Nowadays, however, manufacturing is in the hands of Disney and Hasbro (which bought Kenner in the '90s). They know the market, and they know how big the demand is going to be, and not just because they secretly implant microchips into our children when we're not looking. You're simply not going to have the same levels of rarity that make the original toys so valuable. There were shortages on Force Friday ahead of The Force Awakens, sure, but that was a short-term delay -- these guys are playing the long game.
You might have had a shot if there weren't thousands upon thousands of other fans doing the exact same thing. The vast majority of people who bought the original toys didn't buy them to collect -- they bought them to rip open and play with. It's only because of the foresight of a few collectors that we have a collecting industry to oversaturate today. Don't forget, we've already had a taste of this with ... urgh, the prequel trilogy. People bought those toys to collect, kept them mint-in-box, and are now being rewarded with the ignominy of having to sell them for less than they originally paid.
There's also the fact that the figures you think would be most valuable aren't. Screw Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, do you have a Yak Face or Medical Droid FX-7 festering in your attic? If you had the foresight to buy figures of these blink-and-you'll-miss-them background characters, it's time to collect your payday.
via Mental Floss
A sweet, dick-nosed payday.
By far, the most valuable toys are the ones that were recalled because of a change in production method, error/misprint, or potential to kill your child<. One particular Jawa figure is heralded as the "holy grail" of collectibles because, we shit you not, its cape is made from vinyl instead of cloth. It's the same with some early models of Luke, Obi-Wan, and Darth Vader, which came packaged with flimsy-looking lightsabers. As a result of complaints, the lightsabers were switched out and the shitty versions became ultra-rare.
Luke Skywalker, about to lay a pee-baton smackdown on a protester, apparently.