October 15, 2014, by Lindsay Brooke
What’s in the box? Soil scientists come to the aid of a Star Wars fanatic!
He’s had the box for four or five years but vintage toy collector and Star Wars fan Dave Moss had no idea which figure was inside – or even if it really did contain a Star Wars figure.
He paid £5 for the mystery box over the internet. There was an outside chance it could contain one of the rare Star Wars figures worth as much as £5000. But the value would drop significantly if the packaging was damaged. So he needed to find out what was inside without opening the box!
After posting a couple of ‘What’s in the Box‘ videos on youtube help arrived in the shape of Rob Burman, Editor of Collectors Gazette. Rob contacted soil scientists at The University of Nottingham to find out if they would use one of their super CT scanners to peer inside the box. The recently opened Hounsfield Facility on the University’s Sutton Bonington Campus is equipped with a machine that can study roots in soil without disturbing the plant.
Now all has been revealed. Nigel Bell from BBC Radio Nottingham was there to capture everyone’s reaction and before the moment of truth Mark Dennison talked to an anxious Star Wars collector.
So it was the Emperor Palpatine figure worth around £30. Mr Moss, who is from Somerset, said: “I’m slightly disappointed but it’s still an amazing thing to have. You can read more about the ‘What’s in the Box’ story on the BBC website. Pictures from The University of Nottingham and the 3D images captured by the team at the Hounsfield Facility are in the gallery below. These are available on request by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
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