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Thread: Unproduced Star Wars Toys - Sansweet Article

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonsai_Tree_Ent View Post
    Hello Scummers,

    I've been reading up on the unproduced Kenner toys from their 1985-86 binder and there is an article referenced by Stephen Sansweet that I would love to read. Apparently the article was entitled "Galactic Bazaar: Tales of Phantom Toys: Unproduced Kenner Star Wars toys" and was in "Topps' Star Wars Galaxy Collector Magazine, Issue 2, Winter 1995."

    I am really hoping someone on this forum might have an old copy? If they were able to scan the article and PM me with it I would be really massively grateful. Thank you in advance if you can help you are an absolute star!
    Here's what your after....





    The same issue also contained a role playing game which used these images...



    Last edited by walkie; 04-05-2014 at 02:30 PM.
    Wanted: Nothing!

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by AJ_van_Zelst View Post
    You mean an inhouse LFL piece, 'cause else there is the Trilogo inbox toy poster?

    -Alex
    Yeah, I mean something from LFL showing, say, a costume drawing of Luke as a Jedi wearing robes like that. Presumably Kenner based the figure on input from Lucasfilm. Then had to change it when LFL changed the character design.
    Ron Salvatore (rsalvatore11@hvc.rr.com)
    The Star Wars Collectors Archive
    www.theswca.com
    NAGAMAROO!

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ronsalvatore View Post
    Yeah, I mean something from LFL showing, say, a costume drawing of Luke as a Jedi wearing robes like that. Presumably Kenner based the figure on input from Lucasfilm. Then had to change it when LFL changed the character design.

    All early conceptual designs for Luke's costume seem to be the black outfit he ultimately wore. The extremely comprehensive Making of ROTJ book that came out last year showed no evidence of any alternate costume design that would resemble that robed outfit. I would think long Obi-Wan style robes would have also hindered his lightsaber duel with Vader, preventing the stunt man from doing any of the acrobatic work Luke did during that scene. It would be an impractical costume for him to wear for that reason alone. My only other theory would be that maybe it was conceptualized as a final outfit for him to wear at the end of the film on Endor... kind of teasing the return of the classic Jedi Order he would go on to rebuild, with a costume similar in style to what Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda were wearing.

    In any case, even if it WAS considered as a Luke ROTJ outfit, surely it was nixed long before it would have reached Kenner to begin toy design. Otherwise we would have probably seen concept art of it by now in the Making of ROTJ book or prior behind the scenes media.
    Last edited by Shabby_Blue; 04-05-2014 at 05:54 PM.
    Shabby Blue

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Shabby_Blue View Post
    All early conceptual designs for Luke's costume seem to be the black outfit he ultimately wore. The extremely comprehensive Making of ROTJ book that came out last year showed no evidence of any alternate costume design that would resemble that robed outfit. I would think long Obi-Wan style robes would have also hindered his lightsaber duel with Vader, preventing the stunt man from doing any of the acrobatic work Luke did during that scene. It would be an impractical costume for him to wear for that reason alone. My only other theory would be that maybe it was conceptualized as a final outfit for him to wear at the end of the film on Endor... kind of teasing the return of the classic Jedi, similar in style to what Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda were wearing.

    In any case, even if it WAS considered as a Luke ROTJ outfit, surely it was nixed long before it would have reached Kenner to begin toy design. Otherwise we would have probably seen concept art of it by now in the Making of ROTJ book or prior behind the scenes media.
    Kenner would have had the LFL designs before just about anyone. They would have been working on toys nearly a full year before the film began shooting. Remember the infamous story about their sculpting Madine with a beard because they based the design on a photo of the actor taken long before the shoot. When he showed up to film his scenes, he was clean shaven, so they gave him a fake beard because the Kenner figure had already been produced.

    Kenner didn't sculpt the whole robes figure along with the other early Jedi figures without input from Lucasfilm. The fact that the design didn't show up in a book doesn't really mean much. We might be talking about one rough concept sketch. It might well be true that LFL ditched the robes because they were cumbersome and wouldn't work during the fight scenes. But I guarantee you that, early on, they were telling Kenner that Luke would wear robes like that in the movie. And Kenner surely sculpted it based on some kind of visual input that came from LFL. I mean, that should be obvious.

    I have some Kenner paperwork showing the progress of all the early Jedi figures. The progress chart for Luke Jedi shows progress on the gun and saber but nothing on the actual figure -- even though all the other figures show progress save the two ewoks. The notes next to the Luke Jedi row say "completely up in the air," meaning Lucasfilm was still working on the character's design. On another sheet the Luke has "REMAKE" written in bold print next to it as well as absolutely no progress on the figure, even though the other figures were fast underway, including the ewoks.

    The only reasonable explanation, IMO, is that Kenner began working on the Luke Jedi figure along with the other early ROTJ figures based on input from Lucasfilm, then had to ditch it and start over -- again, based on input from Lucasfilm.
    Last edited by ronsalvatore; 04-05-2014 at 09:56 PM.
    Ron Salvatore (rsalvatore11@hvc.rr.com)
    The Star Wars Collectors Archive
    www.theswca.com
    NAGAMAROO!

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by ronsalvatore View Post
    It's probably a mistake to assume that most of those kit-bashed things represent anything more than some guy's flight of fancy. They're just rough ideas. I think you can be pretty certain that no Mungo Beefhead Tribesman would have been released, even if the line had continued in some way.

    Plus, the presentation as a whole seems like a mishmash of various concepts and possibly even time periods. The Falcon vehicle thing was probably a legitimate mini-rig idea. The Atha Prime stuff seems like the result of an idea aimed at treating SW as more of a G.I. Joe-style property. Tarkin and the bantha are just obvious things that could have been made but weren't. The Hoth vehicle was first proposed back in 1980. The kit-bashed pieces . . . who knows. Most of that stuff is pretty silly. I'm guessing the presentation was a very broad look at what they could potentially make. A brainstorming type of thing.
    Yup. That's what I get looking at it. Everything they had come up with previously that had been left in a drawer. Pulled out to see if there was anything in it worthwhile in one last ditch attempt.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_Bradley View Post
    One item I thought Kenner really dropped the ball on was a larger Cloud City playset. A Cloud City playset designed along the lines of the Palitoy Death Star with separate rooms for visitor's quarters, dining room, prisoner cell, gantry, landing platform and best of all - the carbon freezing chamber. That would have been great! Somehow, the Sears Cloud City playset didn't quite fit the bill.
    Yes - as a kid I would have really liked this....And, as an adult collector I would be even more onboard for something like this; Cloud city was one of my favorite settings in the OT.

    However, in the 21st century I'm not sure I would be onboard for a cardboard type playset, unless it were done extremely well; that being said, I didn't mind the POTF2 Cantina & Jabba's palace cardboard playsets from the '90's.
    Last edited by ThallJoben; 04-05-2014 at 06:37 PM.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ronsalvatore View Post
    Kenner didn't sculpt the whole robes figure along with the other early Jedi figures without input from Lucasfilm. The fact that the design didn't show up in a book doesn't really mean much. We might be talking about one rough concept sketch. It might well be true that LFL ditched the robes because they were cumbersome and wouldn't work during the fight scenes. But I guarantee you that, early on, they were telling Kenner that Luke would wear robes like that in the movie. And Kenner surely sculpted it based on some kind of visual input that came from LFL. I mean, that should be obvious.
    It could also be that Kenner simply used previously available promotional material for the only known human Jedi costume at the time - Ben Kenobi:



    The V-neck, belt and layered clothing over the legs are nearly identical to Ben Kenobi's Jedi costume in Star Wars. Kenner could have just assumed that all Jedi wore the same robes and started working on the Luke Jedi figure with this assumption. Even the little 'foldover' over the right-side foot looks like it came from Ben Kenobi photos. The earliest concept sketches I have seen of the Luke Jedi costume that appeared in ROTJ are dated late 1981. Maybe the switch to the final released sculpt occurred shortly after that.

    Do your progress charts show any dates on them Ron?
    Last edited by Scott_Bradley; 04-05-2014 at 10:39 PM.
    Visit the Canadian Star Wars Gallery:
    http://web.ncf.ca/cn333/starwars.htm
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  8. #28
    Another interesting fact I neglected to mention was that licensee representatives (including Kenner) visited the ROTJ set in February 1982 and had a reading of the abbreviated screenplay with Kazanjian, so maybe it was at this point Kenner realized that the Luke Jedi costume was going to be different and nixed the Jedi Robes sculpting.
    Visit the Canadian Star Wars Gallery:
    http://web.ncf.ca/cn333/starwars.htm
    Star Wars with a Canadian focus
    WTB: a Canadian carded 4-LOM and Kenner Canada 3-Packs / Multipacks

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_Bradley View Post
    It could also be that Kenner simply used previously available promotional material for the only known human Jedi costume at the time - Ben Kenobi:



    The V-neck, belt and layered clothing over the legs are nearly identical to Ben Kenobi's Jedi costume in Star Wars. Kenner could have just assumed that all Jedi wore the same robes and started working on the Luke Jedi figure with this assumption. Even the little 'foldover' over the right-side foot looks like it came from Ben Kenobi photos. The earliest concept sketches I have seen of the Luke Jedi costume that appeared in ROTJ are dated late 1981. Maybe the switch to the final released sculpt occurred shortly after that.

    Do your progress charts show any dates on them Ron?
    I have a hard time believing that's what happened. We're talking about the main character of the movie, basically. I don't think there's any way they start sculpting all the new characters based on LFL input, including minor ones like General Madine, and somehow the most important character is based on guesswork. That seems crazy to me. That's like imagining they'd pattern a major new vehicle using guesswork based on what was in the earlier films.

    I suppose it's possible that Kenner received images of a "Jedi" that showed the Anakin costume and they assumed it was meant for Luke. But that's a pretty convoluted theory, and I don't think they would have been that sloppy. The more likely explanation is that at one point in time Luke was supposed to wear something similar to this -- at least at some point in the film. Doesn't mean he wouldn't also have wore the black outfit at other points.

    Really, the "robes" outfit is not that different from the black outfit. The torso is pretty close to accurate. The limbs just have saggy rather than close-fitting material. It doesn't strike me as unbelievable that Lucasfilm had ideas for a costume like this, then changed or abandoned them.

    I mean, Kenner did nutty things sometimes. They sculpted Gargan without getting LFL approval. But at least they knew what the character looked like!

    The other theory -- and it's an old one -- is that the figure was intended as a post-ESB mailaway representing what Luke would look like as an older Jedi. Imagine a "Luke as Jedi Knight" promotion in place of the Ackbar one. But there is no evidence for that. And there IS evidence that this figure was intended as the regular Luke Jedi. So I think the theory defies Occam's Razor at this point.

    The progress charts are dated early August of '82. At that point in time Kenner had not progressed at all on the regular Luke Jedi sculpt and, apparently, didn't even know how to proceed.
    Last edited by ronsalvatore; 04-06-2014 at 09:23 AM.
    Ron Salvatore (rsalvatore11@hvc.rr.com)
    The Star Wars Collectors Archive
    www.theswca.com
    NAGAMAROO!

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_Bradley View Post
    Another interesting fact I neglected to mention was that licensee representatives (including Kenner) visited the ROTJ set in February 1982 and had a reading of the abbreviated screenplay with Kazanjian, so maybe it was at this point Kenner realized that the Luke Jedi costume was going to be different and nixed the Jedi Robes sculpting.
    I think they probably knew of the black outfit before visiting the set. Kenner was working closely with Kenner by the time ROTJ rolled around.

    I'm not saying that no one had seen the black outfit, or that Luke wasn't intended to wear that in the movie. I'm saying that it's likely that Luke was originally intended to also be seen in the robes outfit, at least in some parts of the film. At least that's what the evidence suggests.

    I'm guessing that in the summer of '82 Kenner was informed that, in fact, no scenes showed Luke dressed in a robes outfit. And at that point they had to redo the figure -- because they couldn't launch without a Luke figure.
    Ron Salvatore (rsalvatore11@hvc.rr.com)
    The Star Wars Collectors Archive
    www.theswca.com
    NAGAMAROO!

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