Rare Star Wars toy found in Coalville loft sells for £2,100
A rare and unopened Star Wars toy found in a loft has sold for £2,100, about 10 times its pre-auction estimate.
The Tie Bomber spacecraft had laid undiscovered in its original box, in Leicestershire, for about 40 years.
It belonged to a worker at Coalville's Palitoy factory, which made Star Wars models and figures in the UK.
The item, which had an estimated price of between £200 and £300, sold at auction in Derbyshire earlier on Thursday.
The model was bought by Ben Watkins, 46, a headhunter from Hampshire, who spent about £5,000 in total at the exhibition.
The collector went for the Tie Bomber due to its "rarity" and felt he got a "bargain" when his £900 bid landed a rare Yak Face figure, which had been expected to sell for much more.
Many Star Wars toys dating back to the early 1980s went under the hammer and fetched about £24,000 in total, more than double the expected sum.
Among the toys was a Boba Fett figure, made by Palitoy, still contained within its plastic bubble and attached to a card.
It sold for £2,300, several times its estimate of between £300 and £500. An identical model sold for £900.
A toy based on the character of Greedo, in the original Star Wars film, sold for £1,000, having only expected to make between £80 and £100.
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Ahead of the sale it was the Tie Bomber that auctioneer Hansons were particularly excited about.
Steve Fulford, from the firm, said it was the "rarest of the die cast Stars Wars toys" and few had survived in their sealed boxes.
The 77-year-old seller, who did not want to be named, worked at Palitoy from 1983 to 1995 and had bought the toy home for his son which he never opened.
Hansons said it was made in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Kenner Products but a note on the box said it was a sample.
It is believed it was sent to the Palitoy factory in Coalville for assessment.