What is it about Christmas and selling Star Wars figures? Does everyone come out of their carbonite-enclosed closet to sell rare Star Wars action figures all at once? Is there a great galactic conspiracy at work here? Earlier this month we wrote about what we called The ultimate Star Wars action figure collection, containing over 1,950 loose figures from various years that originated in different Star Wars storylines. The collection sold for $11,500, which works out to about $6 per figure.
Today’s remarkable find is for this Vintage Star Wars Action Figures Collection Rare 41 Piece Collection ESB:
According to the seller, these action figures have not seen the light of day since the early 1980s, when they were stored in the suitcase you see in the photograph. Each one is in its original packaging and, from the look of the photos, appears to be in very good shape. The listing goes on to say:
“All bubbles are intact and mostly clear. All are on cards and I would consider the majority MOC! Alot have original store price stickers still applied. (6) of the cards have unpunched cards, never having been placed on a peg hook. One of the card backs has a peeled off corner. You are bidding on Forty One (41) highly collectible action figures.”
I have to admit that, when I first read this listing, I didn’t really know what MOC meant, or how to understand the value of these figures. However, it struck me that, with the current bidding around $151 per figure, there was something rare and valuable about this lot as compared to the “ultimate” one I described above. I went over to eBay Guides to find more information in the Guide to Vintage Star Wars Action Figures. Although the prices seemed a bit outdated, the information I gleaned was great for a novice collector such as myself.
It turns out MOC means “Mint on Card,” meaning that the figure that is still inside its bubble and attached to its backing card. This detail is a big deal to collectors, and explains the premium price being offered for this lot of 41 cards. To store them carefully in a suitcase for so long has kept the figures’ condition almost pristine.
All the figures are from the Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (ESB) movie, and reading the listing’s description of the figures brings me right back to when I watched the movie the first time. Many of the action figures come with a Hoth outfit – for the uninitiated, the Hoth planet was the scene of fierce fighting between the rebel alliance and the soulless Empire. One of the figures is called the Leia Organa Bespin Gown, which I didn’t understand. Some quick hyperlinked research brought me to the official Star Wars encyclopedia entry for the Bespin planet, which calls it a “gas giant haven.” The planet was home to Cloud City, where we are first introduced to Lando Calrissian, but, more importantly, this is where (spoiler alert!) Darth Vader reveals himself as Luke Skywalker’s father.
Here’s a video clip of that memorable scene:
Sadly, I can’t seem to find a video of Princess Leia in her Bespin Gown. If you manage to locate a link to it, feel free to share it in the comments below.