In a galaxy far, far away, there were thousands of houses with action figures and lunch boxes haphazardly strewn around in their attics bearing the globally recognizable emblem for the iconic late-70s film, Star Wars. If you grew up in the late 1970s, you probably considered yourself your middle school's Star Wars collector and asked for every new piece of Star Wars merch when holidays and birthdays rolled around. Yet, before you start spring cleaning in your childhood home, take the chance to look through those old lightsabers and Boba Fett action figures to see if you've got a valuable piece just collecting dust.
The World of Star Wars Collectibles
Star Wars is one of the most famous fantasy sci-fi film series to ever be released, and with new installments continuing to be added throughout the millennium, new collectibles surrounding these exciting characters are constantly being manufactured by the millions every year. However, serious Star Wars collectors tend to gravitate towards the earliest merchandise manufactured in the wake of the first series that was released between 1977 and 1983.
By the final film's release in 1983 to close out this initial trilogy, there was a massive marketing campaign creating millions of pieces of merchandise for kids and adults alike. Interestingly, not much of this early merchandise is considered highly collectible due in large part to the prolific number of products that lined toy store's shelves. Yet, there're a few key pieces that your parents or grandparents might have lying around in the boxes of their childhood things for you to keep an eye out for.
Most Popular Collectibles: Action Figures
Generally, the most valuable collectibles from this period in Star Wars history are unique action figures, manufactured by the American toy company, Kenner. Most of these are considered highly valuable thanks to their rarity; some were released as early promotional items and others were manufacturing failures that were only created in small batches. Either way, these are some of the Star Wars collectibles you shouldn't let pass you by.
Double Telescoping Action Figures
One of the first few action figures that were released to promote Star Wars: A New Hope was a collection of main characters from the film. Characters like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Obi-Wan Kenobi came with two-piece collapsible lightsabers. These double telescoping lightsaber action figures had a limited run before single-body lightsabers took their place, and the original figures can sell for thousands of dollars. In 2017, a carded (meaning the action figure was still in the plastic and cardboard case) Obi-Wan Kenobi sold for $65,000. In this same lot, a double-telescoping Darth Vader sold for $55,000.
Blue Snaggletooth Action Figure
The original Snaggletooth figure was a part of the 1978 Star Wars Cantina Adventure Set from Sears as well as featured in a mail-in pack with the figure Greedo. However, this original blue uniformed figurine was quickly replaced by a red suited one in 1979. Thus, these blue Snaggletooths are rather rare, and can sell for a couple hundred dollars at the very least.
Han Solo Small Head Action Figure
Another valuable action figure is the disproportionately small headed Han Solo toy. Released in 1977, the figure includes a blaster gun that's nearly double the size of his head. Comically small, this tiny-headed figure reportedly sells for around $1,000 according to average eBay sales.
Mail-in Boba Fett
Another early action figure was the mail-in Boba Fett that was released in the first film's immediate wake. While these can fetch a substantial amount of money on their own, a 1979 prototype of a rocket firing Boba Fett action figure sold for a little over $70,000.
Expensive Star Wars Collectibles
Despite these early collectibles' nostalgic value, they don't actually amount to being the most valuable Star Wars collectibles ever sold. In fact, the most valuable collectibles from the sci-fi franchise aren't actually pieces of merchandise; rather, they're normally props from the films or specialty Lego sets that are no longer available, though the occasional action figure can make its way onto the list.
Here are some of the most expensive Star Wars collectibles ever sold:
Star Wars is one of the most popular cultural phenomena of the 20th century, and avid collectors have built a massive international community where they share information and trade their wares with one another. If you want to be the first to know about anything dealing with Star Wars collectibles, such as release dates for merchandise and upcoming auctions, head on over to Star Wars Collector. It's the number one place to make connections with fellow fans and get information from both a buyer and a seller's point-of-view.
These Collectibles Strike Back
The joy of collecting things related to your favorite pieces of media doesn't go away as you get older. In fact, you can continue to foster that celebration of the things you loved as a child and continue to love into your adulthood by collecting and trading Star Wars collectibles yourself. And if you're really into media and pop culture collectibles, consider branching out into Funko Pop collecting (which also includes some Star Wars figures). They're fun, and rare Funko Pops might be a good investment, too, if you choose the right ones.