As The Last Jedi hits UK cinema screens today, toy hoarders would do well to check if they have any Star Wars figures dating back to when the films were originally a hit in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Research from voucher code website PromotionalCodes.org.uk has found that The Force could be with lucky collectors or grown-up kids who haven’t emptied their lofts in a while, as the most sought-after figures sell for close to £30,000 each.
In 2016, a rare 1970s Boba Fett figure sold, in its original box, for £26,040 at Vectis Auctions in Teeside. This followed sales of an RT-D2 figure from The Empire Strikes Back (1980) for £750, a 1977 Jawa fetched £620, while a 1980 packaged Yoda sold for £320.
For those heading up to the loft, PromotionalCodes says the most valuable figures are the ‘carded’ ones, which are still in their original packaging and on printed cardboard backing.
If they’ve been played with, making sure they have accessories – such as a blaster and cape for Princess Leia and a lightsaber for Luke Skywalker – will boost their value. The better the condition, the better the price.
Darren Williams of PromotionalCodes adds: “More than 300 million Star Wars action figures were sold between 1978 and 1985, so it’s safe to say there must be quite a lot that are still floating around in people’s possession.
“It’s hard to say which toy is the most valuable, since it all depends on things such as the condition of the toy, whether it still has its packaging and if so what condition that’s in and so on.
“But if you do have a 1970s or 80s toy, it could potentially be worth a lot, so channel your inner mercenary Han Solo and get it valued.”
The 10 rarest original Star Wars toys
The website has compiled a list of the 10 most collectible Star Wars toys as follows.
1. ‘Double telescoping lightsaber’ figures
The very first action figures of Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker had lightsabers that extended twice to full length. These were quickly replaced for cost reasons and because the lightsabers were highly breakable.
The Darth Vader double telescoping lightsaber figure is believed to be the rarest of the three, followed by Obi-Wan, and then Luke Skywalker.
2. Rocket firing Boba Fett
This toy is almost legendary. An early Boba Fett prototype had a rocket that fired from its back but did not go into mass production due to safety concerns.
3. ‘Small head’ Han Solo
The very first Han Solo was discontinued early for not bearing a close enough resemblance to Harrison Ford, and replaced by another version with a larger head.
4. Vinyl cape Jawa
The original ‘vinyl cape’ Jawa model from 1978 is another rarity, having been swiftly replaced with a cloth-caped version.
5. Blue Snaggletooth
When creating this toy back in the day, manufacturer Kenner had only a black and white headshot to work from. It decided to make the creature blue, but then in the film the alien wore red and was half the height. The original Blue Snaggletooth is a collector’s item.
6. Yak Face
This is especially valuable in America, where it was never sold. It was the last action figure to be made before the line ceased in 1985.
7. FX-7 Medical Droid
It had just a few seconds of screen time in The Empire Strikes Back, but this model is a jewel for collectors.
This little-known character is from the Star Wars spin-off show Droids. It is very rare - only one line of the Vlix model was produced, in Brazil.
9. 1985 Anakin Skywalker
There have been numerous recent Anakin Skywalker dolls, but the 1985 original is a rare collector’s item.
10. White cloaked Bib Fortuna
The Bib Fortuna figure had a brown cloak, but a few prototypes with white ones were produced.