The legend of bounty hunter Boba Fett, one of the Star Wars universe’s favorite characters, continues to grow.
A rare Boba Fett action figure sold for $204,435 at Hake’s Auctions, Wednesday, March 16, setting a world record as the most expensive Star Wars action figure ever sold.
The 3-3/4-inch tall, rocket-firing prototype (J-Slot Version) is AFA-graded, encapsulated and fully painted, representing the final phase of development for the action figure that has taken on holy-grail appeal for serious collectors. The previous Star Wars action figure record-holder sold at Hake’s for $185,850 in November 2019.
Originally, the rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure was expected to be released as part of Kenner’s licensed toy line for the 1980 release of the Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. The toy was displayed at the 1979 New York Toy Fair but was never mass-produced.
While some speculate the toy was pulled from production after being deemed a possible safety hazard for children, many Star Wars scholars believe it was more likely pulled because of a production issue with the toy’s rocket-firing mechanism. Either way, the Boba Fett prototype is one of the rarest of all Star Wars toys and is highly coveted in the collecting world.
During toy development, 80 to 100 examples of the prototype were shipped to Kenner from Hong Kong for safety testing purposes, which resulted in only “non-firing” examples with sonically welded missiles being released to the public. Approximately 24 to 26 examples of this J-Slot variety are known to have survived, with several existing in rough condition, having been subjected to a variety of safety testing procedures that included heating, freezing and other destructive trials.
The Boba Fett sold at Hake’s is a Version 2 (V2) of the J-Slot variety and is AFA-graded 50 VG. It comes with a Collectible Investment Brokerage (CIB) Certificate of Authentication.
Demand for rare Boba Fett action figures has skyrocketed. The equally sought after, but slightly more obtainable, Boba Fett L-Slot prototype action figure has seen an upward trajectory in Hake’s recent auctions, with three different AFA 85 NM+ examples selling for $86,383 in March 2018, $112,926 in July 2019 and $165,200 in June 2021.