One of the world’s rarest Star Wars figures discovered in a loft has sold for nearly £20,000.
The 45-year-old Jawa figure from British toy company Palitoy, said to be one of the most coveted pieces of Star Wars memorabilia, had carried a top estimate of £15,000, 10,000 times more than its original price of £1.50. But the figures, of which there are as few as ten left in existence, sold for £19,500 (over $24,000) after furious bidding from in the room, on the phone and the internet.
In the end it was snapped up by a British collector, despite bids from around the world. “We were delighted to have been brought another of the most highly sought-after carded Star Wars figures. The JAWA figure is still the absolute ultimate for Star Wars collectors,” said Jonathan Torode, Excalibur’s Auctioneer.
“Original Star Wars memorabilia is still as popular as ever and I am therefore not surprised that this commanded the top estimate. I feel honoured to have handled another such rare part of Star Wars toy history,” he added.
The original 1978 figure was discovered in the loft of the ex-art director for Marvel UK. The seller had received a whole range of gifts from now-defunct toy company Palitoy during the promotion of the Star Wars line in Marvel’s comics and says he still has more memorabilia to sift through yet.
Having previously unearthed and sold one of the rare Jawa figures and seen their desirability, the seller went on the hunt for another and was thrilled to find one.
The Jawa figure is considered to be among the top three rarest Star Wars figures in the world, and the rarest of them all in the UK – with many collectors even coming to believe the toy was a myth as findings were so infrequent.
Jawas are a sentient, metre-tall species of furry humanoids native to the Outer Rim desert world of Tatooine and first appeared in 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, the first installment of the original Star Wars trilogy.
Upon taking the figurine to Excalibur Auctions – a renowned auctioneer in the world of toys and collectables – it was verified as one of the rarest carded Star Wars figures in existence, with a mere ten to 15 examples documented.
To add to its rarity, the figure – on its original back card – was also found to boast the original vinyl cape which was later substituted for a cloth cape not long into its production.
Torode said the cape was the icing on the cake for the incredibly sought-after lot. “With the success of the last original Jawa figure, we had a lot of inquiries from people in various countries who had scoured trunks and garages looking to see if they had one – but we never expected another to come from the same source,” said Torode.
“The figure carries an E grade on a VG/E card, representing its exceptional condition, and its vinyl cape is the icing on the cake. The UK Palitoy carded variation is even rarer than the USA Kenner version. I feel utterly spoilt being able to handle another such rare part of Star Wars toy history,” he added.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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