09 June 2022
Record set at Hake’s June 2 Star Wars speciality auction
The enduring, multigenerational appeal of Star Wars action figures and related collectibles was never more obvious than last night, as Hake’s first-ever Special Event Auction featuring memorabilia from the legendary franchise closed the books at $903,000. The online auction, whose final bid was received at 11:14 p.m., achieved a 100% sell-through rate and set multiple new world records in so doing. In Hake’s last two auctions, 500 lots of Star Wars material have sold for a combined $2.1 million.
“We’re very pleased with the results from our Star Wars Special Event Auction,” said Hake’s president Alex Winter. “Star Wars has become an important part of our premier events, accounting for a strong percentage of the auction totals. Choosing to hold a Star Wars-only auction was an easy decision because we know our customers are hungry for the cream of the crop from Star Wars collectibles.”
The predicted top item, a Boba Fett L-slot rocket-firing prototype, AFA 80+ NM, soared to a record-setting $236,000. This prototype is famous in collecting circles because it was pulled from Kenner’s 1979 Star Wars toyline when the rocket-firing aspect was deemed a choking hazard. The 3¾-inch figure is unpainted and has the L-slot mechanism (named for its shape).
“This sale set a new record for any rocket-firing Boba Fett prototype,” Winter said, pointing out that it beat the record Hake’s just set for a J-slot graded AFA 50, which sold for $204,435 in their March 2022 auction. “What makes that so incredible is that it’s not the rarer J-slot and it’s in a lower grade than other L-slots we’ve sold.”
One of the auction’s key rarities was the Jawa (vinyl cape), 12-back-A AFA 80 NM, that achieved $40,887, a world-record price for any Jawa figure. The 2¼-inch-tall figure comes on an unpunched card, wearing the initial vinyl cape. Later Jawas were repackaged with a cloth cape.
Every auction has a surprise, and on June 2nd that distinction went to a Hungarian bootleg Return of the Jedi Boba Fett AFA 50 Q-VG, which more than doubled its pre-auction estimate to command $20,768, a world auction record for that variety of Boba. Part of a series of 10 Hungarian figures released in 1987, it is recognizable for its smaller size, lack of copyright information, and the fact that it is made of lower-quality injection-molded plastic.
The Power of the Force Yak Face 92-back AFA 80 Y-NM realized $19,145, a world-record price for this particular figure in this grade. The 4-inch-tall figure with matching aluminum collector’s coin is from Kenner Canada’s 1985 line. It is considered the most desirable of the last 17 vintage figures and was only released in foreign outlets. It comes with provenance from the Doug McKibbon collection.
The 12 Action Figures display header, AFA 75 EX+/NM, brought $18,172. Measuring 11¾- by 35½ inches, the double-sided sign with “Star Wars Action Figures” text is accompanied by images of the first 12 action figures. This sizable display header was used as a shelf merchandiser for large store displays of the Kenner figures.
The earliest Star Wars figures were represented with the Early Bird Mailer Kit, AFA 80 NM, that sold for $15,576. It includes the original white mailing box, Luke Skywalker with a double-telescoping lightsaber, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and R2-D2, plus the foot pegs for the cardboard stage, all contained in baggies in the vacuform plastic tray. It also includes the mini-catalog and action stand offer paper.
The Early Bird Certificate Package, AFA 85 NM+, settled at $14,278. When Kenner couldn’t meet the demand for toys during the 1977 holiday season, they sent these Early Bird Certificate Packages in their stead. The stiff illustrated envelope contains the sealed kit with the cardboard stand, stickers, and a coupon to be redeemed for the first four figures.
The Toy Center store display, AFA 60 EX and measuring 24 by 40 inches long, surpassed its $10,000 estimate to reach $12,980. The double-sided die-cut cardboard display was released in 1979 and has holes in the top corners for hanging in toy department displays.
“Time and again we’ve set records for the rarest pieces, and in turn, we bring in more high-grade, desirable material, proving that Hake’s is the best place for Star Wars action figures and toys,” Winter said. “We’re always on the lookout for more Star Wars items for upcoming auctions, so we hope collectors who may have a desire to sell will reach out to us.”