A Leicestershire made Star Wars toy – reduced to 99p at Tesco in the 1980s – could make £1,000 at auction when it goes under the hammer this week.
The Return of the Jedi plastic Yak Face figure, still is in its original packaging, is emblazoned with its retail price of £1.59 – but a 99p Tesco price label has been stuck over the top.
The 39-year-old toy, manufactured by Coalville’s Palitoy factory in 1983, is set to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers tomorrow (Wednesday, April 20), with a guide price of £800-£1,000 due to its rarity.
It’s part of a major collection of Star Wars figures gathered over the last 20 years by a major fan of the film trilogy. He is auctioning off 37 toys which together could sell for £20,000.
But there could have been more. The 48-year-old Birmingham man, who works in financial services, said: “I remember seeing lots of figures for sale for 10p each in a shop called Crash Bang Wallop in the Swan Shopping Centre in South Yardley, Birmingham, in about 1986, when interest in the films had waned.
“I was still at school and they had a full box of about 50 toys, all rare examples of the last 17 figures. How I wished I had the money at the time. I just bought one and it’s still in my played-with collection.
“I’ve been a big Star Wars fan since the films first came out. I purchased the figures about 20 years ago as an investment to go with my played-with collection from when I was a child. My favourite lot is a figure of Anakin Skywalker. It’s rare as the original actor’s appearance in the films has been cut with a different actor.
“I’m surprised by the rarity value of some of the toys as they were much more common when I purchased them. I’m selling now as I have a family and struggle to find anywhere to display them safely. It feels like the right time to sell.”
His favourite Star Wars figure, Anakin Skywalker, lot 225, has the biggest auction estimate – £3,000-£5,000. The Power of the Force toy was manufactured by Kenner in 1984. Following hot on its heels in terms of value is lot 226, a 1984 Kenner Yak Face figure, guided at £2,000-£3,000.
David Wilson Turner, Head of Toys at Hansons Auctioneers, said: “Lots 225 and 226 are extremely rare figures you don’t often see. In almost 10 years of working at Hansons selling multiple Star Wars items, these are two figures I have never come across before.
“The Jedi Yak Face with its original 99p price sticker is also fairly rare, hence the guide price. It’s amazing to think a Star Wars toy on sale for less than £1 in 1983 is now potentially worth 1000 times its original price tag. Our vendor didn’t purchase it for 99p originally but sourced it 20 years ago for £200.
“Hansons has seen some impressive Star Wars toy collections including one which made nearly £10,000 at auction, but this is set to be the best yet. Our seller has amassed a phenomenal set of figures. There are Star Wars collectors all over the world and the clamour to own rare items is as strong as ever.”
Other items include lot 254, The Power of the Force Nikto with Warok Ewok coin, 1985, £500-£800, and lot 250, The Power of the Force Luke, Luke Skywalker in Imperial Stormtrooper outfit, 1984, £500-£800.
Star Wars took the world by storm with the release of the first film in 1977. It sparked a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon and was followed by The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), forming the original Star Wars trilogy.
The Star Wars collection will be sold tomorrow, in a Toy & Models Auction at Hansons Auctioneers, Etwall, Derbyshire at: www.hansonslive.co.uk
To find out more, email David Wilson Turner: firstname.lastname@example.org.