In the ’70s, most parents really didn’t know how valuable Star Wars toys would be in the future, which is why many tossed the toys into garage sales in the ’90s and angered an entire generation of kids.
To be fair, the most worthwhile toys are usually expected to be in mint condition, still in the original packaging. The forgotten toys sold to the neighbours’ kid were usually well-loved or missing parts — not that they didn’t have excessive sentimental value.
Take a look at some of the toys below that would have been worth keeping, if you hadn’t ripped into them at your birthday party.
Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker with a Double-Telescoping Lightsaber
— Classic Star Wars (@ClassicStarWars) May 18, 2016
These three figures were part of the original 12-back release in 1978, and were created with a telescoping lightsaber that proved to be rather fragile — especially during play. Kenner, the company producing the toys, then began using a more simple lightsaber — which means the original design is more rare and more valuable.
Retailing at about $2.49 in 1978, reports suggest there are only a handful of each of these figures left in the world but they can be worth anywhere from $1,000 to $38,000 depending on condition (Darth Vader sold for $30,000 US on eBay in 2003.) Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi are worth more, as fewer were created, but Luke Skywalker went for $25,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2015.
— JediLarryB (Larry) (@JediLarryB) May 26, 2013
An Annoo-Dat Blue who wasn’t even in the original Star Wars movie series is one of the rarest Star Wars action figures to be commercially released. Vlix, from the animated Droids series, was created by Glasslite, the Brazilian distributor of Kenner toys, two years after the Droids series was canceled in North America. A loose Vlix could earn a buyer about $4,000, and one still in the box might be worth as much as $15,000.
Vinyl Cape Jawa
Originally $2.49 in 1978, reportedly only six of the original Jawa with vinyl cape have been discovered and have been bought at prices ranging from $3,000 to $18,000 based on condition.
Kenner switched up the cape to cloth soon after the original figures were created, resulting in vinyl cape Jawas only being sent to some parts of the States. It was believed the vinyl cape wasn’t very sturdy during play, but also that the switch was made because the Jawa figure was smaller than the other characters in the line, and appeared less cheap with a cloth cape.
Beware the fakes wearing a vinyl cape that actually belongs to Obi-Wan Kenobi. If you can tell the difference, you probably deserve to own one.
Can’t tell the difference? You can even listen to the sound the authentic cape sounds like when scratched, here.
Rocket-Firing prototype of Boba Fett
An urban legend suggested the rocket-firing Boba Fett was pulled from the market after a child choked to death on a similar missile piece of a Battlestar Galactica toy.
Actually, Kenner had already removed the feature from the Boba Fett figure prior to the publicity surrounding the Mattel toy, and had replaced the L-slot version of the toy with a J-slot version. The J-slot version, however, posed a similar safety issue and so the firing Boba Fett figures were never actually released to the public.
That’s one of the reasons the prototypes can be sold for as much as $27,000. Here’s one that didn’t go for the asking price of $150,000 despite the enthusiasm of the seller.
Power of the Force Yak Face
Not everyone will remember Yak Face from his brief stint in Return of the Jedi, but collectors know him as dead stock turned valuable.
In 1985, the Star Wars toy line slowed down after slumping sales, and excess Yak Face (his real name is Saelt-Marae) toys were shipped to Europe and Canada, but not the U.S. Ask an American friend today if Yak Face is the toy they’re looking for, and you could potentially take in $1,000 to $6,000. Even the collectors’ coin that comes with the toy is worth a few hundred bucks. (Anakin Skywalker from the Power of the Force line is worth over $3,000 today, now that Anakin has played a bigger role in the movie series.)
Small Head Han Solo
It wouldn’t be a surprise if beloved Han Solo got a big head with fame, but maybe a bit weird that the variation on his action figure caused just that — a change in head size. The original small head version of Han Solo is one of the oldest Star Wars toys in the line — and it’s the one worth up to a possible $2,500. Realize you have the less rare, big head Han Solo? Well, at least that one has a more realistic face, so you’re not totally at a loss.
In one of the early 1978 toy sets, Blue Snaggletooth was introduced to the public and a legend was made. Rumour has it that the Kenner toy designers only had a black and white grainy photo of the character to go by. As a result, the toy was fit with a blue suit and an average-sized height – in contrast to the red-wearing on-screen character who stood about three feet tall. Needless to say, Blue Snaggletooth is worth an average of about $500 on the market today.
FX-7 Medical Droid
— Ralph d. Apel (@casinoskunk) October 31, 2016
People weren’t exactly jumping lines to pick up the vintage FX-7 Medical Droid, seen for just sixteen seconds in The Empire Strikes Back. But when it sold for almost $13,000 at a British auction in 2014 — 100 times the asking price — collectors suddenly began to take notice. Did someone just need it to finish a collection? Had they worked on the film? Were people underestimating the contribution the medical droid had made in reviving Luke Skywalker? Regardless, it can now sell for about $600 on eBay.
Despite being such tiny figures, rare Lego Minifigures can bring in a pretty penny for the avid collector. Toys from 2010, including a George Lucas mini-figure that wasn’t mass-produced, can be worth thousands of dollars. Also be on the lookout for a bronze C3PO from 2007 ($4,100), a sterling silver C3P0 ($6,200) or a solid gold C3PO ($10,000). As with all Boba Fett toys, collect them if you see them – he’s arguably the most popular character in the series, and the solid gold mini-figure (one of only two in the world) can potentially earn a fan thousands.
Trilogo General Madine
— Star Wars Stuff (@StarWarsStuffs) November 27, 2016
In 2015, an original 1983 General Madine action figure sold for $12,500 in Japan. The general is rare — less than 30 have been verified worldwide — and is needed to complete the Trilogo set. It was only released in France, and French collectors say it can be more commonly found when a Trilogo set appears.
See more of the Southby’s Star Wars auction here: