Odds are, if you’re reading this, you own at least one Star Wars toy. Maybe it’s a wind-up pod racer from a Taco Bell kids meal, a Jango Fett lovingly snapped up at a Toys R Us Midnight Madness, or maybe even a hand-me-down Chewie from the original toy line. Whatever it is, you’ve still got it, and whenever your parents, your friends or even your spouse gave you grief about it, you have probably justified owning it with that classic line “Hey, it might be worth something some day.”
Maybe you had a friend make a few bucks off a lunch box at a garage sale. Maybe you saw that Comic Book Men where that guy sold those Star Wars ships to buy his girlfriend a plane ticket. Or maybe, just maybe, you heard tell of those really rare pieces; those elusive eBay listings, the stuff of legend, where a tiny piece of plastic could pay off a person’s student loans. But how would you find the droids folks are looking for? We here at CBR compiled a list, based on auction results and successful eBay listings to determine some of the most valuable Star Wars collectibles of all time. Is one of them sitting in your storage unit?
15 NEW YORK I LOVE LEGO YODA
The Toys R Us in Times Square was a magical place for the young at heart, and seeing its iconic ferris wheel replaced by racks of clothes is our generation’s “paved paradise to put up a parking lot.” It’s enough to make you want to cling to every souvenir you ever had from the place. You know, unless that souvenir could make you some serious bank.
If you were one of the lucky few to check out the life-sized Lego X-Wing when it debuted at the flagship store, and were one of the first 1000 to purchase an X-Wing playset that day, TRU tossed in an exclusive mini figure of Yoda wearing a shirt with a spin on the classic New York tourism slogan. Given the limited availability of the figure, plus the confluence of both Star Wars and Lego collectors, this free giveaway has been known to go for as high as $450.
14 BLUE SNAGGLETOOTH
Known in the now-non-canon works as Zutton, you may recognize Snaggletooth from the original Star Wars film, but you might have a harder time recognizing him from the 1978 Sears exclusive "Star Wars Cantina Adventure Set," where the short, red-adorned creature was depicted as tall, accessorized and most notably, decked out in blue.
This was due to toy company Kenner working only off of a black and white set photo. They were quick to correct the error, and every figure from 1979 was proportional and color corrected, with shorter legs to adjust the character's height. Still, those who purchased the original Cantina set, or mailed away for the Greedo/Snaggletooth two-pack, can sell the mis-colored creature for up to $700.
13 SMALL HEAD HAN SOLO
One of the most notable re-dos in the history of Kenner’s Star Wars line is the switch from what is currently referred to as “small head Han” to “big head Han.” The body sculpts remained the same between the two figures, but evidently Kenner was unhappy with how little their Han Solo figure resembled Harrison Ford, both in terms of facial attributes and hair style. So, they pulled the figure and replace it with a new, much more accurate head.
Apparently, though, in all the effort for accuracy, they forgot about proportion, as the new Han seems like the missing link between action figure and Pop! vinyl. For those with the original, proportional Han Solo in his original packaging, they can fetch themselves as high as $1000 for it.
12 LUKE WITH TELESCOPING LIGHTSABER
In the Star Wars collectors circle, a DT Luke doesn’t mean a Jedi going through withdrawal. DT stands for Double Telescoping, and refers to the style of lightsaber present in the original design of the Kenner action figures. Originally, the extending plastic lightsaber built into the arm had a two stage process, first the thicker base would emerge, and then from it a thinner piece of plastic as the tip.
Due in part to the fragility of the end tip, its propensity to bend and the primarily high production cost involved with producing a double telescoping blade, Kenner changed the design in favor of a single plastic blade that extended from the arm, though this design choice ultimately resulted in a shorter saber. Even some of the early redesigned figures were still held in packaging depicted the DT blade. But if you’ve got an original DT Luke in the original packaging, you’re looking at a cool $1000.
11 SDCC EXCLUSIVE HOLOGRAPHIC DARTH MAUL FUNKO POP
Is it really a Comic Con if you haven’t walked past an excessively long line of people with hand-trucks full of tiny plastic protective cases and thought “Man, Funko Pop people are weird”? Well, you might judge them a little less when you realize how much some of these lil' convention-exclusive guys can go for. Then go right back to judging when you realize that means somebody is paying that much for them, but hey, somebody’s making out.
In this case, a 2012 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive Holographic Darth Maul has the distinction of being the most valuable Star Wars Pop on the second-hand market. As of this writing, a bidding war on eBay has driven the price of one particular Darth Maul up to $1,500, but some have gone for as high as $1,850.
Saelt-Marae has only had two appearances in the official canon, his first a brief appearance onscreen in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi. It was during production of the film that Marae was given the nickname Yak Face. His real name wouldn’t come until a decade later in the 1997 Star Wars Trilogy Sourcebook, Special Edition. But by then, Yak Face had become infamous.
In 1985, Kenner produced an action figure of Yak Face, only to find themselves with boxes of the toy and nowhere to send him once the Star Wars toy line had been cancelled. Kenner’s solution was to send the excess figures to Canada and some European countries, but never formally released the figure in the United States. As such, a mint condition Yak Face in box can fetch a seller up to $2,300.
9 R2-D2 LUNCHBOX
Kenner wasn’t the only one who had their hands on the Star Wars license. In fact, the King Seeley Thermos Company had plans to make some lucky kids of 1977 the coolest kids in school with an R2-D2 lunch box, complete with zip off head to store food or even your Star Wars action figures. Pretty cool, huh? Gonna scrounge around in the attic and see if your dad had one?
Well, that would probably only happen if your dad was a retailer who received Thermos prototypes in 1977. For unknown reasons, the King Seeley Thermos Company decided not to move ahead with production, and only 12 prototypes, accompanied by retailer literature, were ever produced. If you do lay your hands on what the Star Wars Collector’s Archive dubs the “holy grail of Star Wars lunch box items,” you can nab yourself $2,600 on the secondary market.
We’re not going to fault you for not knowing Vlix. Hell, thanks to the culling of the canon Disney did prior to The Force Awakens, Vlix doesn’t even exist anymore. But back in the ‘80s, he did on a little show called Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO, a show that had more colons in its title than it did seasons.
As such, Kenner was stuck having produced Droids merchandise after the show’s cancellation, so they took what figures they’d made of the villainous Vlix, and the figure only found its way onto the market via Kenner’s Brazilian distributor Glasslite. As such, a mint-in-box Vlix fetches as much as $4000 on the secondhand market. The creators of the show are aware of the rarity, and even retroactively gave Vlix the last name of Oncard in an interview with Polyhedron magazine as a reference to his most valuable condition.
7 OBI-WAN/DARTH VADER WITH TELESCOPING LIGHTSABER
On the secondary market, a DT (double telescoping) Luke Skywalker will fetch you around $1K. Yet, both Luke’s Dad and his father figure prove to be far more valuable, each fetching up to seven times that amount. The Kenner double telescoping Darth Vader and double telescoping Obi-Wan are far rarer than Luke, each fetching up to $7000 on the secondary market if they’re mint-in-box.
Luke was obviously the star of the film, so Kenner produced and released a good deal more of the figure, as part of what was dubbed an “early bird” release, before recalling their supply and replacing the double telescoping blade with a single. As such, there’s simply far more Lukes on the market, diminishing his comparative value, and making Vader and Obi-Wan much harder to find.
6 14K GOLD LEGO C-3PO
This is perhaps the single most valuable Star Wars Lego figure, not just because of its rarity but for the material used to make it. In the spring of 2007, Lego Magazine featured a contest for the 30th anniversary of the original film offering a Willy Wonka-esque contest explaining that 10,000 random gold metabolized C-3PO mini-figures were hidden in random Lego sets.
Of course, the top prize was even more exclusive. Like the famous Golden Ticket in the aforementioned story, five lucky kids, drawn at random, would with a solid 14-karat gold C-3PO mini figure. With only five produced, very few have shown up on the secondary market. What has appeared has commanded a hefty $10,000 price tag. Too rich for your blood? That’s fine, you can scoop up a Bronze Boba Feat mini figure for half that, at an average of only $5000. Cheap at half the price!
We’ve talked a lot about Kenner and the American Star Wars merchandise, but Star Wars was a global phenomenon. Other countries had their own Star Wars collectibles and, naturally, their own rare figures. In the United Kingdom, the most expensive Star Wars action figure sold at auction wasn’t Luke or Chewie, but FX-7, the medical droid that healed Luke in Empire Strikes Back.
Nobody’s really sure why a mint version of this innocuous character, produced by the UK toy company Palitoys, sold for as high as it did on February 18th, 2014 at Vectis Auctions. Maybe it was because of the lesser availability of the character compared to some other figures (though it's certainly more common than, say, Vlix or Yak Face), maybe it was because of the pristine condition of the package. Hell, maybe it was just because it resembled Doctor Who’s Daleks. All that’s certain is two rabid bidders once set the price of this figure at £7000 ($11,500).
4 STAR WARS #1, 35¢ VARIANT
It may seem like all the most valuable Star Wars collectibles are of the action figure variety, but one comic book has risen through the ranks to be one of the consistently most high selling Star Wars collectibles, all because of a slightly different cover. Yes, that’s right: for once a variant cover does have real value.
Just as Marvel was getting set to release the first issue of their adaptation of the original film, they toyed around with the idea of increasing their cover price from 30¢ to 35¢, and covers featuring the new prices were printed but only sent to four cities: Memphis, Toledo, Tuscaloosa and Wilmington. Of the estimated 1,500 35¢ issues printed, only a third are believed to exist today. If you’ve got an original 35¢ issue, and not a reprint, you’re holding in your hands $13,600 worth of comic book.
3 2007 LEGO MILLENIUM FALCON
Some of the most valuable Star Wars merchandise comes when you cross two groups of collectors, and there are few fan bases more devoted than Lego collectors. Now, you may have heard of that new Lego Millennium Falcon hitting stores for a hefty $800, clocking in at 7541 pieces. That may sound like a hefty price tag, but if history repeats itself, it will be well worth it.
In 2007, Lego introduced the Millennium Falcon into its Ultimate Collectors Series at a price tag of $499.99. Designed to scale with the included mini-figures, it was at the time the largest Lego set ever produced. Those fans who purchased a first edition through Lego.com may have even received a Certificate of Authenticity. Those who still have the piece, and fought the urge to build it, leaving it mint, can fetch up to $16,000 on the secondary market.
2 VINYL JAWA
Talking to action figure collectors, the words “vinyl Jawa” might be heard in hushed silence, spoken with eagerness and intrigue. Folks may not know about Vlix or small head Han, but everybody knows about the rarity of the Vinyl Cape Jawa, making it one of the most sought-after collectibles, as well as one of the most valuable.
When Kenner first introduced the Jawa into their toy line, it featured a clock made from the same thin vinyl as that used for Vader and Obi-Wan. However, Kenner worried the consumer would be outraged at paying the same price for a smaller figure as they did for the full-sized characters, so they replaced the vinyl with a cloth material to add a sense of value. As such, these first wave of “Vinyl Jawas” have fetched as much as $18,000 in auctions.
1 ROCKET FIRING BOBA FETT
In some fan circles, Boba Fett is a contentious character. Some argue that he’s beloved more because he “looks cool” than for anything he actually did in the films (which isn’t much). But whether you think his movie version is tough or not, his plastic counterpart was certainly plenty dangerous.
Supposedly, the first wave of Empire Strikes Back figures contained a Boba Fett with a missile-launching backpack. A quick thinking Kenner realized a tiny projectile in a children’s toy was a lawsuit waiting to happen, and upon re-release, Boba Fett’s missile was glued into the backpack. This rare incarnation of the iconic character can now reach up to $22,500 on the secondary market, which is a pretty big price tag for an item Kenner still officially maintains never existed.
Can you think of any more expensive Star Wars toys? If so, let us know in the comments!