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Celebration Europe News: Rancho Obi-Wan and More Coming to Germany

Celebration Europe -- July 26-28 in Messe Essen, Germany -- is quickly approaching and we have more exciting announcements for the Force-filled fan event: Steve Sansweet will be bringing the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience to Germany, there are new details on the Star Wars Costume Masquerade, and collector Gus Lopez is returning!

Steve Sansweet and the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience

Steve Sansweet, one of the world's preeminent Star Wars collectors, is taking his incredible collection outside the US for the first time: the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience, Sansweet's traveling museum of Star Wars merchandise, is coming to Celebration Europe.

"We had a great time introducing Rancho Obi-Wan to thousands of fans at Celebration VI in Orlando last year, and are thrilled to be invited to share the experience with fans and collectors in Europe this year," said Steve Sansweet. Sansweet will be present in the Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit much of the time to greet fans, and is scheduled to take part in programming at the show. This will be a rare treat for fans at Celebration Europe.

Celebrate Cosplay at the Star Wars Costume Masquerade

Star Wars cosplay is a tradition at Celebration, from Slave Leia to Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion. The Costume Masquerade, Celebration Europe's costume contest, will decide who created the best costumes of the show. It will be held the evening of Saturday, July 27, and likely to be hosted by Celebrity Host Warwick Davis on the Celebration Stage.

Costumes can be entered in the following categories: Jedi & Rebels, Empire & Sith, Princesses, Armored Troops, Droids, and Aliens, Creatures & Outer Rim. Children age 13 and under participate in the Child category. A panel of judges made up of costuming experts and fan-favorite celebrities will evaluate the costumes and vote on the best in each category. Each judge will also select their own individual favorite costume to win their Judge's Prize. All children who enter will receive a specially designed Certificate of Appreciation. One Best in Show winner is then chosen from all the category winners.

The size of the Celebration Costume Masquerade is limited, so fans who would like to enter can find more information and apply here:

The Art of Collecting with Gus Lopez

Collector Gus Lopez is returning to Celebration, and he and his crew are producing an extraordinary set of panels all about the art and intricacy of collecting Star Wars. Just for Celebration Europe, Lopez is organizing a program with worldwide -- and an especially European -- focus.

In the exciting tradition of Lopez's Celebration Collecting Programs, his group is once again designing collectibles exclusively for the show. Those attending the panels will be given a different Celebration Europe Star Tot during each panel.

Here are the first of the Celebration Europe Collecting Panels to be announced:

German vintage Star Wars Toys: From "Super Sonderangebot" to Today's Treasures

German vintage Star Wars toys offer a fascinating rage of uncommon or unique variations of the US Kenner toys. Many of today's high-priced collectibles were special offers or in German "Sonderangebote" back in the day when stock was liquidated, or are minor variations in the eyes of outsiders. Recent new findings and a comprehensive overview of these toys will be presented by Wolfgang Schloegl and Michael Gohlke.

Collecting Star Wars Trading Cards

Collecting trading cards from vintage to the modern, presented by Cathy Kendrick and Andy Dukes. An overview of various trading card sets, from the well-known to the unusual. This discussion will include advice on collecting cards, understanding card values over time, and changes in card collecting over the years.

LEGO Star Wars

James Burns and Duncan Jenkins look back at LEGO Star Wars from its introduction in 1999 through to today, a rich history of 15 years. Jenkins and Burns will talk about the sets, minifigures, spin-offs and everything in between, plus a detailed look at the making of LEGO Star Wars sets from initial design to development to retail.

From Idea to Reality: Making Star Wars Collectibles

What does it take to make a Star Wars collectible? Get an insider's perspective on the process of creating and producing official Star Wars collectibles from experts Bill Cable, Mattias Rendahl, and Chris Georgoulias. They will cover every phase of the process: concept, design, approval, production and distribution; and the catastrophes that can occur at each step.

French Merchandising & Marketing, 1977-1986

Stephane Faucourt reviews the main categories in which Star Wars merchandise was produced in France between 1977-1986. Faucourt will cover each category with descriptions, images, and examples of advertising and marketing, including media reviews. Rare promotional and retail items will be presented as well.

Visit today to buy tickets and for more information on Celebration Europe. Be sure to keep an eye on the Star Wars Blog for an inside look at the planning and development of this highly-anticipated event.