Once an esoteric aspect of Star Wars collecting, Power of the Force coins have, in recent years, experienced a surge in popularity. A basic set of POTF coins contains 62 pieces, though there are a number of different prototypes and variations. Of these coins, 35 were available on card with an action figure and correspond with the POTF figure released on the same card, with the exception of Nikto and the AT-AT Driver, both of which were packaged with a Warok coin. Before being offered with POTF figures, the coins were randomly available through Kenner's final Star Wars mailaway offer.
POTF coins have also been divided into five categories by rarity. Both Category I and Category II coins were those available on card, while Categories III-V were exclusively mailaway coins.
Category I coins are those representing the thirteen never before seen figures in the U.S. line:
Beyond the Category I coins were the 22 Cat. II coins. These consisted of Anakin Skywalker and Yak Face who, while corresponding with newly released figures, were only widely available overseas, and are thus more difficult to track down. The remainder of the 22 coins were available with an action figure previously seen on an earlier card. These, like the Cat. I coins, correspond with the POTF figure released on the same card, with the exception of Nikto and the AT-AT Driver, both of which were packaged with a Warok coin.
Of all the coins that were released on a card, three merit individual mention as a result of only being available in foreign packaging; Anakin Skywalker, Gamorrean Guard, and Yak Face. These are rarer, thus worth a bit more than the other widely available POTF coins, with Yak Face and Anakin being the most in demand.
Anakin Skywalker, Gamorrean Guard, and Yak Face
The remaining 27 coins were available only via the last of the famous mailaway offers from Kenner or carded in Japan. Since this came at a time when interest in the Trilogy was waning, very few of these coins have made it into the marketplace, and most of those via former Kenner employees. Many who actually did mail away for the pieces received one of those available on a POTF action figure package. Most of those who did receive mail aways acquired a Category III coin, which includes:
All of the mail-in exclusives are difficult to find though their distribution was not uniform, resulting in some coins being more easy to track down than others. Make no mistake though, all of the mail-ins are more difficult to find than the rarest of the ones available on U.S. card, and the scarcest have been compared to prototypes in the frequency of their occurrence.
One way to tell which pieces are the truly rare is by the POTF logo on the tail of the coin. Many of the tough to find mail aways have a variant logo with one stripe under the words Star Wars instead of the usual two, and while this isnt a rule and many other difficult to find coins have the standard POTF logo, its very indicative of the rarity of the piece. Its also interesting to note that no mail away coins have the Star Wars logo.
Star Wars 2 Bar POTF 1 Bar POTF Tail Variations
Three of the ten Category IV coins sport the variant logo, as opposed to only one of the Cat. III coins. The Category IV coins include:
And finally are the rarest ten of a standard 62 coin set, the Category V coins. Of the ten, eight have the variant POTF logo on the tail.
For further information and a lot more detail on the POTF coins, including prototypes and variations, The Comprehensive Guide to POTF, Droids, and Ewoks Coins, available on the Star Wars Collectors Archive, is highly recommended.
Cat I || Cat II || Cat III || Cat IV || Cat V
Complete 62 Coin Set