May the 4th Be with You: CCG Celebrates 46 Years of Star Wars Collectibles

Posted on 5/4/2023

From comics to coins, and cards to banknotes, the CCG companies have certified many Star Wars collectibles over the years from all over the galaxy.

It all began a long time ago. Filmmaker George Lucas had an idea for an epic science fiction space opera. But none of the studios were interested. Lucas eventually caught the attention of 20th Century Fox, and Star Wars became the highest-grossing film of all time after its release in May 1977. Since then, a day of celebration for Star Wars fans has developed around May, the 4th, which sounds like a line from the original movie: “May the force be with you.”

Throughout the years, the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®) has helped the force be with collectors by preserving collectibles through authentication, grading and encapsulation, with companies such as Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®) for comics, magazines, trading cards, video games and now, home video; Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) for sports cards; Numismatic Guaranty Company® (NGC®) for coins, Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) for banknotes; and Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®) for memorabilia. Here are just a few of the amazing Star Wars collectibles these companies have certified:

CGC Comics: Star Wars #1

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Technically speaking, the Star Wars comic book has been around longer than the films. With a cover date of July 1977, Marvel Comics actually released Star Wars #1, adapting the first movie, on April 12, 1977 — more than a month before the film hit theaters on May 25, 1977.

With a story adapted by Roy Thomas and artwork by Howard Chaykin the comic book had a 30-cent cover price, with a rare 35-cent price variant that was reportedly limited to only 1,500 copies and released in select areas. These books are extremely collectible and valuable in high grades. In September 2022, Heritage Auctions sold a 30-cent cover edition graded CGC 9.8 Signature Series copy, signed by cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker and David Prowse for $20,400. Meanwhile, a Universal 9.8 copy (unsigned) realized $9,600 in April 2022, and Heritage also sold a 35-cent cover edition graded CGC 9.4 for $56,400 in November 2022.

While there was later a 35-cent Whitman reprint that is much less valuable, collectors can easily distinguish the two by examining the price box on the cover. The rare first edition 35-cent copy has a square box, just like the original 30-cent comic, and the Whitman reprint is inside a diamond. The Whitman reprint also says “REPRINT” in the corner image and is missing a UPC code.

Submit your Star Wars comic book collection to CGC Comics today!

CGC Magazines – Nintendo Power

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Launched in 1988, just five years after Nintendo debuted its Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Nintendo Power was an indispensable guide for millions of gamers. The popularity of the NES played a significant role in the ascendancy of video game consoles, and Nintendo Power played a significant role in the popularity of NES.

Star Wars first appeared on the cover of Nintendo Power with a feature on the Super NES game Super Star Wars in issue #42 in November 1992. It appeared four more times on the cover during the 24-year run of Nintendo Power.

Many other Star Wars magazines have been graded by CGC Magazines, such as Star Wars Insider, Star Wars Weekly, Star Wars Magazine and Marvel Super Special Star Wars, as well as magazines with Star Wars featured, like Famous Monsters, People and Mad Magazine. A Marvel Super Special #16 graded CGC 9.6, with the first appearance of Boba Fett that pre-dates the character’s first comic book appearance, was sold by Heritage Auctions for $1,170 in November 2021.

Submit your Star Wars magazine collection to CGC Magazines today!

CGC Video Games and CAG – Star Wars (NES)

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Earlier in 2023, CGC Video Games and CAG had the opportunity to certify the Nicholas Membrez-Weiler Collection, an extraordinary group of memorabilia from Nicholas Membrez-Weiler’s participation in the 1990 Nintendo World Championships event. Recently, CAG had the honor of certifying another major group of 1990 NWC memorabilia: The Carolina Collection. From that collection is a 1990 print advertisement for the Star Wars Nintendo video game.

In this Star Wars game, released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1991, players control Luke Skywalker as he pilots a landspeeder to collect R2-D2, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo while battling various enemies. Once all the characters are assembled, players navigate the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field to reach the Death Star. At the Death Star, players must destroy the tractor beam generator, rescue Princess Leia, and ultimately destroy the Death Star with rebel fighters. The game closely follows the storyline of the Star Wars movies.

In addition to Nintendo, CGC Video Games also grades games from Sega, Atari, PlayStation, Xbox and more. Check out this Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for Xbox graded CGC 9.6, looking stellar in the state-of-the-art CGC Video Games holder.

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Submit your Star Wars video games cards to CGC Video Games today!

CGC Home Video – Star Wars: A New Hope (VHS)

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Soon, CCG will be launching its newest collectibles grading service: CGC Home Video™, which will provide expert and impartial certification services for VHS and Betamax videocassettes!

The original theatrical release of Star Wars was in May 1977, but it was re-released to theaters in May 1981 under the new title, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. One year later audiences could enjoy the epic film in their own homes with the very first home video copy of Star Wars: Episode IV. The film was released on VHS, Betamax, LaserDisc, CED VideoDisc and V2000 tape cassettes by 20th Century Fox in May 1982. During this early time of home video, however, VHS copies were still mostly owned by movie rental stores and fans had to rent a copy to watch at home.

The original trilogy was re-released on VHS in 1985, 1992, 1995, 1997 and 2000, before the series completely transitioned to DVD.

Learn more about the history of Star Wars on VHS from CGC Home Video Expert Paul Zamarelli, and look forward to submitting your videocassettes soon!

CGC Trading Cards – Han Solo, Star Wars Galaxy

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Lucasfilm and Topps partnered in 1977 to begin creating trading cards based off the original trilogy of movies. The first set was released in the US that same year, with simple cards featuring iconic scenes and characters from the 1977 film and 11 collectible stickers. Topps produced 10 sets of collectible Star Wars cards from 1977 to 1983. There wouldn’t be another set until nearly a decade later, when they released Star Wars Galaxy Series 1 in 1993. Instead of using photos and images from the movies, this newer set presented artwork of the Star Wars universe from a wide range of artists. Cards included portraits of 12 of the movie characters, production artwork, poster art, promotional and merchandising art, and art from the comic book illustrators.

Star Wars also saw its fair share of special sets, including promotional and commemorative releases. Many of these limited sets contained one-of-a-kind cards that could only be collected by purchasing a hobby box or several packs.

Submit your Star Wars card collection to CGC Trading Cards today!

CSG – Topps Baseball Galaxy

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In 2018, Topps released a series of “Throwback Thursday Baseball Galaxy” cards inspired by the 1993 Topps Star Wars Galaxy trading card set.

The entire 1993 Topps Star Wars Galaxy set is dedicated to art, with a 140 base card set and subsets featuring categories such as “Personality,” "The Design of Star Wars,” “The Art of Star Wars” and “New Visions.” Each subset category had its own distinct style and presented characters in varied lights, and Redemption Cards were randomly inserted in packs good for a random artist autograph. Topps also issued 10,000 factory sets packaged inside a container shaped like the Millennium Falcon.

The 2018 Throwback Thursday set included six cards of MLB players: Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw.

Submit your Star Wars themed sports cards to CSG today!

NGC – Niue Star Wars coins

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Star Wars has been featured on many collectible coins that have been graded by NGC, such as the 2021 Niue Chibi Star Wars Coin Series.

The coin seen here features Grogu (sometimes referred to as “The Child” or “Baby Yoda”) from the Disney+ television series “The Mandalorian.” Not much is known about Grogu’s story; only that he was a foundling at the Jedi Temple when Emperor Palpatine issued Order 66 to kill all of the Jedi. Grogu escaped with the help of Jedi Master Kelleran Beq. Nearly 30 years later, a bounty was placed on his capture and Din Djarin (“The Mandalorian”) was hired to find him. This is where we first met Grogu and the Mandalorian in the first episode. Din quickly grew to care for the child and sent him off to train with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, but Grogu rejected his training to return to Din.

Submit your Star Wars coins to NGC today!

PMG – Niue Star Wars banknotes

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In addition to issuing Star Wars coins, Niue also issued a series of legal tender Star Wars banknotes that have been graded by PMG.

This 2019 1 Dollar note captures a scene from the 2014 film, “Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” with Han Solo and General Leia Organa in a final embrace as Han leaves on a mission to stop the First Order and bring home their son, Ben Solo — known to the galaxy as the evil Kylo Ren. Han would never return from this mission, however, as he was killed by Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base.

Submit your Star Wars banknotes to PMG today!

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