Only prototype Star Wars figures, such as the rocket-firing Boba Fett, have made more at auction.
It was with the debut of Kenner’s Star Wars toy line in 1978 that action figures became a fixture in nearly every American household. These are the toys that started a phenomenon and are today some of the most desirable of all Star Wars figures.
Of the original 12 figures, three characters strong with the force – Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, and Darth Vader – were initially equipped with a lightsabre that offered a double telescoping feature. However, as it became clear the feature was too complex, too fragile, and too expensive to manufacture, Kenner revised the weapon into a simpler design.
Very few double telescoping figures have survived in good order, and fewer still in the original packaging.
The figure of Luke Skywalker offered by New Orleans TV generation toy specialist LCG Auctions on June 13 is as good as it gets. It has been professionally graded by the Action Figure Authority (AFA) as 90 which means it is virtually flawless. The card is unpunched, has no fading, no edge wear, and no creases or veins. The bubble is clear and retains perfect form. Needless to say, it has never been opened.
One of only two double-telescoping Skywalker figures ever given this grading, it was also the first ever to come to auction.
Expected to break the previous record for a production line action figure (set in 2017 when a carded double-telescoping Ben Kenobi graded AFA 80 sold for $76,700), it did not disappoint.
After 16 online bids, it sold at $83,543 (£64,260), a hammer price that just passed the $100,000 threshold when the 20% buyer’s premium was added.
The figure of Luke Skywalker appears in more variations than any other Star Wars figure. In addition to the character’s weapon, his hair and clothes were issued in several different shades.