'Star Wars' memorabilia fetches more than $500,000 in online auction

(New York) - "Star Wars" super fans snapped up some of the space film saga's rarest merchandise on the planet for more than $500,000 at auction on Friday, Sotheby's announced in New York.

See Full Article

More than 600 items found new homes in the sale organized by Sotheby's and eBay -- just days before the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the seventh movie in arguably the world's biggest movie franchise.

The space epics have grossed billions of dollars at the box office worldwide since the first film came out in 1977 and spawned a pop culture phenomenon, drawing legions of hardcore fans.

All items in the auction came from the private collection of Japanese designer and creative entrepreneur Nigo, who started collecting toys and figures decades ago at just six years old.

The online auction netted combined sales of $502,202, Sotheby's said.

The most expensive lot was a pristine, unopened packet of seven action figures from "The Empire Strikes Back" which fetched $32,500 -- three times the estimate.

Two complete sets of "Power of the Force" coins, which were available only by special request from the manufacturer Kenner, sold for $27,500.

A Luke Skywalker doll, which hit the market in 1978 as a children's toy, sold for $25,000, above its upper estimate of $18,000.

Also never removed from the packaging, it is one of only 20 confirmed examples of the doll, Sotheby's said.

The figurine, with a rare two-piece telescoping lightsaber, was quickly withdrawn from the market "due to the propensity for the lightsaber to snap off," Sotheby's said.

There was also a strong market in helmets. A replica of a "Star Wars: A New Hope" Stormtrooper from 2007 fetched $8,125, the auction house said.

Sotheby's consultant James Gallo says the results demonstrated the quality of Nigo's collection and the enduring appeal of the 'Star Wars' universe.

"We set a number of benchmark prices today, reflecting the strength of this market," he said.

Sotheby's, set up in 18th century London and best known for selling fine art masterpieces, called in Gallo to value the collection, which he spent a week and a half sorting through.

From the United States to Russia to China, the franchise has a fan base spanning generations. The films' psychology has even found its way onto university syllabuses.

"It's merchandised more than most," the Pennsylvania-based Gallo, who owns store Toy and Comics Heaven, told AFP last week.

"There isn't much that can compare."

He said that "Star Wars" collectors would proudly display their hard-won memorabilia like anything else -- and certainly would not snap open the packets and play with the dolls.

"It's up to each individual how they enjoy the items they have. It's just like anything else, whether it be fine art or sports collectibles," Gallo said.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Country music stars pay tribute to Las Vegas shooting victims

    Entertainment CTV News
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Singer Jason Aldean and other stars honoured victims of a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas instead of accepting awards at the CMT Artists of the Year show Wednesday night. Source
  • Just for Laughs president Gilbert Rozon stepping down amid allegations

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL - Gilbert Rozon, a giant in the Quebec entertainment industry, is stepping down from various positions amid what he calls "allegations involving him." Rozon said on his Facebook page Wednesday he is no longer president of the Just For Laughs comedy festival, vice-president of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce or involved with the city's 375th anniversary celebrations. Source
  • Just For Laughs president Gilbert Rozon steps down amid allegations

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    MONTREAL — Gilbert Rozon, a giant in the Quebec entertainment industry, is stepping down from various positions amid what he calls “allegations involving him.” Rozon said on his Facebook page Wednesday he is no longer president of the Just For Laughs comedy festival, vice-president of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce or involved with the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Source
  • Lisa LaFlamme talks with Jim Cuddy about his friendship with Gord Downie

    Entertainment CTV News
    Gord Downie, the lead vocalist and lyricist for Canadian band the Tragically Hip, died Wednesday from terminal brain cancer. Downie led “The Hip” through 14 studio albums, 54 singles and 16 Juno awards. He also released six solo albums and appeared in a number of Canadian films. Source
  • Judge: Michael Douglas' son can go to Los Angeles to act

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — A judge who sentenced Michael Douglas’ son to nearly a decade in prison several years ago told him on Wednesday that he can go to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. U.S. District Judge Richard M. Source
  • Gwyneth Paltrow's mom Blythe Danner rips columnist over Weinstein scandal

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Blythe Danner has blasted a newspaper columnist for criticizing her daughter Gwyneth Paltrow’s decision to continue working with Harvey Weinstein after he allegedly propositioned her at the start of her career. The disgraced movie producer has come under attack for reportedly sexually harassing or abusing actresses for decades, and the Iron Man star was among the big names who recalled their bad experiences with Weinstein following the initial expose in The New York Times earlier this…
  • Kevin Smith donating money from Weinstein movies to Women in Film

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Filmmaker Kevin Smith is pledging to donate future residuals from the movies he made with producer Harvey Weinstein to Women in Film. The Clerks director worked with the disgraced movie mogul on several films, including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma, but now Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse multiple times this month, Smith insists he feels “horrible” about collaborating with him. Source
  • Gilbert Rozon steps down after misconduct allegations surface on social media

    Entertainment CBC News
    Gilbert Rozon, President of Just for Laughs as well as the man in charge of the Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations and the vice-president of the Montreal Metropolitan Board of Trade, is stepping down from all his functions. Source
  • Ahead by a Century

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Dear Rest of the World: You’re probably looking at Canada (if you look at us at all) and wondering how an entire nation can be consumed with grief over the death of a singer. A rock singer, no less. Source
  • Harvard rescinds 2014 medal awarded to Harvey Weinstein

    Entertainment CTV News
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard University is rescinding a 2014 medal it awarded to Harvey Weinstein for his contributions to African American culture. The school's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research decided to revoke the W.E.B. Source