Star Wars Posts

What Do Millennials Collect? Experience, Retro, Irony

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

There have been a lot of articles claiming that millennials don’t spend their money on “things,” so we thought it would be good to take a look at their collectibles market. Millennials tend to be more mobile than previous generations, so instead of buying a house (and things to fill it with), they tend to live lighter, putting that money towards experiences and travel.

So What Do Millennials Collect?

lego star wars destroyer

funko pop c-3poExperience, irony and retro are key ingredients. So going to to a Comic Con (experience) and snapping up the latest “Star Wars” items (retro) would fit the bill. The “Star Wars” franchise shows no signs of slowing down, given the number of movies, TV shows, and especially collectibles released in the last few years. And when those items have an inherent oddness (irony) to them like FunKo Pop figures, Lego building sets, or Hot Wheels character cars, you’ve hit the trifecta.

Each of those brands goes well beyond the “Star Wars” theme, so the potential for collectors to diversify is a huge market. Lego is now a $2+ billion brand  (there is a huge market for old and new kits!), Hot Wheels is grossing more than a billion dollars, and FunKo, despite only being founded in the late 1990s, is on its way there.

nintendo nesVideo games are a huge part of the Millennial experience too. but modern systems increasingly lack physical games to purchase in favor of downloads and online multiplayer action. However, older gaming systems have a certain appeal and have become a big collectible business. And it’s not just late 1990s/early 2000s games these people played while young, but even systems their parents might have owned, including Nintendo and Atari systems from the 1980s.

minus 5 dungeon of horrorsModern music doesn’t usually have a tangible form anymore either. It’s mostly downloaded and streamed, not really “owned” like it used to be. The huge exception: vinyl records are increasingly collectible. In fact vinyl records are projected to sell 40 million units in 2017, with sales nearing the $1 billion benchmark for the first time this millennium!

Some artists like Jack White (White Stripes, Dead Weather, Raconteurs, etc.) treat a new record as an additional level of performance art beyond the music itself. It’s one thing to capture a song live in one take… it’s another to record it direct to vinyl, instantly making a very limited number of pressings available for only one day. Consider that White recently released a record that secretly had to be played from the middle of the record outward, and the odd presentation becomes almost as important as the music.

Speaking of “records,” they used to be widely sold in places called “stores.” To celebrate the continued existence of such shops, Record Store Day (April 22, 2017) has become a huge annual nationwide event. It’s fun to stand in the very long line in front of the store and explain it to those not in the know.

“Record Store Day? Are they giving away free stuff?”

“Nope. In fact, they’re charging even more today.”

death cab for cutie cassetteIt’s true. Many artists release special recordings just for this event, often very limited editions in premium packaging, and none of them at all cheap. A few years ago, a band called The Minus Five created just 750 copies of a five record set of new material, including about 100 copies with each record in a different color (Yours truly was able to snag one of the regular copies that day, but not the multi-hued version.) In another instance, Death Cab For Cutie decided to release a new album only on cassette (which led to Cassette Store Day becoming a thing!). In most cases, these come with a digital download in case you don’t have the right listening equipment.

Speaking of which, stereo equipment is a big deal with Millennials as well. For all the convenience of a tiny device that can put 10,000 songs in your pocket, there is still great appeal to a big honking multi component vintage stereo system. They sound amazing but are anything but cheap. The market is there and it’s growing.

star wars record player star wars record player
Which brings us to this Star Wars portable suitcase turntable, another Record Store Day exclusive for 2017. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original movie, this retro record player will be on sale in a store near you. Experiential, Ironic, Retro… this might be the ultimate collectible for millennials yet.

If you’re a Millennial, let us know what you collect in the comments selection!

Guide to Vintage Carded Star Wars Action Figures

A Guest Blog Post by Mark Griffiths
This article was originally written for Rareburg, who in 2016,  joined forces with hobbyDB to provide an excellent source of collectible knowhow for the community. 

As with most things in life, ‘something’ is only worth what ‘someone’ will pay for it. This is true for most things in life, whether that be a second hand car, property or collectable toys.

Luke Skywalker x-wing

This guide to vintage carded Star Wars action figures will provide you with an insight into how to begin assembling a vintage Star Wars action figure collection (on cards) from the 1977 – 1983 era as working out just where to start can be a bit of a minefield. Return of the Jedi (ROTJ), Empire Strikes Back (ESB), Power of the Force and Tri Logo are just a selection of the different branded cards which exist, produced by Kenner and Palitoy with 65 back, 79 back and ‘Last 17’ (and more!) – the barriers to entry in collecting these treasures can be huge.

Imperial Commander

Not only is gaining a full understanding of the vast range of these 3¾ inch action figure produces a challenge, this is coupled with how ‘rare’ and ‘valuable’ is defined in different countries the world over.

My 30 years experience of collecting Star Wars carded action figures began back in 1984, after the final movie from the original trilogy had been released, when the obsession with the Star Wars franchise was well and truly over with the UK public. Believe it or not, I still remember working in my parents toy store having to re-box thousands of unsold action figures and playsets before shipping them back to the UK distributer as we could just not shift the stock. Just imagine having dozens of boxes of these gems in today’s market! From the crest of a wave 18 months previous we now had to make room for the next ‘fad’ as a range of merchandise from a Saturday morning cartoon called Transformers was on its way!

Romba

Since that time I have had a vested interest in collecting these figures and monitoring their values.

The late 1980’s and early 1990’s brought modest increases to most figures, but 1999 was a game changer. Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, produced 16 years after Return of the Jedi brought a great deal of attention back to the original action figure collection, just as The Force Awakens will in December 2015.

Although there had always been ‘hard to find’ figures such as Yak Face, Boba Fett with firing cannon and the elusive Jawa with plastic cape, the focus now began to move to a much broader range and the immense number of variations of each figure.

Darth MaulBut apart from Episode 1 bringing Star Wars back to the forefront of the public’s hearts and minds, why this increase in prices for the original ’77 – ’83 merchandise? Obviously, the rareness of some of these original figures but it was more than that, it was the newly produced Power of the Force range brought out for the Phantom Menace movie. The figures were not well received by the public, confusing ‘Comm Tech’, massive quantities – hundreds upon hundreds in the range and of course Jar Jar Binks! Kenner also seemed wise to the marketing of the so called ‘rare’ figures in the range. Back in the 80’s these ‘hard to find’ figures almost came about by chance, this time it all seemed a little too well planned.

Yak Face

These figures, now 16 years old themselves struggle to break $10 each, with many exchanging hands for as little as $4 – Mint on Card (MOC). The remaining parts of the prequel trilogy, Episodes 2 and 3 did little to change the collector’s appetite for the updated range and instead, once again the focus reverted back to the vintage collection.

But which figures I hear you ask, which particular figures from the original series are still increasing in value? Well as I am sure you will agree, certain figures which were rare 10 years ago are now even more sought after with onset of time but there are still some figures which are financially accessible. The Rancor Keeper for example on a ROTJ card can be purchased quite easily on another marketplace for as little as $30. That same figure on a Tri Logo card however can be valued as high as 5 times that amount, approaching $200. Yes, thats right, $200 for one 3¾ inch action figure, and not a particularly rare one at that!

The reason for this huge range in valuation is largely down to the quality and type of card which houses the character. A ROTJ card is less rare, whereas the ESB and Star Wars increase in value dramatically. In fact figures on a Star Wars card can cost thousands of dollars, particularly key characters like Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Rancor KeeperSo what of Tri Logo cards, where do they fit into the equation? So the story goes, these figures were run off by Palitoy at the very end of the production of Star Wars figures – a combination of overproduced characters backed on cards for the European market and new characters never released in the USA, once again limited to European stores. This is why the value of these cards holds strong in the US market.

So, where would I begin, what advice would I provide to collectors hoping to move into the vintage Star Wars carded action figure market?

Begin at the end! There are so many variations of just 1 action figure, it would be extremely (financially) challenging to collect every figure from that era as there are literally hundreds and hundreds – just one selling for $18,000 at a recent auction in the North East. Therefore, decide on your target collection, whether that be a full set of 1 character on different cards or a full set of figures on 1 card e.g. a full set of ROTJ backed figures.

BaradaDo your research! Before you begin, consider how many figures there are in a particular collection, which are more common and identify those which are rare – how much are you willing to pay and how are you going to acquire them, there are more avenues than just another marketplace…?

Understand your Cards! Which logo – ROTJ, Star Wars, Tri Logo…how many figures on the back of the card e.g. a 65 back is sometimes worth more than a 79 back, is the card ‘punched’ or ‘unpunched’ and is the card flat and free from sun damage and tears?

Buying Back Childhood Memories

Tracy MartinA Guest Blog Post by Tracy Martin
This article was originally written for Rareburg, who in 2016,  joined forces with hobbyDB to provide an excellent source of collectible knowhow for the community. 

Buying back childhood memories in the form of vintage toys has become one of the biggest growth areas for collectors in recent years. The Palitoy Employees sale, held at Vectis Auctioneers on Wednesday May 27th, saw lots including Action Man, Star Wars figures, Pippa and Blythe dolls, which all made for frenzied bidding, with, unbelievably, even an empty cardboard box that originally housed Star Wars figures making $160. The overall sale including premium totaled at $200,000, proving that there really is money to be made in nostalgia.

Action Man Judo SetOne of the star lots to be sold on the day was a rare Action Man ‘Judo’ outfit in its original packaging which sold for of $6,480, only one other is known to exist and this has never come up on the open market for sale. Other Action Man lots included a boxed racing car which achieved $2,280 against its estimate of $300-$500 and a Tottenham Hotspur carded football outfit for $2,400.

Most collectors are aware that vintage 1977/78 Star Wars figures will always sell for a premium if in their original packaging and not play worn condition, for example back in January of this year (2014) a Star Wars Boba Fett figure mint in its blister pack sold for a staggering $18,000.

blueOn the day of the Palitoy Sale the first figure to achieve over $3,000 was Princess Leia Organa making $3,600 then Chewbacca sold for $4,560 (including premium) but it was the boxed Death Star which tripled its bottom estimate at $5,280. Even Publicity photos for a Boba Fett Star Wars figure fetched $2,300 against its pre-sale estimate of $40-$60. Specialist, Kathy Taylor has said of the sale, “It is the best Star Wars sale we have ever had at Vectis, achieving high prices for some of the very best condition items”.

TammieAside from the expected prices for Star Wars and Action Man, there are however, other vintage toys now starting to grab attention with those wishing to relive their childhood through the toys they once owned that are surprising us when they sell for well above their expectations.

The pocket sized Pippa Doll released in 1972 was ideal for little girls to carry around, especially as she dressed in fabulous 1970s clothes. This fashion doll has seen a significant rise in interest on the collectors market in the last couple of years and price was no barrier at the Palitoy sale, especially as two ladies who were sitting next to each other bid furiously against each other as both wanted to secure the best dolls and outfits for their collections.

Blythe's BoutiqueA boxed Pippa in orange top and blue trousers sold for $1,200 and two lots of Pippa’s Boutique which included one doll and three outfits fetched $950 and $1,000 each. However, Pippa’s friend ‘Tammi’ wearing jeans and a blue psychedelic blouse in box gained the most interest with the bidding opening at $420 and finally achieving a staggering $2,760, which as far as I am aware, is a record price for a Pippa doll.

The 1972 Blythe doll also made a respectable $1,200 with premium and Tiny Tears is becoming more popular with a trade box of six dolls making $264. Two sealed lot of soothers and bottles accessories, which inevitable became lost when children originally played with the dolls, sold for $360 and $384.

Family Tree HouseOne of my all time favorite toys when I was a child was the Palitoy Discovery Time Tree House which was first released in the late 1970s. This moulded plastic green and brown tree shape opened to reveal a house setting with figures and accessories including a dog and kennel. A few mint in box came up for sale at the Vectis auction and made a respectable price of between $90-$100 each.

Girl’s World, the styling head that all little girls played with at some point in the 1970’s/80’s by applying make-up and adventurously creating hair styles was also up for sale making $30-$50 per lot. Even the cuddly 1980’s monkey Chic-a-boo sold for $15 hammer price with outfits selling for $40-$50 per lot.

Tracy MartinThe toy I personally should have had a punt on was in the previous day’s Dolls, Teddy Bears and TV & Film Related Toys at Vectis. Tracy’s Tea Party, the 1970’s doll that pours tea and serves too sold for between $40-$50 – well I am known to like a cuppa.

The final highlight of the Palitoy sale though was a pallet of Caran D’Ache, Jakar and Raphael pencils, crayons, rulers and assorted other items which opened the bidding at $20, finally achieving an astonishing $672 – proving that no toy item goes unmissed and that there literally is a market for all your childhood memories.

Tracy’s Toy Tips

  • Always try to buy in mint condition in original packaging when your pocket allows.
  • Start with buying things that spark your own nostalgic childhood memories.
  • Check all pieces are present such as accessories and playing pieces for games etc.
  • With dolls, check condition, hair plugs are all present, face hasn’t begun to turn green in color, fingers and toes are not chewed and there are no marks to body, arms and legs.
  • With outfits, check for stains, holes, rips and fading as all devalue the outfit.
  • Always buy from a reputable dealer or auction house.
  • Invest in modern toys although mass produced. Children still rip the packaging open and play with them, so invest in toys that are associated with a huge block buster film, are historically great toy makers and time or limited edition pieces. Examples are Star Wars Lego, Frozen toys, Harry Potter figures, games and toys, diecast cars such as Star Wars Hot Wheels collection.
  • Try and keep away from your children and store them in their packaging.

Collecting Film and TV Memorabilia

A Guest Blog Post by David Limberg
This article was originally written for Rareburg, who in 2016,  joined forces with hobbyDB to provide an excellent source of collectible knowhow for the community. 

I feel like I have been collecting my whole life and when I stop and look at what I have done over the years, I realize I really have been collecting film and tv memorabilia since a very young age.

Back in the 1970’s, there weren’t as many TV shows and movies as there are today that related to Sci-Fi and Fantasy and there definitely wasn’t as much memorabilia then as there is now, although back then, these were just called toys.

I grew up on Star Trek, James Bond, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, UFO and ‘The Man from Uncle’, and one my favorites, Our Man Flint / In Like Flint (still an awesome couple of movies).

There was a local toy shop to where I lived and if I was a good boy I could have my Enterprise, Aston Martin DB5, UFO Interceptor or Thunderbird 2 Dinky or Corgi toy.

Dinky U.S.S. Enterprise Then came the late 70’s and we had Space 1999, Superman, The Hulk, Spider-Man and then there was Star Wars and the Star Trek movies.  This era was a defining moment in toy history, but only because of Star Wars did, which in my opinion revolutionized toy manufacturing.

Even though Star Trek The Motion Picture blitzed the market with toys, it was nothing in comparison to Star Wars which was everywhere all over the world with that famous opening line…

It was here that I feel true toy mania and collecting started, I know it was for me as I simply just had to have, well, everything and in some cases twice, unless it was a Stormtrooper then it had to be (ok, I think I will stop now).

From then on, more movies and TV shows were churned out and then the toy market exploded; the choice was endless and kids would compete with each other comparing what they had.

So from then till now, we have become a world of collectors. For some, it is an obsession, for others a hobby and for the rest, well they don’t get it; and it’s not just for kids, it’s also for the big kids with credit cards and jobs and families who we call adults.

For us adults, we still love all this ‘tuff’, the thrill and for many, it’s not just about the new items, it’s about getting the toys we had when we were young that we for some reason no longer have, these items are now called memorabilia and the fun is in the chase. So the hunt is on to find that rare Star Wars carded X-Wing fighter we had in 1978, boxed Dalek, Spider-Man action figure by EMGO or in my case a FAB 1 due to the fact that I had painted mine in black.

When I started my hunt for toys that I had when I was younger, there was no dedicated websites, no blogs, no groups, in fact, there was no internet, all we had was the occasional toy fair and if you went on holiday, be it in the UK or overseas, you might find a gem of a toy shop that stocked old, rare, unusual and unique memorabilia.

Today, it is so much easier to find what you want, go to a show, look around, check out websites, save searches, join a group, do a blog, in fact, it’s too easy and because of this, you need to be careful.  What I mean is, do your research, don’t just buy the first rare carded V.I.N.Cent The Black Hole Action figure you see just because you are looking at it, for starters, it might be overpriced, it might not be the exact one you received as a generic image is being used and if it is too cheap, again, don’t just buy it, read the description to see why, 9 times out 10 it will be an old toy with a modern reprint card.  In addition, check out the seller; see if you can find out if they have a good reputation.  

You can also go to Conventions, Film Fairs, Toy Fairs and again, be careful not to spend your money straight away.  I recall going to Westminster Central Hall back in the 1990’s and after paying my 50p entrance fee, table one had an Enterprise 1701 and Klingon Battle Cruiser set of DINKY toys in gorgeous condition to which I promptly got out my $120 and bought them both, I didn’t even ask for a discount I was THAT HAPPY, well I was for about 5 minutes until at another stall I saw the twin pack for $100 and then another pair for $80, AHHHHHH and I could not get my money back.

At some events, you might even get a chance to meet some celebrities.

Naturally, if you have done your research, you will have an idea of what something should cost and what you are prepared to pay, but again, there will always be the exception to the rule. Amongst my collection, I have a fondness for a TV show called ‘Automan’.  Like the movie Blade Runner, this show did not have much merchandise made on it and what there was, was in limited quantity, so when the hardly ever seen Scalextric style set came up for grabs of which there are only 7 that are known of in the world, I knew I would do anything to get it.  At the time, it was worth about $100, but I wanted it at any cost and was prepared to go 4 figures.  As it turned out I was lucky, $145 AND, the owner lived 6 miles from me so I went and picked it up.

Indiana JonesThere is one very important rule that you should remember and that is, buy the item for you, ok, you might purchase it as an investment as it is a sure thing, but, sometimes, prices go down as well as up and don’t forget, items today are manufactured in their thousand’, sometimes millions, so unless it’s a limited edition of 5,000 worldwide, that gorgeous looking action figure you want, may never be worth more than the price you paid and if you take it out of its packaging, well the value drops.

Very rare Blade Runner diecast model from ERTL worth far more if still boxed.

The next point to consider is, what do you want of the item or your collection? Must all items be mint in box (MIB)? They will be cheaper without packaging. Does it matter which country it was made (some items can be the same but made in different countries, not necessarily today, but older products).  Naturally the better the condition of the item, the more it will be worth, if that is a factor.  I mostly collect MIB but will happily buy a loose item, even if I have it i its packaging just so I can touch it, especially if it is very rare.

Eventually there may come a day where your collection takes over your home, even your life, try to see this before it is too late as some items might get damaged due to how you have stored them, such as in sun light or a heavy box on top of a light box but also because you great big beautiful collection is just a series of items in card board boxes which means you never get to see or enjoy your memorabilia and you place looks like the end scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark and putting your items into a storage place might not be such a good idea as this is very expensive.

I have a passion/interest for a great many Sci-Fi Film & TV shows and sometimes, it’s just because I like the item and not what it relates too.  Others dedicate themselves to one subject and sometime just the action figures from that show or movie or they only collect model kits or whatever tickles their fancy.

It can be an expensive hobby, even new products such as Hot Toys figures are several hundred pounds, but oh boy are they amazing.

There are times when you may need to sell some or all of your collection, but for whatever the reason is, once again, do your research on values, don’t let someone take advantage of your situation and if you have no clue, seek advice of a specialists, it might cost you for their time, but it’s worth it and they may even be able to make suggestions to help.

So, old or new, action figures, model kits, models, mugs, pins… whatever it is you like or want. Do your research before you spend your money. But, most of all have fun.

Why is THAT one worth so much? Odd Reasons for Rare Collectibles

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

After some time in a hobby, collectors get a sense of the value of certain items. Some collectibles are intentionally made rare as limited editions, of course, which drives up the cost for obvious reason. In some cases, only a few of a particular item were ever made before the company made a change or cancelled production, such as the original Hot Wheels Beach Bomb. And there are occasionally errors, but those are usually single events such as one car missing a tampo or placed on the blister card incorrectly. In that case, it’s more of an oddity than a variant.

But every now and then, some variant goes off the charts in value for unforeseen or fluky reasons. Here are some rare collectibles and the stories behind them…

kenner ssp super stocker

Kenner SSP Super Stocker (orange): The Super Sonic Power cars were all the rage in the early 1970s, with about 65 different models produced throughout the decade. For 1971, Kenner added several new designs, including a Plymouth Road Runner Superbird. While several SSP models were in production for multiple years, the Super Stocker was only made for one year. The most likely reason for the short run was that the rear spoiler on the car was very fragile for a toy designed to be raced and crashed. As a result, cars with wings that aren’t bent or broken are rare today in any color. Also, in recent years, this particular model was sought after not only by SSP collectors, but by MOPAR fans as well, further driving up their cost. Many other SSP cars sell for under $20 in good condition, but a nice, unbroken Super Stocker will set you back at least $100. 

Here’s where it gets strange. This model came molded in six colors: The most common hues are purple and lime green. Red, magenta, or light blue copies seem to be a bit rarer and might sell for $125-$175 (prices for the blue version are skewed higher in part because the color is similar to the shade Richard Petty used on his NASCAR Superbird.) And then there’s orange… for some reason, this color is exceedingly rare on this model. I’ve only seen an orange Super Stocker on eBay three times in the last 15 years, selling in the $500 range.

So what’s the story? One theory is that Kenner rolled out certain models in a few colors first and then added the other colors in later runs… So it seems orange may have been the last color for this particular model, right about the time they decided to stop producing it altogether.

corgi mini pop art

Corgi Pop-Art Mini: There are few toys more quintessentially British than a Corgi Mini. The company made many versions of the car over the years and produced quite a few of them. In good shape with a decent box, you shouldn’t expect to pay more than $100 for any of them. 

But when you see the Corgi Pop-Art Morris Mini Minor, sellers are usually asking at least $500 for starters. Why’s that? First, this particular version appears to have only available for about 6 months in 1967 and only by mail for members of the Corgi Club. So if you didn’t send off for it, tough luck. Secondly, it’s actually a unique casting from all the other Corgi Mini models with its jeweled headlights and an extra mold line on the front fender. This exact mold was never used again, as Corgi soon introduced a new casting with opening features to replace it. Even badly restored models sell for decent money because of the unique body. All of which makes it one of the “mostest” rare models by Corgi.

schwinn sting-ray cotton picker

Schwinn Sting-Ray Cotton Picker: In the 1960s, Schwinn set off a major craze by combining a miniature cruiser bike frame with wild hi-rise handle bars and a banana seat to create their Sting-Ray bikes. With hot rod looks and perfect gear ratios for excellent performance (if you had a single speed version, that one speed was “fast!”), these bikes were a major hit. By the end of the decade, they offered a deluxe version with a a springer fork up front and spring mounted rear posts… in effect the first mass-produced full suspension bike. The tip-top version also had a 5-speed stick shift mounted on the top tube (which was later banned for safety reasons). 

So it’s easy to see why perfect examples of these top-end Sting-Rays might sell for upwards of $1000 these days… at least the more common colors like the Orange Krate and Apple Krate. But the Cotton Picker? Now that’s a whole ‘nother story. This version was all white (frame, seat, hand grips), which wasn’t as popular as the other vivid hues available. But the reason for the relatively low production numbers was that in hindsight the name “Cotton Picker” was seen as racially insensitive, and the company backed away from it quickly.

If you want to pick up one of these, you’re looking at more like 2,500 bucks for a really nice one.

hot wheels cadbury range rover

Hot Wheels Cadbury Egg Range Rover: In the early 1990s, Hot Wheels offered a new casting for a contemporary Range Rover. Sure, it’s a neat model, but nothing eye popping. The Rover has been released in numerous paint schemes over the years, and most of them aren’t exceedingly valuable, available for under $15. 

Except for the Cadbury candy versions, which might sell for over $1,500 if you can find one. This particular model came in purple with side graphics or yellow with tampos on the hood. They were designed for a promotion in the Middle East. So they weren’t available in Europe or North America… but that’s not why they’re rare. Legend has it the ship carrying them from the factory was sunk during the start of the Gulf War. There are only about ten of each color known to exist, believed to be pre-production models obtained by a Mattel employee.

kenner star wars jawa

Star Wars Jawa Action Figure (with vinyl cape): Hard to believe, but in 1977, very few people expected George Lucas’ new space movie to be a big hit. In fact, he skipped the premiere and hung out on a beach with his friend Steven Spielberg, working on a screenplay that would become “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” 

So nobody saw much reason to start producing action figures in advance like they do today. Heck, the term “action figure” wasn’t even in use yet. So when Kenner finally did come out with a line of small Star Wars characters, there was no thought about limited editions, and kids didn’t really see the point of keeping them in the package. 

One of the last of the original figures was the Jawa, a caped desert scavenger, released in 1978. It wore a brown vinyl cape that was kind of stiff, and not fun to play with. So Kenner very quickly modified the design to a better looking and softer cloth cape and moved on. The extremely short run for the less-playful, not-as-good-looking, vinyl-caped figure makes it rare today. A loose figure is of questionable value, however, because modifying an Obi Wan Kenobi cape to fit is fairly easy. So you have to get one sealed in the package, which is quite rare indeed. That’ll set you back about three grand or so.