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MILLION-DOLLAR MASK. Momoko Marutani, an employee at Tokyo gold jeweller Ginza Tanaka, looks at a gold mask of Darth Vader at the jewelry shop in Tokyo. The life-size mask of Star Wars villain Darth Vader is available for sale for the hefty price of 154 million yen ($1.4 million). The 24-karat gold mask was created by the jeweller to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars film. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

From The Asian Reporter, V27, #10 (May 15, 2017), page 3.

Tokyo jeweller offers gold Darth Vader masks for $1.4 million

By Emily Wang

The Associated Press

TOKYO — Star Wars fans with deep pockets might consider it a golden opportunity.

A Tokyo jewelry store is offering life-size Darth Vader masks made of 24-karat gold at the hefty price of 154 million yen ($1.4 million) to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie.

The creation measures 10.4 inches wide and 11.8 inches high.

The Ginza Tanaka store says the masks are not designed for wearing — at about 33 pounds, they would be too heavy, and they have no opening for a head.

While the masks are its most expensive Star Wars memorabilia, the jeweller has made pricier products. In 2013, a gold Disney-themed Christmas tree was priced at 500 million yen ($4.5 million).

Marketing manager Hirotsugu Tsuchiya said it took 10 goldsmiths three months to mold and assemble the prototype.

"The most difficult aspect was that each section of the mask was created by a different gold craftsman and then assembled to make one Darth Vader mask," Tsuchiya said.

Orders for the mask can be made at its main store in the glitzy Ginza shopping area where the prototype is on display. Customers will have to wait three months after ordering.

For those looking for less expensive options, gold coins engraved with Yoda or Luke Skywalker are also available starting at 132,300 yen ($1,200). They went on sale May 4, celebrated by some fans as Star Wars day because "May the fourth" evokes the film’s iconic line, "May the force be with you."

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