The Star Wars Heist from Rancho Obi-Wan that Changed Everything

Alexander Huls, writing at Popular Mechanics, talks about the thefts by Cunningham from Steve Sansweet at Rancho Obi-Wan and Philip Wise, and how the community are still looking for a way forward.

It is a good summary of what happened, although I cannot help thinking the author has been taken in, as so many of us were, by Cunningham’s ability to try and talk his way out of things.

“I have a biggie,” the text read. “Are you sitting down?”

It was February 3, 2017, and Tann, a Los Angeles talent and literary manager, was about to enter an exclusive club. Years earlier, an episode of Toy Hunter pulled him into the Star Wars–collecting world, where he became immediately interested in buying, selling, and collecting Lucasian memorabilia.

Over the next four years, Tann hit the typical collector touchstones—first, amassing his own enviable collection, and then establishing himself as a trustworthy dealer. More than that, he built out a network of other Star Wars toy collectors, finding the fraternal comfort of knowing someone else shares your obscure obsession.

The text came from one such collecting comrade, Carl Cunningham. A Georgia native and longtime collector, Cunningham had been selling off a portion of his reserve to Tann over the last eight months. Tann followed instructions. He sat, and he tried to believe what his eyes were reading.

It was a galaxy far, far away’s equivalent to a Mickey Mantle rookie card. It was a purchase that would cement Tann’s membership in an exclusive enclave within Star Wars collecting—a club within a club. It was one of the rarest Star Wars collectibles, a failed 1979 prototype action figure that would fetch at least $20,000 on the open market.

It was a Rocket Fett.

Read more at the link below.