Discoloured Vintage Star Wars Figure (1977-1983)

Taras WOLF REVIEW. 14th October 2020

Interesting and factual information may be provided, but our review aims to deliver insight from the perspective of a designer’s mind and eyes.

A forgotten plain Jane

Product description

Discoloured or faded figures are those that have lost their original colouring. Sometimes they make for unique memorabilia.

Hammerhead is well known to turn green and is often referred to as “Green Hammerhead”.

How?

Discolouration may be a result of excessive use, or natural aging, but in most cases, it’s caused by exposure to UV light. A figure that is left for years exposed to the natural elements (sunlight in particular), is likely to suffer.

Not all vintage Star Wars figures are made of the same plastics so certain figures are more vulnerable than others. Furthermore, most figures have differing plastic types from their limbs to their torsos, therefore it’s quite common for a figure to have uneven discoloration.

Max Reebo is already strange enough as an elephant like alien wearing just a diaper, but he’s even more weird without his blue colouring.

So?

As original Star Wars figures are now mostly over 40 years of age, many figures will now have some signs of aging. Unless preserved perfectly, discoloration can even occur in figures still sealed in original packaging.

In the past discolouration was considered rather unsightly, and many figures might have even found themselves in the bin. With all Vintage Star Wars toys being highly collectible it’s rare today to see even a broken toy discarded.  With variations now being highly sought after, attention has turned to figures with unique colouring, even when caused through the aging process. Discoloured figures are for some collectors unique and interesting acquisitions.

Logray is an Ewok known to have several different shades in his stripes. Discoloured figures have been known to have purplish strips on a more yellowed body.

Price and Availability.

While this phenomenon generally reduces the value of figures it can make for a unique and interesting look.

Value may also vary from figure to figure. A rare figure is probably devalued through discoloration whereas a more common figure could be considered curious and unique. Dengar with his purple paint can turn grey or green, and good examples have been known to fetch higher prices than non-discoloured figures. The green limbed Chewbacca and Hammerheads are also known to be worth more than their non-faded cousins.

It’s a relatively small and controversial market which makes the sale of such figures rather hit and miss. In most cases a discoloured figure is worth less, especially if the figure is well worn from years of play.

21B medical droids tends to have rather dark and slightly greenish limbs when they discolour.

Additional information

With figures aging in the large numbers in a similar fashion, it’s easy to see them as official variations. A discoloured figure may be unique, but it is important to recognise the difference between a factory variation and a variation due to natural aging. A factory variation is official and anything else is really just an oddity, though sometimes a curious and attractive one.

“Brother, those are some old looking pants you’ve got on?”

Disclaimer

The information in this review is intended for informational or educational purposes to provide readers an understanding of how something may be seen from a certain design perspective. In this case it is from the view point of WOLF DESIGNS. As design is subjective this review should only be considered as an independent opinion. Information further to being of an opinion is provided to the best of our knowledge based on our own research at the time of doing the review. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies and reserve the right to change or update any content as appropriate.
The final responsibility of the design resides with the original manufacturer.