P0?
Bill – I know there’s a 3PO on a Tri-logo 2-1B cardback. I’ve also seen him on Stormtrooper and DS Droid cards. I want to say MAYBE on an IG-88, but I might just be confusing my memory with my ROTJ Meccano miscard. I’m not aware of any other figures miscarded on Tri-logo 3PO cardback, though I wouldn’t rule it out. I love how the miscarded 3POs always have one arm pulled off and floating free inside the bubble… he’s too wide to fit in the skinny bubbles otherwise.
Trilogo.info – Well Bill it’s been great chatting to you! Thanks for your time and maybe we can get you back on for another interview when you finally cave and get into SW and ESB figures! Or when you win the lottery and get your Madine..
Bill – That would be fun, thanks!