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The Modern Day Value of My Vintage Star Wars Action Figures?
When looking to purchase a vintage Star Wars figure 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 when they get even rarer you need the figures and packaging in mint condition. All the action figures in this hub are from the Vintage era (1977-1989). The older figures are made by Kenner and later ones are produced by Hasbro Toys. Hasbro Toys bought out Kenner but continued to use their license to produce toys based on the movies.
I have taken the time to look through a number of reputable sites and I am able to give you 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 collectibles 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.
I shall 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 sees Luke dressed in black. The figure will have a cloak and his right arm will have a green light saber that will slide down his arm or attach to his hand( Depending on which film it was released to tie into). The eBay site lists start this product at 0.99 pence but postage will 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 much!
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 saber. This is an Episode IV figure before Luke becomes a true Jedi. Even finding an loose figure in good condition is 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 wiser 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 been 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 collectables.
Do you search out rare Star Wars items?
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 saber 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. 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.
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.
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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.