Sunday, December 9, 2012

Star Wars items up for Auction

Luke Skywalker's lightsaber from "Return of the Jedi" is hitting the auction block later this month, courtesy of Profiles in History

It could be all yours (if you've got between $30k and $50k to blow).

Other goodies up for grabs from the "Original Trilogy of Star Wars" collection include:
- An original X-wing Fighter miniature (est. price $80k to $120k)

- An Imperial Royal Guard helmet (est. price $40k - $60k)

- A Scout Trooper blaster (est. price $10k - $

and A conceptual Jabba the Hutt sculpture (TBD)

Even the cheapest of the pieces -- a rejected Yoda head -- is still expected to fetch at least $4,000.

Both Disney items and Stars Wars memorabilia hold their own increasing value individually, Julien added. For instance, checks made out by Walt Disney himself have sold at auction through Julien’s for $5,000, drawings by Disney have sold for $10,000 to $15,000, and posters for the original Star Wars trilogy have sold for $10,000 to $20,000, and will increase in value, Julien said.

Fans, early on, started collecting Star Wars memorabilia out of passion for the original movies, not financial gain, but the items will only gain in worth, Julien said. A Carrie Fisher miniature from Empire Strikes Back gifted to her by George Lucas himself sold at auction at Julien’s 10 years ago for $40,000, and could easily go for $150,000 to $200,000 today, he said. A fighter ship model that Carrie Fisher gave Julien’s, also gifted to her by Lucas, sold at auction for $40,000 in 2002, and would also likely sell today for between $150,000 and $200,000. Art auction house Christie’s recently sold at auction a storm trooper outfit for more than $300,000.

“The items that are sought after most are from ‘the good old days,’ but no one really knew what they had. It’s hard to know what the future will hold. With the movie in 2015, in five, 10 years after that, those items will be valuable, but not as much as the original,” he said. “The people who bought original items emotionally are far better off from a financial standpoint. Up until the last 10 years, most of the items from the original Star Wars were emotional purchases, not as a financial investment.”

Both Vilmur and collector Tom Hodges, an artist who worked for Lucasfilm from 2004 through 2011 on projects including The Clone Wars web comic for, agree that early material, especially low-production items related to Lucas’ original 1977 Star Wars, are always in high demand. That means high-end art prints, toys and figures.

“I’ve gone from collecting a lot of things, in the hundreds, to being more focused. It went from master replicas, and everything published book wise to focusing on storm troopers, clone troopers and Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and the bounty hunters,” said Hodges. “From a personal viewpoint, the Disney/Star Wars mash-up stuff, like Mickey Mouse as Anakin, or as Luke, that stuff is going to disappear. It’s going to fly off shelves, if it’s mass-produced. Plus, eBay will be loaded with this stuff. The value on the older stuff, from the ‘70s, early ‘80s, will probably go through the roof. I love the original films. I saw the first Star Wars opening weekend. I saw Empire Strikes Back on opening day.”

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