The Comprehensive Star Wars Action Figure Price Guide for Collectors

15 commentaires 4 sept. 2023

The Comprehensive Star Wars Action Figure Price Guide for Collectors

What's the value of Star Wars figures that you have lying around the house?

You may ask that question as you peer at an unopened box, a vintage Luke Skywalker staring back through the clear plastic, as you take a moment to enjoy the retro goodness. Or, you may not have any vintage action figures at all, and you're ready to start a collection but have no idea where to start.

Star Wars is always a safe bet. Since the release of the first film in the franchise way back in 1977, Star Wars has been a boundless source of collectible items, from action figures to trading cards, that all find their way onto the resale market. The films had (and continue to have) a huge cultural impact, which is why there's such a massive demand for Star Wars toys of all shapes and sizes.

You want to get in on the act, but you want to make informed purchases so you don't get left with a knock-off Obi-Wan Kenobi when you are looking for the real deal. With this Star Wars action figure price guide, you'll learn about the history of Star Wars action figures, from the vintage figures released in the 1970s to the figures released today, and discover how to determine a Star Wars collectible's value.

Star Wars Collectibles Price Guide

Item Year Price
Blue Snaggletooth 1977 Up to $350
Sand People Figurine 1978 $450
Comic-Con VinTage Carbonite Chamber Action Figure Set 2012 $559.99
Ben Kenobi With Gray Hair 1978 $700
Ben Kenobi With White Hair (Tie) 1978 $800
Princess Leia (Tie) 1978 $800
Luke Skywalker 1978 $890
Radio Controlled Jawa Sandcrawler 1978 $1,100
Lego Chrome-Plated C-3PO 2007 $1,200
TIE Interceptor 1988 $2,151
Han Solo 'Small Head' figure (Tie) 1980 $2,500
Lego Death Star II 2005 $2,600
Lego George Lucas 2010 $2,700
C3PO Action Figure 1978 Up to $3,000
R2-D2 Lunch Box (Tie) 1977 $3,200
C-3PO Lego Minifigure Prototype (Tie) 1999 $3,200
Cantina Playset 1978 $3,350
Boba Fett Lego Minifigure – Solid Bronze Promotional Giveaway 2010 $3,500
Vlix (Tie) 1986 $4,000
Yak Face (Tie) 1985 $4,000
Darth Vader’s Original TIE Fighter Design (Tie) 1977 $4,000
C-3PO LEGO 2007 $4,100
Chewbacca 1977 $4,155
AT-AT 1980 $4,528
Han Solo 1978 $5,400
Gamorrean Guard With Collectors Coin 1985 $5,500
Boba Fett Lego Minifigure – Sterling Silver Promotional Giveaway 2010 $6,000
Droids Boba Fett (Tie) 1985 $6,000
C-3PO 2007 $6,200
Mexican Darth Vader (Tie) 1983 $6,500
Darth Vader (Tie) 1977 $6,500
Double-Telescoping Darth Vader (Tie) 1977 $6,500
Death Squad Commander (Tie) 1978 $6,500
Cast-Signed 'Empire Strikes Back' Poster (Tie) - $7,000
Han Solo in Carbonite, Full-Size Model (Tie) - $7,000
MTV 7-Inch Mini Rig 1983 $7,155
Anakin Skywalker 1985 $7,500
Stormtrooper 12-Inch 1978 $8,198
Early Bird Certificate Package 1977 $9,000
C-3PO 2007 $10,000
Special Action Figure Set of Villains 1978 $10,000
Early Bird Mail Away Kit 1977 $10,120
Medical Droid FX-7 Figure 1980 $11,500
Boba Fett Lego Promotion 2010 $12,000
Boba Fett 1979 $12,000
Darth Vader Bounty Hunters Case 1980 $12,000
Death Star Space Station 1979 $12,900
Sy Snootles and Band 1983 $12,917
R2-D2 Proposed Figure 1980 $12,980
Star Wars Comic #1 1977 $13,500
Lego Millennium Falcon 2007 $16,000
Sonic Controlled Land Speeder 1979 $18,950
Luke Skywalker With Double-Telescoping Lightsaber 1978 $25,000
Vinyl Cape Jawa 1978 $28,000
Walrus Man – Bib Fortuna 1982 $28,556
Darth Vader With Telescoping Lightsaber 1977 $30,000
Brazilian Glasslite Vlix Figure 1988 $45,000
Obi-Wan Kenobi With Double-Telescoping Lightsaber 1977 $76,700
Rocket Launcher Boba Fett 1979 $150,000

History and Evolution of Star Wars Action Figures

A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, a toy company named Kenner landed the contract to create the original figures that would become the first mainstays of the Star Wars action figure scene. They landed the contract right before "A New Hope" was released, though they weren't George Lucas's first choice. He'd initially spoken to Mego Corporation, which has already made a splash in the toy industry with a range of Star Trek figures.

Mego said, "No." And in doing so, they passed up the opportunity to create action figures for what would become one of the most lucrative toy contracts of all time. Kenner wasn't so short-sighted. But even they didn't anticipate the explosion in popularity the first Star Wars film would enjoy. They took things slow, failing to have any toys ready for the profitable Christmas period, resulting in the company taking a novel approach to servicing a rabid new fanbase:

They sold empty boxes.

More specifically, they sent empty boxes to people who wanted Star Wars action figures, along with a certificate entitling the recipient to a Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, or R2-D2 figure in 1978, a year after the film's release.

It was a bold move and one that Kenner was pilloried for in the press, but it paid off thanks to the strength of Star Wars fever. Kenner's original loose figures raked in over $100 million, and the company managed to keep its contract to make figures for the entire original trilogy. By the time "The Empire Strikes Back" was released, Kenner was ready for the demand, and once "Return of the Jedi" was in theaters, the company had 79 3.75-inch complete figures ready to go.

A New Trilogy Emerges

By the time the 1980s rolled around, Kenner had shipped over 250 million of its original action figure line. And it wanted more, so it came up with a proposal – introduce figures of new characters without an associated film.

This time, it was George Lucas's turn to say "No," and the production of new Star Wars figures ground to a halt.

That lasted until the mid-1990s rolled around and Lucas announced his intention to make a new trilogy focusing on Anakin Skywalker and his transformation into the famous Darth Vader. Interest in Star Wars skyrocketed. Kenner (now owned by Hasbro) capitalized by releasing a new series with the old characters, though they had only one extra articulation compared to the original line. A collection of muscled-up figurines (The Hero Age sculpts) released a while later was met with scorn, but Hasbro kept at it, releasing figures throughout the lifetime of the prequel trilogy.

Revenge of the Sith and Beyond

By the time "Revenge of the Sith" was released, Hasbro had moved away from the "Hero Age" debacle and came back strong with collections of figures that more closely resembled the characters in the films. Increased articulation was the order of the day by the time the third film in the prequel trilogy came out, and, unlike with the original trilogy, production continued long after the prequel trilogy's theatrical run.

Accessories followed, including vinyl capes that owners of a Star Wars vintage collection of old Kenner figures could use, and Hasbro simply kept pumping out more and more. The animated "Clone Wars" series poured more fuel on the figure fire, and today, Hasbros continues to make Star Wars action figures for the sequel trilogy and the expanded universe that surrounds the Star Wars intellectual property today.

Demand and Scarcity

Scarcity has an enormous effect on the pricing of figures. You'll see that not only on any original Star Wars action figure price guide but even in other franchises – figures of a certain age or from specific collections sell for more than others. For instance, you'll often see higher prices on a vintage Star Wars price list because those figures are more desirable, whereas models with less attractive action figure designs might have lower prices, regardless of scarcity.

It's all supply and demand.

When supply goes up, prices go down because collectors can easily source the figures they want. Of course, the inverse occurs with low supply – prices rocket up because there are fewer figures available, and even fewer in the condition that many collectors want. And if a collector finds what they want, they'll pay near-astronomical prices for it, as these sales of rare figures show:

  • The Rocket-Firing Boba Fett – Action figure accessories often lead to a figure commanding a higher price, and that's what you see with this complete-in-box Boba Fett figure, which sells for $150,000 or more.
  • Blue Snaggletooth – Landing at the more "affordable" end of the spectrum, the Blue Snaggletooth figure sells for around $1,100. Why? It's part of the limited edition Cantina Adventure Playset, which was only available at Sears for a limited time.
  • Original Darth Vader – The condition of items impacts their price, as the collector's market discovered when an original Darth Vader with an AFA grade of 70 sold for $64,900 in 2018.
  • Bib Fortuna Prototype – Even a tertiary character can fetch high prices if its figure is rare enough and in good condition. The sale of a prototype Bib Fortuna (only two have ever been graded) received a winning bid of $31,200 in 2018.

Valuation of Star Wars Action Figures

What affects a Star Wars toy's value?

That's the question that's floating around in your mind after seeing some of the eye-watering sales figures of some of these Star Wars statues and figures. Understanding the factors that affect a sale price will help you get closer to the higher sums you see in a Star Wars toys price guide.

Factors That Influence Value

An original Star Wars action figure price guide can only give you basic prices, but it's the following factors that ultimately determine the asking price for a figure.

Factor 1 – Rarity

Always start with the most obvious factor – rarity.

This one ties back into the supply and demand issue, as the harder a collectible is to find, the more somebody will be willing to pay for it. The previously-mentioned Bib Fortuna prototype is a great example, as it would likely have fetched far lower than $31,200 if there were more than two graded versions of this figure in circulation.

But there is a caveat to the rarity factor:

A rare figure won't sell for much if collectors aren't interested in it. You might see that happen for figures released in lines that aren't popular, such as the "Hero" designs that action figure lovers hated at the time of their release.

Factor 2 – Age

Take a look at a Star Wars figures value list and you'll usually see older figures near the top and newer figures propping up the list. Why? The reason ties into the scarcity factor, as older figures become increasingly rare as more of them get lost, broken, or simply played with until they're in an unacceptable condition. The older figures that are in good condition sell for more both because of their rarity and because a segment of the collector's market has a nostalgic connection to the figures with which they grew up.

Factor 3 – Condition

On the most obvious level, you could have an original Chewbacca from Kenner's first run of Star Wars action figures, and it won't be worth much if the head's missing or the figure is twisted out of shape. Collectors understand that not every figure can be pristine. But they'll pay more if it is, especially if the figure is still in its box.

Then, there are the things that come with the figure. For instance, many of Kenner's older figures came with original cards. If you get the perfect combination of a figure in good condition, in its box, and with its card, you'll get more than you would for the same figure without its card.

Factor 4 – Exclusivity

Tying closely to the supply and demand factor is exclusivity. You can apply this tag to any action figure that had a limited release, as well as those that were only sold in certain stores rather than released to every toy store in town.

Think about the Blue Snaggletooth figure mentioned earlier. None but the most ardent of Star Wars fans even know who that is, but the collectors who do will pay more because that figure was only ever sold in a limited-run collection in one retail store.

Factor 5 – Grading

A graded figure will almost always sell more than its non-graded equivalent. The reason is that action figure grading services are full of experts who understand the intricacies of the collector's market, and the grades they deliver are indicators of the figure's condition.

So, this factor ties into the condition issue discussed earlier. A figure that may look fine to the average collector's eye could have issues that push its value down, which a grading company will identify. In short - the presence of a grade improves buyer confidence to the point where they may offer more.

Top Valued Star Wars Action Figures

Please note – this section will be done later with a chart. No writing necessary!

Starting and Maintaining Your Collection

There are lots of different Star Wars figures from several eras of production, making the task of starting your collection seem daunting. It doesn't have to be. You're taking the first step on a long road, but with these tips, you ensure that first step (and each one that follows) is stable.

Where to Begin

When beginning your collection, there are three questions to ask – what is your budget, where will you find figures, and what theme should your collection have?

Only you can answer the first question, though that answer will determine how far you can go with your collecting. For instance, a $10,000 budget could net you a few semi-rare figures, but you won't be bidding for the most expensive Star Wars busts out there.

From there, the "where." Local toy stores are a good start, especially for collecting modern figures that may appreciate in value over time. Beyond that, collectors forums and social media pages (such as Collector Freaks) put you in touch with other collectors who can guide you and even be open to trading or selling their vintage figures. Of course, there are also online auction sites, such as eBay, though you're always taking a risk when buying online.

Finally, what should you collect? The answer to that question often comes down to personal taste, though a good piece of advice is to start collecting all of the figures from a specific collection. Otherwise, you end up with a mishmash of action figures from different eras, which may be worth a fair amount individually but don't meld into a cohesive collection.

Maintenance and Preservation

Buying an in-box figure won't mean anything if you don't preserve that figure's integrity so that it retains its value. The highest quality (and therefore) price is attained by mint-in-box or never-removed-from-box items, although they are understandably difficult to find.

In other words, opened boxes, lost limbs, and even slight scratches on paintwork lower a figure's value, and you have to take steps to guide against that value loss with proper preservation.

Preservation starts and ends with storage:

  • Keep your action figures out of direct sunlight because the sun can fade paintwork and damage boxes.
  • Consider sealing your figures in plastic casing or boxes to create an extra layer of protection between your figure and anything that may harm it.
  • Don't store figures in any room that has high humidity because moisture in the air eventually degrades the box.

Authentication and Verification

The sale of counterfeit toys generated over $32 billion in revenue in 2019. Granted, most of that revenue comes from forgeries of modern toys, rather than vintage ones, but it highlights that plenty of nefarious people understand how valuable toys can be and will use underhanded means to profit from them.

That can happen with Star Wars collectibles. Price guides won't help you when you end up with a fake figure, as what you bought is worth nothing to a collector.

The best way to avoid forgeries is to buy officially graded figures only, but where that isn't possible, look for the obvious signs of forgeries:

  • Boxes that don't match the originals in coloring or print work
  • No stickers of authenticity when the original had a sticker
  • Lack of real-life pictures when buying online (i.e., the seller only lists pictures from another online store or promo pictures)
  • Lower prices than you see on a Star Wars figures value list
  • Overly pushy sellers who keep trying to distract you from confirming authenticity
  • Poor-quality paintwork or lack of articulation in loose figures

Navigating the Secondary Market

Whereas you can buy your average figure at a toy store and not have to worry about authenticity, you have to navigate the secondary market if you want real collectibles.

On the buying side, look out for the signs of fakery mentioned above. Scams are everywhere, and your only defense against them is vigilance. Where possible, try to pay using a credit card, PayPal, or any other payment service that allows you to charge back or lodge a claim if you discover you've bought a fake figure.

On the selling side, it's all about making your buyer feel confident that you're selling the real thing. Good photographs, including those showing wear, increase confidence, as do detailed descriptions that show you know what you have. Grading can help, though it isn't always essential. And as for making the most amount of money, try to time your sales so they match trends, i.e., sell whenever Disney puts out a new Star Wars show that causes a spike in Star Wars interest.

Unleash Your Inner Jedi: Begin Your Star Wars Collection with ToyShnip Today

 

Creating a Star Wars retro collection is a lot of fun, especially as you dive deeper into the world of different ranges, limited lines, and figures that most collectors don't know about. But it's a world fraught with danger. Scammers know how valuable Star Wars figures can be, and they're more than happy to sell cheap knock-offs at inflated prices to take advantage of over-eager collectors.

Don't let that happen to you. By relying on a trusted online toy store, such as ToyShnip, for your Star Wars collectibles, you ensure you get the real deal at a fair price. Check out our collection of Star Wars toys today and start your collecting journey.

FAQs

How do I find out how much my action figure is worth?

Price guides are your first port of call, as they'll reveal how much sellers have earned from equivalent sales. You can also check in with the Star Wars collectibles community, as the more experienced collectors can give you an estimate based on sight alone.

How much are the Star Wars action figures worth?

It all depends on the figure, though some can sell for five figures as long as they're complete-in-box and in mint or near-mint condition.

Which Star Wars figurines are worth money?

Apply supply and demand economics, and you get your answer. If the figure is in rare supply and has high demand from collectors, it's likely worth a lot of money.

Are Star Wars toys worth money?

Some are, and some aren't. Demand from collectors (combined with limited supply) typically determines if a Star Wars toy is worth money.


15 commentaires


  • Sherry Cyr 23 avril 2024 à 14:36

    I have Luke Skywalker Bespin
    The Kenner Collection
    StarWars Epic Force
    In the box its on a Spinner.
    How much is this worth?
    He is holding the Blue Light Saber.


  • Jeremy Haskins 28 mars 2024 à 22:34

    I Inherited a lot of 13 1984 Return of the Jedi Kenner action figures. All new in the packaging and have never even hung on a store display. Tags are all still intact. I’m looking to get values and sell to split with another family member. What is the best way of selling these?


  • Kerry Schuster 28 mars 2024 à 22:29

    I own 75 Star Wars action figures in the original packaging. I’m interested in value.
    Thx.


  • Kerry Schuster 28 mars 2024 à 22:29

    I have 75 plus Star Wars action figures (some duplicate) in the original packages.
    Kenner 1995, and am interested in their value.


  • Jason Heise 28 mars 2024 à 22:29

    I have a big collection of Star Wars toys and action figures. Most of which are in their original packaging unopened. A lot of these toys were obtained in the 1990’s with the re-release of the Star Wars trilogy. I have it all in a spare bedroom in my house.. It has to be worth a fortune.


Laissez un commentaire

Ce site est protégé par reCAPTCHA, et la Politique de confidentialité et les Conditions d'utilisation de Google s'appliquent.