YORK, Pa. – A Star Wars Boba Fett J-slot rocket-firing prototype that made its debut at the 1979 New York Toy Fair but never actually saw production has set a new world auction record for any Star Wars toy. Hake’s Auctions in York, Pennsylvania, sold the figure in an online auction on November 7, 2019 for $185,850.
The buyer’s identity has not been revealed, but Hake’s president Alex Winter stated that the toy had captured the attention of “many serious collectors worldwide.” The figure attracted a total of 15 bids before settling at its final selling price, around 9:20 p.m. (US Eastern Time).
Graded AFA 85+ NM+, the 3¾-inch figure is a fully painted Kenner Toys engineering pilot with country of origin and copyright stamps, indicating it had reached the final phase of prototype development.
Originally, 80 to 100 Boba Fett prototypes were shipped to Kenner from Hong Kong for safety testing, and of those, approximately 24 to 26 examples of the J-slot variety – referring to the J-shape slot on the figure’s reverse side – are thought to have survived. Of that grouping, only seven are AFA-graded. Considering the high-grade condition of the example sold by Hake’s, it is speculated that the figure somehow avoided the harsh testing procedures some other prototypes are known to have endured.
“The only evidence that the prototype we sold underwent any testing evaluations is the presence of indexing marks on the underside of the figure’s feet,” Winter said. “Its condition and impeccable provenance contributed to the record-setting price. We could not be more pleased with the result.”
Hake’s broke its own house record with tonight’s sale of the Boba Fett prototype. The previous world auction record for a Star Wars toy was $112,926, which was paid for the AFA 85 NM+ Boba Fett L-slot rocket-firing prototype that topped Hake’s July 11, 2019 sale. That selling price overturned the previous world record auction price for a Star Wars figure – $86,383 – which was set by an unpainted L-slot prototype graded AFA 85 that Hake’s sold in March 2018.