Alright Star Wars collectors, time to get off your wallets. Coming up for auction on November 7th by Hake’s Auctions is the rarest of the rare of Kenner Star Wars Action figures. Among lot #288 of 400 Star Wars items, there will be an Action Figure Authority graded 85+ NM+ Boba Fett J-slot Rocket-Firing Prototype. This 1979 gem is expected to fetch upwards of $500k.
To clear up confusion on these prototypes (there are a few different kinds), here’s what the Hake’s press release says about this rare figure:
“The rocket-firing Boba Fett prototype is described either as an L-slot or J-slot type. This refers to the shape of the firing mechanism on the figure’s back. The L-slot, which resembles a backward “L,” is the more commonly seen version. Quality issues arose with this variation when there wasn’t a tab to secure the mechanism when it was not firing. The J-slot design, with a slot shaped like a “J,” has a small catch to set the mechanism in a resting position when it is not in use.”
Why Is This Boba Fett Such A Rare Item?
Kenner supposedly made around a hundred of these prototypes. From there, prototypes were subjected to rigorous product testing. Due to damage from the tests, only around 24-26 remain. Of those, the condition varies wildly.
“Several of the surviving J-slots are in rather rough condition because they’ve undergone rigorous testing procedures that included heating, freezing and more. The design never made it into mass production due to safety concerns about the toy’s rocket-firing mechanism. For this reason, few prototypes ever made it into collector’s hands.”Hake’s Consignment Manager Kelly McClain
The fact only 24 of these Boba Fett figures survived adds to the scarcity of ever seeing one for sale, much less one in near mint condition. Add to that the fact that it only a prototype. Collectors never really had a shot at finding one unless they were a Kenner insider.
This particular auction also includes two letters of authenticity: one comes from Kenner’s Reliability and Safety technician, John Howlson, who is the toy’s original owner. He sold it in the early 90’s to current owner Tom Tumbusch of Tomart Publications. The second letter is from him.
What Else Is In This Auction?
Multiples of the original Kenner figures sealed and still on the card are up for sale, as well as some loose ones. You can also find newly discovered early production pieces, foreign/ rare variants, multi-packs, and store displays. Of the 400-plus items in lot #288, these three are apparently the stars of the show:
Older fans (like me) will remember having that Vader and Obi-Wan figure in their own collection at one point, along with the final consumer issued Boba Fett action figure. And those same older fans are likely kicking themselves for not keeping them!
The current record for a Star Wars toy sale was another Boba Fett action figure for $112,000 at an auction in July. It was a 1980 Fett prototype for The Empire Strikes Back.
How about it fans? What Star Wars items make up your collection? Thinking of placing a bid on this Boba Fett or something else in the auction? Let us know at That Hashtag Show!