A short time ago in a galaxy not so far away, an Illinois gentleman discovered he was harboring some of the most important Star Wars toys in history.
The gent’s collection, which will go under the gavel at Morphy Auctions next month, includes no less than 400 mint-condition figurines from the 1970s and ‘80s. According to the auction house, the toys have been kept in their original Kenner boxes for the past 40 years.
The anonymous consignor, who is a collector of antique vending machines, reportedly purchased multiple action figures upon each respective release. He would give his Star Wars-loving kids one to play with, then put the rest away in a dry, climate-controlled storage space.
“Obviously, he had exceptional foresight,” Morphy’s CEO Tom Tolworthy said in a statement.
Tolworthy encouraged the collector, who happens to be a good friend, to have the toys properly assessed at Morphy. The auction house then enlisted a top-notch Star Wars expert to catalog each item and soon realized the incredible value.
“When I first heard of the collection, I really didn’t believe it could be what it is, but after picking it up, I realized it was even more special than I originally had thought,” the auction house’s founder Dan Morphy adds.
The sale will be led by five Luke Skywalker figures that were only available in special early-bird packs. Each one is expected to fetch between $10,000 and $20,000. Another highlight is an unpunched Boba Fett that is poised to sell for between $4,000 and $8,000.
There’s also a first issue Death Squad Commander on offer. This toy was pulled soon after release because the manufacturer decided the word “Death” was unsuitable for kids, so early examples are increasingly hard to find. It’s expected to realize between $800 and $1,600.
All up, the collection is expected to pull in between $250,000 and $400,000. The toys are currently on exhibition at Morphy’s galleries in Denver, Penn., ahead of the live auction on February 1.