With the raid on Area 51 planned for tomorrow, we realized there were far better things to spend our money on than tickets to Nevada and a hotel room. That money could fund our collections — and maybe even net us one of our grails. So instead of heading to the desert where we feel the military would be less than happy to see us (we’re too out of shape for all that Naruto running), we decided to make a list of our top 10 sci-fi collectibles.
As always, we have some ground rules! First off, we only chose one collectible from each franchise. We could easily make a list of just Star Wars aliens, or even Star Trek aliens! But we decided to keep this fair, so one per franchise is the rule. Secondly, we decided that we should focus on higher value stuff. After all, a plane ticket and hotel room aren’t cheap. You could easily spend several hundred to a thousand dollars on the trip alone. That kind of money could be better spent on a grail-level prize, instead of easily snagged pieces.
So if you decided to forgo raiding Area 51, and instead save your money — maybe you should consider adding one of our top 10 sci-fi collectibles to your collection instead! The bonus is that you won’t get taken out by highly trained special forces.
Planet of the Apes – Vintage 1974 lunchbox and thermos
When we found out Planet of the Apes was set on Earth all along (spoiler-ish alert, the movie is ancient), it was one of the biggest cinematic twists we’d ever seen. Now it seems cliche, but it changed Sci-fi cinema forever. Owning something from this groundbreaking movie is a dream for us. Finding figures on card is easy enough, but we wanted something a little different for this vintage film. Instead, we set our sights on the lunchbox and thermos set from 1974. This set allows you to relive the big reveal as you eat your lunch on Earth! Or just put it on the shelf for safekeeping (that would be our plan). This rare lunch box will cost you, though! Expect to pay as much as $100 to get your paws on one.
E.T. – Toys-R-Us Exclusive E.T. Radio-Controlled Bike
If you’re looking for an alien who would be easy to bust out of Area 51, E.T. would probably be your guy — given he can make things like bikes fly (oops — spoilers again)! But that’s a lot of money dropped on a round trip ticket when you’ll be getting a free flight home. So instead we sought out an awesome E.T. toy.
The defining moment of E.T. is when he makes Elliot’s bike fly. Well, Toys-R-Us, before they disappeared, made an exclusive radio-controlled bike for everyone’s favorite extraterrestrial. This bike sadly didn’t fly (a missed opportunity if you ask us), but it did provide hours of fun terrorizing your family and pets. It’s worth quite a bit of money new in box, but it’s not one of the most valuable items on our list by far. Get one for a reasonable $150 — which is much cheaper than a jaunt to Nevada.
Godzilla – King Ghidorah Bandai – Special Color Version
If there is one thing that most later Godzilla movies have in common — it’s weird and tangled plots for the monsters Godzilla fights. In the case of King Ghidorah, it can change based on the movie. Most of the time, however, this giant golden dragon is an alien. Which is why he made our list. Even if we could find him in the Area 51 raid — he wouldn’t really fit in the back of a truck.
So we’ll stick with the Bandai Special Color Version instead. This is one of Ghidorah’s classic designs — though you can still pick up the 2019 King Ghidorah for a reasonable price. This exclusive color variant had stunning gold paint which made him gleam like the king he is. The problem? It’s long out of print and really hard to come by. If you want one new in box, expect to spend $200 for this epic kaiju.
Forbidden Planet – Robby the Robot Masudaya 1984 talking robot
Forbidden Planet is one of those groundbreaking works which paved the way for future films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars. We doubt you’d find anything from this iconic film in the archives of Area 51 anyways, so we don’t feel bad missing out on the raid where this movie is concerned.
But if you’re looking to own a piece of sci-fi history, Robby The Robot is about as vintage as it gets. We are partial to the Masudaya talking version. Holding this rare robot in your hands will cost you about $250 if you want it in mint condition.
Iron Giant – Mondo Iron Giant Deluxe Figure
If there is one thing the government is known for hiding at Area 51, it’s crashed alien tech. And the Iron Giant is definitely crashed alien tech. But he’s a little big to make off with — so maybe we will stick with the deluxe Mondo figure instead.
The Iron Giant is a very underrated movie. It has themes that many Sci-fi flicks try to tackle. It covers morality, if we are born (or in the case of the Giant, made), evil or if we learn it. The story is fantastic, and Mondo did an incredible job creating their deluxe figure. The Figure captures the innocence and the power of the Iron Giant, without adding much to his simple design. If you’re a fan of animation or a fan of giant robots, this collectible will look incredible on your shelf. Expect to shell out at least $400 to get your hands on one, though.
The Thing – Mondo Poster by Drew Struzan
Nothing is scarier than an alien being that can mask itself as something familiar. The Thing is incredible at doing just that — until it wants to be seen, that is (or, you know, is exposed to fire). Which is precisely why we didn’t wish to actually to find it and bring it home. We wouldn’t last a day with that thing in our office.
Thankfully Mondo is there to save the day! They made this incredible poster so we don’t have to find the actual alien to enjoy one of our favorite sci-fi films. The artwork is the same as you will find on the original poster/cover art without any of the explanatory text. The shining face of whatever it is, staring out at you. If you prefer your posters text free, this limited run is worth it. It’s long been sold out, and if you really want one, it will run you about $500 to own. But hey, that’s cheaper than airfare!
Vulcan – Leonard Nimoy Spock Autograph Card
If there were one alien we would be willing to rescue from Area 51, it’s a Vulcan…though it’s likely they are there by choice, if they are there at all. With their advanced technology, it’s hard to believe a Vulcan could be held captive in a cell built by humans. Spock was always the perfect foil to Captain Kirk’s impulsiveness. They balanced each other out.
Leonard Nimoy played the character of Spock wonderfully, and while he (this may shock you) wasn’t really an alien — he made us believe that aliens could be real. The actor was just as good as his on-screen counterpart, too. Nimoy once told his twitter following that he would be the grandfather of anyone who wanted or needed it. Especially LGBT kids who had been kicked out by their families. He did all he could to make our world better — and even added a little silliness to it. He also sang a hilarious Lord of the Rings song called The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins (please watch it).
But if you are looking to have alien memorabilia in your home that doesn’t require you to sneak into area 51, then this is an excellent piece of history. With Nimoy’s passing there will never be new cards made, so the value will continue to climb. You can still find them on eBay — but expect to spend as much as $300 to get your hands on an authentic one.
Alien – Kenner ALIEN 18” Action Figure
We really don’t think our neighbors would appreciate us bringing the perfect organism home from the raid — they tend to be a little hard to keep track of, and dangerous to boot. So instead we decided to turn our sights toward one of the oldest — and arguably the coolest — Xenomorph action figures ever.
Now this is a grail. Finding the Alien in the movie was tricky, but finding this quickly discontinued Kenner toy? It’s near impossible. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. You can find one in bad shape pretty easily for about $300 without the box, likely with arms missing or disconnected, and a faded or missing dome. If you want to find one mint in box, with a non-yellowed dome, and the box insert? Well, you’re looking at about $1,000! Good thing we saved all that money by not buying plane tickets!
Predator – Sideshow Jungle Predator Maquette
One alien we’re sure they don’t have at Area 51 is the Predator. These elite alien warriors wouldn’t be captured or held easily. And they would come to take back their own, so there is no point going to Nevada if you’re a Predator fan. Better to get your hands on this Sideshow Jungle Hunter Maquette instead!
No collection is complete without the classic Jungle Hunter Predator. This thing is big, beautiful, and comes with two head sculpts. It looks gorgeous on display, and there is only one reason we don’t have one yet — the price tag. As only 600 were made (darn that limited run — but also bless it), it’s worth a lot of money now. If you want to buy one, you will probably need to save up, because they sell for about $1,350 on average through the second-hand market. That’s a Predator worth hunting for.
Star Wars – Vinyl Cape Jawa 1977 Mint on Card
It’s doubtful that Area 51 has any aliens from a galaxy far, far away. Given that we can’t even figure out how to get out of our own solar system, we’re a little suspect that alien creatures could travel here from another galaxy. So we’ll have to make do with Star Wars collectibles instead.
When the Kenner Star Wars toys first came out, there was some debate over whether people would spend the same amount for a tiny Jawa as they would for Obi-Wan. The figure was much shorter, and there really wasn’t much to differentiate it from the rest of the line. It didn’t have a lightsaber gimmick, and it wasn’t the main character. So Kenner pulled the original toy from shelves and re-released it wearing a cloth cape, which they thought made the toy more “worth it” for buyers. What that means is that there are some very rare, highly sought after, vinyl caped Jawas floating around out there.
This figure is pretty legendary in collector circles. If you want one — make sure it’s authentic. Because of their value, forgers have been faking these little junk dealers for years. Getting your hands on one is harder than finding the droids you’re looking for. If you want one without any packaging, and authenticated — expect to pay around $1,500. But if you like your collection mint, with the original bubble, on the original card — well that could cost you over $2,500. With a price tag like that, we’re thinking about making a deal with the Hutts to get our hands on one.
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