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The Value of Vintage Star Wars Action Figures

Updated on May 31, 2019
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This veteran writer has been on HubPages for a decade and has created over 100 original pieces.

Collectable Star Wars Figures


When looking to purchase vintage Star Wars figures you are best buying from an established site such as eBay or Amazon. These sites offer you protection and lessen the chance of you being scammed by unscrupulous sellers.

When dealing with sellers, PLEASE remember that most of these items will be without boxes and original packaging so if you are buying these to hold onto and sell at a later date. Then you will need the figures in perfect condition and its packaging to be original and in mint condition. All the action figures in this article are from the Vintage era (1977-1989).

The older figures are made by Kenner and the later ones are produced by Hasbro Toys. Hasbro Toys bought out Kenner but continued to use their license to produce toys based on the original trilogy of movies.


I have taken the time to look through a number of reputable sites and I am able to give a general overview of what you can expect to pay or receive if you decide to trade. My one piece of advice is, if you have a mint condition vintage vehicle or action figure get it valued by an expert just for peace of mind, especially when it comes to insurance. To replace your collectables can get ridiculously expensive and tracking them down is a hard and time consuming task..Also, some home insurance policies might not pay out on collectables unless they are appraised.


Star Wars logo
Star Wars logo
Photo A : Luke Skywalker
Photo A : Luke Skywalker

Common Collectables.


Let us start with one of the main characters from the original trilogy. This is the Luke Skywalker (Photo A) Jedi action figure. This figure was very popular and as you can see, Luke is dressed entirely in black. The figure will also have a cloak and his right arm will have a green light sabre that will slide down his arm or attach to his hand. (This will depend on which film this toy was released to coincide with.)

Generally the eBay site lists start this product at about £0.99 but postage will usually be £1 plus for packaging.

You may pick it up for under £5.00 depending on if it's highly desired. At this price, you should expect it to be well used. As Luke is the main character a lot of people would have had him so his value will never go through the roof. All the original trilogy Luke figures are effectively the same. You will notice some figures have him wearing a glove over his mechanical arm (Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi era). This variation starts to increase the price but not by a huge amount.


Photo B - Farmer Luke Skywalker
Photo B - Farmer Luke Skywalker

Original Luke Skywalker Figure


There is of course the original Luke Skywalker figure (Photo B), this is often called the farm boy figure. This figure was one of the first action figures to be released, the right arm will have a yellow light sabre. This is an Episode IV figure before Luke becomes a true Jedi. To find this figure loose and in good condition is quite rare. Expect to pay a minimum of £8-10 plus postage for a loose version. Don`t pay over the odds if it is not boxed. I would personally adopt a conservative strategy in order to get this figure. Place reasonable bids on bulk buys on eBay.

You never know you may get lucky with something even rarer being included. Some people either do not realize or just don't care what they give away at times. Their lack of care could become your good fortune. So feel free to smirk to yourself if you find this one among a pile of Star Wars collectables.


Photo C -Darth Vadar
Photo C -Darth Vadar


We can't have an article on Star Wars collectables without mentioning the villain of the original trilogy. Here we have Darth Vader (Photo C). This figure came out around 1977- this figure should come with a cloak and a red light sabre on his right arm. These figures were quite common and they are quite a regular sight on many auction sites. If my memory serves me, I think everyone at my school had at least 3 or 4 in their collection. I would expect bidding would start at £0.99 and postage would be £1 plus.

You should be able to pick one up a loose figure for £5 but with packaging they are getting expensive. I would not pay any more than that without packaging. Again I would suggest that you look out on eBay for bulk sales. I am sure that you could pick up this figure and other rarer figures for about £10.


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Rare Star Wars Action Figures


One of my favourite rarities is the Vinyl Cape Jawa, 1978. These figures initially came with a vinyl cape, but Kenner decided to change it to a simple cloth one. If you have one of these rare collectables then its average market price is $2,000.


Next we have the Rocket Firing Boba Fett, from 1980. Despite what Kenner state, the initial release of this figure had a rocket that actually fired. This was a big no-no on the safety for kids toys. This was later changed to a solid fixed missile version. One drawback of this figure is that it had a piece that was often lost by children when played with, as a result they are often not found complete. This health and safety violating figure is now very rare and is worth between $1,000-$2,000 if complete. So it is well worth looking out for!


Blue Snaggletooth, 1978 the only visual resource they had for the character Snaggletooth was a limited black-and-white photograph of the character's head. With very little information to go on. The Kenner employees did their best and just made an approximation of what was needed. They got it totally wrong and the figure got got scrapped very quickly. This figures value is $400 but has potential to go a lot higher due to the story and its rarity.



We have to remember that these figures were designed as toys and not to be collected by fans reliving their youth a few decades down the line. If you come across any of these figures out of the box, you will have to realise that they will not be perfect. That said even if you find a rocket firing Boba Fett out of the box it could be extremely valuable. If it has been played with, it adds to the story of the object and most collectors know the chances of finding a rare figure in an unopened package is highly unlikely.

The next time you scour the internet, go to a car boot, garage sale or visit a flea market. It is worth keeping an eye out for such figures and vehicles. Granted they may not fetch the top of the range prices but finding four rare figures in a used condition is an achievement and they still have value among many collectors throughout the world. Such is the continued appeal of the Star Wars Universe these figures will continue to hold value.


© 2010 Andrew Stewart

Comments

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    • profile image

      Hellas 

      4 years ago

      A Jawa without the authentic, vinyl cape is worth $10, maybe. Without the vinyl cape, it's not worth much, I'm afraid.

    • Asp52 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Stewart 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi G Train even without the vinyl cape it might be worth a couple of hundred dollars. Obviously the condition will have to be quite good to see anything substantial. The figure is the second rarest figure from the original issue. There was a lot of attempted forgeries with that particular figure so it is maybe worth getting it authenticated.

    • profile image

      g train 

      8 years ago

      i have what i believe to be an original 1977 jawa with vinyl cape minus the cape... is it worth anything?

      cheers

    • profile image

      RW 

      8 years ago

      I have a luke skywalker with a head from Empire Strikes Back but body from Return of the Jedi. Anyone have any idea what it's worth?

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