AVIVA/HASBRO: Dark Crystal - Unproduced Toys

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In 1982 Jim Henson Studios and Aviva (division of Hasbro) began work on a line of 3-3/4" toys based on the upcoming movie The Dark Crystal. The line got to the point of limited prototyping and was canceled for a variety of reasons. The main 2 were that the development of the line was severely late, and the movie flopped at the box office so the plug was pulled.

The only public evidence of the existence of this work that I am aware of was a spread in the 1983 Aviva catalog:

 
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There were 6 carded figures with accessories, and 3 larger deluxe figures. The deluxe figures were meant to have window box packaging, but to my knowledge none was ever made.

There is 1 known complete set of the carded figures, and a few duplicates floating around. There are 2 sets of the 3 deluxe figures that I know of.

The carded figures consist of the prototypes shown in the Aviva catalog put on proof cards with hand-made bubbles stapled on the cards.

Here are the carded figures:





 
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Each carded figure was intended to come with a section of the crystal, so that when the entire set was purchased one could assemble a complete dark crystal. The cardback art showed how this would work:

 
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Here are the 3 deluxe figures, Mystic, Garthim and Landstrider. One very interesting feature is that the Landstrider has a long tongue that can be pulled out of its mouth quite a ways.....


 
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Finally, I have recently been very lucky to obtain a set of 5 proof cards for the series. These are the only prototype items I am aware of other than the other figure duplicates I mentioned in the first post. I am very excited about this addition to my collection!

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed it!

If anyone else has material related to this line I would *love* to see it and discuss it with you.
 
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Amazing prototype run there. I dont have anything from this line but it's a shame that they came this far with it and it was never produced.
 
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WOW!

Like I already said to you earlier I'm glad those proofs went to your collection. When the seller put the 2nd one up for sale, I though he might have more. But I was surprised you hadn't aksed him already.

Did he have the "Slave pod peasant" proof at one point in time (seeing that's the one missing)? Or isn't it known if it exsists as a loose proof?

Again, fantastic collection! If I ever had to give up my own focus I would have yours (though now there isn't much to collect offcourse..
)

Love to see a new picture of the whole collection on display. Especialy how you displayed the proofs.

-Alex
 
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I was following those proof card auctions and hoped you had won them Justin. Your run for this line never ceases to amaze me, no matter how many time i see it.
 
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Thanks for the positive comments! The Slave Pod Peasant proof is missing, however I'm hopeful that it will surface.

I know many of these photos aren't new, but I wanted to put together a cohesive post in this forum.
 
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Awesome, never seen any decent info on this line and now I feel like I practically owned them as a kid. Thank you so much.

Alex
 
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Wow... thats a wonderful collection..

Curto and I were talking last weekend and the topic came along to dark crystal for some reason he told me too hunt this thread down,,

glad I did... wonderful stuff. !!
 
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Even though I liked dark crystal when I was small labyrinth was my most favourite and have always believed for many years a labyrinth toy line would have been amazing to see.
 
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I wish these were produced, I would have loved them as a kid - heres hoping someone picks up the license after the new movie comes out and make figures from both films...
 
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Ugh, seeing these figures makes my heartache. I soooo want just one for my collection (Aughra or Skeksis especially). The Dark Crystal is my favorite movie of all time and I try to collect anything I can find. These figures are the grail of grails for me and I hope to own at least one someday. I'd sell everything else if I had to. I lost out in the last few minutes on the Pod People that were on Ebay a few months ago...

Great pics, thanks for sharing...
 
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That would have been a great line ! Thanks to kerns for this great thread. Are you the owner of all these beautiful pieces ? "These belong to a museum" !
 
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kerns said:
Each carded figure was intended to come with a section of the crystal, so that when the entire set was purchased one could assemble a complete dark crystal. The cardback art showed how this would work:

Too bad they didn't release these. They look really cool. I also think it's cool that they had one of the pieces of the crystal in each package. It seems like almost the same concept as the current Marvel Legends BAF's (build a figure). Granted the crystal is not a figure but the concept is similar. Are there any other lines that did this previous to these? Just curious. If not, these could be where the concept originated from.
 
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Just a small update - I have managed to locate some additional paper material. These are a variety of photographic transparencies, photos, drawings, and proof card mockups/logo designs for the line:



One really cool thing in here is the photos of the Mystic (urRu) box mockup. Before these photos I did not know anything ever existed related to that packaging.
 
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i have to second that! i love that card design. i remember seeing one proof on ebay a while back. it sold for a quite good price. unfortunately i didn't have any funds available back then.

it was right after i first found out that dc prototypes existed. i did search ebay that night and a proof popped up! that was timing!


-andy
 
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Truly amazing stuff, I don't know how one would begin to find a single figure let alone the mountain of products you've gathered. Thanks for sharing!
 
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Nice collection Justin. The Garthim would have been a nice addition to my collection growing up. Its too bad they never got past this stage.

Mark
 
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Congrats on your latest score, Justin!

I don't know you, but I'm always thrilled to see things like this end up in the hands of people that truly love and appreciate it.

I'll do a little digging around and see if I can make something happen for you in regards to some of the other pieces in the collection.

Thanks for educating us all on this line that, unfortunately, never was.




.
 
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I'm not really a Dark Crystal fan, but I am simply blown away by this collection. Good luck, I hope you keep finding stuff - because I really love seeing it!
 
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I have made huge progress in my quest for Dark Crystal prototype material and wanted to share it. This isn't everything but it is a taste of what I have uncovered recently. Let me say that I am very excited about this - this kind of find in any line is extraordinary. For a line like this that was unproduced and is basically unknown I consider it miraculous! Now, on with the update:
 
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This is a Skeksis 2-up paint master. It is pinned together, hand painted, and was made from the mold that came from the original sculpture for this figure by Jim Henson's studio. Basically Aviva took the Henson sculpts, modified them slightly for things like weapon hand-hold, made molds from them and cast a set of 2-ups. These served as both paint master and the basis for the later first shot figures.

You can also see (2) 2-up Skeksis swords, one of which is a paint master. Unfortunately both of these are broken and missing pieces, but I'm ecstatic that the Skeksis itself is complete! (Chapstick added for scale)

 
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I have also uncovered an original urRu (also known as Mystic) staff and a 2-up of the same. These are shown next to my urRu first shot. The staff is cool because it is designed to be held by 2 of the figure's hands like the movie. Prior to this I did not know a staff even existed because it was not shown in the 1983 Aviva catalog.





More to come!
 
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Wow
some seriously exciting pieces there Justin!That two up Chamberlain (I assume) is just sick!!!!
This is one of my favoutite movies from back in the day and I was only watching it again with my son just the other day!
If you ever decide to sell ANY of your Dark Crystal stuff I would be very interested in it (I know it's a long shot LOL)!
Look forward to the next amazing update!
 
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Uh yeah that's pretty much awesomeness, I can't wait to see what else you found.
 
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Napoleon Dynamite: "This run is.... *trails off in awe* It's... *incredible*!"


Incredible, incredible, incredible..


Kudos, kudos, kudos. Cant wait to see what's next.. Huge congrats on the *unbelievable* additions! Absolutely stellar gear!

"Miraculous" really does sum it up. I'm just so glad that all of this has survived! Awesome stuff!


- Allan
 
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Thanks for the comments guys - I know this stuff is pretty amazing but it is also nice to know someone other than me out there cares! Obviously if these were vintage Star Wars it would be a bigger deal.

I am blown away that these pieces have survived 28 years. They are very fragile and are in great shape considering their age and the fact that they have been tossed in a cardboard box for a couple decades.

I have more to show, just need time to pull it together. I am starting to think I should put together a little website to show all this stuff since it is getting to be a lot. I might even get 2 or 3 hits in a year - HA!
 
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Really cool new stuff you ad to your Focus. Where do you found all this stuff?

Have you displayed everything or stored away?
 
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Justin, those proto's are amazing!

That Skeksis 2-up is fantastic. Your research and contacts must take a lot of your time, but it's all worth it. What kind of source did these come from, former employee or a collector?

I've said it before and will say it again, if there was one collection I would dream of trading for my own it's yours. Not Gus', Chris' or anyone elses. Not by a long shot. Defenitly yours.

Justin_Kerns said:
Obviously if these were vintage Star Wars it would be a bigger deal.
I can't disagree more! The dark Crystal line is fully unproduced (not counting the new stuff). So the popularity wasn't there like with SW, thus owners would probably find them less important. It's amazing that these items are still around. More people would like to see SW proto's, but these are far rarer and important then most SW proto's.

I know you collect the vintage line, but how about the new line? That castle looks fantastic from the pictures I've seen.

-Alex
 
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Wow, it's fantastic to see all the new items you've discovered, Justin! It's such a killer run. Looking forward to see what else you can dig out


Mattias
 
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I just found this thread and for real--teared up (yeah, yeah I'm a sap). These are wonderful pieces.
<3
~Alyssa
 
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Well what I meant by the SW comment was that a lot of people would be interested. For this line there is limited interest - but that's fine with me!

I don't collect the new stuff, in fact I have no idea what is even out there. I'm afraid if I learn and like it I might want it! Have to keep the scope limited in order to focus and dig deep enough to find this stuff.
 
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