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Is New Star Wars Movie Awakening Vintage Toy Interest?

The reach of the Star Wars brand and the scope of the marketing power of its new owner Disney proved as inescapable as a Death Star tractor beam. Variety reported a $528 million global opening for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the biggest ever.

Merchandising played a big role in Disney buying the iconic brand. Ever since the original movie arrive in 1977, toys and other Star Wars branded merchandise followed along. While there will be plenty of new goodies coming out now and for the foreseeable future, as Disney has multiple Star Wars movies planned, the vintage Star Wars collector and seller market saw online support from brands like Amazon.com, eBay, and Etsy recently.

eBay was Feeling the Force with their dedicated Star Wars page. This curated display came from the company’s “eBay Treasures Editor,” with new movie merchandise collected alongside some choices from the past.

If vintage Star Wars is performing well or poorly for eBay sellers, they don’t seem to be talking about it on the company’s discussion forums. Sellers expressed the usual concerns they have with doing business on eBay, like feedback and customer service, but no lightsabers or droids have been mentioned recently.

Etsy’s Vintage Star Wars editors’ picks focused much more on the old school Star Wars items and collectibles. One need look no further than the VHS tapes and vinyl records on display to understand they were looking at the merchandising legacy of the Dark (and Light!) Side.

Alas, Etsy’s forums proved as Star Wars-free as eBay’s. One possibly promising Etsy discussion turned out to be dated a month ago, with no focus on vintage merchandise.

Amazon’s Star Wars store collects all of the potential related purchases at one dedicated starting point. Their collectibles link mostly holds photos, posters, and sports cards, with the occasional autographed item listed in the mix.

While on occasion a long-held vintage item could prove profitable, with CNN Moneyreporting some five-figure sales of items like a rare Luke Skywalker figure, the oncoming flood of The Force Awakens items probably represents a poor investment for people seeking such financial returns.

But for those who’ve held onto some classic Star Wars items, Lifehacker offered some hope to vintage sellers. A handful of boxed items in mint condition may be worth a few thousand dollars to the right buyer. With the Star Wars brand receiving a relentless push from Disney, this may be a good time to dig through one’s childhood storage to see if the (economical) Force is with them.

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.