Rare ‘Star Wars’ memorabilia on sale
NEW YORK - Agence France-PresseLuke Skywalker doll for $18,000, a Darth Vader helmet or a cuddly Yoda for $100 are just some of the items “Star Wars” fans will dig deep to splash their cash on to get some of the rarest merchandise on the planet.
More than 600 “Star Wars” items will go on sale in an online auction organized by Sotheby’s and eBay on Dec. 11, one week before the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the seventh movie in arguably the world’s biggest film franchise.
The space epics have grossed billions of dollars at the box office worldwide since the first film came out in 1977 and spawned a pop culture phenomenon, drawing legions of hardcore fans. All of the items in the auction come from the private collection of Japanese designer and creative entrepreneur Nigo, who started collecting toys and figurines decades ago at just six years old.
Bids are expected from across the globe when the three-hour auction goes live at 10 a.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT), said James Gallo, a Sotheby’s consultant and the owner of “Toy and Comics Heaven.” “It’s a really large assortment of stuff. It’s an impressive auction both in rarity and scope of items,” he told AFP.
Sotheby’s, set up in 18th century London and best known for selling fine art masterpieces, called in Gallo to value the collection, which he spent a week and a half sorting through.
From the U.S., to Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, “Star Wars” has a fan base spanning generations. The films have even found their way into university syllabuses.
One of 20 examples
A Luke Skywalker doll, which would have been sold in 1978 as a children’s toy, will go on sale at the auction with an estimated value of $12,000 to $18,000.
The figurine, with a rare two-piece telescoping lightsaber, was quickly withdrawn from the market “due to the propensity for the lightsaber to snap off,” Sotheby’s said.
Never removed from the packaging, itself in pristine condition, it is one of only 20 confirmed examples of the doll, the auction house said. The most expensive items are two complete sets of “Power of the Force” coins, valued at $25,000-35,000, which were available only by special request from the manufacturer Kenner. The highlights of the auction will go on display today in a private exhibition at the Conde Nast Gallery at One World Trade Center in New York. Gallo said he was tempted to bid on a couple of items himself, but that his favorite is a 1.06-meter hairy Chewbacca from Canada valued at $3,000 to $5,000.
“It’s a really neat item,” said the Pennsylvania-based aficionado. “It’s a rare item to find.”