While New Star Wars Toy Sales Slump, Demand for Classics Skyrockets


While the news from the toy industry wasn’t great this week, a local comic book and toy collector said that the demand for the original Star Wars classic toys remains higher than.

Travis Landry, one of the nation’s prominent comic book and toy collection experts, located right here in Rhode Island, said the new Star Wars movies have stoked nostalgia, and increased demand for classic collectible toys.

A Local Expert

Disney, Hasbro, and Mattell stocks all fell this week after it was announced that toy sales for the new Star Wars toys slumped in relation to the last two years over the holiday season.  

The decline was somewhat expected by industry experts considering the fact that Toy’s R Us entered bankruptcy earlier last year and that the Star Wars movie this year was following the first Star Wars movie in a decade.

Yet while fans and collectors have been subject to an onslaught of silver screen renditions of their childhood heroes, the vintage collectibles market could not be flourishing more, said Landry, an auctioneer & specialist, from Bruneau & Co Auctioneers, located in Cranston.

And that’s despite the fact that though contemporary merchandise has been dramatically depreciating.

“The purpose of new toys is right in the name, they’re – toys. Before 2010, all toy lines, not just Star Wars, were extensively collected by both adults and children,” said Landry. 

“As the movies, television shows and numerous other forms of media were created, it led to an over saturation of contemporary merchandise, where the supply and amount of variety offered literally out-weighed the demand.”

Growing Demand

However, what these films and new toys created, is a swarm of people eager to own a piece of history, he said.  

And it grows every year.

For example, no matter how many Star Wars films are created in the future, there will only ever be a set number of vintage sealed toys, and that, if anything, the supply will naturally decrease. 

A 1985 Star Wars Power of the Force AT-AT Driver would have been valued at $2,500 to $4,000, for an exceptional item, 5 years ago.

A Bull Market 

Present day this exceptional item, severely yellowed over time, would sell for a minimum $7,000 with interest potentially up to $9,000. 

The reason for this is simple, they said.  Rarity will always stand the test of time and will appreciate.  

“So, while today’s toys are over-manufactured, the upside from a collectible point of view, is that every year more fans are created and as they are educated on the value of these items at auction and at-market, they encourage people to seek out and buy the originals, the vintage,” said Landry.

Travis Landry

(There will be an auction for classic toys later this Spring at the DiscoverIt Toy & Comic Auction at Bruneau’s Cranston gallery.)

Russell Moore
Russell J. Moore is the publisher and founder of rirelevant.com. He’s been writing about Rhode Island since 2005. You should definitely follow him on twitter @russmoore713. If you want to send him email, you can send it to russmoore713@gmail.com