Auction house Vectis have just announced the auction of an impressive collection of mint on card Star Wars figures, owned by the former Club Chairman of the UK Star Wars Fan Club, Craig Stevens.
The sale – a ‘Double-Bill’ with part one being held on 28th January and Part 2 concluding on 25th February 2015 – comprises just a selection of Craig’s vast Star Wars collection but contains some fantastic and rare pieces, some of which are expected to achieve world record prices.
Included is a a rare 30B back Boba Fett on a Palitoy Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on an un-punched card that is estimated to achieve £10,000 – £15,000. The character is an iconic figure who has his own army of fans who will be interested in securing such a piece.
The first part of the sale includes 70 lots of mint on card figures including Palitoy, Palitoy/General Mills; Tri-logo, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi cards; 12B, 30B backs; punched and unpunched plus many other variations.
Other lots include Palitoy Star Wars: Darth Vader on 12B un-punched card back (estimate: £1500 – £2000) and Palitoy Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi on 30B un-punched card back, with the original price sticker still applied stating “D.J.’s Toys 1.40P” (estimate: £2000 – £3000). There are familiar faces with Palitoy/General Mills Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi Tri-Logo Yoda (estimate: £200 – £300) and some more purse friendly figures including Palitoy/General Mills Star Wars Return of the Jedi Tri-Logo Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (with Sensorscope) on a 70B card back. His estimate is £30 – £50.
Craig has a lifelong interest in Star Wars: he was one of the children who queued up to see the first film when it was first released in 1977 and it had a tremendous effect on him.
“I began collecting everything that I could get my hands on connected to Star Wars and I have kept going right up to the present day,” he says “amassing one of the world’s biggest collections of British Star Wars memorabilia over the years. I put my collecting experience to good use and have run several shops over the years selling memorabilia, including one in Portobello Road Market.
“I helped to organise the fan-run UK Star Wars Fan Club in the 1990s with a bunch of other crazy fans and eventually became Club Chairman. I have done pretty much everything a fan could do over the years including joining the delegation at the Lucasfilm re-launch of Star Wars in Britain and attending the premiere of Star Wars: The Special Edition.”
A collector by night, by day Craig is currently a self-employed artist specialising in Lego creations. He has completed Lego commissions for Spar, Boots, the Lego Company, Tesco, Absolute Radio and the Hayward Gallery on London’s South Bank to name but a few and was also part of the design and construction team of James May’s Lego House for the BBC.
“My Lego sculptures and Star Wars Lego creations are known world-wide,” he says, “and have been displayed everywhere including Legoland, Hamleys of London, Star Wars Celebration Europe and the Worldcon sci-fi convention.
Craig says his passion for all things Star Wars continues today.
“I put on a large Star Wars display and talk for the 2014 Worldcon convention in London,” he notes, “and I’m also in the finishing stages of writing a book based on the Star Wars fan experience in Great Britain.
“I always kept the packaging for my Star Wars figures as a child but in the late 1980s as a young adult I managed to collect a large amount unopened and un-punched figures,” he says of his collection. “At the time, few collectors were willing to shell out on perfect condition mint-on-card Star Wars figures, which were still relatively expensive, compared to other collectibles. Today the value of such items has spiralled to levels that seemingly have no limits.”
“I’ve put a selection from my Star Wars mint-on-card figure collection up for auction at Vectis after a great deal of thought and soul searching,” he reveals. “It will be terribly heart wrenching to see my items sold but I’m sure that each one will go to a very good home and be protected and cherished by my fellow collectors.
“With so few mint-on-card figures surviving to the present day in perfect condition, preservation must be a high priority. With Vectis taking care of the auction, I am confident that my collection will be passed to the very best hands.”
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.