Star Wars: A New Hope was the first movie to successfully market and sell toys associated with a film. It was so successful that creator George Lucas was able to use the proceeds to independently finance the sequels – 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
Since the first movie almost four decades ago, pretty much every character and vehicle has been made into a figure or playset, holding a fascination for both kids and adult fans who purchased - and continued to buy - as many as they could afford. Few toy lines are so avidly collected or are worth more money.
So if you have a bunch of toys packed away in a box, you may want to check to see if you’re sitting on a gold mine! If you find any of these gathering dust, you’re in luck.
12. Original Anakin Skywalker figure with coin - $600 (+-R7 500)
Originally Anakin Skywalker was played by British actor Sebastian Shaw seen in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He was later replaced by Hayden Christensen, who played Skywalker in two of the three prequels. The original 1985 action figure created in Shaw’s likeness is now an extremely rare item and ranges in value between $500-600.
11. Blue Snaggletooth – $700 (+-R8 700)
Kenner, the company that produced the original line of Star Wars action figures, received a black-and-white photo of Snaggletooth from Lucasfilm and incorrectly made the jumpsuit blue instead of red, and also made him taller than he should have been. The mistake was quickly corrected, but if you can get your hands on a blue jumpsuit Snaggletooth, it’s worth $700 or R8 700 today.
10. Han Solo with Blaster and Little Head – $1 000 (+-R12 425)
The first Han Solo action figure made by Kenner came with the smuggler’s blaster and an unusually small head. If you have one in its original packaging with the blaster and little head, it is today worth around R12 425. Han Solo without the blaster and packaging is worth just R249.
9. Limited Edition Boba Fett Action Figure – $2 000 (+-R24 851)
Boba Fett figurines are extremely valuable as you couldn’t buy the original Kenner toy. You had to save up purchase cutouts from your other action figures and mail for Boba Fett, making it a sought-after item. Today, the toy in mint-condition with a gold coin in the box goes for $3 500 (+-R43 591), and out of the box for $2 000. But an unpainted prototype version made by British toy-makers Meccano sold at auction in 2016 for the record-breaking sum of about $35 000 (+- R434 896).
8. R2D2 Lunch Box – $3 000 (+-R37 267)
Amongst the many plastic sticker Star Wars lunch boxes, one stands out from the others – the R2D2 lunch box made by manufacturer King Seely in 1977. It was a prototype and only 12 were ever sold, making it an extremely rare item worth thousands today.
7. Han Solo in Carbonite, Scale Model – $7 000 (+-R86 979)
This seven-and-a-half-foot tall scale model of Han Solo frozen in carbonite - like what was seen in The Empire Strikes Back - is worth $7 000. Many collectors consider this item to be among the coolest collectibles available. Want one? Keep an eye out at auction houses!
6. Medical droid FX-7 figure - $11 500 (+-R142 894)
An unsung hero of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the medical droid takes care of Luke Skywalker. In 1980, Palitoy released a medical droid FX-7 action figure that today fetches on average R62 273. But one of these toys once sold for around $11 500 when two collectors got into a bidding war.
5. Star Wars Comic #1 – $13 500 (+-R167 745)
The Star Wars comic book issue #1 is today worth $13 500. In 1977, Marvel was looking to increase their comic book price from 25 cents and raised the Star Wars issue #1 price to 35 cents in four select markets to test the change - setting this comic apart and making it rare. Today only an estimated 1 500 “35 Cent variant titles” are in existence, so you’d be lucky to find one of these in mint condition.
4. LEGO Millennium Falcon – $16 000 (+-R198 809)
Back in 2007, LEGO released a 5 195-piece Millennium Falcon set that has become a collector’s item. It was the biggest LEGO Star Wars set ever released until a new Millennium Falcon with over 7 000 pieces was brought out in 2017. But the older version still has it beat. One in mint condition still in the box sold on eBay last year for $16 000.
3. Vinyl Cape Jawa – $18 000 (+-R223 660)
One of the most valuable of all the original Kenner Star Wars action figures is the 1978 “Vinyl Cape Jawa.” Only six Jawa figures with the vinyl capes have been discovered and sold, making them extremely rare, hard to get and expensive. When one came to auction in 2015, it fetched around $18 000 and another has been listed on eBay for $53 000 (+-R658 556).
2. Darth Vader & Obi-Wan Kenobi telescoping lightsaber - $30 000 (+-R372 768)
In 1977, Kenner released original action figures for Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi with a small, telescoping lightsaber. A mint condition, in-box Vader with telescoping lightsaber was sold on eBay back in 2013 for just under $30 000, so if you happen to have one of these, consider selling it! Even out of the box they could fetch some serious cash.
1. Rocket launcher Boba Fett - $150 000 (+-R1 863 840)
On an episode of Pawn Stars the “Holy Grail” of Star Wars toys was brought into the store for evaluation. The original Boba Fett action figure with a rocket strapped to his back was briefly produced, but never actually sold. An expert gave a potential starting sale price of $125 000, and the seller held firm at $150 000, making it probably the most expensive Star Wars toy in circulation today.
Watch Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys on Showmax, as it takes a look at the collectors and rarest pieces of Star Wars merchandise.