Posted by Laura Parsons on May 4th, 2017.
Forty years after the first Star Wars film was released, the franchise has only gained in popularity. With The Force Awakens and Rogue One introducing the galaxy to a whole new generation, memorabilia connected to episodes IV, V and VI is selling for a premium.
If you showed extreme foresight in the 70’s and 80’s and kept your Star Wars toys in good condition, you could be sitting on a very handsome investment. With some collectables fetching thousands of Pounds, your Star Wars relics could help you enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle or even fund your retirement.
One man recently claimed that his Star Wars toy collection was worth £40,000, enough to pay for any number of foreign holidays or help finance a move overseas in his later years.
If you’ve got children, you may want to hold onto your items and leave them as a potentially sizable inheritance. In the view of several Star Wars experts, the popularity and desirability of vintage items is only set to grow.
Age obviously plays a part. Toys and promotional material connected to A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are rarer and so in greater demand than those linked to the 90’s reboot films – The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. According to an article from The Richest all ten of the most valuable Star Wars collectables relate to the original films and you can currently buy collectables connected to episodes 1-3 on Ebay for as little as a couple of Pounds.
Condition is also crucial, with unopened figurines and playsets being the most sought after. Although boxed, mint condition items tend to achieve the highest prices, even unboxed merchandise can be worth hundreds of Pounds to the right buyer. If you’re not sure how to classify the condition of your collectable, check out the handy guide below.
Mint/Like New – A collectable in mint or like new condition is expected to be presented in original, undamaged packaging and be, for all intents and purposes, in as good a condition as when it was originally retailed.
Near Mint – The term applied to items which almost match up with the conditions of Mint classification, some very minor scratching to packaging or a tiny dent could mean the difference between an item being classed as either mint or near mint.
Excellent – With an item in ‘excellent’ condition buyers tend to be a little more forgiving about wear or minor damage, such as a bend in the cardboard backing of a figurine.
If you want to command top price for your collectables they’ll need to fit into one of the classifications outlined above. Items in a condition deemed Very Good, Good or Fair may still be worth more than their original ticket price though so don’t condemn them to the car boot!
Used – This is another term you’ll need to be familiar with if you’re hoping to sell your Star Wars collectables. Used is usually applied to memorabilia removed from its packaging and played with. There are different grades of ‘Used’ so be sure to specify whether your item is used but in good condition or used with wear.
Character is another determining factor in the value of Star Wars collectable. As you’ll see from the list of most valuable Star Wars memorabilia below, original figurines of iconic characters like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are highly sort after. However, as toys related to more obscure characters tended to be produced in smaller numbers and have a lower survival rate, they can also command a premium. Further to this, the production run of a piece is another factor to be aware of. Some of the most in-demand memorabilia today had a very limited production run – generally because the item proved unpopular, difficult to manufacture or had design defects.
Here we look at the collectables currently commanding the highest price in Pounds (super fans can feel free to work out the Pound to Druggat exchange rate).
As one of the first Star Wars figurines produced back in 1978, the Luke Skywalker figure is enduringly popular. Packaged versions of the protagonist of the first three films sell for an average of £1500.
The force is strong in this one. A 1978 Palitoy Darth Vader figurines in its original packaging is typically valued between £1500 and £2000, with one recently listed on Ebay at £2150.
More valuable than the Vader toy listed above is the early bird action figure from 1978 with the telescoping lightsaber accessory. As the lightsaber action was considered too fragile the concept was abandoned before the next round of figures were released. As only a few hundred figures of this variety are believed to have been produced, mint condition versions tend to retail for around £4000.
This item was produced in the 1980s but was quickly taken off shelves amid concerns children would choke on the small hazardous pieces. A rocket firing Boba Fett in mint condition could achieve £1500.
When Jawa action figures were first produced their capes were made of a thin vinyl material. However, concerns that the vinyl made the item look cheap saw the cape quickly replaced with a fabric one. The scarcity of the vinyl caped Jawa’s makes them worth between £1000 and £1500.
As so few posters advertising the release of the first Star Wars film have survived, these are now fetching between £1000 and £1500.
While the US version of the Death Star Playset was made of plastic, the version reproduced for the UK market was primarily cardboard in design. With the toy being made of such flimsy materials, its survival rate was understandably low, which helps makes the piece command such a high price.
Earlier in 2015 a mint condition Death Star Playset sold for £4400. But if you own a used version of the popular item don’t give it up as lost – a used Palitoy Death Star Playset recently for sale on Ebay reached £265 two days before the auction closed and had 96 people watching it!
According to auction records, one of the best-selling Star Wars items of all time was The Empire Strikes Back Palitoy 30B Boba Fett, which went for £18,000 after commission. As most surviving Boba Fett figures were produced by US company Kenner, any created by the UK’s Palitoy are considerably more valuable.
At the time, a representative from Vectis auction house stated; ‘Interestingly, the £18,000 figure for Boba would have been sufficient to pay Harrison Ford for his role as Han Solo in A New Hope, with enough left over for Chewbacca or Darth Vader!’
So, if your Star Wars memorabilia isn’t in pride of place, get up in the attic and have a rummage around for those toys you snapped up as a youngling – you could be sitting on a goldmine! If in doubt about what your horde is worth, contact a specialist toy auctioneer like Vectis for advice. Always remember, your focus determines your reality – and your reality could be a lot more comfortable with the help of Star Wars related earnings.
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