From posters to helmets, Star Wars collectibles up for auction

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The prototype of an Imperial Stormtrooper helmet of 1976 is displayed at Sotheby's, as part of the Star Wars auction in London, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (AP/Alberto Pezzali)
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A Sotheby's employee holds a Star Wars Imperial Stormtrooper helmet of 1976 as part of the auction in London, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (AP/Alberto Pezzali)
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A Sotheby's employee holds a C-3PO helmet of 1983 as part of the Star Wars auction in London, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (AP/Alberto Pezzali)
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A Sotheby's employee looks at the original Star Wars posters as part of the auction in London, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (AP/Alberto Pezzali)
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A Sotheby's employee adjusts 'The Empire Strikes Back' Special character gauge of 1978-79, as part of the Star Wars auction in London, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (AP/Alberto Pezzali)
Updated 06 December 2019

From posters to helmets, Star Wars collectibles up for auction

  • “Star Wars Online” features more than 100 items dating back decades, with prices ranging from 100 to 60,000 pounds
  • The online sale began last week and runs until Dec. 13.

LONDON: From vintage posters to action figures, Star Wars collectibles are up for grabs in an online auction, days ahead of the release of the sci-fi saga’s highly-anticipated ninth chapter.
“Star Wars Online” features more than 100 items dating back decades, with prices ranging from 100 to 60,000 pounds, according to auction house Sotheby’s.
Among the memorabilia is a prototype Imperial Stormtrooper helmet from 1976, which as an estimated price tag of 30,000 — 60,000 pounds ($38,490 — $76,980). A toy shop display of “The Empire Strikes Back” figures and Millennium Falcon ship is priced at 7,000 — 10,000 pounds.
A 1976 poster designed to promote the first “Star Wars” film “A New Hope” and signed by actor Mark Hamill has a price tag of 5,000 — 8,000 pounds.
It “has taken over a year to put together pieces from all over the world, combining film, original film posters, original concept, art works, props, toys,” Bruce Marchant, film poster consultant for Sotheby’s, told Reuters.
The online sale began last week and runs until Dec. 13.
The film, “The Rise of Skywalker,” begins its cinema roll-out from Dec. 18.


Bad week for Mexico tourism capped by mis-translations

Updated 08 August 2020

Bad week for Mexico tourism capped by mis-translations

  • The snafu has prompted former president Felipe Calderón to write in his Twitter account: “Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!”
  • Local media reports say the errors may have been introduced by a web services supplier angry about not being paid

MEXICO CITY: It has been a bad week for Mexican tourism promotion, and it got worse Friday when the English language version of the country’s tourism website appeared with hilarious mis-translations.
Entire states like Hidalgo and Guerrero apparently got machine translated as “Noble” and “Warrior.”
Worse for the VisitMexico.com site, there was systematic and inexplicable re-invention of the names of some fairly well-known tourist towns. The Caribbean resort of Tulum somehow became “Jumpsuit.” The nearby lagoon of Bacalar, on the Caribbean coast, was switched to the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
The snafu came one day after the US State Department cited the high number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico for issuing a “do not travel” advisory for the country, its highest level of warning. Hours earlier, the resort of Acapulco was forced to pull “anything goes” tourism ads that showed people partying without masks and the words “there are no rules.”
But the problems at VisitMexico.com drew howls of hilarity — and anger. The Pacific coast resort of Puerto Escondido became “Hidden Port,” a literal translation, and the northern city of Torreon became “Turret,” which is kind of close.
Some name changes were just inexplicable and appeared to have as much to do with invention as simple translation. The central Mexican town of Aculco somehow became “I Blame,” and the northern Gulf coast city of Ciudad Madero became “Log.”
“Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!” former President Felipe Calderón wrote in his Twitter account.
Mexico’s Tourism Department issued a statement apologizing for the apparently out-sourced errors, but then made it sound like something sinister had been involved.
“The Tourism Department expresses its most sincere apologies to the public and users for the effects that have occurred on the website VisitMexico,” the statement said. “Moreover, we make it known that these acts aim to damage the image of the website and the department, and so therefore a criminal complaint has been filed and appropriate legal actions will be taken against those responsible.”
The department did not explain that claim, but local media reported the dispute might involve a web services supplier angry about not being paid.
On Thursday, officials took down a pair of Acapulco video ads touting the faded resort’s reputation as a nightclubbing spot — despite the fact nightclubs are currently closed to enforce social distancing. They said the ads weren’t appropriate during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have stopped being a postcard from the past, today we have changed the rules,” says a narration in one of the videos. “In fact, there are no rules,” says another voice, as people can be seen eating bizarre meals and going out to night clubs. “Eat whatever you want, have fun day and night and into the early morning hours ... find new friends and new loves.”