[WORLDKINGS 2022] TOP LARGEST COLLECTIONS IN THE WORLD (P.06) STEVE SANSWEET – THE MAN SPENT YEARS BUILDING THE LARGEST ‘STAR WARS’ COLLECTION IN THE WORLD (USA)

(WorldKings.world) With an estimated 300,000 items, Stephen J. Sansweet (born June 14, 1945) is the chairman and president of Rancho Obi-Wan, a nonprofit museum that houses the world’s largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia.

Steve Sansweet spent 20 years collecting items for his museum. When the original Star Wars hit theaters in 1977, Steve Sansweet was 31 years old. Like many fans, he said it changed his life.

“Star Wars just awakened the kid in me again,” said Sansweet, who collected baseball cards as a kid. “It was like, I can go into the toy store. I can buy stuff that as a kid, I couldn’t.”

Prior to his retirement in April 2011, he was Director of Content Management and head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm Ltd. for 15 years, and remains Fan Relations Advisor for the company. He is author or co-author of eighteen books, sixteen of them about Star Wars.

After Sansweet relocated to Northern California to be closer to his new office at Skywalker Ranch, he bought a former chicken ranch and refurbished its barns to house his collection. The property was renamed Rancho Obi-Wan. In September 2013, his collection of an estimated 300,000 items was recognized as being the largest of its kind in the world.

Spanning over 9,000-square-feet, Rancho Obi-Wan offers visitors an authentic fan experience, unlike any other museum. Guided tours are available showcasing rare collectibles, vintage toys, fan-made art and one of a kind prop for the films.

When the original Star Wars hit theaters in 1977, Steve Sansweet was 31 years old. Like many fans, he said it changed his life.

“Star Wars just awakened the kid in me again,” said Sansweet, who collected baseball cards as a kid. “It was like, I can go into the toy store. I can buy stuff that as a kid, I couldn’t.”

 

Claire Huynh (Collect) – WORLDKINGS

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