For more than half a year after the first film in the Star Wars series was released in May 1977, no official toys from the franchise were sold. In time, however, Kenner would produce 12 figures including Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO, Han Solo and Darth Vader. By the time the original trilogy was over in 1985, a total of 99 figures had been created.
A complete collection of these original 99, including a rare R2-D2 with a pop-up light sabre, will feature in Sheffield Auction Gallery’s November 30 sale. The group has been assembled by a private collector from Yorkshire and is estimated at £2500-3500.
“Around the time this piece was crafted, Ivan the Terrible, tsar of Russia, was ordering massacres, while the British navigator Sir Francis Drake passed through Maluku on his circumnavigation of the world,” writes Doe & Hope in the catalogue note.
The Bedfordshire dealership is selling the 10in (26cm) 16th century painted and carved one-piece beech model, formed as a lion. Possibly of German origin, the piece is priced at £2650.