“Star Wars” super fans Friday snapped up some of the rarest merchandise on the planet from the space franchise for more than $500,000 in an online auction, Sotheby’s announced.
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 film 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 the 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.
They went for a combined total of $505,202, Sotheby’s said.
The most expensive item was a pristine, unopened packet of seven action figures from “Empire Strikes Back” which fetched $32,500 — three times its 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 estimated value of $18,000.
Never removed from the packaging, itself in pristine condition, it is one of only 20 confirmed examples of the doll, the auction house said.
The model, with a rare two-piece telescoping lightsaber, was quickly withdrawn from the market “due to the propensity for the lightsaber to snap off,” Sotheby’s said.
“It’s an impressive auction both in rarity and scope of items,” Sotheby’s consultant James Gallo told AFP before the sale.
Sotheby’s, set up in 18th century London and best known for selling fine art masterpieces, called in Gallo to value the collection. He spent a week and a half sorting through it.