With the latest instalment of Star Wars series ‘The Last Jedi’ due for release next week, the Force could be with Star Wars fans who have valuable vintage action figures.
Indeed, the classic action figures can be worth tens of thousands of pounds, according to PromotionalCodes.org.uk, who have found the ten rarest and most sought-after.
As well as the very first models of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobe with “double telescoping” light sabres, collectors also seek the near-legendary ‘rocket firing’ Boba Fett, ‘small head’ Han Solo and vinyl-caped Jawas.
Classic action figures can change hands for close to £30k, making a discarded collection from the 1970s potentially worth more than the average UK house.
The money saving website looked at how much the vintage 1970s and 80s dolls could fetch today and compiled a list of the ten rarest ones.
The most valuable and sought-after figures are the “carded” ones, which still retain the printed cardboard backing of their original packaging.
Original accessories, such as a blaster and cape for Princess Leia and lightsabre for Luke Skywalker, also increase the value. Figures also command higher prices when they are in good condition.
A very rare Boba Fett from the 1970s, still sealed in its original packaging, sold for £26,040 last year at Vectis Auctions in Teesside.
Previously, the auction house sold an R2-D2 toy dating back to the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back for £750. Both it and its original packaging were in near mint condition.
A 1977 Jawa figure, also with its original packaging and in near-mint condition, fetched £620, while a 1980 Yoda with its package went for £320.
Meanwhile, various other figures from the 1970s and 80s often go on eBay for around £70.
The holy grails of Star Wars collectibles are the very first versions of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobe, which had “double telescoping” lightsabres.
Other particularly rare figures include the “small head” Han Solo, which was replaced at an early stage for one with a larger head that looked more like actor Harrison Ford.
There is also the semi-mystical “rocket firing Boba Fett” – one such figurine sold last year at Vectis for an unexpectedly low £18,600.
More recently, Lego produced some valuable, limited edition minifigures of various Star Wars characters as giveaway prizes.
These include a 14 karat gold C-3P0 and solid bronze models of Boba Fett – Lego made just five and four of these, respectively.
Darren Williams of Promotionalcodes.org.uk said: “More than 300 million Star Wars action figures were sold between 1978 and 1985, so it’s safe to say there must be quite a lot that are still floating around in people’s possession.
“It’s hard to say which toy is the most valuable, since it all depends on things like the condition of the toy, whether it still has its packaging and if so what condition that’s in and so on.
“But if you do have a 1970s or 80s toy, it could potentially be worth a lot, so channel your inner mercenary Han Solo and get it valued.”
Ten rarest original Star Wars toys
“Double telescoping lightsabre” figures
The very first action figures of Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobe and Luke Skywalker had lightsabres that extended twice to full length. These were quickly replaced for cost reasons and because the lightsabres were highly breakable.
The Darth Vader double telescoping lightsabre figure is believed to be the rarest of the three, followed by Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker.
Rocket firing Boba Fett
This toy is almost legendary. An early Boba Fett prototype had a rocket that fired from its back, but did not go into mass production due to safety concerns.
“Small head” Han Solo
The very first Han Solo was discontinued early for not bearing a close enough resemblance Harrison Ford, and replaced by another version with a larger head.
Vinyl cape Jawa
The original “vinyl cape” Jawa model from 1978 is another rarity, having been swiftly replaced with a cloth-caped version.
When creating this toy back in the day, manufacturer Kenner had only a black and white headshot to work from. It decided to make the creature blue, but then in the film the alien wore red and was half the height. The original Blue Snaggletooth is a collector’s item.
This is especially valuable in America, where it was never sold. It was the last action figure to be made before the line ceased in 1985.
FX-7 Medical Droid
It had just a few seconds of screen time in The Empire Strikes Back, but this model is a jewel for collectors.
This little-known character is from the Star Wars spin-off show Droids. It is very rare - only one line of the Vlix model was produced, in Brazil.
1985 Anakin Skywalker
There have been numerous recent Anakin Skywalker dolls, but the 1985 original is a rare collector’s item.
White cloaked Bib Fortuna
The Bib Fortuna figure had a brown cloak, but a few prototypes with white ones were produced.