The answer is probably ‘no’ unless you are a Star Wars collector/obsessive and/or a toy dealer/auctioneer. The Vlix figure has been described as “unquestionably the rarest of all Star Wars figures to be commercially released” and “a sort of Holy Grail for many Star Wars figure enthusiasts.
However, at Teeside toy specialist Vectis Auctions on January 19, you have the chance to bid for one.
Part of the reason for the Vlix obscurity is that the character is a villain from a Star Wars spin-off – the cartoon Droids – rather than the films. As for the rarity, it seems that the Vlix was never put into production by Kenner, the toy company in the US which produced Star Wars figures.
According to swca.com, a collectors’ archive site, “in the States it was scheduled for release in Kenner’s second series of Droids action figures but, due to the cancellation of the show, it was never issued”.
However, some of the tools and moulds were actually then sold to a Brazilian company, Glasslite, which produced a limited run of carded figures. “American collectors had been familiar with prototypes of the Vlix figure for years, but it was not until the early 1990s that news of its release in Brazil began spreading throughout the collecting community,” adds swca.com, which says that “probably less than a dozen carded Vlix figures” are currently in US collections.
Value of figures that do emerge is thus based on whether they are prototype only (the much rarer Kenner version) or Glasslite. Carded Star Wars figures usually make the most money, especially if the card is unpunched (i.e. the ‘hole’ to hang it up on a rail is not open), but for the Vlix the prototype version is more desirable despite the inevitable lack of packaging.
Vectis has built a formidable reputation for Star Wars figure sales, not least for setting a world record for a Star Wars figure when a French issue of Boba Fett made an astonishing £21,000 in July last year.
In that same auction Vectis sold a carded Glasslite Vlix for £12,000. The latest Vlix is conservatively estimated at £3000-4000. The 9.5cm high figure is dated to 1985, is an uncarded US prototype, and comes with a letter of authenticity.
Vectis is also offering a Kenner Star Wars Vlix Droids prototype coin, with silver ‘villain’ text, 1985, estimated at £2000-3000.
As soon as we write that something is very rare, another one appears, of course. Bury St Edmunds saleroom Lacy Scott & Knight tweeted earlier this month that it is offering another Vlix, also uncarded by the looks of the photo shown (but no other details are available yet).