In the wake of Star Wars, both the entertainment industry and the toy industry raced to become the next smash hit. Believing that the space battles and science fiction setting were crucial to the film’s success, a wave of new science fiction stories hit film and television. At Univeral Studios, they gave Glen A. Larson the chance to realize a project that had been cooking since 1960, Battlestar Galactica.
Originally developed under the name Adam’s Ark, Battlestar Galactica pulled in many concepts from Larson’s religious background. Even as the project evolved into Battlestar Galactica, it retained many elements like the destruction of the 12 colonies and the search for a lost 13th. Rather than having people from another planet successfully discover Earth, Battlestar Galactica focused on a group of refugees and their plight from the Cylons.
With Universal Studios throwing money at the production, Battlestar Galactica’s premier episode was cut as a movie that was released to theaters. Following the exceptional success of the first couple of tv movies, the series was moved into a weekly series. Despite the strong entrance, the series only lasted for one season.
Presenting the ten most expensive Battlestar Galactica toys.
At the height of Battlestar Galactica’s popularity, Mattel jumped on to create toys for the brand. They produced two series of toys, with the first one having more success than the second. Unfortunately, with legal issues caused by recalls and the cancelation of the show, Mattel’s toys quickly vanished.
Still, fans of the franchise enjoy collecting these vintage toys, especially since this toy line has gone down in infamy. As these toys have become older and rare, they have gained significant value.
Join us as we explore the ten most expensive Battlestar Galactica toys that have sold on online auction sites. We are only focussing on listings that contained individual toys. So, no batch auctions are being considered. While we will only list one of each toy, some may appear twice with regional variants.
10. Mattel’s Lucifer AFA 85
Within the Cylon forces were multiple different models that took many forms. While many are familiar with the Centurians from the original series, there was also the IL-series. These units mostly dealt with non-military activities within the Empire. One of these units, Lucifer, led the operation to hunt down the refugee fleet. To achieve this goal, Luciver studied and worked closely with Baltar.
Released in the second series of Mattel’s Battlestar Galactica toy line from 1978, Lucifer is one of the rarer pieces from the line. Since Mattel knew that they were done with the toy line, they did not produce many toys for this series. Even though this toy does not have great articulation, its rarity keeps it in high demand among collectors.
One of these toys popped up on eBay a few years ago. It wound up selling for a documented $750.00 on December 01, 2017. This figure’s AFA grading, 85, made the high sales price possible. Unfortunately, the pictures available of this sale did not have a clear shot of the AFA label. It appeared that this figure had the Card graded at 85, the Blister at 80, and the Figure at 90.
9. Mattel’s Cylon Commander
As with most armies, there were various ranks of Centurians in the Cylon forces. The commanders were gold-planted, making them stand out from the rest of the forces. They often commanded either basestars or military outposts. They also have been seen standing guard around the leader of the Cylons.
Mattel included a 3 ¾” action figure of the Centurian Commander within the less prevalent second series of the toy line. In combination with its rarity, the gold plating stands out and makes it a desirable piece of any collection. Thus, one of these toys sold on eBay for $765.00 on March 08, 2021.
8. Mattel Electronics Space Alert
Aside from their typical toy departments, Mattel also had a division dedicated to creating Electronic toys in the 1970s. From 1976 to 1983, Mattel created dozens of simple handheld electronic toys. While this department did not survive the video game crash of 1983, it still produced several memorable toys.
In 1978, Mattel created the Space Alert electronic toy to complement the action figures and vehicles that they were producing. This game was a reskin of one of their first electronic game, Missile Alert. The game’s goal was to intercept 20 Cylon Raiders before they hit you. This game only had three buttons, a fire button, a switch to move the ship from side to side, and a switch to turn the game on and off. The raiders were only indicated by small red dots that moved down toward your ship.
As one of the earliest handheld devices, this toy is a worthy part of any Battlestar Galactica collection. When one of these toys appeared on eBay, it sold for $999.00 on December 01, 2022. It had a protective acrylic case that helped maintain its mint-sealed state.
7. Mattel’s Baltar
If the events of Battlestar Galactica could be pinned on one man, it would all fall on the shoulders of Baltar. In the original series, Baltar was a prestigious member of the Quorum of the Twelve which ruled over the 12 colonies. Despite his wealth and status, he desired even more. So, he betrayed his own people to the Cylons so that he could rule over the survivors.
He would live to see his plans fall into disarray. Even though the Cylons destroyed the colonies as planned, they sentenced him to death shortly after. Meanwhile, the survivors on Battlestar Galactica knew how Baltar betrayed them. While he managed to evade execution, he lived his days as a Cylon pawn, chasing down the refugees.
Mattel added Baltar to the second series of 3 ¾” action figures for the line. Both the rarity of his toy and the importance of this character has made the toy valuable. Thus, one of these sold on eBay for $1,000.00 on November 17, 2010
6. Mattel’s Cylon Centurian Deluxe 12” Figure AFA 85
One of the most recognizable characters from the original series was the Cylon Centurian, the average soldier on the Cylon’s side. This robot soldier stood out with the bright, silver sheen of his armor. They also had an oscillating red light on their visors. They served in the military as infantry, pilots, and more. Thus, they were often found on the front lines of combat.
The Cylong Centurian was one of two characters that Mattel made in the 12” scale. This toy featured a lever that allowed players to move the red light inside their helmets. Even though his companion toy, the Colonial Warrior, is not in high demand, the Centurian Warrior is a welcome part of most collections.
When one of these toys appeared on an online auction site, it sold for $1,357.00 on March 15, 2018. The high final sale price was assisted by the AFA grading, an 85. This grading broke down with the Box earning an 85, the window an 85, and the figure an 85 as well.
5. Mattel’s Six Figure Gift Set
As the toy line was dying down, Mattel released a full set of action figures from their first series. These gift sets are typical, for they often attract sales from parents and others that want to quickly catch up with the series. For the Battlestar Galactica gift set, there were action figures of Ovion, the Imperious Leader, a Cylon Centurian, Daggit, Commander Adama, and Lt. Starbuck.
Even though gift sets are common, this one is on the rare side. It is even rarer to locate one of these sets still in the box with all figures present. So, when one popped up on an online auction site, it sold for $1,557.60 on April 29, 2021.
4. Mattel’s Colonial Landram loose UKG 65%
Mattel created a total of four different vehicles for the Battlestar Galactica toy line. When they initially released these toys, they featured spring-loaded missiles and other projectiles that proved to be dangerous. So, these toys had a rocky history, with only the first waves not having stickers plastered on them.
One of the toys that Mattel produced was the Colonial Landram. This tracked land vehicle carried colonial troops. It was also useful for evacuating people from battle zones or other dangers. Despite the usefulness of this vehicle, it was completely land-based. So, it required a shuttle to get on and off planets.
A loose copy of the Colonial Landrams popped up on eBay with a UKG grade of 65%. Despite the low score and loose state, it managed to sell for $2,249.99 on November 30, 2021. As a loose figure, it is hard to say whether this vehicle was from America, Canada, or Europe.
3. Mattel’s L’Astroguerre de Galactica Belier Colonial (Landram)
Like many popular toy lines, Battlestar Galactica did not just appear in the United States. This toy also received a special dual-language box when it hit the Canadian market. Unlike America, Canada actively has two different languages that most citizens speak. So, their products will usually have both English text and French Text. In the case of the Colonial Landram, the French text proclaimed it the “Belier Colonial” from L’Astroguerre de Galactica.
One of these toys popped up on eBay, boxed. It managed to sell for $2,499.99 on August 05, 2014.
2. Matttel’s Cylon Raider AFA 85
During skirmishes with the Cylon forces, it was often common to spot the Cylon Raider. This vehicle carried three different Cylons inside. Two of them sat up front, acting as co-pilots. Meanwhile, the third Cylon sat behind the pair to coordinate their efforts and command them.
This vehicle was meant for only short missions and skirmishes. However, it could go on longer missions with the assistance of a fuel tanker. It was armed with forward-facing laser cannons as well as bombs that were launched from bays in the wings. Its other distinguishing feature was its oval shape.
After the unfortunate death of a child, Mattel recalled the vehicles for the Battlestar Galactica toy line. As with most recalls, they offered replacement programs for customers who had already bought the vehicles. Even though this was an option for all customers, spotting a toy that came from the recall program is rare. Meanwhile, these redesigned toys also hit stores without firing missiles. They are most noticeable thanks to the sticker that stated that the toy was re-designed so that the missiles no longer fired.
One of these toys popped up on an online auction site with an AFA grade of 85. This toy sold for $2,727.10 on July 12, 2018.
1. Mattel’s Colonial Viper AFA 85
One craft served as the primary fighter for humanity’s battles in space, the Colonial Viper. This vehicle operated in both the vacuum of space and the atmosphere of various planets. So, it was a very versatile vehicle. The Viper was armed with two forward-facing laser-torpedo guns. It was equally capable of rapid acceleration and abrupt stops.
When Mattel released the Colonial Viper, they offered a special version that included one of the action figures inside. This toy came with a 4” tall Lt. Starbuck action figure. It also came with a 2” action figure that could fit inside the cockpit. So, players were ready for the greatest space battles against the Cylons.
One of these toys appeared on an online auction site and sold for $2,855.60 on March 15, 2018.
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About the Author
Author: Chris Ingledue
Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!