In the world of vintage and modern toy collecting, there has always been a king. That king being Star Wars. When I look back at the past 45 years of the Star Wars franchise as a whole, no one has done better. Outside of George Lucas’ genius in creating an entire universe of characters, vehicles, planets, religion and everything else on the big screen, the toy lineup is equally impressive. First introduced to the market in 1978 by Kenner, the Star Wars toy line was innovative in that their action figures stand 3 ¾” tall compared to the industry standard previously set by Mego and Hasbro at 8″ and 12″ respectively. Prior to Kenner, taller action figures resulted in a higher production cost. Instead of having many different characters, you would have different costumes and accessories to change your character to. the large size made it incredibly difficult to build scale vehicles. Imagine if all your Star Wars figures from a kid were 8″ and you wanted the Millennium Falcon? That would have been huge! Kenner’s format revolutionized the toy industry in that action figures no longer had clothes like a doll 3 ¾” figures were molded plastic so instead of buying different outfits you always bought different toys. On the business side, production costs went down and profits went up, everyone in the toy industry was happy. With the exception of Mego, just imagine being the hottest toymaker of the 1970s and refusing the Star Wars license. Not a good day for them.
Jumping to the present day in 2022, Star Wars is still one of the hottest brands. Both in the new main retail space and in the secondary vintage collection. On the vintage side, it is frankly hotter than ever. In my opinion, Star Wars has now taken a leap in the market when it comes to the seriousness of the hobby. It’s no longer just a matter of collecting toys, but of a real commodity that is now traded like comic books. In 2015, a 1978 Kenner 12 back Luke Skywalker in 85 rated condition would have cost you between $3,000 and $4,000. Now it’s easily $7,000 to $10,000 or even more, depending on the variant. The other reason it’s become its own NASDAQ is that there are so many different toys to collect. It’s like the comics. There are very few people in the world who have all Star Wars action figures from 1978 to 1985 in sealed condition. Almost impossible if you want to consider trips abroad. The fact is that this is a collector’s pursuit whose end is extremely difficult to find. If you’re one of the lucky few to have a cache of vintage Star Wars at home, the market has never been better. When looking to sell, always seek the advice of an auction house. Selling on consignment is always better than selling straight, you don’t want to sell yourself short. Apart from this happy Star Wars Day! May the 4 be with you, sit back, relax and begin your trilogy day.