30 April 2009
Star Wars is forever, or so it would appear. The vast amount of new merchandise on the market would seem to support that theory. But for the kids of 1977, who are the adult collectors of today, it will always be the original merchandise that is dear to their hearts. So, with that in mind, Jim Stevenson highlights a small selection of some of the coolest vintage Star Wars toys from the original movie. ...
The little hero of the Star Wars film, R2D2, has been reproduced many, many times. This particular example is unique! The talking R2D2 by Palitoy was exclusive to that company and was the only talking example ever produced at the time. You make him talk by pushing the panel in the front of his body. Palitoy must have been the only guys around to recognise the potential of having an actual talking R2D2. No wonder the piece is still sought after today. A mint in box example sells for up to £500.
R2D2 has a hand in this next item. He’s the hand control for the Kenner sonic control Land Speeder. This exclusive toy was only available through J.C. Penny stores in the States. It’s bigger than its more common little brother, and is much more desirable. Unfortunately, it has a strong tendency not to work which makes it all the more difficult to find one that actually does! But it’s still a brilliant toy. Value for a perfect, mint/boxed, fully working example, around £300-£600.
R2D2 was captured by a Jawa. This example is the very desirable 1st issue vinyl Cape Jawa. It was later released with a cloth cape, like the picture on the card, but it’s the vinyl cape version that fetches the highest price. Mint-on-card, a perfect example, will sell for £2,500 upwards.
R2D2 met up with his pal C3PO when the Jawas put them both into their mobile home, the Jawa Sandcrawler. This is a radio controlled toy produced by Kenner and what a fantastic toy it is. Very accurate in design to the actual special effects original model. Comes with hand-held control unit, and is still to this day one of my own favourite Star Wars toys. Mint-in-box, perfect, working examples can fetch up to £1,000.
And here’s another one of my own personal all-time favourites, the Sears exclusive MOS Eisley Cantina Adventure set. This piece features the exterior of the Cantina and should not be confused with the more common Creature Cantina which shows the interior bar area. Also with this set you get the figures of Hammerhead, Greedo, Walrusman and the rare Blue Snaggletooth which is exclusive to this set. The set is only a cardboard back-drop and base but I think it’s a great piece. Value for a perfect mint-boxed example, with all packing and paperwork, is £600-£800.
And, finally, what else but the Palitoy Death Star playset. When it’s all assembled (which is the hard part), it looks fantastic, with so many different play areas, kids were able to recreate so many scenes from the movie. However, being made out of cardboard, not many have survived intact and even less in ex-shop, mint-in-box condition. Therefore, if you want one in unused condition, expect to pay in excess of £3,000. Of course, lesser condition examples do sell for much less.