By now, you probably know that I love stories about vintage memorabilia, especially when they’ve sold at auction for a whopping amount. Just last week, I came across such a story about a rare Star Wars figure that auctioned off for quite a nice price for one lucky collector.
Granted, the amount wasn’t even close to some of the earth-shattering, record-breaking prices that some sports cards have sold for, but it’s still intriguing to think that there are action figures out there that may be worth more than we think.
In what follows, I’ll give you the details behind the sale and the actual figure itself. Who knows, after you’re done reading you might be inspired to go rummage through your old Star Wars collection, especially if they’re dated back to the says of the original films.
With that said, let’s make the jump to lightspeed and see what all the buzz is about.
The image above shows the actual figure that was auctioned off last week. It’s an original Princess Leia action figure from The Empire Strikes Back. Palitoy, the British toy manufacturer, sold these Star Wars figures as part of a special collection that would concur with the release of the movie back in 1980, which is when this particular figure was first purchased.
Now, everyone knows that keeping such an old figure in its original packaging is rule #1 for any collector who may wish to preserve its value over the years. While this Princess Leia figure was in fact kept in such a state, Palitoy added another feature to the figure that makes it even rarer than most. That is a rare picture (aka transitional) card that only came with the figures from this particular collection. The card was switched out for just a generic picture of Leia shortly after they were initially released. So, anyone who had one of the first figures with the original transition card was sitting on gold...and didn’t even know it.
Finding any vintage Star Wars action figure in its original packaging is pretty hard to come by, but according to passionate collectors, finding a vintage Princess Leia still in its packaging is almost impossible. In fact, this is believed to be the only one of just a few that may still be still unopened. And saying that there are still a ‘few’ out there may even be a bit of a stretch. Of course, you never know until someone actually goes looking for one, right?
If you add up all of these factors and send them to the auction block, you get a £9,375 price tag, which is equivalent to just over $12K in U.S. dollars. The figure was found and brought to auction by a woman from Wales, who claims that she’s had it since she was a little girl. It was sold at Vectis Auctions Ltd Stockton on Tees, UK to a buyer who also remains anonymous.
Like I said in the beginning, stories like these have a tendency to inspire us to go looking through our own collections and toy chests. I can say right now that most of my action figures never even made it home without being ripped out of the box, so the chance of me having some precious piece like this is highly unlikely. However, for those of you who were able to resist such a strong temptation as a youngling, it’s quite possible that you might be sitting on a little treasure of your own, and you don’t even know it.