Rocket-firing Boba Fett

Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
2,980
Reaction score
1
Mind the newb questions - I want to understand a few things about the history of these figures.

The skinny, as I understand it, is that Kenner intended to have a mail-offer Boba Fett figure, but due to an accident caused by a Battlestar Galactica toy, Kenner decided to pull the figure.

The part I'm confused about are the "prototype" and "production" figures. I've seen photos of the L-slot and J-slot rocket launcher, and AFA graded "painted" and unpainted figures on Brians Toys website.

However, up until recently, I thought these L-slot and J-slot Fett's never went into production. Just today I heard that there was a carded figure that sold at a New York show for 10K (not sure how long ago).

Is this carded figure sale documented anywhere, and could someone explain whether this was a production figure, a prototype, etc., and if possible, a little history (if known) about this carded figure.

Thanks!
smile.gif
 
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
1,751
Reaction score
1
Location
california
joe
check this link here
this is a picture of the toy fair mock up brian was selling at his premier collect auction. the asking price i believe was 100k
grin.gif
 
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
4,984
Reaction score
0
Because of the complexity of the launcher and how close the figure came to production, there are more legit Rocket Fett prototypes out there than any other vintage Star Wars prototype. It's the sheer mythos of the piece that catapulted it to the prices it gets, not the rarity.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
325
Reaction score
0
Shane Turgeon said:
Because of the complexity of the launcher and how close the figure came to production, there are more legit Rocket Fett prototypes out there than any other vintage Star Wars prototype. It's the sheer mythos of the piece that catapulted it to the prices it gets, not the rarity.

I completely agree, however I feel the need to clarify that there are many different types of Rocket Fetts out there. Most of them are 3 or fewer in existence but the plain old L slot is downright dirt common and the J slot isn't far behind. Both are easily obtainable if one has the financial means.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
5,437
Reaction score
2
Justin_Kerns said:
...but the plain old L slot is downright dirt common and the J slot isn't far behind. Both are easily obtainable if one has the financial means.

Well, let's not go that far, especially when answering a novice question. "Dirt" common maybe compared to other SW prototypes in terms of total quantities, but in the general scheme of SW collecting still rare. I'd say less than 50 of those are around.

-chris
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
5,437
Reaction score
2
There's a whole section on the various RocketFett incarnations here and the individual entries are filled with just about all of the information known.

The SWCA

Here's information on the Battlestar Galactica toy mishap including several relevant scanned articles as well as the death certificate. Note that it was incorrectly listed as a Star Wars toy.

Toy Death

I should update that entry because while the Mattel lawsuit was on the minds of Kenner it wasn't what actually killed the missile-firing feature on Boba Fett. Although it does make for a more interesting story I suppose.

Kenner modified the original L-slot into a J-slot in order to to prevent accidental firing, but the little plastic catch on the backpack broke off during testing and the shard created a "sharp" as well as a choking hazard. That's when Kenner legal killed the missile-firing feature as told to me by two different test technicians. One was right there when Jim Kipling, head of Kenner legal, saw the shard and said to get rid of the launcher altogether.

The BSG toy death was on December 31, 1978 and the publicity was in the early weeks of January 1979 with a lawsuit filed in March. This was all just after Boba Fett was available to consumers because the figure was due to ship in January/February 1979 which means that the changes were made well before that. Here's the promo.

Jan/Feb 1979 Products

The mail-in offer expired in May 1979 and I know it was on packaging for months prior. It's really unfortunate that there's no postmark on my mailer box to help nail when I received mine.

Boba Fett mailer

I've never actually thought about this time-line before which helps back up what I was told. Not that people will suddenly drop the Battlestar Galactica explanation anytime soon though.
smile.gif


-chris
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
2,980
Reaction score
1
knothead615 said:
joe
check this link here
this is a picture of the toy fair mock up brian was selling at his premier collect auction. the asking price i believe was 100k
grin.gif

Is it known whether it sold or not?
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
2,980
Reaction score
1
Chris, in your estimation, what would something like that be worth in the current market?

I ask because a real heavy-hitter in the comics business sold all his SW stuff some time ago. He mentioned that just after he did, the values dropped 70% across the board.

Now I know enough from my experiences in the vintage comic market that high demand, crown jewels tend to be resistant to these types of price fluctuations.

But I'm trying to gain a sense of value for this Rocket-firing Boba Fett on card as I was told the figure sold for $10K at a past show. Now hearing the number $100K leaves a huge range, with no sense of timeframe between when it first sold, and this last attempt.

I should also say that I see my fair share of these kinds of prices in the comic hobby, and I'm not sure if this is a case of asking "stupid" money on something that would get laughed at (and explains best why it didn't sell) or whether this is the kind of money a one-of-kind carded figure deserves.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
325
Reaction score
0
ChrisGeorgoulias said:
Justin_Kerns said:
...but the plain old L slot is downright dirt common and the J slot isn't far behind. Both are easily obtainable if one has the financial means.

Well, let's not go that far, especially when answering a novice question. "Dirt" common maybe compared to other SW prototypes in terms of total quantities, but in the general scheme of SW collecting still rare. I'd say less than 50 of those are around.

-chris

Fair enough - I may have overstated it in comparison to the bulk of vintage SW items out there. I was speaking strictly about the prototype realm.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
5,437
Reaction score
2
The owner, Robert, had it at Celebration II (2002) in a display case at the Cloud City booth asking $50k for it. He was mostly there just trying to get some interest going as he would flag down news crews and people asking if they'd seen "the $50k figure.". The price was completely made up and not based on anything.

That's the closest it's ever been to a show. Price was never $10k so you just have some bad info, that's all. The figure was brokered by a collector (from the original owner) to Cloud City who sold it directly to Robert in the first place. It was never publicly available and sold rather quickly.

A few years ago RocketFetts were going for $10k-$20k depending on moods, condition, and variations. They've cooled off in demand since, but people haven't resorted to giving them away or anything.

Thre carded one is unique and special, but I never thought it was worth even $50k because it's only the packaging that's unique not the figure itself. I'd say that $30k is more "realistic", but all it takes is one buyer to validate a price. I also doubt it would be offered so "low" at this point.

-chris
 
Joined
May 1, 2001
Messages
2,206
Reaction score
1
finestcomics said:
I should also say that I see my fair share of these kinds of prices in the comic hobby, and I'm not sure if this is a case of asking "stupid" money on something that would get laughed at (and explains best why it didn't sell) or whether this is the kind of money a one-of-kind carded figure deserves.

There are several "one of a kinds" in the hobby, but the closest approximation I could make to the comic world would be original art. Each piece is a one of a kind, but the subject, the comic, the characters, etc are what separate a $100 page/cover, from a $100k page/cover.

The Rocket Fett is a fairly iconic piece, but realistically the supply of the more common examples ( j & l slots) have never been an issue. I agree with Justin, for something that is considered high profile, I can't remember a time since I've been collecting that I couldn't have found one within a matter of days. (earlier prototypes excluded). Even doing a quick ebay search, you have better odds of finding a Rocket-Fett for sale than a production DT Vader or Ben.

The carded Rocket Fett would have to be considered one of, if not the most iconic mock up prototypes in the hobby. The
issues with anything on this level is simply a matter of how much the owner wants. It's the only known example, so the price is irrelevant. If he/she wants $100k for it, and won't take a penny less, then that's the price. (However, I do agree that $50k is the realistic number that most people give it)

Bill
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
325
Reaction score
0
ChrisGeorgoulias said:
The owner, Robert, had it at Celebration II (2002) in a display case at the Cloud City booth asking $50k for it. He was mostly there just trying to get some interest going as he would flag down news crews and people asking if they'd seen "the $50k figure.". The price was completely made up and not based on anything.

That's the closest it's ever been to a show. Price was never $10k so you just have some bad info, that's all. The figure was brokered by a collector (from the original owner) to Cloud City who sold it directly to Robert in the first place. It was never publicly available and sold rather quickly.......

......Thre carded one is unique and special, but I never thought it was worth even $50k because it's only the packaging that's unique not the figure itself. I'd say that $30k is more "realistic", but all it takes is one buyer to validate a price. I also doubt it would be offered so "low" at this point.

-chris

I talked to Robert about this piece at C2 as I was working on my Rocket Fett focus at that time. It was interesting to me as part of the Rocket Fett run but I knew what he paid for it and I didn't want to pay even that much.

It is a really cool piece, but the J-slot is broken and the card itself is very similar to the production cardback. Personally I think the one object out there that makes this piece so awesome is the Toy Fair photo. Without that it would be a lot less interesting in my eyes.

Anyway I decided to get the POTF Fett mockup from Kim instead, even though it wasn't rocket-firing. It was an example of a totally unique packaging that was never remotely produced, and also had photographic provenance.

Amazing 1 of a kind pieces like this are all over the map. As Chris says all it takes is the right buyer to increase the value 2X.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
2,980
Reaction score
1
Bill_McBride said:
finestcomics said:
I should also say that I see my fair share of these kinds of prices in the comic hobby, and I'm not sure if this is a case of asking "stupid" money on something that would get laughed at (and explains best why it didn't sell) or whether this is the kind of money a one-of-kind carded figure deserves.

There are several "one of a kinds" in the hobby, but the closest approximation I could make to the comic world would be original art. Each piece is a one of a kind, but the subject, the comic, the characters, etc are what separate a $100 page/cover, from a $100k page/cover.

That's the same comparison I was initially thinking Bill.

Then, the more I thought about it and read other comments, aschcans also apply quite aptly to the vintage SW prototypes.

When I first heard about ashcans some twenty years ago, they carried a lot more swagger than they do today. There still are some highly-prized examples whereby there are only 1-3 known examples (Action Funnies being one).

I believe the original art comparison in comics is closer to figure prototypes (i.e. GI Joe) as they were used to produce the cover artwork, and many times kept/filed away with the publishers (very rarely were they returned to the artists in the work-for-hire days).

There are stories of Marvel having these lying against the walls when walking into their offices in the 60's and 70s', and many of them walking out the door because of their lax attitude.

As for their value's in today's market - well, let's just say if the original art to Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man in comics) wasn't donated to the Library of Congress, those pages would be selling in the $1-$3 Million range - each (that's 24 pages)!

The cover alone (although not donated with the grouping of interior artwork) would probably fetch in the neighbourhood of $2-$5 Million. The highest graded copy (I believe is a 9.6) of Amazing Fantasy #15 could probably join the million dollar club with Action Comics #1 (first Superman) and Detective Comics #27 (first Batman).
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
5,437
Reaction score
2
finestcomics said:
I ask because a real heavy-hitter in the comics business sold all his SW stuff some time ago. He mentioned that just after he did, the values dropped 70% across the board.

That sounds more like a generalized statement meant to sound shocking to an outsider, but not really based in reality. And it is wholly dependent upon the types of items he had because from my experience I never saw a period of a "70% drop across the board".

Perhaps with some specifics we might be able to figure out just what he meant, but you always need to remember to take statements like that with a grain of salt.

Of course if he was the owner of a comic shop and these items were in his stock then I could see him noticing such a "phenomenon" when he dumped them. However, that's not a drop in the market, that's just getting back to reality. Most comic shops have historically over-valued SW collectibles even while they were available on ebay for a fraction of their retail asking prices so that 70% difference may have been his own over-valuation.

-chris
 
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
4,984
Reaction score
0
finestcomics said:
I believe the original art comparison in comics is closer to figure prototypes (i.e. GI Joe) as they were used to produce the cover artwork, and many times kept/filed away with the publishers (very rarely were they returned to the artists in the work-for-hire days).

I definitely agree that toy prototypes are a much better comparison to original comic art than production comics. It's really apples and oranges to compare production anything to preproduction anything. Granted, there are exceptions, but one-of-a-kind doesn't get any rarer and there are only a handful of production pieces in any toy hobby i participate in that have that distinction and only a handful more than exist in quantities of 5 or less. Heck, even most prototypes exist in quantities of more than 1.

finestcomics said:
As for their value's in today's market - well, let's just say if the original art to Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man in comics) wasn't donated to the Library of Congress, those pages would be selling in the $1-$3 Million range - each (that's 24 pages)!

The cover alone (although not donated with the grouping of interior artwork) would probably fetch in the neighbourhood of $2-$5 Million. The highest graded copy (I believe is a 9.6) of Amazing Fantasy #15 could probably join the million dollar club with Action Comics #1 (first Superman) and Detective Comics #27 (first Batman).

I'm not so sure i agree with your price estimates on the AF15 pages or cover. Granted, i'm by no means an expert in the OA field but i've been studying it for the better part of 5 years to try to get a feel for the hobby before i really start playing in it and from what i understand, to date, no domestic original art, cover or otherwise, has cracked even half a mil (French Tin Tin art being the only international exception i can think of).

The Frazetta Weird Science Fantasy #29 cover that sold earlier this year was a record price for OA and it was, IIRC, sold for $389K. The Superman #14 and Detective #69 covers that were just offered by Metropolis/ComicConnect failed to meet the reserve and reached high bids of $402K and $200K respectively. Those are some pretty iconic covers, and while AF15 is a more iconic book, i can't see interiors setting records at $1mil+ per page. Heck, i'd be shocked if the cover cracked that but of any of the AF15 OA, that's the only one with a chance.

That's where the high grade comic mentality loses me completely (and toys as well). I'd way rather spend a record amount of money on something no one else could have as opposed to a record amount on a high graded comic that another could and likely will come out of the woodwork on. Those million dollar comic sales were followed by additional record setting sales on the same books shortly thereafter by people sitting quietly on them and neither owner who spent the sick coin actually has something that's one-of-a-kind. Mind blowing. I'd rather drop a million on a Frazetta painting.
 
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
4,984
Reaction score
0
To add, there's nothing in the vintage SW collecting world that even comes close to mid-top end high grade comic or OA sales. The most that's been spent on a single piece in this hobby has cracked 5 figures but not mid-5 figures whereas high grade keys routinely sell for that as does quality OA and many of those books or art are pushing close to 6 figures at this point. Vintage SW collecting just doesn't have anything close to compare to - and i seriously wonder if it ever will.
 
Joined
May 1, 2001
Messages
2,206
Reaction score
1
Shane Turgeon said:
The Frazetta Weird Science Fantasy #29 cover that sold earlier this year was a record price for OA and it was, IIRC, sold for $389K. The Superman #14 and Detective #69 covers that were just offered by Metropolis/ComicConnect failed to meet the reserve and reached high bids of $402K and $200K respectively. Those are some pretty iconic covers, and while AF15 is a more iconic book, i can't see interiors setting records at $1mil+ per page. Heck, i'd be shocked if the cover cracked that but of any of the AF15 OA, that's the only one with a chance.
That's where the high grade comic mentality loses me completely (and toys as well). I'd way rather spend a record amount of money on something no one else could have as opposed to a record amount on a high graded comic that another could and likely will come out of the woodwork on. Those million dollar comic sales were followed by additional record setting sales on the same books shortly thereafter by people sitting quietly on them and neither owner who spent the sick coin actually has something that's one-of-a-kind. Mind blowing. I'd rather drop a million on a Frazetta painting.

I couldn't agree more, especially with the Superman #14 cover.

Superman14.jpg
superman-14.jpg


From a historical, and artistic point of view, this had even me drooling over it, and I don't collect comics, or comic OA. To me, it doesn't get much more iconic that this, but the reality is (as Shane pointed out), that the bidding didn't meet the estimate.
So bringing this back to the SW world, it's a simple matter of what the seller wants. Even being a long time collector of only Darth Vader, I still think the Toy Fair Rocket Fett is the coolest vintage prototype I have ever seen.

It's difficult for me to reconcile the values that people give production toys(comics), over an amazing piece of original comic (cover) art, or single digit pre-production material.

Bill
 
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
4,984
Reaction score
0
Bill_McBride said:
It's difficult for me to reconcile the values that people give production toys(comics), over an amazing piece of original comic (cover) art, or single digit pre-production material.

I feel exactly the same way. And to throw another variable into the mix, i'm even further confounded by the perceived value that people attach to graded items. "Oh, that's the only one graded an AFA 100, or CGC 9.8".

So what? It's not actually the only one in the world. There are 10 more at AFA 95 or CGC 9.5 and often dozens, even hundreds, if not thousands at lower grades and ungraded. I actually had a discussion with an AFA cult member at the PCA at SDCC a couple years back and after seeing him throwing sick money around on the production AFA GI Joe stuff, i started getting a little worried about him eying up the one and only piece i was there to take home. During the intermission i stuck up a conversation to see where his interest lay in the piece i wanted. Thankfully, the piece wasn't sealed and thereby not graded by AFA so he could care less. He was faaaar more interested in the AFA 100 Night Viper figure, which was the "only one in the world." In the end, he dropped over $1000 on the Night Viper, a common as mud MOC figure that ungraded would sell for about $40.

The irony? The piece i was after is legitimately the only known example in the world. I happily paid $650.
smirk.gif
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
2,980
Reaction score
1
Shane Turgeon said:
finestcomics said:
As for their value's in today's market - well, let's just say if the original art to Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man in comics) wasn't donated to the Library of Congress, those pages would be selling in the $1-$3 Million range - each (that's 24 pages)!

The cover alone (although not donated with the grouping of interior artwork) would probably fetch in the neighbourhood of $2-$5 Million. The highest graded copy (I believe is a 9.6) of Amazing Fantasy #15 could probably join the million dollar club with Action Comics #1 (first Superman) and Detective Comics #27 (first Batman).

I'm not so sure i agree with your price estimates on the AF15 pages or cover. Granted, i'm by no means an expert in the OA field but i've been studying it for the better part of 5 years to try to get a feel for the hobby before i really start playing in it and from what i understand, to date, no domestic original art, cover or otherwise, has cracked even half a mil (French Tin Tin art being the only international exception i can think of).

The Frazetta Weird Science Fantasy #29 cover that sold earlier this year was a record price for OA and it was, IIRC, sold for $389K. The Superman #14 and Detective #69 covers that were just offered by Metropolis/ComicConnect failed to meet the reserve and reached high bids of $402K and $200K respectively. Those are some pretty iconic covers, and while AF15 is a more iconic book, i can't see interiors setting records at $1mil+ per page. Heck, i'd be shocked if the cover cracked that but of any of the AF15 OA, that's the only one with a chance.

That's where the high grade comic mentality loses me completely (and toys as well). I'd way rather spend a record amount of money on something no one else could have as opposed to a record amount on a high graded comic that another could and likely will come out of the woodwork on. Those million dollar comic sales were followed by additional record setting sales on the same books shortly thereafter by people sitting quietly on them and neither owner who spent the sick coin actually has something that's one-of-a-kind. Mind blowing. I'd rather drop a million on a Frazetta painting.

I agree on the views you've expressed toward OA. On the prices achieved on OA, those are public (auctioned) sales so the perception is that those are the top prices yielded. The fact is that there have been several OA covers which have sold privately, and which have sold for higher numbers than the WSF #29 (for which I did a cover recreation many years ago - one of my favourite Frazetta covers).

I want to qualify this statement also by saying I am no expert on OA. However several years ago, someone was shopping around an original art cover for Zap Comix 1 (DISCLAIMER: this is one of my auctions). It was the first time I actually considered doing a tally on my net worth to go after that piece. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed to have not even received a reply by the seller. A few people believe they were just trying to generate interest, and use that as a gauge to market the product more effectively to a smaller group of interested parties (i.e. we got 150 emails from people, so it must be hot, therefore we wan top dollar for it, etc.)

They didn't even have a photo or anything of the cover. Now I don't want to create the impression that I had the kind of disposable money to make the acquisition, but I was seriously hoping that the price I had in mind would get me that cover. This is, and has always been my favourite Crumb work, and to own the cover to the most important book in his portfolio of artwork was the stuff dreams are made of.

Anyhow, it turned out these guys were running a ghetto clinic on how to frustrate interested buyers, and after listing ended, I heard nothing about it.

A few years ago, I acquired the book (which is now on eBay) from one of the most well-known and active OA buyers/dealers. This is a very reliable source, and it was from him that I learned that the cover sold for $1 Million.

To put things in a different perspective, the Mile High (Dentist) copy of Action Comics 1, still ungraded, has been eyed over by a number of people in the hobby who say it is a lock at 9.4 if were to be graded. It is also said that several offers in the $2 Million range were turned down. That was before the two Action Comics 1 sales that broke the Million mark.

Now it isn't a perfect measurement, but I would place the OA covers to Action Comics 1, Detective Comics 27 and Amazing Fantasy #15 at a higher threshold than the best known copy of each book. Each one of these books, with the exception of AF 15 have already broken the $1 Million mark in 8.5, 8.0 and 8.0 grades respectively. If the 9.6 copy of Amazing Fantasy 15 were to be sold on the open market, it would most certainly hit the $1 Million mark.

The other factor to keep in mind is that books like this are more commonly changing hands privately, and that is especially the case for OA. So while public recorded sales tend to give us a perspective that skews OA limits at south of half a million, there is no doubt in my mind that the chain of provenance on these pieces, their one-of-a-kind attribute, and their iconic importance in the hobby would generate the highest recorded sales if their OA were ever to emerge.

The recent legal debacle between Kirby's heirs and Marvel/Disney uncovered an interesting nugget of information regarding Marvel holding some of Kirby's work. Was AF #15 one of those works? Spider-Man is Disney's most bankable asset, and in comparison to Superman and Batman, Spider-Man is the character that has left the most lasting and cross-generational impression among audiences young and old. I have no doubt in my mind that those pages donated to the Library of Congress would have had several interested private buyers, and $1-3 Million would have to have been the going rate to keep those pages from reaching an auction venue. (2¢)
 
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
4,984
Reaction score
0
Private sales of top dollar pieces exist in every hobby, so I have no doubt that some private sales of art *may* have surpassed the WSF #29 cover but the difference between $389K, which is regarded by everyone as one of the top prices paid, and a $million is pretty significant for some people to have not let something slip or state publicly that private sales have easily topped it.

This recent thread over on the CS boards actually tries to track the top sales and many of the top collectors and dealers who are very much in the know on private sales have posted in it and while many have mentioned private sales, no one seems to be mentioning any in excess of even $500K, let alone a million. Now, i'm certainly not disputing that they could be out there or what you were told, but as Chris pointed out above with the Star Wars market, you have to take what a dealer (or anyone, for that matter) tells you with a grain of salt.

I think it would be interesting to post what you were told about the Zap cover in that thread and see what discussion arises.

Until then, i suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree, which is part in parcel, part of the fun of this hobby.
smile.gif
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
2,980
Reaction score
1
Thanks for the link. Rob (robreact) said it best:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font>
People have asked me why I don't trackOriginal Art data the same way I do for comics. The answer has never changed- there's no point. There's so much data hidden away, the data that's actually exposed is meaningless.

[/QUOTE]

Part of the problem is that the guys spending the big money in the comic hobby are almost always asking to remain anonymous. I couldn't wrap my head around why this happens so much, until I made a sale last year on a big book. One of the terms the buyer had asked right from the get-go was to remain anonymous, and that he didn't want me to report the sale. I respected the buyers wishes, and I imagine this goes on quite a bit with original art.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2012
Messages
416
Reaction score
0
Location
Caprica
According to the new Auction Hunter the other night some guy came in with a carded rocket firing fett and sold it to the pawn shop for $600. I laughed.
 
Top