'Star Wars' action figure gets $25K at Sotheby's auction

Inside Sotheby's first ever 'Star Wars' auction
Inside Sotheby's first ever 'Star Wars' auction

A "Star Wars" fanatic just paid $25,000 for a Luke Skywalker action figure from the 1970s.

And there's plenty more where that came from. Sotheby's is auctioning the "Star Wars" toy trove that belongs to Tomoaki "Nigo" Nagao, a prolific Japanese collector as well as DJ and fashionista behind The Bathing Ape clothing brand.

The online auction began Friday at 10 a.m. ET, and sold $265,000 worth of memorabilia, according to the auction house.

The Luke Skywalker figure was expected to bring in at least $12,000. It's a rare figurine from 1978 with a "double telescoping" lightsaber that broke easily, so it was pulled from production. The figure, still in its original packaging, has a lightsaber that's still intact.

The "Star Wars" collection of Nigo, a 45-year-old nerd's nerd, is divided into 175 lots on the auction block. He leans heavily on vintage action figures from the "Star Wars" movies, with an obsessive emphasis on Boba Fett.

The auction has sold off a dozen Boba Fett figures, including a Hungarian model from 1989 for $15,000. Other Fett figures ranged from $750 to $6,250.

They're still in the original packaging, so it's obvious that Nigo never played with them. Nor did anybody else.

The collection also features helmets from Boba Fett as well as from storm troopers and Darth Vader. A Boba Fett helmet, signed by Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who played the infamous bounty hunter, sold for $1,750.

star wars auction vader helmet

Nigo credits the "Star Wars" movies with being a major inspiration in his life -- even more than his other fave, "Planet of the Apes."

"Letting go of them is sad," says Nigo in a translated video on the Sotheby's site. "But how do I say it? It's better to pass things on to the next generation, and this new film is opening at just the right time."

The auction is happening just days before "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the seventh film in the franchise, opens on December 18.

Related: Princess Leia's 'Slave Bikini' sold at auction for $96,000

Nigo's collection extends into the obscure corners of "Star Wars" nerdity. It includes a 1985 action figure of Yak Face, a character so obscure that most fans probably never heard of him. He fetched $2,000 at auction.

The collection even contains cardboard packaging without action figures from 1982 labeled "Revenge of the Jedi." That was the working name for the third movie, which was eventually scrapped in favor of "Return of the Jedi.

Bidding for "Revenge of the Jedi" trading cards and other remaining items is scheduled for the afternoon. It includes a plush 42-inch Chewbacca with an estimated value starting at $3,000.

star wars auction action figure prototypes

The collection also features an assortment of lightsabers of different models, wielded by different Jedi, in different movies. There's an extra-small model used by Yoda. There are plenty of blasters, too, including the stormtrooper models and the pistol used by Han Solo, which is modeled after a 19 century German handgun called a C96.

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