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Talk about using the Force for good. Before he passed away recently, a devoted Star Wars fan in England ascended to the title of Luminous Being by reportedly leaving a trove of collectible Star Wars toys and memorabilia — valued at more than half a million U.S. dollars — to his unsuspecting elderly neighbors.
The Times of London reports that the late Peter Simpson, who passed away last December, bequeathed to the couple a Jedi-worthy stash of Star Wars goodies dating all the way back to his earliest days as a fan. After receiving the surprise inheritance, the unnamed couple went on to place the items up for auction — and, according to the report, came away with £400,000 (or about $525,000).
Among the toys in Simpson’s decades-old collection were a Star Destroyer Commander in its original packaging — one of only two believed to be in such pristine condition — which went to one dedicated bidder for the cool cost of $42,632. A 1980s-vintage Palitoy Jawa action figure (shown, vinyl cape and all, in the tweet above) brought in $35,748. And a collection of six Empire Strikes Back trading cards — featuring Lando’s Bespin wingman Lobot, along with other ESB-attired characters — fetched another $13,107 in galactic credits.
We know what you’re thinking, because we’re fans, too: how could they part with such stellar gear from the Golden Age of the galaxy far, far away? In this case, it’s probably because the couple simply didn’t know much about Star Wars, and needed to enlist their son to bring them up to light speed on what they'd been given.
“From what I understand, they were pretty overwhelmed by having inherited all of this stuff from their neighbor and didn't know what to do with it,” Chris Aston of Aston's Auctioneers told The Times. “That was when they asked their son to contact myself.” After recruiting the auction house to help appraise the collection, they found hundreds upon hundreds of action figures, starships, models, and memorabilia — so much Star Wars stuff, in fact, that it filled dozens of bin bags. “A lot of them were a bit damp because of how they've been stored, but generally it's the best Star Wars collection I've ever seen,” Aston said.
Aston added that he doesn’t know how the couple plans to use their newly-gotten bounty, but noted that inheriting such a windfall from sackfuls of old toys “must feel like they've won the lottery.” If that’s the case, maybe the First Order of business could be a galactic getaway to Canto Bight.