Star Wars Collectible Toys

Star Wars Items are All-Star collectibles

The Force is Strong with collectors of Star Wars Memorabilia! Star Wars is the most heavily merchandised of all movie franchises, and its enthusiastic fans collect a broad range of items from soap to sheets. Star Wars collectibles are so numerous and popular that serious collectors have devised their own nomenclature, based on age:

Vintage Star Wars-1977-1989
Prequel Star Wars-1990-2000
Modern Star Wars-1999-present.

Most Valuable Star Wars Collectibles
Collectors seeking the best Star Wars collectibles (in terms of value and rarity) should look for the original issues by Kenner (in the US) and Palitoy (UK) products. These will include action figures, board games, and puzzles. Although many other companies manufactured licensed Star Wars products, George Lucas’ strict control over his trademark rights kept quality high. Toys in mint condition in mint condition boxes and packages command the highest prices.

Vintage Kenner and Palitoy Star Wars Action Figures
Kenner received the original licensing for the movie tie-in toys, but the success of the film caught them by surprise. In order to be ready for the 1977 Christmas shopping season, Kenner sold 600,000 empty action figure boxes that contained IOU’s to be redeemed at a future date. The 1978 holiday season saw their sales climb to over 42 million units. The earliest releases included four characters, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and R2-D2, but that was soon expanded to twelve. These figures came on cards in a blister pack, with pictures of the original 12 figures on the back of the cards.

No matter how many American mothers threw away their children’s Star Wars Toys after they left for college, due to the sheer number of figures produced, there are still plenty of these vintage action figures on the market, and prices for toys in played-with condition range from $2 to $18, depending on the specific character. Unopened Han Solo and the 1978 Jawa in a vinyl cape (cape made in vinyl for only a short time) seem to be the holy Grails of the Vintage Star Wars Action Figures.

Star Wars Playsets
Han and Luke needed ships to fly and weaponry to fight evil, so Kenner and Palitoy produced a series of playsets featuring vehicles and lots of tiny parts. Collectors putting together complete sets may pay $8-10 for the tiny weapons that originally came with the figures.

Star Wars Collectibles Prices Remain Strong
Although the market is down for mass produced collector items of recent vintage (think Beanie Babies and Cabbage Patch Dolls), this is not true for Star Wars collectibles. While the more recent issues don’t bring as much as earlier ones, figures produced after the trilogy were made and sold in considerably lower quantities, making them a little harder to find. As with many collectibles these days, prices are down for common and/or marginal material, but high for rarities and items in mint or excellent condition.

Reference: Buy, Keep or Sell? Discover the Hidden Collectibles in Your Home (Reader’s Digest)

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