So, what is all the fuss about vintage Star Wars toys?
Vintage Star Wars,
Toys were released in the late 1970’s when the first, or actually fourth movie hit the big screen. A new hope was there!
Little could people know that the whole Star Wars franchise would still be alive and kicking 40 years later! Toys and merchandise became highly collectible, the original trilogy has been widely expanded and none other then Disney is captaining the Star Wars fleet.
For those who are lucky enough to have played with the Star Wars toys ‘back in the day’, the feeling of holding a Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker toy in your hand is mostly an instant reminder of their childhood.
My own childhood was also highly influenced by Star Wars toys. I started collecting them in the Late 80’s and early 90’s. Way before the craze started. I started collecting mostly out of boredom, visiting tons of flea markets, swap meets and yard sales with my parrents who were in the antiques trade. I always got some spending money on these markets to keep me busy (and probably to get into the trade). I spent almost every cent i got on Star Wars toys. From loose actiom figures to sealed in the box playsets. All of this was still for grabs back then at bargain prices. How would you feel if you would visit a store today and found a carded yak face figure in a sales bin for €0.40 / £0.35 / $0.50 ? Well there were at least 25 of these available in every toy store or warehouse with a toy department. Nobody wanted yakface or Amanaman. So i bought mine back in the day for 1 Dutch gulden. And i still have the carded figure today.
Now a days Star Wars toys are highly sought after and still provide lots of pleasure to 70’s and 80’s kids and even a new generation of collectors. It always makes me feel good to see a young person collecting the toys we used to play with.
Why did our childhood toys become so valuable!?
A question, asked a lot! But are they realy worth that much?
Ofcourse there will be exceptions, but the majority of the figures and playsets have been used and abused for years and years, througout a whole generation and beyond.
So the chance of finding figures in near mint condition decreased with every year. And to me that is where the real value is. Ofcourse there are carded figures and sealed in box vehicles and playsets with much more value, and finding those is much and much harder. To me its about childhood memories and being able to hold these in my hand without a plastic bubble or cardboard box being in between. Ofcourse to each its own. I still collected the carded figures and boxed sets, but my loose run always made me most happy!
The marketvalue has increased with lightspeed.Some say this is because of the release of the newer movies, and some believe a lot of “collectors” are stockpiling Star Wars toys for the value they hold. Is there a definitive answer? Probably not.
As always this starts with losing the tiny blasters and lightsabers, chewing on those lightsaber tips and breaking or painting vibro axes. There are more accesoiries then figures, so a complete figure with little to no play and paintwear is always a great find!
Throughout the years many have tried to fill this gap by producing reproduction accesoiries for our beloved childhood toys. This has had a great deal of impact on the collectors market and the value of the toys in question. Now a days it has almost become a sport to find a stormtrooper with a non repro blaster. The value of original toys took a giant leap and scammers are always on the prowl trying to sell these fakes to the collectors.
I believe Supply and Demand is the main answer to the question.
Repro is bad mmmmkay…..
Other then that, why would you have repro in your collection? To have spotwarmers untill you find an original? Just because the originals are too darn expensive? Because you do not consider yourself a purist collector and just want to have a displaypiece?
Anyway, its all in the eye of the beholder i guess. To me the modern reproductions are a waste of time and money. I would rather save up for a year to buy something near mint and original then buying a repro instantly. The same goes for beater figures. Its a less expensive way to start a collection, but in the long run it is cheaper to buy a nice example straight away then upgrading your beater figure ten times. Collecting should never be a race or pissing contest! Period.
Collecting should be fun and exiting. The chase is better then the catch.
A fairly new battle against reproductions is the grading of figures and other toys.
Grading toys. AFA? UKG? Why to do this or why not to do this?
Again something that is in the eye of the beholder.
A graded figure in a nice acrylic case van be cool to display. Protection from dust and sunlight damage. Tons of pro’s, but are there cons?
How trustworthy are these graders? Can they tell repro from original? Do they actually have the time to examine items properly?
Topic for a new blog? Most likely!
Back to Star Wars…..
With all the negativity about insane prices and reproduction fakes would you still want to collect Star Wars toys?
Why not? If this makes you happy you definatly should!
Together with other collectors you are keeping this new hope alive!
And what is more exiting to a fan then finding out what is still to come…
Looking for rare variations of toys, finding a holy grail item on a yard sale, discussing the stuff you love with fellow collectors. Just make the best out of this whole deal for yourself.
Collector? Passionate about Star Wars? Want to share your knowledge or show your collection among others?
For those who have access to facebook my reccomendations would be;
Vintage toy addicts BE/NL
Echo Base Benelux vintage Trading
Echo Base UK vintage Trading
Echo Base USA vintage Trading
The Imperial Commissary
And for our internet users
Ofcourse there are a lot more websites and forums. These are a few of the trustworthy groups and forums i would reccomend.
Feel free to comment, follow and share!
May the force be with you.