Ugh I just love Star Wars. The franchise has been a part of my life for so long I don't remember the first time I watched any of the original trilogy films. They were always just there, in their VHS cases in a drawer under my TV, heavy scanlines at all the battle scenes because I'd rewound them and slow motioned my way through them so many times. Through the 90s with the Expanded Universe novels, some of which were great (X-Wing, Heir to the Empire) some of which were not great (Jedi Academy) but all were, most definitely, Star Wars. I played most of the games, especially the excellent run of PC-exclusive titles (TIE Fighter, Jedi Knight) before consoles and PCs became intertwined and produced less consistent but still amazing titles (Knights of the Old Republic.)
Growing up I had a ton of Star Wars toys, mostly MicroMachines, and some action figures. I did not, unfortunately, have any of these: some of the most valuable and hard-to-find toys bearing the name Star Wars, mostly made by Kenner in the 70s and 80s. I used a variety of sources to find the names, years, and values of these products, some of which may be out of date. Use this as a fun way to marvel at how weird and complex pop culture is, and a jumping-off point to investigate further. Unless otherwise specified, these values are all for products that are in mint condition and still sealed in their packaging, and are as up-to-date as I could find.
30 If I Can Make It There (In An X-Wing)
via: ebay.com, etsy.comToys R' Us may be in its death throes, but in the 90s it was my personal promised land. The flagship store in New York City's Times Square held a promotion for the release of the LEGO X-Wing kit, featuring a life-sized model of the iconic T-65 X-Wing fighter built entirely out of LEGO in front of the store. If you were one of the first 1000 people to buy the (unfortunately not life-sized) set that day, you were given one of these tourist Yoda figures (or 'minifigs' as LEGO calls them) to commemorate the occasion.
Even Yoda loves a good Broadway musical
If you've still got your little Yoda, unironically spouting his love for the city that never sleeps,, in his tiny plastic bag, you can sell him at auction for as much as $450.
29 Tusken Raider Is A Weird Name Anyway...
I cringe everytime Luke says "Sand People" in the original film. Even the more appropriate "Tusken Raider" is a pretty big judgement call. Like, are they really called Tusken? Is that their name for themselves? And are they all Raiders? Surely there are some Tusken Artisans or Tusken Teachers or something.
Anyway, here's this culturally insensitive action figure someone made in the seventies when most people didn't think about the labelling of an alien species created solely to be villains in a science-fantasy movie for children. The Tusken… warrior comes with a gaffi stick and this particular version is valuable because it has hollow cheeks, a distinction I don't really understand but, there you go. If you think your Sand… Native Tatooine Person has hollow cheeks, the figure will get you about $450.
28 Look At The Size Of That Thing
Oh man, look at this thing! Remember playsets? Those weird cross-section cutouts of movie locations scaled to fit your collection of appropriately themed toys? (Sold seperately.) I know they still make them but these seem like such a relic of the 80s and 90s, although this little number comes in a little earlier even than that.
Just like the real Death Star, if it was the size of your apartment
Made by Kenner in 1978, this four-layer dip of a playset is like a snapshot of locations from the original Death Star, with a gun turret, the chasm Luke and Leia swing over, Vader & Obi-Wan's duel and, of course, the trash compactor. It's like a video game vertical slice: really everything major that happens on the Death Star is represented here, in exaggerated action-figure size. Luke & Leia could probably have just stepped over the chasm if this was to scale, not to mention how easy it would be for the Imperials to find them.
New-in-box, this beast goes for $500.
27 An Insulting Name For A Valuable Figure
Star Wars is renowned for its iconic, memorable characters and alien designs. Both A New Hope, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi have scenes just showing you all the weird creatures the Henson company came up with, and, in the heyday of the pre-Disney Star Wars Expanded Universe, many of those creatures were fleshed out into full characters.
Sorry about your face, dude
So here's "Blue Snaggletooth," also known as Zutton or Z-Ton. This figure, part of Kenner's "Cantina Adventure Set", is based on one of those dudes we see for two seconds when Luke enters the Cantina for the first time. According to Wookiepedia, Zutton is an artist who frequents Jabba's Palace and writes stories about the events he sees around Mos Eisley.
In his packaging, he can go for as much as $700.
26 Giant (If You're A Child) R2-D2
While close-to-lifesize, functioning replicas of BB-8 made a big splash when they released alongside The Force Awakens, let's not forget the reason Star Wars needs a cute, sassy, non-verbal droid in it in the first place.
While not exactly the actual size of the most beloved astromech droid in the galaxy, if you were a kid when this thing was released, it is pretty much to scale for how tall you likely would have been that Christmas. Another product made by Kenner, this (relatively) enormous and detailed (for the time) model of R2-D2 goes for around $725 these days if you still have the original packaging, though it is so hard to find it's not even on many of the lists I was using to source this story.
25 Disco-pants Leia Is Ready To Rumble
Here's the first entry on our list of the original Kenner line of figures from 1978, all of which fetch ridiculously high prices on the market. The "cheapest" is Princess Leia (Thanks, The Patriarchy) featured here with a weird mishmash of outfits: she's in her suit from the Death Star escape, although limitations of the time have cut her dress into some extremely disco flared pants.
Saturday Night Fever in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
She's also in a vinyl cape, a popular feature of the Kenner line. She also, of course, has her cinnamon bun hairdo and the extremely long blaster she's got at the beginning of A New Hope. That vinyl cape seems to be part of the reason this particular line of Kenner figures is so valuable, more on that further down. She sells for about $800 these days.
24 Get Me Walrusman!
So here's where our ol' pal Blue Snaggletooth came from, a box set of characters from the famous cantina in Mos Eisley Spaceport. While the famous BluSnag was an exclusive addition to this set, he's definitely the least recognisable of the four characters included here, though two of them were given hilariously descriptive names instead of being identified by their species or character names. There's the Aqualash who threatens Luke before Obi-Wan intervenes, here given the moniker "Walrusman" which I just love that they made into one word. Who can forget "Hammerhead", aka the Ithorian seen nodding along to his friend for 100 frames in a very popular, deeply silly movie from the 70s?
Where's the Expanded Universe novel Walrusman, Attorney At Law?
Finally we've got Greedo, who is given his real name and not "Green Tube Boy" or "Spikehair- Suctioncup-Hands." This guy goes for about $800 in 2017.
23 The Joy Of Buying Something That Doesn't Exist Yet
Star Wars was such a massive hit on its release that it caught literally everyone off guard, not the least the people who made it, and especially toy maker Kenner. Before the toys were even available in 1978, parents of kids who just would not shut up about the movie were able to buy empty boxes containing vouchers for the figures which hadn't been made yet, and receive them before they arrived on store shelves, sort of a action figure Kickstarter perk, to put it in 2017 terms.
Stretch goals include "Making the figures look like human people and not melted butter sculptures."
A lot of eh fingers on this list are from this early bird kit, which usually goes for about $900 but can fetch as much as two grand.
22 How Much Detail Can You Cram Into A Head The Size Of A Thumb?
Speaking of action figures that look nothing like the actors they're modeled after, Kenner was apparently unhappy with their original sculpt of Han Solo and wanted to make a new one that more closely resembled Harrison Ford. They succeeded completely because, as we all know, Harrison Ford has an absolutely enormous head that is totally out of proportion to the rest of his body.
Maybe that's why he keeps walking away from plane crashes- it's like his whole head is a helmet.
While both small and big head versions of the Han Solo figure fetch a high price, if you were lucky enough to hold onto your Han figure before Kenner put in the big head mode cheat, you can get labour $1000 for him, tiny, human sized brain and all.
21 Everything Got Made Into A Toy. Everything.
What kid didn't see Star Wars for the first time and say "Forget the Millenium Falcon and those X-Wings, I want that extremely slow-moving giant brown metal thing the droids get captured in!" Fulfilling a market that absolutely cannot have been demanding its release, here we have the radio controlled Jawa Sandcrawler.
At least the remote matches the design
Again hilariously out of scale with the figures it contains, being more of a minivan than a giant mobile store and warehouse, the radio controlled sandcrawler lets you reenact that scene where Luke and Uncle Owen haggle in a language we don't understand, then the later scene where all those little dudes have been killed off-camera. Oh, it's also in the background in Return of the Jedi, I think, for like a second. This red-hot, action packed must-have toy of the season goes for about $1100 now.
20 Just Like Going To San Diego… Comic Con in 2012
Were you thinking that every single entry on this list was going to be from the 70s? That's fair! Most of them have! This is one of the more recent entries on the list, so its scarcity comes by design and not because everyone thought Star Wars was going to totally bomb.
Can you imagine thinking a Star Wars movie was going to bomb? I mean without the internet telling you it will.
Made exclusively for the 2012 San Diego Comic Con, this Holographic Darth Maul made by Funko Pop, the 2010s pop culture heir to the Beanie Baby craze, is valuable due to a combination of scarcity and the rabid, insane furor of serious Funko Pop collectors. According to cbr.com, a recent Ebay auction for one of these guys ended at $1500.
19 He's Worth Nothing To Me Dead (Or Out Of His Box)
This one is crazy for a few reasons. Based on the colours he wore in the Star Wars Holiday Special, his first appearance, this Boba Fett figure was also originally made with a spring-loaded missile that shot out of his backpack.
I always wondered what that thing was for
Or did it? Kenner pulled the rocket-firing figure pretty quickly after parents worried some kid would fire it into his own sarlacc, and to this day the company apparently refuses to acknowledge that a rocket-firing one even existed because if you were a major corporation in the seventies, the truth was whatever you said it was. Haha so glad things have changed hahahahah. But The Internet never forgets and now this extremely rare figure of the galaxy's deadliest bounty hunter, which is itself deadly if you're four, commands prices of around $2000.
18 All Your Favourite Metal-Headed Characters From The Empire Strikes Back
Here's another pack of figures seemingly assembled completely at random that are worth a ton if they're all in their original packaging. Led by a Darth Vader featuring a sweet high collar cape, the pack also includes a pretty rarely featured AT-AT pilot with their cool red and white helmets.
Seriously just look at that awesome collar. This is from Vader's Bowie-phase.
The pack also includes a tiny Yoda who is… covered in vines, I guess? Or maybe that's a snake, from the deleted scene where Yoda flashes back to his time as a stripper. IG-88 is included in this weird grab-bag of secondary ESB characters who, like all the bounty hunters, had a rich life in the Expanded Universe despite being completely immobile in the movie. The pack is good for about $2100 on Ebay.
17 Interceptor Pilots Are Bloodthirsty And Have A Death Wish
Inarguably the coolest Imperial fighter is the TIE Interceptor, introduced in Return of the Jedi but apparening much earlier in the Star Wars timeline. A mass-produced fighter based on the design of Darth Vader's TIE Advanced X1 prototype, the Interceptor is better and safer than the TIE Fighter but not too safe- it's got more guns and a slightly stronger hull, and its speed and profile make it super hard to hit, but it's still ridiculously fragile.
It just looks so mean
This 1988 toy is actually a model of the TIE Fighter and was released exclusively in Brazil, which I guess has some secret love of Star Wars but isn't super concerned with authenticity. If you've got one in its original Portuguese box, it'll nab you just over $2000.
16 Was "Camel Face" Too Mean?
Ah here we go, another action figure based on a barely-seen alien in Jabba's Palace and slapped with a hilariously insulting name by toy maker Kenner in the eighties. Unflatteringly named "Yak Face" by the marketing geniuses at Kenner, this little guy sports a force pike and a sick fur scarf that may or may not be part of his body.
I'll say one thing about the Kenner figures: they had some sweet fashion
Yak Face was released right before Kenner's Star Wars line was cancelled. He was released in some European countries and in Canada, but never saw any kind of distribution in the US. If you're a lucky Canadian with this camel-nosed Jabba hanger-on, he'll score you about $2500 at auction online on Ebay.
15 Anakin Skywalker Pre-2002
Another victim of the cancellation of the Kenner line in 1985, this ghost version of Anakin Skywalker as he appears at the end of the original Return of the Jedi is probably even more valuable now that the Special Editions have erased him entirely to be replaced with Hayden Christensen.
What has More Impact: Ghost Of Guy We Don't Know Or Ghost Of Guy We Hate?
Unlike Yak Face, it looks like Ghost Anakin was only released in Canada and, as part of the eighties Power of the Force line, comes with a commemorative coin. Seems like the coin is the real prize here, featuring a stamp of Anakin with Yoda in the background, a feature of the line that never made it out of the eighties. I've seen values for this figure ranging from $2500 to as much as $7500.
14 I Don't Know, Fly Casual
If you think the Star Wars LEGO sets are too expensive already, wait till you see how much some of the really rare ones go on the market. If you managed to buy the Lambda Shuttle set and not tear into its dozens of tiny bags to assemble it, this awesome design from Return of the Jedi will get you $2,500 on Ebay.
The wings fold up? SOLD!
According to gunaxin.com, the reason this set is so valuable is due to the minifigs that are included in the box: instead of Han Solo's command crew, which you might expect to be included, apparently this shuttle is the one Luke and Vader take up to see the Emperor. The figs included are Vader, Luke, two imperial officers, and a stormtrooper.
13 R2 That Sandwich's Broken Loose Again, See If You Can't Lock It Down
Listen, I haven't been a kid in a while and I can barely take care of myself so having a child is way outside the realm of possibility right now, so answer something for me: are lunchboxes still a thing? Because, man, they used to really be a thing.
The prequels added a lot of things to R2-D2, but did they add juice boxes?
So I guess I'm not surprised that an R2-D2 lunchbox exists, Star Wars lunch boxes are their own type of cultural currency, but I am delighted at the design of this. Inexplicably, these never went into production and only 12 exist in the world. That's crazy- I can't imagine a world in which this wouldn't have been a huge hit. If you somehow have one, it'll get you about $2600.
12 Unique George Lucas Figure Isn't Very Unique
I mean, sure. I guess someone out there wants a minifig of George Lucas, with his cute little seventies haircut and his little director's clapboard and his nerd-wear plaid shirt that he probably has a million of and cost thousands of dollars because who cares?
Please Don't Look At Me
LEGO never officially released these figures and only developed the prototype, although since this is LEGO, the figure is made up of four parts and only one of them, the head, is actually unique to this figure which is a hilarious considering George is famous for Star Wars, which is a pastiche of all the things he likes in one movie. Lil George will go for about $2500, assumedly due only to the fact that this thing is so rare.
11 What A Piece Of Junk
Man, people really go nuts for the Millennium Falcon. I get that it's iconic and has a unique design and everything it just, I dunno, of all the spaceships you can live on it just never really grabbed me the way, say Serenity or Normandy does. Even the Ebon Hawk from Knights of the Old Republic is more appealing to me, and it's based almost entirely on the Falcon. I guess I'm just not blown away by a ship inspired by a burger with a bite taken out of it next to an olive. (True story.)
This Kenner version, sized to fit its figures, is actually pretty accurate despite being kinda Rebels-sized, if you know what I mean. Too chunky, though that fits the design of the Falcon nicely. With all the pieces, this will sell for up to $3200.
10 Maybe The Rarest Action Figure Ever
I had completely forgotten about the Star Wars: Droids TV show until researching this list: I'm just a bit too young for it but I would have been all over anything that was more Star Wars, especially if it was on TV. Droids was set 15 years before A New Hope and featured some favourite characters including Boba Fett and… Vlix.
The show was canceled before this figure came out
So Vlix was designed to come out as part of the second wave of Droids figures, but the show was cancelled and he was never released. He is still floating around out there in packaging that never made it to shelves, so you can sell him for about four grand if you can bear to part from this essential piece of Star Wars history.
9 Die Hard With A TIE Fighter
This model of Darth Vader's TIE Advanced prototype seen in A New Hope is apparently really rare just because Kenner didn't make nearly as many vehicles as they did action figures. This model is both die-cast metal and plastic. You know it's good because it's made of die-cast metal which I never understood as a kid but always meant something was gonna be more awesome than just a plastic toy.
The Wings Come Off? SOLD!
I like to think this toy is valuable because, with its smaller elongated section behind the cockpit, it looks more like the production model TIE Advanced as seen in the X-Wing and TIE Fighter computer games, but probably not. New in a mint box, this fighter will sell for $4000.
8 A Inelegant Weapon From A Less Civilised Age
Here's our first entry in the "double telescoping lightsaber" category so I'll go ahead and give a primer on what that means, exactly. Making lightsaber toys are tricky, because lightsabers are impossible. A beam of light, that is solid and cuts through things, with a hard endpoint that visibly extends, is way beyond the ability of science in 2017, let alone toy manufacturers in the 70s. So what does Kenner do? The had a trick up their sleeve.
No, literally, they put the lightsaber up Luke's sleeve.
At rest, Luke has his lightsaber in his hand. You can pull the blade out of it to a certain point, then pull out more blade until it's fully extended. Why is the blade yellow and why is the second half of the blade so thin that it's bent in every single picture I found? Shut up, that's why- do you want $7000 or not?
7 White Hair/Grey Hair
There are two versions of the Old Man Kenobi figure from the 1978 Kenner line, both of which figure the extremely rare 'double telescoping lightsaber' just like our friend Luke up there. Apparently, Kenner agreed with me that the second part of the saber was flimsy as hell because they never actually released these, preferring to stick to a single-length blade.
Another thing Kenner couldn't decide on was what colour hair, exactly, Alec Guinness had while filming Star Wars. One version of this figure has silvery hair the colour of waves at midnight, the other white hair the shade of fresh winter snowfall. Both are beautiful, but the white haired version with the double telescoping saber is estimated to have less than 5 in the world and is worth $7000.
6 Stay Gold, Threepio
So just saying that something is made of solid gold is a pretty big clue that this product, whatever it is, is going to be pretty valuable. Released as a mail-in promotion for LEGO Magazine in 2007, only five solid gold C-3POs were made and all went to the winners of this contest. Few have ever been sold, even on eBay, and the fervor to which some people attempt to track these down is downright Sherlockian.
Elementary my dear Watson (The element Au)
Owners of this extremely rare piece of Lego minifig history can presumably sell it for about $10,000 though I imagine there are some private collectors, who fall into the middle of the Venn diagram of Star Wars and LEGO fans who would pay a lot more.
5 How About This Droid I've Never Seen Or Heard Of?
The FX-7 Medical droid from The Empire Strikes Back is probably not the medical droid from The Empire Strikes Back that you're thinking of. If you're thinking about the guy who gets Luke out of the bacta tank, you know, "Good luck, sir," that guy, well that's 21B and I knew that without having to look it up because I've wasted my life. FX-7 is… in the back, I guess? He looks more like 21B's tool chest but somebody bought him for an obscene amount of money.
Warning: Daily Mail link incoming
So this article from the Daily Mail in 2014 says this figure was bought at auction for £7,000 which is roughly $14,000, and actually isn't as snarky as I was expecting considering the source.
4 The Story Of The Movie With Bigger Muscles And Inaccurate Colour!
If the extreme value of some of these items hasn't been much of a shock to you, you must be similarly unimpressed by a comic book going for way, way more than the original asking price. Even if you're comfortable with the often insane valuation of rare comics, though, this issue of the Marvel Star Wars premiere issue is ridiculous.
Specifically, the 35 cent variant is form a time when Marvel was experimenting with a five cent price increase on their single issues. The 35 cent variant of the comic, which was released before the movie, was only released in four cities and there less than 1500 in the wil. A 35 cent variant of Star Wars #1 will sell for as much as $13,000!
3 Spend More On A Toy Spaceship Than An Actual Car
With all the attention Lego got this year releasing their insanely detailed Millennium Falcon set, you might think this was the first time they'd put out a big, beautiful model of the famous Corellian YT-1300. In 2007, a slightly less detailed and expensive model was released and quickly discontinued, making it one of the most sought-after and expensive pieces of Star Wars memorabilia.
Before the 2017 release of the new Falcon, this one was the most expensive Lego set ever released, at $500 new. A recent auction of the original set, new in a mint condition box, sold for $16,000 on eBay. This one, crucially, was a "1st edition" and came with a certificate of authenticity. The 2007 version, obviously, predates the new trilogy so it's an OT-only edition, with figs from A New Hope: Luke, Han, Chewie, Leia, and Ben.
2 A Tiny Alien With A Very Expensive Cape
So this is probably the most ridiculous item on a list that is, by its very definition, ridiculous. No one is going to buy a Jawa action figure to play with it. What do you do? Blast your R2D2 figure with an ion blaster? Haggle with your other figures for better prices on their accessories? Ride that stupid radio controlled sandcrawler?
I won't accept that anyone actually wanted this toy
So the big draw here is that a lot of the Kenner figures that required capes or cloaks came with heavy, vinyl ones that made them more expensive. Kenner though, rightly, that no one would buy an expensive figure that was half the size of the normal ones, so they replaced the vinyl cape with a cloth on. The original vinyl caped Jawas sell for as much as $18,000.
1 I Find Your Lack Of Thousands Of Dollars Disturbing
Just like the Luke and Obi-Wan figures higher up on the list, this obscenely expensive Darth Vader figure is one of the very few in the world to have a double-telescoping lightsaber. Remember, that means half of it extends out from his arm and the other half from the first extension. Unlike the Luke figure, this Vader's lightsaber is closer to his canon colour but is more of an orange than red.
Like the other 1978 Kenner figures, Vader comes with a vinyl cape and his sculpt is pretty good- it's hard to mess up a character with a full helmet anyway. This is likely one of the rarest Star Wars figures in the world as there are estimated to be only 3 or 4 double-telescoping Vader's out there and in 2003, one of these sold on eBay for $30,000.