One of the original series of a dozen figures that accompanied the release of the film in 1978 (Jawas are the hooded creatures with glowing eyes that buy and sell droids), the very first ‘early bird’ issues featured the character in a brown plastic cape.
After negative feedback that suggested this 4in (10cm) model looked a little cheap, the design was changed to give Jawa a more upmarket cloth cape.
Most surviving Vinyl Cape Jawa figures were made in the US by Kenner. But rarer still are the handful of British-manufactured figures made by Palitoy of Coalville, near Leicester.
Only around a dozen ‘carded’ Palitoy examples are known.
The first of these surfaced on eBay in 2013 when it sold for £11,300. Since then, a few others have been offered including two at Vectis – one sold in 2013 for £10,200, another for £18,000 in 2017 – and the near-mint examples that made a record £22,000 at Aston’s in Dudley in 2020.
The figure offered by Excalibur (30% buyer’s premium) in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, on July 22 was one of three 12-back Palitoy models sold by a vendor who worked as an art director for Marvel UK between 1974-79.
The figures, which had the odd scuff and crease to the cards but were unpunched, were gifted by Palitoy to Marvel as part of the promotion of the figures in their comics.
More common issues, one of the Sand People, and a Stormtrooper sold for £600 and £300 respectively, but the Vinyl cape Jawa described as being in ‘very good to excellent’ topped out at £21,000 (estimate £10,000- 15,000).