By Michele Alice
For those of you with old Commander Adama action figures or Colonial Viper models, this might be a good time to drag them out from the back of the closet. As Baby Boomers age, they wax ever more nostalgic for mementos of their youth, and with rumors of a possible Battlestar Galactica movie* in the works, those old collectibles just might be on the verge of major appreciation. As a matter of fact, the market for Battlestar Galactica collectibles has already seen positive movement since the series has begun to be re-aired on The Sci-Fi Channel, creating a whole new cadre of fans.
In case you are too young to remember, Battlestar Galactica premiered on ABC in September 1978. Starring Lorne Green (Bonanza's Pa Cartwright) as Commander Adama, Richard Hatch as Captain Apollo, and Dirk Benedict ("Face" on The A-Team) as Lt. Starbuck, the series was a huge hit in the beginning. A copyright battle between George (Star Wars) Lucas and Battlestar's creators Glen Larson and ABC, coupled with a decline in viewership, caused cancellation of the series after just one season. Completely revamped with new characters and a new storyline, it was brought back for a second season as Galactica 1980, but with little success. It was cancelled in August 1980.
Mattel held the original licensing rights and issued two series of toys and action figures in 1978 and 1979. The figures from the second series, including the Viper Launch Station playset, are much scarcer than those from the first series and are priced accordingly. (For a complete description of Mattel's BG toy line try http://www.kobol.com, which bills itself as the Internet's oldest and largest BG site, or check out the 3-3/4 Inch Action Figure Archives at http://www.toymania.com/334archives. At the Toymania archives, you'll also find action figures for a whole slew of other sci-fi series and movies.)
In 1996, Trendmaster Toys released a new series of action figures based on the old series. These included newer versions of Imperial Leader and Starbuck along with a Cylon Centurian and Cylon Commander. All four figures were released in talking and non-talking versions. A fifth figure, Stealth Cylon, was also released, but in non-talking only. For more information on the Trendmaster series, along with a British perspective on the BG series and collectibles universe, you might want to give Battlestar Galactica Memorabilia a try at http://www.wildfire-web.co.uk/bsg/index.htm.
An informal check of Battlestar Galactica collectibles on eBay on 06.03.00 revealed some interesting things. One was that the demand for original BG paperback books is higher than I had expected. A set of four (#5, 11, 12, 13) in NOT mint condition sold for $51.00! And another (#10) from 1984 sold for $10.50! These prices are much higher than those being commanded by a lot of Star Trek and Star Wars paperbacks at present.
Another interesting thing was that, as expected, the demand for the rarer toys is forcing prices up. Mattel Vertibirds (NOT MINT) are going for up to $76+ (one in MINT condition went for $183!!!). And a 1979 Mattel (second series) Lucifer (MOC-mint on card) sold for $75! Of course, not everything Galactica is selling for such premium prices (a lot of stuff is going for $10 or less), but as with all other collectibles, condition and rarity are everything.
- The proposed Battlestar Galactica movie has been delayed due to a copyright battle between Universal Studios and Glen Larsen. In addition, Richard Hatch (Captain Apollo) has approached Universal about another Galactica project for theatrical or televised release. For the latest news from the Battlestar Galactica universe, check out the following sites:
http://www.starshiptrooper.net/galactica (The Battlestar Galactica Club)
http://www.battlestarmovie.com (The Official BG Movie Website)
About the author:
Michele Alice is EcommerceBytes Update Contributing Editor. Michele is a freelance writer in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. She collects books, science fiction memorabilia and more! Email her at makalice @ adelphia.net eBay ID: Malice9
You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to EcommerceBytes.com and either link to the original article or to www.EcommerceBytes.com.
All other use is prohibited.