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Star Wars toy

Hake’s $1.5M collectibles auction lands in record books

Star Wars toy
Rocket-firing Boba Fett prototype (L-slot) action figure, 3.75in., AFA 85 NM+ condition, Kenner, 1979. Sold for $112,926, the first Star Wars toy to sell for six figures. World auction record for any Star Wars toy. Hake’s Auctions image

YORK, Pa. – Hake’s, America’s first collectibles auction house, ventured into uncharted territory on July 11 with a rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure that sold for $112,926. The 3.75-inch prototype figure from Kenner’s licensed toy line for The Empire Strikes Back had been displayed at the 1979 Toy Fair in New York, but never saw production. Forty years later, the production-line reject was the top seller in a $1.5 million online auction of superior-quality entertainment, sports and political memorabilia conducted on July 10-11.

The Boba Fett action figure (above) in AFA 85 NM+ condition was similar to a prototype from the legendary Russell Branton collection that Hake’s sold for $86,383 last year. Hake’s president, Alex Winter, had predicted the example in the July sale might become the first Star Wars toy ever to hit the $100,000 mark. It did so, and then some, landing it in the record books as the highest-priced Star Wars toy ever to be sold at auction.

A Jawa figure, vinyl cape variation, from Meccano’s French release of Kenner’s 1978 Star Wars toy line, was another action-figure highlight. AFA-graded 80+ NM, the 2.25-inch figure was encapsulated in an unpunched 12 Back blister card and carried the distinction of being the single highest-graded example of only three such figures ever to be accepted for grading by AFA. It sold within estimate for $32,450.

Star Wars toy
Jawa figure, Vinyl Cape variation, Meccano French release of Kenner’s 1978 Star Wars toy line, AFA 80+ NM, highest-graded example of only three accepted for grading by AFA. Sold for $32,450. Hake’s Auctions image

With original comic art now widely regarded as a legitimate subcategory of “fine art,” expectations were high for the 100+ lots of original artwork for comic book covers and interior pages; Sunday and daily comic strips; and specialty pieces. Dave Cockrum’s (1943-2006) action-packed title splash page for X-Men Vol. 1 #95, published by Marvel Comics in October 1975, led the group. Artist-signed and inscribed, with a Marvel Comics copyright ink stamp on verso, it reached its estimate range at $75,673.

Star Wars toy
Dave Cockrum (1943-2006), title splash page original art for ‘X-Men’ Vol. 1 #95, Marvel Comics, October 1975. Sold for $75,673. Hake’s Auctions image

Three consecutive lots of Charles Schulz art for Peanuts daily strips from 1960, 1961 and 1965, respectively, came directly from the collection of the Van Pelt family, neighbors of the artist when he lived in Colorado. The name “Van Pelt” is entrenched in Peanuts lore, as it was the surname Schulz chose for Lucy, Linus and Rerun. The strips all sold within or above estimate, with the earliest of the three achieving $26,609.

Rock concert posters were a major attraction, especially those from the 1960s hippie era. A very rare first printing of the poster promoting the 1966 launch of the Family Dog’s “Tribal Stomp” at the Fillmore Auditorium showed the headliners as future superstars Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and the Holding Company. “The first in any series is always an important milestone, and the cultural importance of this poster cannot be overstated,” noted Hake’s president Alex Winter. The poster was salvaged by an attendee at the show, who later gifted it to a friend who kept it for 30 years before consigning it to Hake’s. It sold well within estimate for $24,780.

Star Wars toy
First printing of poster promoting the Feb. 19, 1966 launch of iconic San Francisco hippie music venue The Family Dog, starring Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother & the Holding Company. Sold for $24,780. Hake’s Auctions image

More than 400 American political items took bidders on a journey whose timeline ran from George Washington’s presidency to the modern era. A magnificent brass-framed 1860 campaign ambrotype containing Mathew Brady’s “Cooper Union” portrait of Abraham Lincoln – a very rare survivor in superior condition – was bid to $17,394. Another highlight was an 1864 Lincoln/Andrew Johnson Civil War-era jugate “Grand National Union Banner” by Currier. The hand-colored litho with circular portraits of the two running mates sold for $9,864.

Star Wars toy
Abraham Lincoln 1860 campaign ambrotype manufactured by Geo. Clark Jr. & Co., Boston. One of few known examples. High-grade, superior condition. Sold for $17,394. Hake’s Auctions image

A baseball card that was in a league of its own was the 1909 issue from Old Mill Cigarettes with a portrait of future (1936) Hall of Famer Walter Johnson. PSA-graded Good 2, the card swept past its $700-$1,000 estimate to command a winning bid of $5,412.

Star Wars toy
Baseball card issued in 1909 by Old Mill Cigarettes and featuring a portrait of future (1936) Hall of Famer Walter Johnson. PSA Good 2. Sold for $5,412. Hake’s Auctions image

Hake’s next auction will take place in November. To discuss consigning to any future Hake’s auction, call toll-free 866-404-9800 or 717-434-1600; or email walex@hakes.com. Visit Hake’s online at www.hakes.com.

Star Wars toy