Mark Hamill is a fairly busy guy, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing every single one of his passions. From reprising his legendary role of Luke Skywalker in the latest “Star Wars” films to continuing to lend his voice to DC Entertainment as the infamous Joker, Hamill is no stranger to keeping busy. Recently, however, he’s launched a new online series, “Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest”, to highlight one of his true passions: toy collecting.
Speaking to IGN in an interview to promote the series, Hamill discussed a ton of things, but also revealed what drove him to begin his own toy collection. According to Hamill, his family moved around a lot, and he would often find that his mother had given away his toys when they got to a new home.
“I’d say ‘Where is my Beany and Cecil talking hand puppet?’ And she’d say, ‘Oh, I gave it to Goodwill.’ I said, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘Because, come on, you’re 11 years old. That’s a baby toy. Think of all the poor starving children in China that’ll appreciate a talking Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent puppet,'” said Hamill. “It made no sense, of course. Basically, when I struck out on my own, I just started seeing things that I had when I was a kid that I wanted back.”
After growing up a bit, Hamill started tracking down what he had lost, and his first dive into collecting started with some classic Beatles gear:
“The first big jump into collecting that I did — in fact, we just found the receipt for all the items that I bought — it was $124 dollars, and it was like 11 Beatles items,” he said. “The Yellow Submarine lunchbox… there weren’t any thermoses, but still. I got the bobbing head dolls [and more]. Any one of these items is now more than $124. This was back in 1970 when they broke up. I only collected their music, I never collected The Beatles Flip your Wig game, or the Revell model kits, or any of this stuff. I’d go, ‘That’s silly, that’s for girls!’ So I didn’t buy any of the toys or anything like that, just the records. Then when I realized they were gone, suddenly that became very interesting to me. It’s 1970, you’re only a few years off from when these toys were new and it just had a sudden appeal for me. So I bought them. She’s going off to college and I looked at all the stuff and I said, ‘What do you think this is all worth?’ She said, ‘Well, I don’t know…’ She did all these numbers and said, ‘Do you think $124 is fair?’ I said, ‘Sounds good to me!’ This was back in the day when that seemed like a lot of money. Now I look back and think wow, what a deal I got. The Beatles memorabilia was the earliest stuff.”
For those who collect things of any kind, it’s always great to see people you may look up to sharing in the hobbies that you love. For Hamill, his love of not only collecting but also adventuring out for things is clearly there, and it reflects in the series. “Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest” is hosted on Comic-Con HQ’s brand new subscription service, and you can watch the first episode for free right here, and check out the trailer below.
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