Life

Sold! Incredible discovery of £5,600 Star Wars toy found in dead grandmother’s closet… a Christmas toy gone missing

By John Paul Shammas

Watches that don’t work, dusty porcelain vases and three-legged cats are the usual family heirlooms that you might inherit when granny passes on.

But one 44-year-old man could be forgiven for his surprise when he found his grandmother had left him a vintage Star Wars figure from the late 70s…

Needless to say, he was quick to see how it might fare on eBay.

The seller, who only wishes to be named by his eBay alias Dr Pittenstein, first came across the toy after his grandmother’s death.

He was clearing out her house when he found the sealed Chewbacca action figure in a cupboard, purchased by his grandmother in the late 1970’s.

Incredibly, it still had the 99p sticker on the back.

Having no idea how rare or valuable the toy had become, Dr Pittenstein listed the find on eBay with a £400 reserve price, initially hoping to perhaps get £500 for the item.

However, his estimation was way off.

“I literally couldn’t tell what was going on, I was stunned,” he said. “I was hoping for £500 initially, but when the bids got going early on, it shot up to £2,500.”

Before the bidding ended, Dr Pittenstein had to nip out to collect his daughter from school. Imagine his surprise upon his return to find an all-out bidding war had taken off on his grandmother’s iconic model.

“With five seconds to go, it just went crazy,” he said. “I couldn’t believe the final figure, I was just sitting there stunned. It was very surreal, but I’m delighted. I couldn’t believe it went for £5,600.”

One thing has been playing on his mind however. What was this vintage toy doing sitting in his grandmother’s cupboard for all those years?

“It’s something a lot of people have asked me about. I think she must have been stockpiling in advance of Christmas. She wasn’t so big on sweets, but pretty big on toys! She liked for there to be loads of toys for us to play with.

“She was quite into knowing what the latest, must-have toys were and enjoyed talking our language. She loved to hear about what was cool and what wasn’t. 

“She was just super-kind really, and always so generous at Christmas. I guess this Chewbacca was just a spare!”

The Chewbacca toy will be posted to Canada, where it will complete a 12-set collection of Palitoy Star Wars action figures, an increasing rare accomplishment.

So, MM readers, what do you have gathering dust in the cupboards that could be worth thousands of pounds? Get searching!

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles