Hake's expects rare Star Wars toys could fetch $1M at auction
With “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” scheduled to hit the big screen in December, 40 years after the original’s release, nostalgia is high for the galaxy far, far away.
And fans of the wildly popular franchise now have a chance to own a piece of the action.
Springettsbury Township-based Hake’s Americana & Collectibles is holding the first in a series of auctions featuring the Star Wars Collection of Russell Branton — which it bills as “the best original trilogy vintage Kenner collection to ever come to auction.”
The 700 action figures and related toys in the collection could fetch $1 million, according to Todd Sheffer, production manager for Hake’s Americana & Collectibles.
And that’s a conservative estimate, he added.
Most of the items are "Star Wars" related, but there are other Kenner action figures in the auction as well.
Among the most coveted items to be auctioned are three early action figures — Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi — with double-action telescoping light sabers, according to Sheffer.
The production costs were high, and the light sabers were easily broken, so the manufacturer soon did away with the feature, he said.
Of the three characters, there are more Luke Skywalker figures, Sheffer said.
“Darth Vader’s extremely rare and then Obi-Wan Kenobi — there are only a few known to exist. This collection has all three,” he said.
The carded Obi-Wan Kenobi figure in the collection will start with an opening bid of $15,000 and is expected to fetch between $75,000 to $100,000, he said.
“This is the one for the collectors — the big, hard-core guys that want to have it all,” Sheffer said. “This is the hard one to find.”
Another collection highlight is the three-packs of action figures from 1978.
“They made 16 different three-packs, (and) this collection contains a complete set,” Sheffer said. “They are extremely hard to come by.”
Also up for auction is a “fairly comprehensive set of ‘Revenge of the Jedi’ cards, which never came to happen because they changed the title of the last movie to ‘Return of the Jedi,’" he said.
Branton is an enthusiast who saved all of his "Star Wars" toys from childhood and began collecting as an adult in 2003, according to Hake’s.
“It was always my mission to obtain the entire collection and eventually sell it off,” he says on the auction house’s website. “It will be exciting to see the love and passion others have for Star Wars as well.”
The first online auction of the collection began Oct. 24 and runs through Nov. 16. More of the collection will be auctioned next year, according to Hake’s.
To learn more about the auction, go to www.hakes.com.