Sale price estimated at $360,000 for "The Dubai Collection"
A Dubai resident will auction the world's rarest Star Wars action figure prototypes next month in a sale that is estimated to raise as much as $360,000.
The 33-piece collection belonging to the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, includes the rarest examples of the toys released in the late 1970s at the beginning of Star Wars mania.
"The Dubai Collection" includes mint condition figures for Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo together with pre-production prototypes.
A hand-painted prototype of Obi-Wan Kenobi, from 1977, is estimated to sell for $25,000. One of five known prototypes for a character named Bib Fortuna, considered the rarest of all Star Wars figures, could sell for $30,000.
"These early prototypes and test figures were made to perfect the stock eventually released to the public," said Aaron White, an expert in vintage comic books and original comic art at Heritage Auctions.
"Star Wars action figures from the late 1970s and early 1980s are highly collectible, but these 'first shot' prototypes are glued and painted by hand, making them the most valuable figures you could ever own.
A rare 1977 action figure of villain Darth Vader (est. $25,000) features an early "double telescoping" lightsaber - a rarity that is in high demand among collectors.
A rare, 1985 Canadian edition of a character named "Yak Face," only released in Canada and Australia, is unopened and attached to a bilingual backing card (est. $15,000).
"The entirety of the collection is in near mint condition," White added. "Many figures are the finest existing examples ever graded - there are none like them anywhere in the word."
The collection of rare action figures will be auctioned from August 2-4 in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction live in Dallas, Texas, and online on HA.com.