Most Valuable Action Figures of All Time
Generations of kids came of age in the golden age of pop culture-inspired action figures. Most of these toys could bend, twist, fire weapons and sometimes even blink — or talk, which is just creepy and weird.
Some rare figures carry exorbitant price tags, and then there are those that cost (brace yourself) millions of dollars. Yep, millions. Thankfully, for those of us without Elon Musk-level money, you can pick up some of these valued figures for "only" several thousand.
These are are the most expensive action figures in the world for you to drool over. But don’t drool, because some of these plastic pieces are quite valuable.
Bottom Line: 1978 Star Wars Death Squad Commander
If this guy doesn’t look super familiar, it’s because the so-called Death Squad Commander only appeared for a few seconds in the original "Star Wars" in the Death Star’s control room.
It’s true, you can watch him working levers and pressing buttons shortly before Alderaan goes kablooie. Apparently, Kenner thought better of selling a "Death Squad Commander" to kids, so rather than rename it, the toy was taken out of circulation entirely.
Hence its value.
29. 2007 Silver C-3PO
Price tag: $6,200
Bottom Line: 2007 Silver C-3PO
Nope, you’re not going colorblind. This 2007 tiny rendering of C-3PO is silver instead of See-Threepio’s golden hue.
Only one of this toy was ever produced, making this droid worth his weight in, well, silver.
28. Anakin Skywalker
Price tag: $7,500
Bottom Line: Anakin Skywalker
After Darth Vader returned to the Good Side of the Force at the end of "Return of the Jedi," he asked son Luke to help remove that scary black mask, revealing the face of Anakin Skywalker, his name before joining the evil Emperor.
Actor Sebastian Shaw had only a very few lines in the scene (spoiler alert: he dies), but then appeared as a happy Force ghost at the closing bonfire.
Kenner released an Anakin figurine alongside a commemorative coin, which increased his value.
27. Original Barbie
Price tag: $8,000
Bottom Line: Original Barbie
Barbie figures today can be had for about $20 or thereabouts. Not bad, considering that if you want to get your hands on an original Barbie from the year she came out, 1959, you’re looking at forking over eight big ones for the privilege.
Think that’s a lot of money? Read on for some really big money spent on Barbie.
26. 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Package
Price tag: $9,000
Bottom Line: 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Package
Kids in May 1977 ran out of movie theaters after watching "Star Wars" screaming "tooooooyyyyyssss!!!!" The only problem was nobody — not even the movie studio — expected "Star Wars" to make much money, let alone that it would be a hit.
Kenner was promptly hired to make some toys to fill stockings for Christmas. But there was just one problem: The toys weren’t ready! So Kenner produced "vouchers" to redeem for toys in 1978.
Those "Space Club" cards are worth a pretty penny today if paired with all of the figures pictured on the voucher.
25. Muppets Collector’s Set
Price tag: $10,000
Bottom Line: Muppets Collector’s Set
Jim Henson’s absolutely loveable puppet kingdom has entertained the young, the old, the silly and the staid for over a half-century.
Kermit, Fozzy, Animal, et al., were all fashioned into toy form so that kids could use them to practice making silly voices at home rather than at school (or both).
A complete set of those Muppets figures would make Kermit change his tune to, "It is easy being green."
24. 1978 Special Action Figure Set of Star Wars Villains
Price tag: $10,000
Bottom Line: 1978 Special Action Figure Set of Star Wars Villains
One of the cardinal rules of toy creation is fashioning special sets of multiple items and wrapping them together means instant value.
Cash — er, case — in point is this trio of Darth Vader, the aforementioned Death Squad Commander and a Stormtrooper, which was released together only a few months after the first "Star Wars" flick became the biggest film ever (for a time anyway).
23. 2007 Gold C-3PO
Price tag: $10,000
Bottom Line: 2007 Gold C-3PO
Everyone’s favorite protocol droid who speaks 6 million languages — but who nonetheless is the galaxy’s biggest whiner — has been rendered in toy form many times over the years, including this 2007 iteration, which is cast in 14-karat gold.
This tiny toy is small enough to get lost in the couch cushions (or chewed up by Fido), so keep him close if you have one.
22. Empire Strikes Back Medical Droid FX-7
Price tag: $11,500
Bottom Line: Empire Strikes Back Medical Droid FX-7
Palitoy made this toy figure of the droid that nursed Luke back to health after his escape from the Wampa on Hoth, but if you ask us, the Medical Droid FX-7 looks way more like a mechanical jellyfish than anything "helpful."
And like most things medical-related — especially without insurance — the FX-7 is actually very expensive on the secondary market.
21. 1979 Boba Fett
Price tag: $12,000
Bottom Line: 1979 Boba Fett
Quick, without looking at your notes, when did Boba Fett enter the "Star Wars" universe? If you answered "The Empire Strikes Back," then you are … wrong!
Actually, the Mandalorian bounty hunter first showed up in the much-derided (and rightly so) "Star Wars Holiday Special," where he appeared in a short animated segment that is much better than absolutely anything else in that revolting TV program.
A toy was put out to coincide with that early cameo.
20. 2010 Boba Fett
Price tag: $12,000
Bottom Line: 2010 Boba Fett
What makes this particular Boba Fett figure so valuable? Well, for one, it’s cast in 14-karat gold, which is one helluva bounty to pay, even for the galaxy’s masked warrior.
This Boba Fett was produced as part of a collector’s set and was also released with a certificate of authentication.
19. Babe Ruth (McFarlane)
Price tag: $13,600
Bottom Line: Babe Ruth (McFarlane)
The Bronx Bomber was admired by many baseball fans during his illustrious career, and he continues to be among the most famous ballplayers even 75 years after his death.
McFarlane Toys’ "Sports Picks" line got in on the swinging action by making this figurine of the Babe. However, there are only five — total.
Hence the sticker price.
18. Elastic Batman
Price tag: $15,000
Bottom Line: Elastic Batman
The Caped Crusader was never more flexible than in this toy iteration, in which the Dark Knight tried his absolute hardest to be like fellow comic book hero Plastic Man.
In order to possess this stretchy Batman, you’ll also need some rather serious flexibility in your bank account, and only two are known to still be out there.
17. Lego Millennium Falcon
Price tag: $16,000
Bottom Line: Lego Millennium Falcon
This Lego set from 2007 comes with some 5,000 pieces which, when put together in the right order, will form Han Solo and Chewie’s trusty outer space getaway cruiser.
Nowadays, much like the Falcon itself, it’s difficult to get your hands on one of these rather rare Lego sets — even with a tractor beam.
16. G.I Joe Manimals Vortex Figure
Price tag: $20,000
Bottom Line: G.I Joe Manimals Vortex Figure
Duke, Shipwreck, Snake Eyes and the rest of the Joes have tangled with some rather nasty foes over the years, mostly over at Cobra, and many of them were seriously memorable.
The Manimals, however, were a different story. Hasbro’s creations didn’t really catch on with kids, and the toy line was quickly discontinued.
Keep your eyes out for the Manimal called Vortex: Though he’s just a piece of plastic, he’s worth 20 grand in mint condition.
15. Original Superman
Price tag: $25,000
Bottom Line: Original Superman
He leaps over tall mountains in a single bound, runs faster than a speeding bullet, is more powerful than a locomotive, and fights for truth, justice and the American way.
Supes debuted in Action Comics in 1938, and the original figurines of the Man of Steel came along a few years after.
So did the Second World War, which may explain why the original S-man toy is so rare.
14. Luke Skywalker With Double-Telescoping Lightsaber
Price tag: $25,000
Bottom Line: Luke Skywalker With Double-Telescoping Lightsaber
Did anyone at Santa’s workshop — er, Kenner — even bother to watch the original "Star Wars"? You know, the one where Obi-Wan gives Luke his father’s lightsaber, which was blue.
Seriously, was the figure designer at Kenner color-blind or something? How else did Luke get himself a yellow lightsaber?!
13. Jawa With Vinyl Cape
Price tag: $28,000
Bottom Line: Jawa With Vinyl Cape
Look closely at the getups of those rascally Jawas, and you’ll see they are clearly made of ordinary cloth. Toymakers at Kenner didn’t get the memo and released a toy Jawa decked out in a rather righteous vinyl cape.
Thus, the original version of the caped-up junk dealer is one of the most prized treasures for ravenous "Star Wars" collectors.
12. Darth Vader With Telescoping Lightsaber
Price tag: $30,000
Bottom Line: Darth Vader With Telescoping Lightsaber
Yet another mistake from the well-meaning — and equally as misinformed — toymakers from Kenner. For not only did the Dark Lord of the Sith not have a purple lightsaber, he certainly didn’t have one of those telescoping gizmos.
It was too late by the time Kenner yanked the incorrectly armed Vader by the cape from the shelves as several had already found their way into the homes of eager young Jedis.
11. Michael Lau’s Gardener Uncle
Price tag: $35,000
Bottom Line: Michael Lau’s Gardener Uncle
Hong Kong’s own Michael Lau has some serious artistic chops, and he also loves "G.I. Joe." At the end of the last century, Lau created a series of "Gardener" figures that melded his love of both street art and the aforementioned Joes.
This rather surly-looking fellow, called "Uncle," is based on a comic strip of which Lau was a fan — and the figure "commands" a pretty price.
10. Transformers Generation 1 Collection
Price tag: Up to $40,000
Bottom Line: Transformers Generation 1 Collection
Amazing things happen when Transformers team up to fight the Decepticons, and even more wondrous events come down the pike when their toymakers team up. Case in point is this 1984 creative collaboration between Japan company Takara Tomy and the American toy firm Hasbro.
The toymakers spent a great deal of time detailing the figures — so much so that the entire collection runs $40,000.
9. Vlix (in Original Packaging)
Price tag: Up to $60,000
Bottom Line: Vlix (in Original Packaging)
If you don’t recall Vlix from the short-lived "Star Wars" animated series "Droids," well, don’t feel bad. The cartoon only had 13 episodes, thus not really giving audiences much of a chance to get to know the aqua-skinned alien Vlix.
Thus, Vlix figures, out of the package, start at around $5,000, but if you have an original unopened Vlix toy in the basement, you can trade him in for an Audi (or two).
8. 1977 Obi-Wan Kenobi With Double-Telescoping Lightsaber
Price tag: $76,000
Bottom Line: 1977 Obi-Wan Kenobi With Double-Telescoping Lightsaber
Remember when Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi whipped out a yellow lightsaber with two blades to take on Darth Vader? Neither do we.
So before the toymakers could fix their mistake (even the most common nerd knows Ben’s saber was blue), yellow saber-sporting Kenobis were already on the market.
And really, at 76K, shouldn’t his lightsaber be, ya know, green?!
7. Rocket Firing Boba Fett
Price tag: $150,000
Bottom Line: Rocket Firing Boba Fett
The coolest and most mysterious bounty hunter from that galaxy far, far away knows how to negotiate a bargain, but would even he laugh at the price tag of $150,000 on his own head?
Only if he has the aforementioned rocket launcher on his pack, the bounty for which might even make Boba Fett’s eyes bulge out from behind his Mandalorian mask.
6. 1959 Barbie Doll Set
Price tag: $161,000
Bottom Line: 1959 Barbie Doll Set
Why own just one Barbie when you can have the doll in nearly all of her various incarnations since 1959?
This set of 15,000 Barbies (no, that’s not a typo) is in the possession of one Bettina Dorfmann of Germany and has been appraised at $161,000.
5. Steiff Limited Edition 'Diamond Eyes Bear'
Price tag: $193,000
Bottom Line: Steiff Limited Edition 'Diamond Eyes Bear'
For the 125th anniversary of the Teddy bear in 2013, the German company Steiff produced this one-of-a-kind 125-karat ursine.
No wonder he’s smiling as he’s blinged out with sapphire eyes and a golden mouth too.
Das ist sehr schön, nein? Translation: That's very nice, no?
4. G.I. Joe Prototype
Price tag: $200,000
Bottom Line: G.I. Joe Prototype
The original greatest American hero carries with him a truly heroic price. This prototype figure from 1963 was created by Don Levine and was fashioned as the template for many, many G.I. Joes who came thereafter.
However, there can only ever be one "first," and possessing him requires big-time buckos.
3. Diamond-Encrusted Barbie
Price tag: $302,000
Bottom Line: Diamond-Encrusted Barbie
Barbie has always been a stylish lady since bursting onto the scene in 1959, and she’s worn many hats over her six decades.
But no hat — er, necklace — in Barbie’s wardrobe comes even close to the 1-carat diamond necklace that this figure fashioned by Stefano Canturi in 2010 wears.
Ken better start saving up his bubblegum money to take this blinged-out Barbie on a date.
2. Madame Alexander Eloise
Price tag: $5 million
Bottom Line: Madame Alexander Eloise
She was initially created to raise money for charity, but Madame Alexander Eloise could likely fund Amnesty for a year on the resale market.
There are only five known to exist in the entire world, each outfitted with Christian Dior and Oscar de la Renta attire, as well as Harry Winston diamonds and Swarovski crystals.
That’s some extraordinary bling for a pint-size gal.
1. L’Oiseleur Doll
Price tag: $6.25 million
Bottom Line: L’Oiseleur Doll
Nope, L’Oiseleur doesn’t translate to "how much???” but simply to the "bird trainer." Most action figures have a few moving parts, but this showy doll, created by Christian Bailly, has over 2,000.
Her cogs and gears make L’Oiseleur play the flute and even watch as birds circle overhead, thus making L’Oiseleur less of an action figure than an autonomous money pit of extraordinary proportions.