Author Topic: History of vinyl cape Jawa  (Read 30 times)

Offline GrandMoffNick

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History of vinyl cape Jawa
« on: Today at 07:16 AM »
Mods feel free to combine this somewhere else or delete it for that matter (though I'd appreciate the chance for someone to respond and not that you needed my "ok" to do that).

Anyone know the general time table of when people realized the scarcity of the vinyl cape Jawa? And then how quickly did the $ value shoot into the multiple hundreds to the thousands? Could you have picked one up in the mid 90's for $100 or had the market already realized how low the supply was?

I have no idea when I found out how rare he is, but it certainly was after I started "re" collecting in the 90s, not when I was a little kid playing with my toys.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks
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Offline Muftak

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Re: History of vinyl cape Jawa
« Reply #1 on: Today at 02:12 PM »
This is just an anecdotal story, so take it as that.

I was a little kid getting Star Wars toys in '78, and I remember the Jawa being the last one we found. It was months after the rest, and it was the cloth cape version. The few people I knew who had complete sets also had cloth capes. I had only seen vinyl caped Jawas in Kenner pictures and the Woman's Day space station pictures. I knew it was rare as a kid collecting and figured I would never see it.

It was already a legend in the 80's. They were expensive on the secondary market from the beginning, and they are one of the few that have just kept going higher. I think the only chance a collector had of getting it cheap was finding that first release at retail in '78 or finding a seller early on who didn't realize what they had, like at a flea market or a garage sale.
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Offline GrandMoffNick

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Re: History of vinyl cape Jawa
« Reply #2 on: Today at 02:13 PM »
Thanks for the info! Very helpful!
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Online Rob

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Re: History of vinyl cape Jawa
« Reply #3 on: Today at 03:54 PM »
Hell, I was looking at them maybe 7 years ago and they seemed to run about $200 to $250 - I thought that was crazy and didn't buy one.

Today they're more like $500 to $750 for just a loose one if it's real.

I finally gave up this week and ordered a custom cape for my display.  I would feel so stupid spending $500+ on a sliver of vinyl.


Offline JediJman

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Re: History of vinyl cape Jawa
« Reply #4 on: Today at 04:05 PM »
There is a Star Wars exhibit at the Minnesota History Museum's "Toys of the 70's."  Only one guy's experience, but the guy who donated the original 12 figures and collector stand says a few lines about this.  He was one of the kids that got the Early Bird certificate picturing all the figures.  When the EB set arrived and the others showed up in stores months later, he comments that he and his friends were surprised to find the cloth cloak Jawa instead of the vinyl cape pictured.  He doesn't talk about the value, but that the cloth seemed out of place since so many of the other figures were sporting vinyl. 

That leads me to believe he was pretty rare right out of the gate and even some of the kids knew it.  There wasn't the same level of media or collector mentality, so it's probably very hard to assess how widespread the news was or what people might have paid to get one back then.  I'm not even sure where people whould have gone to buy one second hand in the late 70's, but I thought it was an interesting experience.  I figured VC Jawa was out for a while, not instantly replaced by the cloth version.
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Re: History of vinyl cape Jawa
« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:48 PM »
For me the vinyl cape Jawa was something of an urban egend and probably explains my fascination with the Jawas in general. From the EB set and some of the catalogs (Sears? I forget) I expected this one but never found it. Few if anyone even knew about it and among my circle of friends, very poor and far from any completeists, it was positively mythical. This was before there was a real understanding of variations. Most people did not know/care about Blue/Red Snags; DT Luke; etc. It was only after the line ended, mostly in the early 90's, again for us, that any of this became interesting. Yakface was not a figure I became aware of until the early 90's. I was 11 in 1985 when the line ended, and my interest transferred swiftly to Joes and Transformers. By '87 I found girls and rock and roll and the rest is history. Until I got back into collecting, of course, early-mid 90's, and reconnected with Star Wars. I always like the Jawas and the VC Jawa always remained an object or goal. I finally got mine about 4 or 5 years ago. Glad I did as I recently paid twice as much for my DT Luke, a figure that is rare but I think is fair to say not as rare as the VC Jawa.

Offline Jeff

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Re: History of vinyl cape Jawa
« Reply #6 on: Today at 05:28 PM »
Most people did not know/care about Blue/Red Snags

As a kid, I had no idea it was even the same guy - I just knew I had the blue one and my brother had what I assumed was the blue one's brother, the little red one. ;)
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: History of vinyl cape Jawa
« Reply #7 on: Today at 06:32 PM »
We actually didn't have red, just the blue one...  I didn't know about the red one till I was at a cub scout den meeting at my buddy's place and he had the red one.

I never knew about Vinyl Caped Jawa till I started collecting Star Wars as a teenager in the 90's before the modern line.  When I started getting Toy Shop weekly then I learned about the line's variations from dealers.  First place I ever saw Brian's Toys ads.

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