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The figurine, with a rare two-piece telescoping lightsaber, was quickly withdrawn from the market "due to the propensity for the lightsaber to snap off," Sotheby's said.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

  • Alison Brie's nudist past 'helped me prepare for naked scene'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Actress Alison Brie’s nudist past helps her strip on camera. The brunette bares all on the first episode of her new Netflix women’s wrestling series GLOW and admits her wild ways at college have made her less shy about nudity than many of her peers. Source
  • Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki's home destroyed by wildfire

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki’s California retreat in San Luis Obispo, has been destroyed by a wildfire. The actor’s pad was burned to the ground on Monday night, according to TMZ, and because firefighters are still trying to contain the blaze he cannot get access to his home to assess the damage. Source
  • Bill Cosby rejects 'sexual assault tour' idea floated by reps

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SANTA MONICA, CALIF. - Bill Cosby’s “town hall” tour is unlikely to happen before his retrial on sex assault charges in Pennsylvania, one of his lawyers said Tuesday. Attorney Angela Agrusa said after a hearing to set a trial date in a sex abuse lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the comedian that Cosby won’t be discussing sexual assault and she “can’t imagine” his legal team would let him perform or speak publicly as representatives said he planned to do this summer. Source
  • Drake bringing OVO Fest to Budweiser Stage Aug. 7

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The Six God and his Toronto music festival are back. With just five weeks to go, Drake finally announced the 8th annual OVO Fest for Aug. 7 at Budweiser Stage with PartyNextDoor, DVSN, Majid Jordan and Roy Woods also on the bill. Source
  • Britney Spears on 2007 breakdown: I was 'overwhelmed' by small things

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Britney Spears has opened up about her 2007 breakdown in an Israeli publication, revealing her anxiety issues were at the root of the problem. The Toxic singer hit the headlines a decade ago after she shaved off her hair, lashed out at photographers with an umbrella and locked herself and her kids in a bathroom in a desperate attempt to stop them from being returned to their dad, Kevin Federline. Source
  • 'Gotham' star Donal Logue's son goes missing

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Canadian actor Donal Logue has appealed to fans to help him locate his teenage son after he went missing in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Monday. The Gotham star, known for his role as Detective Harvey Bullock, shared a photo of his boy, Jade Logue, on Twitter on Tuesday, and pleaded with followers to look out for him, explaining he disappeared while outside the Barclays Center arena. Source
  • 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' star Michael Nyqvist dead at 56

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films and often played villains in Hollywood movies, such as in John Wick, has died. Nyqvist’s representative Jenny Tversky said Tuesday that he died after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Source
  • Dragon Tattoo star Michael Nyqvist dies at 56

    Entertainment CBC News
    Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films and often played villains in Hollywood movies like John Wick has died. Nyqvist's representative Jenny Tversky said Tuesday that he died after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Source
  • Barbara Frum inducted into CBC News Hall of Fame

    Entertainment CBC News
    Barbara Frum, known best to Canadians as co-host of CBC Radio's As It Happens and later for CBC Television's The Journal, has been inducted into the CBC News Hall of Fame. On hand for the ceremony Tuesday were several friends and colleagues, along with members of her family. Source
  • Patrick J. Adams: Potential princess Markle 'like a sister to me'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Reports of royalty in Toronto are no fairy tale. Insiders have revealed to several outlets that Prince Harry and perhaps princess-to-be Meghan Markle recently had an enchanting time together in our great kingdom of Toronto. Markle is currently living in Toronto while she films the hit courtroom television series Suits, which begins a seventh season on USA Network in July. Source