In a galaxy not so far away, a realm where fandom knows no bounds, the hunt for the most elusive treasures is a quest of epic proportions. The Star Wars universe, with its iconic characters and timeless allure, has spawned a collector’s paradise unlike any other. Among the galaxy of action figures, some shine like rare supernovas, commanding the attention of enthusiasts and collectors alike. Brace yourselves as we embark on a journey through the 15 rarest Star Wars action figures, where scarcity meets fandom in a spectacular collision of nostalgia and value. These prized artifacts have transcended the toy aisle to become coveted relics in the ever-expanding Star Wars saga.
15. 1978 Blue Snaggletooth ($1100)
One of the rarest Star Wars action figures is Snaggletooth, a Snivvian male who briefly appears in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” in the Mos Eisley Cantina scene.
The original Star Wars trilogy greatly impacted pop culture, leading to an immense demand for Star Wars action figures beyond the main characters. Kenner, a toy company, responded by releasing over 100 action figures by 1985, including many depicting characters who only appeared briefly in the movies. One of the most famous among these lesser-known figures was Snaggletooth, who is seen briefly in Mos Eisley with Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The blue Snaggletooth serves as a prime example of what makes Star Wars toys rare and special. Initially, this character was only available with a Cantina Adventure Playset exclusive to Sears, and he was portrayed as a tall alien in a blue jumpsuit. Kenner eventually realized that Snaggletooth was supposed to be small and wear red attire. In 1979, he appeared on a single card, and the blue version was effectively erased from existence. This change resulted in a retroactively altered character design that collectors covet, especially when found in mint condition in its original packaging.
14. 1980 Kenner small head Han Solo ($2,500)
Well, here’s an unusual story! In 1980, when “The Empire Strikes Back” hit theaters in the United States, a new Han Solo action figure was released by Kenner. However, Star Wars enthusiasts quickly noticed something peculiar: the head on this particular batch of Han Solo dolls was disproportionately small compared to the body. Consequently, it was swiftly removed from store shelves. Yet, much like numerous other vintage toys featuring charming quirks, the ‘small head’ Han Solo figure soon gained a devoted following among fans and became highly sought after by collectors. Today, this miniature-headed Han Solo stands out as one of the most valuable action figures among the central characters, often fetching prices around $2,500 in the market.
13. 1977 Kenner Chewbacca ($4,200)
At times, it’s the distinctive features that elevate something’s value. Despite numerous Chewbacca toys throughout the years, this 1977 figurine stands out due to its packaging featuring a yellow backdrop behind the gentle giant Wookie, which seems ironic, given Chewbacca’s fearless nature. Nevertheless, regardless of the background color, this particular Chewbacca holds significance as one of the earliest Star Wars toys ever produced, making its resale worth enough to evoke a growl akin to an enraged Wookie from any collector.
12. 1985 Gamorrean Guard with Special collectors coin, $5,500
The Gamorrean Guard first spotted patrolling Jabba’s palace in “Return of the Jedi,” isn’t a particularly favored species within the Star Wars universe or among its fans. So, why do boxed-up action figures of these characters command prices of up to $5,500 in the resale market? The answer lies in a unique feature of certain editions of the action figure: a commemorative coin. Although this coin holds no actual monetary value, it carries immense appeal for enthusiasts because it adds another collectible element, separate from or alongside the action figures themselves. Additionally, those who possess these items note that both the Gamorrean Guard figure and the coin are exceptionally heavy, making them capable of serving as unconventional, albeit unintentional, tools. In essence, for $5,500, you not only acquire a collectible but also an unexpectedly hefty potential object, adding an intriguing layer of interest to this unique Star Wars item.
11. 1978 Kenner Death Squad Commander ($6,500)
It’s widely known that the villains in the Star Wars franchise draw inspiration from certain European historical authoritarian figures. However, when Kenner introduced the action figure known as the Death Squad Commander, they soon realized that the name carried heavy connotations and was far too grim for young audiences. Consequently, they hastily rebranded the toy with a less ominous name, the Star Destroyer Commander. If you happen to possess one of these 3”3/4 plastic action figures that are still in its original packaging, particularly the version with the backing card bearing the name Death Squad Commander, consider yourself fortunate. Collectors hold a deep appreciation for the toy’s original name and are willing to pay as much as $6,500 for a boxed action figure in pristine condition, as depicted in the attached picture.
10. 1985 Kenner Yakface ($8000)
One of the rarest Star Wars action figures, Yakface is a character briefly seen in “Return of the Jedi” and making minor appearances in later Star Wars media. He was originally intended to be released on a card in the United States. However, he never made it due to declining interest in Star Wars toys in 1985, as kids were more focused on G.I. Joe and Transformers. Having said that, Yakface did find its way to overseas markets. This rarity has made Yakface highly coveted by fans worldwide, especially when found on the original card, particularly with the collector’s coin included in the Power of the Force line, driving prices into the thousands of dollars. Some may not recognize the name “Yak Face,” but this obscure character, also humorously referred to as “Joe Camel” for its resemblance to a certain cigarette mascot, was discontinued by toy maker Kenner after production had started. Many of these remaining figures were distributed in Europe and Canada, adding to their allure for American collectors who missed out on playing with “YakFace” during their childhood.
9. 1980 Palitoy Medical Droid FX-7 ($11,000)
In the world of Star Wars vintage toys, foreign variations add another layer of intrigue. While Kenner managed Star Wars toy distribution in the United States and Canada, Palitoy took charge in Europe. Although the action figures remained mostly the same, the packaging cards exhibited significant differences, giving rise to unique interests, such as FX-7. FX-7, a medical droid character from the Empire Strikes Back, made a fleeting 20-second appearance on screen, tending to Luke Skywalker after his rescue from Hoth by Han Solo. Notably, the original FX-7 medical droid figure was released twice, first on a TESB 31 backing card in 1980 and later on the Tri-Logo ROTJ backing card. This has led to some confusion in the resale market, where prices can vary dramatically. While some FX-7 figures may sell for as little as $5 on eBay, others have fetched astonishing prices of up to $11,000 at auction. This discrepancy underscores the fascination of collectors with foreign variations and the uniqueness they bring to the world of Star Wars memorabilia.
8. 1980 R2-D2 Kenner Prototype ($12,920)
As any expert in the field would affirm, the most coveted toys are often the ones that never make it onto store shelves. Take, for instance, this 12-inch R2-D2 figurine from 1980, boasting a hidden compartment accessible via a button, which may strike you as slightly different from the R2-D2 figures you might remember. This deviation arises because it never progressed beyond the prototype stage. Despite featuring box art and being fully assembled, this toy remained a one-of-a-kind creation, with no intention for it to be made available for retail purchase. Instead, a Kenner employee meticulously crafted this delightful droid as a demonstration piece for their superior, and it has occasionally surfaced in the resale market, albeit rarely. However, acquiring it necessitates both considerable patience and a substantial budget, given its present estimated value of approximately $12,920.
7. 1977 Obi-Wan Kenobi First Shot Prototype ($20,400)
Among the first toys released by Kenner in 1977 was the Ben Kenobi ‘First Shot’ action figure, an extremely rare pre-production prototype, contributing to its immense desirability among collectors. These unmarked and unpackaged toys have been known to fetch approximately $20,000 each, with one in particularly excellent condition, including the iconic telescoping lightsaber, selling for $20,400 at a Heritage Auctions event. These figures are distinguished by being hand-painted, hand-glued, and featuring Obi-Wan in a dark cape, wielding a translucent yellow double-telescoping lightsaber.
6. 1978 Kenner Double Telescoping Luke Skywalker ($25,000)
Initially released in the Early Bird kit intended to satisfy eager fans, Luke Skywalker’s action figure was among the most widely produced in the line. It featured a lightsaber that could extend from the arm, mimicking the on-screen light-up effect. Originally, the lightsaber telescoped twice, but Kenner simplified it to a single extension due to concerns about pieces getting lost. Some versions of this figure were sold on single cards, and this “Double Telescoping” line is famous for its distinctive lightsaber representation. The packaging proudly displayed an image of Luke at the Lars family’s vapor farm, making this particular figure a unique and sought-after piece in the world of Star Wars collectibles.
5. 1978 Kenner Vinyl Cape Tatooine Jawa ($28,000)
Jawas have held a significant place in Star Wars lore since the beginning. Unsurprisingly, they’ve garnered a considerable amount of merchandise, with the rarest item being the Kenner 1978 Jawa action figure, one of the original 12 Star Wars figures released by Kenner. The figure’s value hinges on its vinyl cape, as later versions replaced it with a sewn-on cloth cape to compensate for the Jawa’s smaller size, yet it retained the same price as other figures. A mint-condition vinyl cape Jawa has been known to command up to $28,000 at auctions, making it highly sought after among collectors. While the vinyl cape Jawa holds a mythical status among Star Wars enthusiasts, there are even more expensive figures out there, providing hope for those aspiring to add this unique character to their collections. When the Jawa first appeared in 1978, it sported a vinyl plastic cape, like the other figures in the line. However, Kenner felt it made the figure appear too inexpensive given its price, so they swiftly replaced it with a cloth cape. This change occurred early in the figure’s production run, leading many to be unaware of the existence of the vinyl version.
4. 1982 Bib Fortuna with White Cape ($31,200)
In today’s era, with Star Wars firmly established as a pop-cultural phenomenon for decades, even the most secondary characters have garnered dedicated fan followings, and comprehensive information is available about nearly every aspect of the franchise. However, this wasn’t always the case, as demonstrated by the early toy releases that marketed Bib Fortuna as “Walrus Man,” as depicted in the image above. Collectors are perpetually in search of less mainstream characters to include in their collections, as these toys typically had limited production runs and fewer have endured over the decades, often due to their relative obscurity. This scarcity helps explain why a 1982 Bib Fortuna action figure, still in its original packaging, now commands a staggering value of $31,200 in the resale market.
3. 1988 Glasslite Vlix ($45,000)
For casual Star Wars fans who aren’t dedicated collectors, the name Vlix Oncard may not ring a bell. Vlix was an Annoo-dat Blue droid serving as the head of security for the notorious Fromm Gang. He was originally planned as part of the second round of droid action figures slated for release in 1988. However, due to a lack of demand, the Droids toy line was discontinued after only one round of toys hit the market, preventing Vlix from ever officially reaching store shelves. Nonetheless, a few Vlix action figure prototypes did surface in Brazil, produced by the Brazilian distributor Glassite. In 2023, an unpackaged Vlix figure can fetch between $5,000 and $20,000, while one in its original packaging can command a staggering $45,000.
2. 1978 Double Telescoping Kenner Darth Vader ($64,000)
Lord Vader, also known as Anakin Skywalker, plays a pivotal role in the Star Wars saga, transitioning from hero to villain and ultimately finding redemption in the original trilogy. Kenner recognized Darth Vader’s iconic status and included him in their initial series of Star Wars action figures, complete with a distinctive red telescoping lightsaber accessory. Notably, early versions of the Darth Vader action figure featured the double telescoping lightsaber feature, but very few of these made it to the market, with the change to the single telescoping lightsaber occurring early in production. This rarity makes the Sith Lord figure extremely valuable, and examples require rigorous authentication due to the presence of counterfeit figures in the collecting community. A carded version of the double telescoping Darth Vader can command a amazing price of about $64,000.
1. Rocket-Firing Boba Fett ($150,000)
Our top pick for this list, The Rocket-Firing Boba Fett, is a rare action figure, it is a highly sought-after and rare collectible from the vintage Star Wars toy line produced by Kenner in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This action figure was originally intended to feature a firing rocket mechanism in its backpack, mimicking a scene from the Star Wars Holiday Special animated segment where Boba Fett fires a missile from his backpack. However, due to safety concerns and potential choking hazards, Kenner decided to disable the rocket-firing mechanism before releasing the figure. A small number of prototype Rocket-Firing Boba Fett figures were created with the firing feature intact but were never mass-produced or sold to the public. These prototypes are exceptionally rare and highly coveted by collectors.