At an auction house far, far away*... *Newbiggin.
Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
STAR Wars figures from the original 1977 film are to be auctioned on Tyneside.
Newcastle-based Anderson & Garland is auctioning a collection of original figurines produced to tie-in with the release of the first film.
The sale includes a Snaggletooth - aka Zutton - figure, which is one of the rarest Star Wars action figures on the market.
The plastic figures, complete with moveable limbs, date from 1978-1980 and are being sold on behalf of an anonymous vendor from the North East on January 13.
They are being auctioned in a single lot, which includes Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, a Luke Skywalker with extending light sabre, plus rarer figures Jawa, Hammerhead and Greedo, and a Millennium Falcon spaceship.
The figurines were made by Kenner, which held the copyright from LucasFilms.
The toy maker only had limited resources to work with when creating some of the fringe characters, such as Snaggletooth. Anderson & Garland auctioneer and Star Wars fan, Fred Wyrley-Birch, said: "Snaggletooth was only in the film for a few moments and the toy-makers apparently only had a grainy black and white photo of his head to go on.
"They did their best, but instead of a character that was only 3ft tall and wore red, they produced a prototype that wore blue and was of average human height.
"The figure was quickly scrapped, and the Snaggletooth we're auctioning is one of a limited number that still exist."
Anderson & Garland is expecting the sale to be hotly contested, especially with the excitement generated by the new film.
Mr Wyrley-Birch said: "These toys have been enjoyed but they are still very collectible. The Snaggletooth figure alone is worth up to a few hundred pounds.
"Star Wars collectors aren't the middle-aged men who live with their mothers that the stereotype dictates.
"They come in all shapes and sizes, from children to grown-ups who remember when the original film was released.
"You never know, if you collect the tie-in figures released to coincide with The Force Awakens, they may well be worth hundreds of pounds in 40 years' time."
The collection has an estimated value of PS300 to PS500, but could well sell for much more, especially with the current Star Wars publicity which is introducing the saga to a new generation of fans.
Collectors aren't the middle-aged men who live with their mothers that the stereotype dictatesFred Wyrley-Birch
Star Wars figures made to tie-in with the original 1977 movie are to be auctioned in Newcastle