Michael Bird

President & CEO, Spindustry Digital
Collector of ‘Star Wars’ Memorabilia

 Many people’s basements are used as a second family room or a place for the washer and dryer. Michael Bird’s basement -- nearly every square inch of it, to be exact -- displays a hobby he’s had since he was 4.

“I’m a very passionate person about brands and culture,” said Bird, the 42-year-old president and CEO of Spindustry Digital. “When I get into stuff, I tend to get into it full-on.”

His father bought Bird his first figurine when he was 4 years old following the release of “Star Wars” in 1977. That tradition continued through the release of the other two movies in the original trilogy.

“One became a couple more, which became a couple more,” Bird said. “At the time, we didn’t have VCRs and DVDs. We had the storybooks and toys, and at the time, you didn’t know if you were ever going to see it again, so that’s what you had to remember it by.”

College slowed Bird’s purchasing a bit, but the re-release of the original trilogy in the 1990s -- followed by the three prequel films, which started to hit theaters in 1999 -- gave him momentum to get back to his hobby.

Now, it’s something Bird enjoys with his children. With the first of the last three movies of the “Star Wars” saga now in production, his collection likely is in for another growth spurt.

“It’s a brand that hasn’t dried up,” Bird said. “It’s a brand I’m still having fun with and the world’s having fun with. It’s always appealing to watch how it reinvents itself. How can you top that?”