Action figures were all the rage during the late 1970s and into the early 2000s. Usually based on famous movie franchises, collecting action figures was one of the most popular pastimes of the age, where young children especially would scramble every year to get a hold of the latest release.
Over time, the popularity of action figures began to decline, but for many, the allure remained, and many of the action figures of old would go on to accumulate incredible value as the years went by. In fact, specific action figures would eventually be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to the right buyer. Here we will look at some of the most valuable action figures of all time.
There’s no denying that Star Wars was a massive global hit when it was first released in theatres in 1976. It spawned an entirely new type of summer blockbuster that left audiences across the world frantic to watch the next release. It makes sense that at the same time, there would be a series of toys made based on the characters from the films. One of the most beloved was, of course, Darth Vader, which was released two years after the first film. It came with a telescopic lightsaber utility, but it was also infamously fragile, so finding one in good condition became something of an obsession for many. Today, an original Darth Vader can go for up to $7000.
Although it was based primarily on the Stretch Armstrong figure, this one was unique in that its appearance was that of the famous detective Batman. It was produced by a company called Mego, along with other famous stretch versions of characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Casper. Their main rival, Kenner, was not impressed with the blatant copyright infringement, and went about making sure that Mego would eventually stop making the toys. This meant that only two of the stretch Batman figures were made over the years, and today one is worth around $15000 each, making it a truly unique collectible.
Although the Barbie line of toys has seen something of a decline in recent years, during its reign it was one of the most popular in the world. Famous diamond producing company, De Beers, made their own version of Barbie, except this one was released with a dress that was encrusted with over 160 genuine diamonds, making it truly one of a kind. They were expensive at the time, but today, the diamond-encrusted Barbie can fetch almost $100,000 at auctions, making it both highly prized and highly expensive, and only purchasable after winning bingo Australia.
Arguably the most valuable action figure of all time, the 1963 prototype G.I. Joe handmade was created by Done Levine and was sold off at auction for a whopping $200,000. It’s high asking price was due to the fact that only a single one was ever made during the time, making it truly one-of-a-kind.