We all remember our favorite toys from childhood. For some, it was Barbie dolls and Cabbage Patch kids, and for others it was G.I. Joes and Star Wars figures. If you are like most adults, you have countless memories related to these toys, which makes it exceptionally difficult to part with them. Leaving these toys behind is like wiping away the memories of your childhood, however; if you have managed to hold on to some of your nostalgic items, you may be in for a big surprise.
If you were a fan of Star Wars back in the late 70s and early 80s, there is a good chance that you are familiar with Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Well, if you happen to own specific figures of these characters then you may be on the receiving end of a good chunk of change in the near future. Two of these ultra-rare figures have sold for a combined amount of over $100,000. These particular plastic Jedi Knight figures were made in 1978 by Kenner toy manufacturers, just one year after the release of the first Star Wars films.
The two figures came with a ‘double telescoping’ lightsaber placed in their right hands, which are made up of flimsy strips of brightly colored plastic that extends to double their size. So far, the Darth Vader figure has sold for $55,000 and the Obi-Wan Kenobi one sold for a world record of $65,000. There is also a Luke Skywalker figure holding the saber that was more commonly purchased because it was part of a mass early bird direct mail offer with Kenner.
So why are these specific saber-holding figures going for so much?
Evidently, after these particular figures were made, the bosses at Kenner decided to simplify the lightsabers, getting rid of the previous model. As a result, only a few containing the telescopic lightsabers of the original ones were sold, making them unbelievably rare today. So far, both of these figures have beaten the world record of a Star Wars figure sale, which was $36,000 for a rare Boba Fett bounty hunter that was sold in 2016.
There are only a handful of the Darth Vader figures that are still sealed in their original packaging.
Star Wars collector, Russell Branton just started collecting the figures 15 years ago, even though he was a big Star Wars fan as a child. Having a disposable income, Branton purchased two of the record-breaking items and he has seen their value rise dramatically over the last five years.
“Russell began his collection about 15 years ago and he paid very good money for these things,” said Alex Winter, president of auctioneers, Hake’s Americana and Collectibles. “But over time they have escalated in price, especially the ‘double telescoping’ Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. They are incredible prices that reflect the rarity of these two figures because when are you going to get the chance to buy something like this again? The answer is it may never happen. Star Wars is multi-generational. We have fans who were kids when the original films came out in the 1970s and now their kids have seen the recent films and are fans too.”