A VINTAGE Star Wars figure – one of the rarest to come on the market – could fetch more than £12,000 when it goes under the hammer at a specialist auction house in the region.

The British manufactured figure, made by Palitoy in Coalville, Leicester in 1978, is of a “Jawa” – hooded creatures from the films who buy and sell droids.

What makes it so rare is that is has a vinyl cape and is packaged and mounted on unpunched card.

It is being sold at an autumn auction by an anonymous vendor, who does not want to give away any details of where he lives or how he came to own the figure - and is one of only two known figures of its type in existence.

The other figure was sold for £11,300 on Ebay earlier this year.

Kathy Taylor, valuer at Thornaby auction house Vectis, said: “This is one of the rarest Star Wars figures that has ever been sold. It is the Holy Grail for Star Wars memorabilia collectors.

“Until the other figure, which was authenticated by the US-based Action Figure Authority, came on the market, people didn’t think the Palitoy-made Jawas with the vinyl capes even existed, so there was a lot of excitement when that was sold.

“They used to be sold in the newsagents for 99p and it started off with just 12 characters, including the Jawa. Later the toys were made in America as Palitoy lost the licence.

“The Star Wars memorabilia market is massive and it’s growing all the time. It’s something a lot of people remember from their childhood and the first toys were very good quality.”

She said the figure was expected to fetch between £6,000 and £8,000 – but could attract bids of up to £12,000 or more based on the eBay auction.

Vectis’ next TV and film-related auction takes place on October 24 and features four carded Star Wars figures, including the rare Jawa.

A collection of James Bond memorabilia will also be auctioned in the same event by huge Bond fan Daryl Burchmore, of Sussex.

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He has been a fan of the films since childhood and has been building his collection since 1977.

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Vectis warehouse operative Christine Whitelock sorts through the James Bond collection

He has attended every London world Bond premiere from For Your Eyes Only in 1981 to Skyfall last year and has become world-famous as a collector, making TV programmes with Q actor, the late Desmond Llewllyn and appearing on TV programmes such as This Morning to talk about his passion.

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