Whether characterized as Xenoarchaeology—the study of science fiction cultures through the artifacts they leave behind—or simply an astounding fascination with memorabilia themed around “a galaxy far, far away,” Rob Maxam is an authority..
Maxam is the successful vice president of sales for Sub Zero and Wolf Luxury Appliances for the Southeast. For more than 20 years, Maxam has been equipping the homes of celebrities, athletes and the affluent with what he terms the “Ferraris of kitchen appliances.”
After hours however, Rob spends time with wife Donna and their kids Jake, Madisen and Mackenzie—and entertains his guiltless obsession collecting paraphernalia associated with the greatest science fiction series in film, Star Wars.
During a tour of his “man cave” in his spacious home in Alpharetta, Rob provided humorous commentary on how his home office walls became adorned with hundreds of figures, statues, authentic helmets, posters, weapons and even clocks themed from George Lucas’ ingenious cinematic creations.
How Rob’s collection was launched: “It all started after a conversation I had with a friend and how we both agreed that Star Wars was the best movie ever created. The next day he gave me a box that had some brand new Star Wars figures inside. I couldn’t believe they still were making these toys even though the movie had ended a decade earlier. The next day I went to the local Wal-Mart and Toys-R-Us and discovered a whole section dedicated to the movie, so I bought a couple pieces, and then the next week, and so on.”
Where Rob shops: “I went online and discovered that you could go to conventions all over the country like Comic-Con, Dragon Con, International Toy and the FX [Vintage Toy] Show. These shows are where serious collectors and fans go to meet the actual actors from the original movie and trade with other collectors from around the world. This is where I found the original figures still in mint condition; a whole new world of expense was introduced into my world. I travel to these shows periodically and add all types of figures and props to my collection. I also have bought display fixtures from stores that go out of business that can house the figures in a museum-like setting.”
Rob on his favorite items from his collection: “My favorite pieces are the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. Boba Fett is the baddest bounty hunter in the galaxy and very sought after by collectors.”
Rob on how much he has invested in his collection: “I basically know how much money I have spent but for the sake of keeping my marriage intact, I have declined to tell anyone. Some people have a 401K plan, I have plastic action figures.”
Rob’s favorite Star Wars episode: “My favorite episode is the original movie from 1977, A New Hope. I was 13 at the time of the original release and the first time I saw Darth Vader walk into the scene, I was hooked. My younger brother was also hooked and we bought tremendous amounts of the toy figures as kids. We look back now and cry at how many of those figures we blew up with firecrackers or shot with our BB guns. Now I spend thousands for what I used to pay a couple dollars for.
Maxam is dedicated to continually building on his mind-blowing Star Wars memorabilia; he couldn’t wait to show off his newest addition: A six-foot-long replica of the Millennium Falcon spaceship which takes up the majority of the room’s floor space adjacent to his home office. But there is something else that has him more eager and excited than a toddler before Christmas.
“Man, I can’t wait for it,” Maxam says at the mention of the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens set to hit the screens on December 18. “No lie, I got the last set of tickets for me and my three kids before the website crashed, so we are booked for the theater. It was destiny.”
Referring to the Regal Avalon 12 theaters based in the burgeoning Avalon not far from his residence, Maxam’s grueling test of patience is finally over; consistent sales of his world-class Sub-Zero & Wolf Appliances mercifully kept him busy.
What Rob has planned for the future: “My future plans are to convert the rest of the basement into the ultimate Star Wars man cave. I am going to make a poker table that will have Han Solo in carbonite as the playing surface, convert the home theater area into the Death Star control room, and light all the areas with different colored light sabers. Once my wife reads this, I will be living in the basement anyways.
“As for the collection, I plan to continue focusing on completing the original released figures from the first three movies and to continue purchasing artwork that can be displayed throughout the man cave.”