A Comic Con Director Talks Pop Culture Collectables
Robbie Buonaccorsi began collecting toy robots as a boy. It was the beginning of a lifelong passion for all things pop culture, and the catalyst for a 25-year career managing conventions including Armageddon & Comic Con Australia. Now retired, Robbie shares some memories – and a few of his favourite items in The Collection of a Comic Con Director.
From Boyhood to Buffy
From a boyhood fascination with toy robots, Robbie Buonaccorsi developed a love for pop culture that would lead to a 25-year career in the industry. He began organising conventions in the late 1980’s, before becoming Director of Culture Shock Events. It gave him the opportunity to meet his favourite stars – and collect some amazing pop culture paraphernalia.
“A mate and I were sitting around a table one day when we had the idea to run a Star Trek convention. We brought a couple of guests out to Australia and for the first couple of years it was really small… then Buffy hit.”
Things began happening – for the convention, and for that year’s special guest. “We brought James Marsters out (who played Spike) when he had still only done a couple of episodes. There was no internet then, so we got some promotion in the teen magazines, and his popularity went through the roof. We went from having about 200 people, to 1800 a day… and we needed security!”
“That changed everything,” he adds. “After that we did X-Files and Babylon 5 conventions, we did Armageddon Australia – which ran for about 5 or 6 years – then Comic Con.”
Pictured: Three Vintage Tin Plate Wind-Up Robots
Meeting Fan Favourites
Running Comic-Con and other conventions, Robbie had the chance to meet many wonderful actors – and to collect some of the autographed photos that form part of his collection.
“We had over 400 guests through the years. One of my favourites was Amanda Tapper from Stargate, who was a fantastic guest. James Marsters was fun, and we had Margot Kidder (Superman’s Lois Lane) as well as Christopher Lambert and Adrien Paul from the movie and TV versions of Highlander. We had all the Doctor Who actors take part, as well as Star Trek guests including Patrick Stewart.”
A photo and poster signed by Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy recall another first for the conventions.
“It was 2017 and Leonard Nimoy was unable to travel then. We decided to do a session by Skype. I was nervous but it went so much better than we imagined. Leonard was very relaxed at home, much more so than he probably would have been here. He took questions, collected details to send autographs afterwards… and all up he did a 4-hour session!”
Robbie believes conventions have changed over the years. “They’re huge events now with a big focus on cosplay. Ours were very small and intimate and that was something everyone really liked – guests and audience.”
Sharing a Collection
After decades of conventions, and collecting, Robbie has retired, downsized and is ready to share his collection at auction. So, what are some of his favourite items?
“Definitely the Battlestar Galactica helmet,” he says. “It was from a very limited edition, and signed by both Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch, who has now died. The helmet was really popular and it’s nearly impossible to find now.”
“I also really love the Stargate action figures and model kits. They’re all still in the original packs and in immaculate condition.”
“And there’s the Captain America sketch. It’s a limited edition and signed by Jack Kirby, the original artist. He worked with Stan Lee to create the Captain America comics, and he really started it all.”
“It’s a little different but I love the Paddington Bears too. I collected them for years and there’s a good mix of old and new in the collection.”
Pictured: Battlestar Galactica, Replica Wearable Colonial Viper Helmet Limited Edition 203/500, Plaque Autographed by Richard Hatch & Dirk Benedict, EFX 2011
The Collection of a Comic Con Director
This outstanding collection is now for offer, with a wonderful selection of action figures, model kits, autographed photographs, games and toys – from Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, Green Lantern, Thunderbirds and more.
The Collection of a Comic Con Director
Thursday 7 September | 6pm
View catalogue and bid online now
Theodore Bruce offers regular auctions of pop culture collectables. To stay informed, keep an eye on our Upcoming Auctions, or join our mailing list via the link below.
Pictured: Batman c. 1960 TV Production, Replica Batphone in Dome Case, Light & Sound Features