Long before the current Mandalorian (and baby Yoda) craze, was the craze for the original Mandalorian, Boba Fett. He was so popular that he managed to outgrow his Star Wars Holiday Special debut and even survive death by Sarlacc pit. In an auction this past year, a Boba Fett rocket-firing prototype (J-Slot) action figure sold for $185,850. What an investment. Here we look at how the two most popular Boba Fett comic books stack up.
In the months after Empire Strikes Back was released in theaters, a direct adaptation of the movie ran for six issues from Star Wars #39 to #44. With that, the first comic book appearance of Boba Fett occurred in Star Wars #42 when Vader enlists the help of a few bounty hunters to track down the Millennium Falcon. A quick note, the issue also contains the first full comic appearance of Yoda.
Despite Star Wars #42 being an adaptation of a movie, the market of the book still experienced effects common to characters that make the reverse journey; first appearing in comics and then getting adapted into a movie. The biggest influence on the market for Star Wars #42 was the much talked about standalone Boba Fett movie that was in development. Sales prices for Star Wars #42 grew and grew; with a large spike in the summer of 2015 amidst even more rumors that the movie was moving forward. From 2013 to the highs of 2015, sales prices rose over 350%. Prices did recede from the spike, but it managed to settle around the $400 level. From there, the book started selling in a wider range; the low managed to hold the same level while the upper end of the range did creep upwards. A bit of uncertainty from the usual mystery surrounding Star Wars movie developments.
Like the engine that could, sales prices inched upwards towards the highs of the 2015 spike. When it was just within reach, news broke in late 2018 of the Boba Fett standalone movie no longer being developed. In its place, The Mandalorian series moved forward.
Had the Boba Fett standalone movie happened; prices for Star Wars #42 would have likely already revisited the 2015 highs. Instead, the sales volume has noticeably decreased at the higher CGC 9.8 grade; with copies of the book being sold at lower lows and lower highs. You can see this below in the sales data for CGC 9.8 and 9.6. Most recently in 2019, 9.6 has actually made a minor move upwards, but 9.8 is still trending downwards. It would be a good idea to closely monitor it if the sales prices for 9.8 and 9.6 continue to converge.
The next most popular Boba Fett focused comic is Star Wars #68 (released a few months before Return of the Jedi), in which the heroes try to track down Boba Fett and rescue Han Solo. The market behavior of Star Wars #68 is very similar to the above Star Wars #42; a run-up starting in 2013 and a big spike in 2015. The big difference is that Star Wars #68 has already given up most of its gains associated with the Boba Fett standalone movie. Sales at both the 9.8 and 9.6 continue to occur at wide price ranges with an overall very, very slight positive trend; not enough for an attractive long term investment.
“This is my face.” – Boba Fett
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