The Star Wars Collection of Russell Branton continues to perform at peak levels in Hake’s Americana & Collectibles auctions. The third wave of material from the storied collection was sold in Hake’s July 2018 auction, bringing in several more five-figure totals. That auction marked the third in a row that saw memorabilia from Branton’s collection accumulate around $300,000 for a total of nearly $1 million.
Part of what has Star Wars collectors competing for these items are the rarities and high grade examples. This auction saw the rare Power of the Force Anakin Skywalker carded mock-up from the 1985 Toy Fair reach $31,411. The fully painted plastic charcoal colored prototype first shot of Anakin stands 3-15/16”. It came with the hand-cut proof card with coin and blister for the figure that was attached with thin double-sided tape.
One of the high grade pieces that far exceeded expectations was The Empire Strikes Back Six Pack yellow box AFA 90 NM+/MT. The toy from 1981 soared to $28,556, well over the estimate of $2,000 to $5,000. The set contains 3-3/4” figures of Darth Vader, Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear), AT-AT Driver, Rebel Soldier (Hoth Battle Gear), IG-88, and Yoda.
Another multicharacter pack success story in the auction was The Empire Strikes Back Rebel Set three-pack Series 3 AFA 85 NM+. It was estimated at $5,000 to $10,000 but Rebel bidders pushed it to $18,049. The 1982 toy set comes in the original window box that features the 3-3/4” tall figures of Princess Leia (in Hoth outfit), R2-D2, and Luke Skywalker (in Hoth battle gear).
Several other pieces also drew aggressive bidding. A Sonic Controlled Land Speeder AFA 85 NM+ cleared $13,888, nearly tripling the low-end estimate of $5,000. One of the heavy hitters was an Action Display Stand AFA 80 NM that was estimated at $1,000 to $2,000 but the Force pushed it to $9,735. An Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett 12” Series AFA 85 NM+ hammered for $8,850, far exceeding the $2,000 to $5,000 estimate. One of the major surprises was the Stormtrooper 12” Series AFA 85 NM+, which was estimated at $700 to $1,000, but precise bidder aim shot it to an incredible $9,673.
A rarity that bidders vied for was the Jawa vinyl cape 12-back-A figure AFA 85 NM+, which hammered for $21,611. Made for Kenner’s 1978 line, this 2-1/4” tall figure features the initial vinyl cape variety before it was changed to cloth. It is also housed on an unpunched card.
The galaxy’s favorite farm boy was another major sale with the Luke Skywalker double-telescoping 12-back-C AFA 82 NM bringing $14,160. This rarity from 1978 includes the lightsaber with a second extendable portion that wasn’t included on other versions of the toy. The 3-3/4” figure is also on an unpunched card.
Additional highlights from the Star Wars sales were the Darth Vader 12-back-A AFA 95 Mint that cleared $19,470, Empire Strikes Back Hoth Rebels set three-pack Series 1 AFA 75 EX+/NM that realized $11,162, the Power of the Force Anakin Skywalker 92-back AFA 85 Y-NM+ brought $10,137, and the Villain Set Three-Pack Series 2 AFA 80 NM reached $8,709.
Branton’s collection also extends to other popular vintage toy series from the ’70s and ’80s. At least three Masters of the Universe toys offered in Auction #224 sold for well above preauction estimates. The He-Man Series 1 8-back figure AFA 75 EX+/NM from the 1982 line realized $3,699, over the estimate of $1,000 to $2,000. The Skeletor and Panthor giftset AFA 80 Y-NM hammered for $2,756, nearly tripling the low-end estimate of $1,000. A Man-At-Arms Series 1 8-back figure AFA 80 NM from the ’82 line more than doubled the high-end estimate of $1,000 when it cleared $2,111.
All prices include the 18% buyer’s premium. To view all of the prices realized in Auction #224, visit hakes.com.