To UK fans Coalville is the home of Star Wars toys, the small town in Leicestershire where Palitoy was based. Now, over three decades after the company closed its doors, a rare boxed TIE Bomber has been found in the town and will be hitting auction later in the summer.

A rare and unopened Star Wars toy has been found in a loft after lying forgotten for 40 years.

The Tie Bomber spacecraft was discovered unopened and in its original box in Coalville, Leicestershire.

Its owner, a clerical worker at toy company Palitoy from 1983 to 1995, said sometimes surplus stock was sold to staff.

The toy, based on the spacecraft from the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back, will be sold at an auction on June 20.

Steve Fulford, from Hansons, said: “I’m really excited about this. The tie bomber is the rarest of the die cast Stars Wars toys and few have survived in their sealed boxes.”

He said it was “amazing to find one” but was not surprised it turned up in Coalville, where Palitoy was based.

Mr Fulford said: “The tie bomber was actually made in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Kenner Products but a note on the box tells us it was a sample. Perhaps it was sent to Coalville for assessment.”