Everyone knows I’m a big time Star Wars collector, and I’ve been made aware of an upcoming auction (taking place next week) that’s featuring a pretty impressive lot of collectibles. All of it is looking interesting, but there’s one in particular that’s drool-worthy: an original Empire Strikes Back, unpunched Boba Fett figure. You’ll need a pretty big pocketbook to claim this prize, however, as the thing is expected to go for a record price. Check out the details:
The Star Wars collectables from the late 1970’s / early 1980’s are to be sold at Vectis Auctions in Thornaby on Wednesday 28th January as part of their regular TV & Film Related Toy Sale which also offers a plethora of other items such as Ghostbusters, Thunderbirds, He-Man and James Bond pieces.
The selection of Star Wars figures include some of the finest examples to come on to the market. The highlight of the assortment being a Palitoy Star Wars ‘Empire Strikes Back’, Boba Fett on an un-punched 30B backing card. With only light wear of the type that cannot be faked, it has a pre-sale evaluation of £10,000 – £15,000 and could set a new world record. Prices such as these are not a new thing to Vectis who currently hold record prices for Palitoy including a Star Wars FX- 7 which sold for £8400 (including commission) and a vinyl caped Jawa for £10,200.
Produced by the British toy company Palitoy based in Colville in Leicestershire, Boba Fett is a Holy Grail to many collectors as it is believed to be one of only three or four known to exist. The Empire Strikes Back 30 back card was the debut for British packaging for Boba Fett, this one is the least common ‘B’ edition, sold for a very limited period. The figure itself is not uncommon and could be found at any collectors’ event, as in the early years of the production of Star Wars toys they were given away as a promotional item in a plain mail-away box. It is thought that this freebie satisfied demand at the time and therefore when it was marketed on a card it was not popular despite its inviting price tag of being just over £1.00.
This world leading collection has been amassed over several decades by professional Lego model creator Craig Stevens. Craig has a deep knowledge of science fiction toys and has owned several collector shops over the years, including one in London’s Portobello Road. This in-depth knowledge of the genre lead him to be a regular contributor to media including BBC television and radio and becoming a consultant on James May’s Toy Series of programmes. Craig was even roped in to speak about Star Trek on Absolute Radio’s breakfast show which caused much amusement among his fellow Star Wars fans!
Craig was a founder member of the fan run UK Star Wars Fan Club in the 1990’s accumulating in him being elected Club Chairman. Craig has pretty much ticked every box on a dedicated Star Wars collectors bucket list even joining a delegation who visited Lucas film in London prior to the re-launch of Star Wars in Britain and also attending the premier of Star Wars ‘The Special Edition’. Visitors to the 2014 Worldcon convention in London were lucky enough to be able to view much of Craig’s assembly and hear him speak on the subject. The highest accolade Craig has been afforded in his Lego career is to display his creations at Legoland Windsor and also the Hayward Gallery on London’s South Bank
Craig comments, “I believe the time is right to sell some of my pieces to enable others to enjoy them. It will be terribly heart wrenching to see them go but I am sure that each one will go to a very good home and be protected and cherished by fellow collectors. With so few mint-on-card figures surviving to the present day in perfect condition, preservation must be a high priority. I am confident that through Vectis Auctioneers my items will be passed to the very best hands.”
Craig has put all of his knowledge down on paper for his book “Star Wars: Made in Britain” for which he is currently seeking a publisher. Craig says “The books in the shops are based on the American Star Wars fan experience and merchandise. Britain had a unique Star Wars experience which I have encapsulated in my book.”
Sci Fi, TV & Film Toy Expert Kathy Taylor added “Vectis are very privileged to be able to present collectables of this quality at auction. The Palitoy Boba Fett figure is from the vintage ‘Golden Age’ of Star Wars films and they rarely if ever come on to the market. We have seen prices rise year-on-year for high end Star Wars items and I am in no doubt that we will see figures of this class selling for hundreds of thousands in years to come”.
The collection will be held over two sales with the initial one held at Vectis on the 28th Jan and the second in February, these will be at Thornaby on Tees but also online with real time bidding to reach a world wide audience.
While I can’t say this item is a “holy grail” for me personally and my collection, it’s definitely a big find for collectors and something I wish I wouldn’t have to take a loan out on to acquire.