Why did a Star Wars action figure sell for $185,000?

It's the "holy grail" of Star Wars collectibles.

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The "infamous" prototype action figure of cult hero, Boba Fett, one of no more than 100 produced in 1979, sold for a whopping $185,850 in an auction that closed Thursday, per Hake's Auctions.

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According to Hake's, the "extremely rare and historic artifact" derives its value both from the character's popularity and from its status among hobbyist collectors.

Hake's says approximately 25 surviving models are believed to exist today, most of which were heavily damaged by safety testing procedures. Further, the listing notes the auctioned piece is "very likely" among the first action figures discovered to feature a "J-slot" firing mechanism.

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The auction house anticipated the toy potentially going for $200,000 - $500,000, making the six-figure winning bid look more reasonable than the sticker shock would have otherwise suggested.

In Star Wars lore, Boba Fett's story began when his father, bounty hunter Jango Fett, died at the hands of a Jedi protagonist. Raised as an orphan by the "criminal underworld", Boba Fett rose to infamy by following in Jango's footsteps, becoming a well-known killer and earning the respect of iconic villain Darth Vader.

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His exciting job description, along with his "cloudy moral compass" in a story dominated by cut-and-dry heroes and villains, earned him a cult following despite limited screen time. According to The Ringer, "he had just four lines of dialogue" in "The Empire Strikes Back," his debut appearance, and was never seen again after his presumed demise in "Return of the Jedi."

The character's lasting impact is so powerful that nearly 40 years on from his big-screen debut, the protagonist of Disney+ television series "The Mandalorian," the first Disney+ offering featuring the Star Wars universe, bears heavy similarities to Boba Fett's character and story.

Time notes some tangible similarities - "they wear the same uniform, and they are both bounty hunters" - but Disney said the protagonist is "not the same person" as Fett.

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