World’s most expensive toy found in box of old figures despite NEVER being released for sale – because of choking hazard

World’s most expensive toy found in box of old figures despite NEVER being released for sale – because of choking...

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AN ULTRA rare Star Wars action figure has become the most valuable toy in the world after selling for a record £411,000.

The bounty hunter Boba Fett’s hand-painted, missile-firing model was considered a choking hazard in the 1970s and never reached the shelves.

This ultra-rare Star Wars action figure has become the world’s most expensive toy
Heritage Auctions
Boba Fett’s hand-painted, missile-firing model sold for a record £411,000
Heritage Auctions
The toy was smaller than a sheet of paper
Heritage Auctions

According to Star Wars enthusiast and dealer Brian Rachfal’s letter of provenance, it survived after “it was salvaged from a box of discarded toys deposited there for employees to take home”.

As one of the two existing toys in the world, it easily outperformed the previous record holder, a unique Barbie donning a one-carat diamond, which brought $302,000 (£236,000) at auction in 2010.

According to Heritage Auctions, the figure’s purchase more than quadrupled the highest-ever amount for a Star Wars action figure sold at auction.

The previous record was held by a Boba Fett with a rocket launcher, which sold for $236,000 (£185,000) in 2022.

Based on the character who was set to appear in The Empire Strikes Back the next year, toy maker Kenner developed the model in 1979.

The “rocket firing back pack” toy was exclusive to the toy shop and was given away for free to anyone who proved they had purchased four other Star Wars action figures.

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But once rumours circulated that rival Mattel’s missile-firing Battlestar Galactica toys had turned into choking hazards, the rocket-toting toys were never delivered.

Upon the arrival of the figure, the rocket was cemented into place, and a notice informing customers that “the launcher has been removed from the product for safety reasons” was included.

It is believed that up to 100 prototypes were made, but only two of them were hand-painted.

The tiny missile item was considered a choking hazard
Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions executive vice president Joe Maddalena said: “The rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure long ago became such a mythic icon that people worldwide know about it even if they don’t collect anything at all.

“We knew this one had a chance to enter the record books, and it was thrilling to see it become the most valuable toy in the world.”

The Star Wars Signature auction raised $1,662,000 (£1,301,000) from more than 1,500 bidders.

It included a second Boba Fett figurine, a Skywalker lightsaber, and a third draft of George Lucas’ screenplay for the original film, which was still titled The Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller.

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“Projectiles were always touchy subjects,” says former Kenner engineer Jacob Miles III, an original member of the company’s Star Wars team tasked with keeping that rocket safely in Boba Fett’s backpack.

“But when Battlestar Galactica had their issues, we immediately just shut it down and destroyed everything.

“We were concerned about disappointing kids because we had shown that thing (the rocket) taking off. But we had a much bigger concern if we shipped it.”

What are the world’s most expensive toys?

THE most expensive toys in the world often come with unique characteristics such as being made from precious materials, being rare collectibles, or having historical significance.

These toys represent the epitome of luxury and exclusivity, often serving as collector’s items rather than playthings for children.

Here are some of the most notable ones:

Astolat Dollhouse Castle: Valued at around $8.5 million, this dollhouse is a masterpiece with 29 rooms filled with miniature furniture, artwork, and other details, all crafted with precious metals and gems.

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L’Oiseleur (The Bird Trainer) Doll: This $6.25 million doll is a 4-foot-tall automaton that plays the flute and is dressed in Renaissance-style clothing adorned with pearls and gold.

Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear: Sold for approximately $2.1 million at auction, this teddy bear is dressed in Louis Vuitton-designed clothing and accessories.

Lamborghini Aventador Model Car: This 1:8 scale model costs about $4.8 million due to its use of precious metals and diamonds.

Shimansky Soccer Ball: Valued at $2.59 million, this football is encrusted with 6,620 white diamonds and 2,640 black diamonds.

Madame Alexander Eloise Doll: This doll, worth $5 million, is adorned with Swarovski crystals, diamonds, and other precious stones.

Diamond Barbie: Released to celebrate Barbie’s 50th anniversary, this doll is valued at $302,500 and is dressed in a gown featuring real diamonds.

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