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Thisxa0vintage action figurexa0set axa0record at auction.xa0But your childhood toys may not be worth as much as you think

·3 mins

An action figure from 1979 has become the most valuable vintage toy ever sold at auction, fetching a final bid that could buy a three-bedroom, two-bath home in many parts of the United States. The Rocket-Firing Boba Fett action figure, modeled after the “Star Wars” bounty hunter, was purchased for $525,000. It dethroned Barbie from the No. 1 spot she had held since 2010 when a version of the iconic doll with a necklace of real diamonds sold at an auction for $302,500.

Pricey efforts by collectors to get their hands on specific toys are common in this niche field, where pricing is volatile and many deals are brokered privately among hobbyists. One reason for the speculative nature of this market is the sentiment and nostalgia associated with memorabilia. Many collectors who grew up playing with action figures in the 1970s and 1980s now have the means to spend on rare vintage toys.

The Rocket-Firing Boba Fett figure was part of a mail-away promotion from a toy maker, which ultimately decided to attach the plastic rocket onto the toy because it posed a choking hazard to children. While no rocket-firing toys were mailed out, a number of them were saved by employees before the company destroyed its stock. Estimates suggest there are about 100 rocket-firing models in circulation.

The collectible action figure market has grown since the 1970s and 1980s when properties like “Star Wars” and “Masters of the Universe” became popular. Adults driven by nostalgia began seeking out the toys they grew up with, leading to increased demand and higher prices. The value of a piece is driven by its popularity among collectors, condition, and rarity in its original packaging. However, private sales often involve undisclosed details and can be challenging to compare.

Experts recommend collecting toys that spark interest and emotional investment, as this leads to better market knowledge. Properties that have maintained relevance for multiple generations, like “Star Wars,” are considered safer investments. Some properties lose value over time, as demonstrated by the decline of the “Beanie Babies” craze in the 1990s.

Adults have become a lucrative market for the toy industry, outspending preschoolers in toy purchases. The enduring relevance and legacy of popular toy properties have propelled prices in the vintage toy market. The pandemic further ignited adults’ interest in reconnecting with toys that brought them joy in their childhood. Alongside collectibles, board games, Lego building sets, and trading cards have also gained popularity among adults.

An action figure from 1979 has become the most valuable vintage toy ever sold at auction. The Rocket-Firing Boba Fett action figure, based on the “Star Wars” character, was purchased for $525,000, surpassing a diamond-adorned Barbie doll that held the title since 2010. Collectors in the vintage toy market often bid high for specific items, with pricing being volatile and deals often conducted privately. Nostalgia drives many adults to invest in rare vintage toys they couldn’t have as children. The Rocket-Firing Boba Fett figure was part of a mail-away promotion but was never officially released due to safety concerns.