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How Much Is A 1977 Darth Vader Card Worth?

How Much Is A 1977 Darth Vader Card Worth?

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The Star Wars movie franchise will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most popular of all time.

While the franchise continues to produce films and TV shows which find new audiences, merchandise from when it all began can prove very valuable indeed.

As one of the most engaging characters in the entire franchise, a Darth Vader card from 1977 can prove to be worth a considerable amount of money.

In this guide, we will look at how much a 1977 Darth Vader trading card is worth.

The Wonder Bread #5 (1977)

Darth Vader # 5 (wonder bread)
Wonder Bread – Darth Vader #5

For a Gem Mint 10 Darth Vader #5, This card last sold for $5,900.1

Believe it or not, one of the most valuable trading cards was actually sold with loaves of bread when the opening film was released.

The Wonder Bread Star Wars card series may have seemed trivial at the time yet almost five decades later, those cards can sell for four or even five figures.

As the main villain and a commanding figure in the opening film, ‘A New Hope’, a Darth Vader card can sell for around $6,000, if in mint condition.

The figure is largely down to how scarce it is to find a PSA of 10 in that Wonder Bread series, possibly because they were sold in packs of a specific brand of bread.

1977 Lord Vader # 196

Lord Darth Vader # 196
Lord Darth Vader # 196

At the top end, for a Gem Mint 10 card, you can expect close to four figures at a sale with one of those Topps originals going for $875.2

The Importance Of The PSA

Of course, the better condition the card is in, the more it will sell for. For instance, the price guide for the 1977 Lord Darth Vader card as #196 in the original Topps card series can change value wildly.

At NM-MT, one of those trading cards can sell for just $6.

This is classified when the card is considered a Mint PSA 9 at the first glance yet at close inspection falls down to a PSA of 8 which is crucial for a super high-end card.

That’s only due to minimal fraying at one or maybe two corners, a tiny slight wax stain on the reverse side, off-white borders, and a slight printing imperfection. 

At MT, or a PSA of 9 for mint condition, that same card more than doubles in value to $15.

However, at a PSA of 10 for Gem Mint cards that are virtually perfect with sharp corners, the full original gloss, and sharp focus, you can expect that price to quadruple.

As long as the card is free of staining, you may even allow for a slight printing imperfection and it will still command a figure of $60. This value is likely down to how scarce the card is in that condition. 

Yet those are the PSA prices and those are typically a lot lower than the prices the cards actually go for.

Even at Mint 9, the price drop is not that substantial and remains close to four figures with one sale costing just over $800.

However, at NM-MT you may only get around $150 which shows how important the PSA rating of the card can be.

Not just the rating but the popularity of the card in that specific condition. As there are fewer cards available in Gem Mint condition, its value rises.

As you go further down the scale, you should see more popular cards and so the value drops.

It tends to be the case that fewer cards are deemed to be in excellent condition so if you are not overly concerned with a faultless card then I’d say go for a PSA of 8.

The Even More Valuable Star Wars Trading Card

While you may think that $8,000 for an original trading card given away with a loaf of bread is the most valuable Star Wars trading card, you would be wrong.

A Luke Skywalker 1977 #1 from the original Topps Series 1 Star Wars set can go for tens of thousands. As the central protagonist of the early Star Wars films, and for a later saga being dedicated to him, a PSA 10 went at auction for $50,000.

This is for a card that marks Skywalker’s opening appearance in trading cards, which is one factor to consider in its exceptional value.

Again, its scarcity helps command its value as there are less than ten copies of that card in the series to have a PSA 10 grade.

Perhaps his re-emergence in the Star Wars films themselves has also helped bump up the price which has gone up by over 17,668% since 2015 when ‘The Force Awakens’ was released. 

Final Thoughts

If you were an original fan of the Star Wars films from the very beginning in 1977, chances are you would have collected the trading cards.

Those in mint condition can go for huge sums of money yet tend to center around the most popular characters.

Should you have trading cards of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader from that original series then I’d advise you to get them valued.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Were The First Star Wars Trading Cards Released?

The very first Star Wars trading cards were released between 1977 and 1978 to go alongside the opening film in the franchise.

A New Hope’ was released in 1977 and Topps released a series of cards that was distinct for the cards in their blue star-dotted borders.

There was also the Wonder Bread card series that was also released in 1977 and came with packs of bread.

Which Star Wars Trading Cards Are Worth A Lot Of Money?

Aside from the Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader trading cards we have already mentioned, several others can command a high value.

These include the Luke Skywalker #1 card from the 1977 Wonder Bread series and the Han Solo Space Pirate #4 card from the Topps Series 1 which still commands four figures at a sale.

Just below those cards is the #6 one of Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi from the Topps Series 1 and a rather adult one of C-3PO from the same Topps series as #207.


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