Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This is why you keep your Star Wars toys in the box

(Photo: Sotheby's)

Saturday Night Live might have had some fun this weekend mocking adults who collect Star Wars toys, but at least one of those (ostensible) virginal nerds is laughing all the way to the bank: Rolling Stone reports that a collection of vintage Star Wars toys sold for $502,202 at a Sotheby’s auction last weekend. Dubbed “Return of the NIGO” in honor of the Japanese collector who provided the 600 items—reportedly a small fraction of his overall collection—for sale, the auction included Star Wars action figures, vehicle sets, and toy prototypes as well as assorted knickknacks like a Return Of The Jedi lunch box and some kitschy cookie jars.

The latter were among the more affordable items at the sale, going for $313. The most expensive was a set of seven Empire Strikes Back action figures sold exclusively in Canadian Sears stories in 1980, which fetched $32,500. An “Early Bird Certificate Package” store display which once housed the infamous promissory notes presented to young Star Wars fans for Christmas 1977 sold for $20,000, meaning that an empty box that once held empty boxes is now worth as much as a Nissan Sentra. But as the comic-book bubble of the ’90s taught us, the secret to these items’ value is their rarity, so you better get down to your local supermarket and start smashing some produce if you want those Star Wars oranges to be worth anything.

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