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Thread: Line Art Jabba boxes: Did stores really use them?

  1. #1

    Line Art Jabba boxes: Did stores really use them?

    The line art Jabba the Hutt boxes (corrugated cardboard with green and black writing) have been listed in guides for awhile as catalog mailers. I'm skeptical of this and wondered if anyone could confirm actually getting a Jabba set in the line art box in the 83-84 era.

    Based on what I've observed and heard, I suspect the line art Jabba boxes are not actually 1983-84 catalog boxes. I have yet to hear of anyone who had one as a kid or can confirm getting one with inserts that they were sure were original. Based on everything I know, all the boxed sets sold through Toy Shop in the early 90s were assembled from a warehouse find of old stock. They didn't even put in inserts. My guess is that the line art boxes were made as a less expensive way to package overstock at the end of the original Kenner line, but few if any ever actually saw retail. Anyone else have insights on this?

    Todd
    Todd Chamberlain (todd@toychamber.com - e-mail preferred over private messages)
    The Star Wars Collectors Archive (www.theswca.com)
    Collecting vintage Star Wars action figure items, Lili Ledy, vintage store displays, clothing, bedding, food-related promo items, and much more!

  2. #2

    Re: Line Art Jabba boxes: Did stores really use them?

    Interesting theory that definitely adds up. I guess that piece has been considered a catalog mailer for so long that it's taken as fact. Could it have been meant as packaging for discount outlets like Pic N Save (Big Lots)? Or Mervyns? I don't recall ever personally seeing one at retail. No examples I've seen of folded or unfolded line-art boxes have ever had price tags, so that's something to look for on future examples.
    R. Jason Coulston
    jason.coulston@gmail.com

  3. #3

    Re: Line Art Jabba boxes: Did stores really use them?

    Great question Todd.
    Your theory sounds correct.
    In the early 90's everyone selling them stated they came from Sears but I have never seen anything to support this.
    Straight Kenner cases of Jabbs's and straight cases of the accessories have entered the market many times in the past. Maybe Kenner married them together and pumped them out into the market.
    But how?
    Sears sounds like it could be a match due to them selling a "line art" Power Passers Race Set along with the "line art" multi-packs. But you would think that a boxed example would enter the market with a price or catalog sticker on them.
    Also, their has been MANY box flats and almost all the MIB examples are C-9/C-10 sealed.
    I hope someone has a solid answer about this great mystery.
    Todd D

  4. #4

    Re: Line Art Jabba boxes: Did stores really use them?

    What kind of packaging tape is used on "sealed" versions of the line-art Jabba box? Is it consistent with the vintage line? Some other tape type? Different tapes depending on who you buy the "sealed" version from?
    R. Jason Coulston
    jason.coulston@gmail.com

  5. #5

    Re: Line Art Jabba boxes: Did stores really use them?

    I never saw any of them directly, but several people told me that all the boxed sets being sold out of Toy Shop in the early 90s (Figures Inc and maybe a couple other places?) were all just complete playsets that had been thrown into a box flat that had been folded and taped, with no packaging inserts. I have yet to hear of one with the packaging inserts, and catalog mailer or not I'd expect Kenner to have done that. Otherwise there's really no reason for the box to have been that size, really, since without the inserts it would be a lot smaller.

    I bought the last stock of Jabba figure cases and line art box flats from a dealer in 1997 who said he'd bought thousands of units of Jabba parts from a warehouse find in the early 90s. He said he pieced together as many complete sets as he could before he ran out of parts. He ran out of pipe stands first, and then the throne itself. The parts he had the most of (surprise, surprise) were Crumbs and pipes.

    I was never able to make all the connections, but based on his account I guessed that the stock being sold through Toy Shop had to link back to the same master source--either through the dealer I met or his original source.

    I wouldn't expect to find a price sticker on these since I think the catalog mailer idea seems most plausible in terms of intent. I suppose it's possible they were thinking of selling them through other discounters as Jason mentioned. IF they were planned as catalog mailers, though, my hunch is that this was specifically linked to a closeout effort, not something Kenner did when the set was first released. All the other dept. store mailers at the time were regular boxed toys, so I don't know why this one set would be different. I do know, however, that packaging costs alone are sometimes considered the production cost that pushes an item past the point of being worth selling, which is what I've used as the basis of my guess that they were printed specifically to clear out overstock at the end of the run, not as a standard catalog set.

    Todd
    Todd Chamberlain (todd@toychamber.com - e-mail preferred over private messages)
    The Star Wars Collectors Archive (www.theswca.com)
    Collecting vintage Star Wars action figure items, Lili Ledy, vintage store displays, clothing, bedding, food-related promo items, and much more!

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