In this volume we talk about about a droid that was glimpsed on the Death Star, was mainly seen onboard the Jawa Sandcrawler, the Death Star Droid.
But firstly lets find out something about the biggest scandal in UK collecting.
The Star Wars Toy Toni packaging scandal
In December 2013 it was alleged that Antoni Emchowicz (aka ‘Toy Toni’) had been selling non-factory sealed mint on card figures as original factory sealed MOCs (AFA even subsequently graded many of these as authentic) for 20 years. Allegedly he purchased a large amount of unused cardbacks and bubbles when the Palitoy factory closed down. He then purchased loose figures which he sealed to these original cardbacks with the original bubbles. I actually own two of these allegedly fake figures, one of them being a Palitoy Hothtrooper with the suspected iron marks on the bubble and front of the card.
Here is the original thread on SWFUK where the scandal was first unearthed. Great work by the guys on that forum!
I’m not going to go into any more detail about the scandal but I just wanted to congratulate Jason Smith (aka ‘Mr Palitoy’ and founder of the largest vintage SW group on Facebook’) for doing a sterling job being interviewed on Fake Britain. Was cool too to see footage of Jason’s vintage collection room.
We are scheduled to have a talk with Jason on the Toybox podcast soon.
Jason was stung significantly by the scandal but rather than being knocked down by it, he worked tirelessly to record on a matrix all of the cardback/figure/bubble combinations potentially affected by the scam. On behalf of the collecting community I’d like to express our gratitude to Jason for this. Check out his Toy Toni matrix here:
I did contact Toy Toni on eBay but he seems very shy and refused to come on the podcast. I for one would like to hear his side of the story.
Here is the BBC article on the scandal, it doest name Toni and no charges have been brought.
Lets go onto happier times and carry on the Star Wars line of Vintage figures.
DEATH STAR DROID
There’s something funny about the Death Star Droid that most collectors don’t think about when looking at it. Even though there is a similar droid in the Death Star (with a black finish), this guy was actually in the Jawas’ sandcrawler, making it more of a ‘Sandcrawler Droid’. Nonetheless, the name error caused it to have a bit more playability than it would have had, what with him secretly being a spy for the Empire and all…
This figure first appeared on the Star Wars 20 back card.
While R5-D4 borrowed heavily on the R2-D2 figure, Kenner used C-3PO’s body as the basis for the silver-colored Death Star Droid. Strangely enough, this droid never appears aboard the Death Star in A New Hope. A black RA-7 protocol droid does appear aboard the Death Star, but this droid is found aboard the Jawa sandcrawler and was named 3B6-RA-7 in “What’s the Story” on StarWars.com. The figure almost features the same legs and arms as C-3PO, but his body and his head are different. It has a silver plated finish with black markings on his head and arms.
This droid was released on Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Tri-logo cards. It features an airbrushed photo of the droid’s appearance aboard the sandcrawler. Although the Death Star Droid isn’t the hardest figure to find, it’s difficult to find a loose one with beautiful black markings and stiff limbs. Fun fact: The prototype of the Death Star Droid’s head used to be a lot more insect-like.
Try and find a mint version of this figure loose, the paint work wasn't the best. I'll give this a 6/10 simply for playability, as there isn't much.
Loose price average: £15, Highest: £119 | MOC price average: £226, Highest: £445
Thank you for reading and May the Toys be with You.