03 November 2017
The next installment of the Star Wars saga hits the cinema on 15 December with the release of The Last Jedi, and as the film story continues so does the market for merchandise!
The next installment of the Star Wars saga hits the cinema on 15 December with the release of The Last Jedi, and as the film story continues so does the market for merchandise! The most sought after items stem from the original film trilogy of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi - it is hard to believe these all started back in 1977.
Kenner was the first company to be given a license to produce toy related merchandise and came up with the new idea of a 3 and 3/4 inch action figure. Remarkably, and probably somewhat disappointingly, they did not have any in production in time for the 1977 Star Wars Christmas bonanza. They soon caught up however with the original release of 12 figures including those well known characters Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO, Han Solo and Darth Vader himself.
By the time the original film trilogy was over in 1985, and was beginning to fade from memory, a total of 99 figures had been produced. The most sought after of these being the first 12 and last 17 The Power of The Force figures which include one of the most collectable - an R2-D2 with pop up sabre.
While the highest prices are for figures still on their original packing cards, with some rare variants fetching up to £20,000, it is very unusual to find all original 99 figures together and complete with their original accessories.
Such a collection has turned up at Sheffield Auction Gallery and is to be sold as a single auction lot on 30 November, with a guide price of £2,500 plus. The collection was put together over a number of years by a private collector from Yorkshire.
Auctioneer and Specialist Valuer John Morgan said: 'Although not unique the fact we have all 99 original figures together and being sold as a single lot is very rare in the current market. We are expect significant interest from around the world as the Star Wars brand is truly international'. ■