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More Star Wars toys from Palitoy to go for thousands at auction

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Out of this world prices are going to be paid at auction for small plastic Star Wars toys made in a Leicestershire factory.

Fifteen figures made by Palitoy in Coalville are going under the hammer at an auction next week.

Last month, a Palitoy toy of the bounty hunter Boba Fett, which cost £1.50 in 1980, reached £18,000 - the highest price achieved for a production Star Wars action figure sold at auction.

That figure was one of 70 lots sold by collector Craig Stevens -former chairman of the UK Star Wars Fan Club for a total of £42,000.

Next week's sale of figures at the Vectis auction house on Teesside is the second batch of toys being sold by Mr Stevens.

The 15 remaining Palitoy Empire Strikes Back toys are expected to raise between £28,000 and £42,000.

An FX-7 medical droid figure is expected to be the star of the show.

A Palitoy FX-7, which measures just three and three-quarter inches in height, sold for £8,400 last February - a world record price for a droid.

The Empire Strikes Back vintage figure comes on an un-punched 30A back card and has been given an estimate of between £3000 and £5000.

Figures of heroes Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Hans Solo are also up for sale.

More unusual characters are featured with a 2-1B surgical droid and Bespin security guard both with an estimate of between £2,000 and £3,000.

Kathy Taylor, a valuer at the auction house Vectis, said they were expecting a lot of interest from collectors the world over.

She said: "There is always a great deal of anticipation that surrounds these sales.

"We have people in the room, buyers on the internet and callers representing collectors on the end of the phone.

"It is all very exciting and it would be great if record prices for these figures were broken again."

* Palitoy of Coalville manufactured some of the most popular toys in Britain, some original items and others under licence.

Its products included Action Man, Action Force, Tiny Tears, Pippa, Tressy, Merlin, Star Wars figures and the Care Bears.

Palitoy was created as a trademark in 1935.

In 1978 the Chad Valley toy company was sold to Palitoy.

Palitoy was sold in turn to US food company General Mills in 1968. and formed part of the company's toy division.

General Mills then acquired the Airfix kit range and its GMR model railways range in the 1980s.

General Mills also snapped up UK rights to Meccano.

In May 1985 saw the end of most manufacturing at Palitoy with 327 staff in manufacturing and distribution out of 585 made redundant and manufacturing shifted overseas.

The former Palitoy site closed in 1994 and it was put on the market two years later with outline planning permission for housing.

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