Sotheby's to auction fashion designer Tomoaki Nagao’s Star Wars collectibles
Sotheby's Star Wars memorabilia auction will include some of the rarest collectables such as an action figure of Luke Skywalker with double-telescoping lightsaberReuters

Auction house Sotheby's has announced it will hold its first sale of Star Wars memorabilia in the run-up to the release of the new film Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December.

Sotheby's will conduct the sale on behalf of Japanese fashion designer Tomoaki Nagao, better known as Nigo, who said: "As a designer, I have always been inspired by Star Wars. I am honoured to be launching this sale and hope that it will bring excitement to Star Wars fans around the world."

More than 600 action figures will be part of the auction. It will include some of the rarest Star Wars collectables such as an action figure of Luke Skywalker with double-telescoping lightsaber. As one of only 20 confirmed examples, this is estimated to sell for between $12,000 (£7,890,€11,252) and $18,000.

Another rare piece of memorabilia is a tri-logo action figure of General Madine, which is one of 12 known examples and is estimated to go for between $10,000 and $15,000.

The auction will also have other figures such stormtrooper blasters, Darth Vader helmets, autographed lightsabers, vintage film posters and a Jabba, the Hutt cookie jar.

Apart from action figures, the collection also includes sets of backing cards for figures, one of which says Revenge of the Jedi, the original name of the third movie, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and two Star Wars: Power of the Force coin sets dating back to 1985, which are estimated to sell for $25,000-$35,000.

The more affordable pieces in the online auction, which is scheduled to be held on 11 December, will be a Star Wars: Attack of the Clones clonetrooper helmet priced at between $500 and $700.

This is not the first time that the New York-headquartered auction house is associating with Nigo, who has been a collector of pop culture memorabilia since he was just six years old.

In 2014, Sotheby's sold more than 250 items from Nigo's collection at a sale in Hong Kong for $4.5m – more than double the pre-sale estimate.