As part of Issue #2 of our Newsletter (distributed on 4th February, and viewable here) we ran a feature on Star Wars. The latest instalment in the franchise wowed audiences in the run-up to Christmas, and as we discovered from public reaction during our December Toy & Train Fair, this had regenerated interest in memorabilia and merchandise from the original Star Wars films of the late 1970s and 1980s.
For those who didn’t receive the Newsletter, the piece is reproduced below. (If you’d like to be added to our mailing list and be assured of receiving all future issues, then please complete the Subscribe form alongside.)
Star Wars – Fad or Fade?
The release of the latest title in the Star Wars movie franchise just before Christmas tied in well with our last fair of the year, and interest in merchandise from the series was evident. We’d like to think that such events introduce young collectors to the hobby, and that some will then branch out into other areas as well, but are these tie-ins just a fad, or and will interest fade away?
Well, in the case of Star Wars, perhaps not. This time last year a rare Palitoy ‘unpunched’ version of Boba Fett from The Empire Strikes Back (c1980) sold for a UK record of £15,000 with auctioneers Vectis, proving that the appeal of the early films is holding strong, but what of the current crop?
Tim reckons would-be investors need to be careful. “Because some of the early pieces command such very high prices there’s a misconception today that all Star Wars memorabilia will go up in value, but that’s unlikely to be the case. The items that have increased significantly over the years have been the rarities, while the common figures can still be picked up very cheaply, even in pristine condition. The current peak suggests it is probably a fad, but it’s certainly very hot at the moment. It doesn’t always follow that all the new merchandise will turn into gold, and the chances are that the material that’s clearly made to be ‘collectable’ almost certainly won’t be!”
The passage of time has also demonstrated how important condition and packaging is. Don’t throw away the box, and don’t open the blister pack! This is sage advice, as anyone who has collected ‘limited edition’ metal figures has discovered to their cost, and now sees them offered for as little as a £1 each at our fairs.