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Press Release - July 18, 2018
Dubai Collector’s Rare Star Wars Action Figures May Bring $360,000 at Auction Aug. 2-4Rare prototypes of popular characters offered at Heritage Auctions, HA.com
The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, pursued only the rarest examples of the toys released in the late 1970s at the beginning of Star Wars mania. Officially titled "The Dubai Collection," it includes figures for Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo in mint condition and includes pre-production prototypes never intended to be seen by the public. A hand-painted prototype of Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, from 1977, is estimated to sell for $25,000. One of five known prototypes for a character named Bib Fortuna, considered the rarest of all Star Wars figures, could sell for $30,000.
"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 created to test the functionality of a toy's steel production molds. An independent third-party service graded the condition of every toy in the collection and deemed many of them to be the world's finest examples 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," White said. "These figures have always been collectible, but in the last three years or so individual figures are now selling for five figures."
One unusual find features the original title of the space saga's 1983 sequel. A printer's proof card for the popular character, Boba Fett, refers to the movie as Revenge of the Jedi, which was ultimately changed to Return of the Jedi. It is expected the card alone may sell for $7,000.
Additional rarities from the collection include:
· The single highest-graded example of the famous 1978 Luke Skywalker action figure, one of the most valuable of all Star Wars action figures.
· An "engineering figure" of fan favorite Boba Fett, from an ex-Kenner Toys employee who worked in the internal department that did testing on figures and comparisons with production figures. Engineering figures were used in the final stages of pre-production.
· The highest-graded example of a rare Jawa Star Wars action figure.
· Rare, early action figures from Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe and Wrestling Superstars toy lines that have become hot collectibles.
The collection of rare action figures crosses the auction block Aug. 2-4 in Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Auction live in Dallas, Texas, and online on HA.com.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
Eric Bradley, Public Relations Director
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