Leicester

Rare Star Wars Tie Bomber toy found in Coalville loft

Tie bomber authentic imperial spacecraft Image copyright Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption The toy is untouched and belonged to a man who used to work at a Leicestershire toy factory

A rare and unopened Star Wars toy has been found in a loft after lying forgotten for 40 years.

The Tie Bomber spacecraft was discovered unopened and in its original box in Coalville, Leicestershire.

Its owner, a clerical worker at toy company Palitoy from 1983 to 1995, said sometimes surplus stock was sold to staff.

The toy, based on the spacecraft from the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back, will be sold at an auction on June 20.

The 77-year-old, who did not want to be named, said: "My son used to like Star Wars and I often bought toys home for him. For some reason, this one was never opened and I found it in the loft.

"I assume this toy was sent from America to test whether it would sell in the UK."

Image copyright Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption Few have survived in their sealed boxes

He took it to a valuation event and it has been given an estimate of £250 to £350 ahead of its sale on 20 June.

Derbyshire's Hansons Auctioneers said the toy was only released in the US and its "price could skyrocket into orbit."

Steve Fulford, from Hansons, said: "I'm really excited about this. The tie bomber is the rarest of the die cast Stars Wars toys and few have survived in their sealed boxes."

He said it was "amazing to find one" but was not surprised it turned up in Coalville, where Palitoy was based.

Mr Fulford said: "The tie bomber was actually made in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Kenner Products but a note on the box tells us it was a sample. Perhaps it was sent to Coalville for assessment."

Last year, 60 vintage Palitoy Star War toys more than trebled their original estimate of £2,000-£3,000 and sold for £9,240.

The Tie Bomber will be sold at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire.

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites