An Edmonton collector is selling a rare Canadian release of a Star Wars figurine that could take in tens of thousands of dollars thanks to growing interest in the memorabilia.
Shane Turgeon acquired the unopened, decades-old caped Jawa toy in December after learning about it through a friend who owns a toy store in Victoria.
“He contacted me right away because he knew the significance of it and he knew that we’d be able to work out a deal and afford it, because it is a very expensive piece to buy from the original owner,” said Turgeon, who owns Shades of Grey Tattoo and Collectibles in Edmonton.
The figurine is modelled after the hooded Jawa creatures featured in the Star Wars film franchise and features a vinyl cape, which was discontinued in favour of a more realistic cloth cape version shortly after production began in 1978.
An unpackaged cloth cape Jawa retails for about $30 to $40, according to Turgeon, while a mint condition vinyl edition could fetch $3,000.
As for Turgeon’s latest find, which remains inside its unique Canadian packaging by manufacturer Kenner, it’s one of only five or six known to exist, he said. It’s currently listed at $30,000.
“A lot of people will look at a story like this and they’ll say, ‘A Star Wars toy is worth $30,000,’ and they think all of their Star Wars toys are worth $30,000, and that’s not the case,” Turgeon said. “Star Wars toys that are worth that much money are because they’re very specialized pieces and they’re that way because there are very few of them remaining.”
The figurine is currently with a grading company in the United States, which ranked it 30 out of 100. It docked some points because of the packaging, Turgeon told Global News.
He said there is a growing market for collectibles like his, thanks to people getting older and moving up in their careers.
“That disposable income is driving up the prices on pop culture collectibles across the board, especially the best of the best of pop culture collectibles,” Turgeon said.
The long-time collector hopes to find a buyer who appreciates Star Wars and understands what makes it special, but admits with a chuckle that “money talks.”