a bucket for a helmet, and towels as capes. As kids we all dreamed of owning real lightsabers; Star Wars helmets and blasters and fans have been using creative ways to replicate the props we saw on the screen for over 40 years. But what if you wanted something more accurate?
After the release of Star Wars in 1977, Lucasfilm quickly realized there was a demand for life size toy lightsabers and blasters.
However, Star Wars replicas were born when Lucasfilm gave a company called Don Post a license to recreate life size helmets and masks. The Don Post Darth Vader and Stormtrooper helmets were the first officially licensed prop replicas in the market and gave fans an opportunity to elevate their costumes to a new level. The Don Post Deluxe helmets continue to be in high demand because they
were made using references and molds from the official movie props. Don Post also offered extremely accurate life size statues of C-3PO, R2D2, Stormtrooper, and Boba Fett, that were made using original Lucasfilm molds and references. The Don Post Star Wars Replicas have been a staple in high end collections.
The costume license eventually went to a company called Anovos that elevated the accuracy of the helmets to a whole new level by digitally scanning the original helmets in the Lucasfilm Archives.
Anovos released helmets from all the films until Denuo Novo took over the license. Denuo Novo is owned by Rubies Costume Company, which has been making Star Wars costumes for decades.
Denuo Novo continues to make extremely accurate Star Wars costumes and their helmets are coveted by Star Wars collectors.
What about the Star Wars weapons? Well in 1996 a company called Icons Authentic Replicas obtained the license from Lucasfilm to make replica weapons and ships. They were the first company to offer exact replicas of the lightsabers used by Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
These replicas came in museum- style cases and were marketed as high-end collectibles. Icons also introduced special versions of the lightsabers that would include a display plaque with the actor’s autograph which were more exclusive. Icons only had the license for about 5 years before going under, but they produced some of the most iconic lightsabers and studio scale replicas fans had ever seen.
After Icons, a company called Master Replicas obtained the license to make Star Wars life-size prop replicas. From about 2002 through 2009, Masters Replicas released a massive catalog of replica lightsabers, helmets, blasters, and studio scale models. The Master Replicas era was truly the “golden age” of Star Wars replicas. They released all the lightsabers from the original trilogy and the prequels, which all came with museum style displays and plaques. Master Replicas also made helmets using original molds and 3-D scans of original Star Wars helmets. That’s because they were given access to the Lucasfilm archives where they were able to scan, photograph, and color match the original props. Master Replicas also expanded their line to include the Studio Scale model ships that were used in the film.
Often they would release a “Limited Edition” version, a “Signature Edition” version, and sometimes an “Elite Edition” made with finer materials.
Master Replicas are now some of the most sought-after Star Wars collectibles and fetch thousands of dollars in the aftermarket.