With the debut of Kenner’s highly anticipated Star Wars toyline in 1978, action figures became a fixture in nearly every American family household. Action figure mania continued into the 1980’s with franchises like G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe becoming ubiquitous in popular culture.
The singular figure credited for starting it all, and the icon of all vintage action figures, is the original Star Wars Luke Skywalker on 12-back card released by Kenner in 1978. Kenner initially equipped Luke, Ben Kenobi, and Darth Vader with a lightsaber that offered a double telescoping feature. Quickly realizing this feature was too complex, too fragile, and too expensive to manufacture, they ceased production and revised the lightsaber into a simpler design. Very few carded figures with the original double telescoping feature survived in their unopened state. With “double telescoping” lightsaber, these early versions are extraordinarily rare on 12-back card, and they have long been considered a “holy grail” amongst collectors in any grade.
The all-time record sale for a production action figure was established in our last auction in June when a 1978 12 Back-C Luke Skywalker (AFA 90) with “Double Telescoping” saber sold for $100,251.
Our current Luke Skywalker offering, also equipped with “Double Telescoping” lightsaber, boasts an exceptional AFA 85 grade. This one is paired with the earlier and much rarer 12 Back-A card (the vast majority of DT Lukes are paired with the later released 12 Back-C card). The card is gorgeous and virtually flawless, exhibiting both vibrant color and deep black. The bubble is crystal clear and retains perfect form with no sign of bubble lift whatsoever. The action figure itself, complete with the ever-important “Double Telescoping” lightsaber, stands perfectly upright with white robe/shirt free of discoloration. A vintage “Child World” price tag of $1.87 (!!) adorns the upper corner and helps round out the nostalgia. A truly remarkable piece with great appeal to both collectors and investors alike. Encapsulated by AFA (85, 85-85-80), #11077627, includes CIB
Estimate: $50,000 - and up