Some of the world’s rarest Star Wars collectible figures are expected to sell for $360,000 at auction.
The set of 33 pieces are pre-production prototypes of the popular figures that have sold millions.
The anonymous owner, who lives in Dubai, painstakingly put the collection together over several years from the rarest Star Wars collectibles released in the 70s when the first films were released.
The Dubai Collection includes mint condition pre-production prototypes never intended for public view of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo.
A hand-painted prototype of Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, from 1977, is estimated to have a value of $25,000.
Never intended for public eyes
One of five known prototypes for a character named Bib Fortuna, considered the rarest of all Star Wars figures, could reach $30,000 at auction. Fortuna was Jabba the Hutt’s lieutenant who was never far from his master’s ear, offering advice and strategy.
“These early prototypes and test figures were made to perfect the stock eventually released to the public,” said Aaron White, an expert in vintage comic books and original comic art at Heritage Auctions.
“Star Wars action figures from the late 1970s and early 1980s are highly collectible, but these ‘first shot’ prototypes are glued and painted by hand, making them the most valuable figures you could ever own.”
A ‘first shot’ prototype was among the first batch of models from the metal production mould from which retail figures were made.
A specialist consultant has graded the models and declared them as the finest examples of each figure known to exist.
“The entirety of the collection is in near mint condition,” White said. “Many figures are the finest existing examples ever graded – there are none like them anywhere in the word.
“Demand for vintage Star Wars collectibles has increased after the release of the new films. These figures have always been collectible, but in the last three years or so individual figures are now selling for five figures.”
Other highlights from the Dubai Collection include a rare 1977 Darth Vader figure with a ‘double telescoping’ light sabre expected to make $25,000 and a Canadian edition of Yak Face that is unopened, with a target figure of $15,000.
The auction starts on August 2.