A Picker’s Paradise in Upstate New York


Earlier this month we were called to handle a Kenner Star Wars collection in Albany, New York. This time of year, most people wouldn’t be too excited about driving north, but I was! I knew the collection we were headed for included a nice group of Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi carded figures, vehicles, and playsets - with the top gem being a 1982 Return of The Jedi Lightsaber Store Display.

I am happy every time we take in good Star Wars, but store displays are next level. You rarely find them, especially in such good condition. As good as the material is though, I found the way in which it was discovered is even far more exciting. I preface this story with the positive note that it is true that great finds are still out there. The story goes like this:

A veteran picker of early antiques and a regular client at Bruneau and Co. was attending an on-site auction in upstate New York. For those that don’t know, on-site auctions take place at the actual home or property of the family or collector, rather than in an auction house. They are usually conducted as a walk through, with the auctioneer going from room to room until everything in and on the estate is sold. Because of this, the items in the collection are not cataloged and made available online. In order to know what’s up for auction, you actually have to be there.

Anyways, while attending this auction in upstate New York on the hunt for antiques, our picker friend notices a bunch of Star Wars stuff coming out of the basement headed for the block. Although an antiques guy, he knew from following me and our auctions at Bruneau and Co that vintage Star Wars is highly collectible. In the heat of the action, he took his shot, made his bids, and scored every single Star Wars item in that basement - A truly fresh to the market collection as evident from the layers of dust. I wish I could’ve been at this picker’s paradise myself; it must’ve been the most exhilarating moment and beautiful sight!

That’s the background story, and I think you follow where it goes from here. After acquiring the collection, our friend the antiques picker called me to put them up for auction – this time online for collectors of the world to see! If you’re interested, they’ll be available February 24. The highlight, that gorgeous ROTJ Lightsaber Store display is estimated at $1,000-$1,500. There is also a factory sealed 1983 Dewback Patrol figure factory sealed in clean condition estimated at $300-$500 – just to name a few!

It just goes to show when in the wild you never know what you will find. Stay focused, it is out there!


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