Discoloration - a.k.a. "prototypes and variations"

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Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variations\"

Hi folks,

The recent Han Carbonite posting coupled with a green-toro Fett I saw on ebay last week has prompted me want to start a collection of these images. I'd like to have a place where we can gather images of these figures so that people can see how broad of a range they cover. I don't see a need for much duplication here unless someone has better photos or they have an instance of worse discoloration.

We can then point to this thread when the topic arises. There's nothing like a photo to make your point. We'll see some good old standbys like Max Rebo and Chewbacca, but I'm sure there are others.

Please use the Rebelscum photo-hosting feature so that the links will stay active. Ultimately I'd like to make a rudimentary feature on the SWC Archive to showcase just how badly figures can deteriorate and how they aren't variations or prototypes. Since the limbs are made of a more flexible plastic than the torso it's those parts that generally turn colors. And that color is often all the way through the plastic which can really fool some people.

Another great indication of these figures not being prototypes is that they have copyright markings and are painted like any standard figure would be. Or even if someone isn't under the belief they aren't prototypes, there are a great many that consider them variations and pay quite high prices to own them.

I'm going to start by robbing the Fett off of ebay. I'm also considering this posting a living document that I'll keep updated as I think of more introductory information.

-chris
 
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Re: Discolored figure images - post here

Nothing but a case of a discolored torso. Winning ebay bid was $91 for this weathered POS.


 
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Everyone's 2nd most sought-after, but actually discolored, version of Max Rebo. The limbs and head are all made of the same plastic and will discolor uniformly. This particular figure's torso has a green blotch on it, but generally the torso is nice and blue.

 
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Re: Discolored figure images - post here

Chris,

Absolutely wonderful topic!!! This is becoming a serious issue even with packaged figures, playsets, and vehicles. I got a great photo to share later of a Wampa I opened up from a sealed box, and this thing was a serious POS! I've never seen such discoloration right from a factory sealed box!



Notice the discoloring done by the cardboard insert along the top of the head on the ears!
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

I wish I still had that han Carbo I got rid of years ago, not only was the torso discolored, but he had brown discoloration splotches on his face.
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

MEGO collectors have been battling plastic discoloration for years, most noticeably on the vinyl heads of the 8" and 12" figures. They call it "Zombie Head". Some of these photos are courtesy of the MEGO Museum

Compare poor Shazam's head to his hands.


Little Bo Blue


This site actually shows a product that apparently will remove the blue discoloration from the vinyl MEGO heads as shown with the Bo Duke head above. It seems that this compound should work the same for other figure lines but I don't know anyone who's used it so I have no clue.

The 12" Buck Rogers doll is another typical example of zombie head, but I can't find an image right now.
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Here are my discoloured pink limbed troopers [HK Stormie, HK Snowtrooper, Tri-variant Biker Scout (pink legs only)]


Rog.
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

ChrisGeorgoulias said:
This site actually shows a product that apparently will remove the blue discoloration from the vinyl MEGO heads as shown with the Bo Duke head above. It seems that this compound should work the same for other figure lines but I don't know anyone who's used it so I have no clue.
I started a thread about this back in February here, and it appears that while it's effective for Mego's, it won't work on SW figures.

In that thread, I was even redirected to an earlier topic on it here from April 2002.

I'll see what discolored figures I can dig up to add to this. I know my son has a badly discolored Madine somewhere.

Ian
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Ok, here's what I have to contribute.

I'll start with a couple of minor ones, and get progressively worse, all from my son's collection...

Prune Face with faded pants. Compare to the crotch area.



Nikto with green shirt. Compare to the pale blue as it should be at the top of the legs.



Lobot with discolored shirt.



Bossk with extremely faded limbs.



Obi-Wan with polka dot pants.



General Madine with extremely discolored shirt.



Imperial Dignitary with a torso so badly discolored it looks almost black.



Finally, this Ewok is hard to distinguish between whether it used to be Logray or Teebo. It was Logray at one time.



I also have a Blue Snag and Amanaman with faded limbs, but neither one came out too clear in the pics.

Ian
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Ian,

You're sitting on a gold mine. LOL

Great thread Chris, and great contributions all. I really hope it helps to stop some from buying into this nonsense.

John
 
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Re: Discolored figure images - post here

Shawn_Byrne said:
Chris,

Absolutely wonderful topic!!! This is becoming a serious issue even with packaged figures, playsets, and vehicles. I got a great photo to share later of a Wampa I opened up from a sealed box, and this thing was a serious POS! I've never seen such discoloration right from a factory sealed box!



Notice the discoloring done by the cardboard insert along the top of the head on the ears!
I just bought a collection and in it was a very yellow torso Wampa. I submerged it completely in a mix of %50 water and %50 bleach. 3 days later it was much whiter, almost original color. It went from POS to a very displayable figure. People say it does not work but I am telling you it does. Just thought I would share that with a fellow scummer.


...and the only thing that stayed yellow was the glue on the seams. Still, it turned out alot better than when I originally got it.
 
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Re: Discolored figure images - post here

I don't have a pic handy but I am hoping someone will please post a pink limbed Boba Fett. You see a lot of them carded on Empire cards. There were a couple in the RS classifieds recently. If you open the bubble the figure itself would be very sticky with pink arms, legs and head.
 
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Re: Discolored figure images - post here

Does anyone have a Kez-Iban with brown-discolored torso?

I once saw one on eBay and was highly tempted to bid... the seller seemed to know his stuff when it came to prototypes, etc. However, I did a quick search of other Kez auctions and immediately found ANOTHER brown-torso Kez-Iban in someone else's lot of figures. That's when I got doubtful and assumed it was a discoloration rather than a proto.

I didn't bid on either auction, despite the fact that the lot was much cheaper than the single Kez in the first auction. Plus I don't think I archived the photos. Does anyone have a sample of a Kez turning colors?

Alex
 
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Re: Discolored figure images - post here

I can't wait to get home and shoot a couple pics of figures like this

Great topic, very entertaining.

Craig
(looking for legitimate Hammerhead with cross eyes
)
 
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Re: Discolored figure images - post here

New_Bornalex said:
Does anyone have a Kez-Iban with brown-discolored torso?

I once saw one on eBay and was highly tempted to bid...
I forgot all about that one! I plucked this from one of those auctions at the time. I chalked it up to discoloration, but I saved the image nonetheless.




-chris
 
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Re: Discolored figure images - post here

Here's another Fett that was recently on ebay, being sold as a variation of course. Faded and opposing leg and arm. The auction was ended early which usually means someone made a side-deal for it. Lucky them.



 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Here’s a few more discoloured (& faded) figures:



HK Luke X-Wing with ‘alternate’ face sculpt & Luke Bespin with “Made In Hong Kong” on left leg, both variants seem very prone to this type of fading.
‘Green legged’ Han Bespin, Lobot with measles and a Rebel Commander with one green boot!

Also, Ian’s Prune Face with the paler pants is a variation, not discoloration. It’s the Tri Prune Face! I guess to prove it’s not discoloration you’d need a photo of one MOC from back in the ‘80's (with an open cape) or a pic. in a catalogue etc. It is however a pretty common figure in Europe (found on Trilogo cards), the finish of the plastic (along with the colour) seems slightly different, and the text is possibly a bit more blurry? I’ve also never seen a Prune Face with only ‘half-faded’ pants, they’ve always been ‘normal’ green or ‘olive’ green, nothing in between. Not one of the cooler variants though


Rog.
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variations\"

I just wanted to add a web linked resource to this great thread. It was once posted in the forums by JohnA in this thread, and I think it's a great reference to help explain why these cases of discoloration occur. Understanding that more than one type of plastic is used in these figures, and that these plastics have their own properties, really helps to explain some of the odd cases of discoloration. No wonder limbs and torsos age so differently.

Figurine Science

Leif
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

I realize this comment may be a bit out of place in a thread about the severe and sometimes bizarre discolorations of vintage figs, and I realize the plastics used are probably very different (though I'll have to defer to the chemists and engineers among us on that, ultimately), but I just spent some time playing Playskool SW figs with my 6-year-old daughter, and noticed that some of the Stormies and Biker Scouts are already starting to yellow in the limbs. These figs have never been exposed to sunlight, and have been exposed to very little (and weak) artificial light, and are already discoloring in just a couple of years. In light (pun inevitable) of that, I think no one should be surprised at exotic discolorations of plastic figs 25-30 years old.

Chad
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variations\"

Anyone got a tan-limbed Klaatu to share ?

Perfect figure for this thread
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Ok, here's my contribution. This was up in another thread, but it fits this one well. Ironicly the Rebel Commander has the same discoloration on his boots as the one a few posts up, but on the opposite feet. The Pruneface is obviously discolored in the legs and arms, but what is not so obvious is his hands - they are actually a much lighter pink than a regular figure (no doubt due to the same forces that caused the other discoloration.)

Matt

 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

haha how cool would a faded set of 93 figures be
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati


Don't be fooled by a "rare" green Amanaman staff either...
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

John_Sh

That Amanaman staff is a good one. Most faded figures are a case of obvious discoloration. That staff, however, is pretty uniform in discoloration except for the one spot on the front. If it were totally uniform, I would bet it would be cake to pass off to someone as a FS in non-production color plastic.

Matt
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Matt_T said:
That staff is pretty uniform in discoloration except for the one spot on the front. If it were totally uniform, I would bet it would be cake to pass off to someone as a FS in non-production color plastic.
Yeah, or similar to the green Yoda staff perhaps. With this particular one (now sold), the back was much greener than the front so it had obviously been "cooking" on one side for a while. A quick uniform decay might fool some people like you say.
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

The_Twisted_Sithster said:
These figs have never been exposed to sunlight, and have been exposed to very little (and weak) artificial light, and are already discoloring in just a couple of years.
From what I understand the oils from your hands can also start or accelerate the yellowing process. I also believe some of these newer figures are made very cheaply (at least white ones).

I have a POTJ Scout that I took off the card myself and have had it stored in a case with glass doors in a room with no light coming in since I opened it and it's already more of a cream than white. I noticed it recently when cleaning and compared it to a carded one. Maybe it's a prototype or a cream colored variant.


John
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

When I started this thread I had intended it to showcase the consistent and thorough fading that generally drove up ebay sales. Had I known it would turn into a fledgling leper colony I would have thought twice. There are some seriously UGLY figures out there! Some of you guys are really brave!


-chris
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

JohnA said:
I have a POTJ Scout that I took off the card myself and have had it stored in a case with glass doors in a room with no light coming in since I opened it and it's already more of a cream than white.
Hey, is it just me, or do other people think that Power of the Jedi sounds like a great name for a toy line?


- Allan
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

AllanB said:
Hey, is it just me, or do other people think that Power of the Jedi sounds like a great name for a toy line?
Yeah, Hasbro seemed to think so a few years go
 
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Superdan said:
AllanB said:
Hey, is it just me, or do other people think that Power of the Jedi sounds like a great name for a toy line?
Yeah, Hasbro seemed to think so a few years go
Doh!
Never heard of it... I thought it was a POTF or ROTJ typo... Sorry John.


Modern noob alert!


- Allan
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Here's a fun one, the pics a bit fuzzy, but you can see the rebel soldier on the far left has his limbs turning pink and the paint on upper legs and boots has turned green. The one next to him is beginning to follow suit as well.



Cheers!

-SE

-edit, forgot the pic!
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Due to some eagle-eyed viewers, I need to expound on this posting. I didn't want to mention the word "prototype" here because it goes against what I was trying to point out in the first place. However, the Luke Bespin on the right is production and has limbs that are discolored. On the Bossk, I have since seen more that are pinkish so I think that is very likely another case where the plastic (at least during some earlier stages) has turned color. I wanted to show the Bossk photo because it is an extreme example of the pink coloration.



 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

Chris,

Aren't 2 of those actual FSs? I remember those pics and I thought they were from legitimate FS sales.

John
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

JohnA said:
Chris,

Aren't 2 of those actual FSs? I remember those pics and I thought they were from legitimate FS sales.

John
Right as usual John. The Bossk is definitely a real FS as I now own it and it came from Sparky. The coloration isnt fading at all, the plastic is just that color. Here is a pic I took of the same figure posted above:



The FS is on the left and a slightly discolored production figure is to the right. Notice the upper arm yellow on the production figures left arm is starting to get off color along with wear spots on the legs.
Billy
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

baldylox said:
Right as usual John. The Bossk is definitely a real FS as I now own it and it came from Sparky. The coloration isnt fading at all, the plastic is just that color. Here is a pic I took of the same figure posted above:
The FS is on the left and a slightly discolored production figure is to the right. Notice the upper arm yellow on the production figures left arm is starting to get off color along with wear spots on the legs.
Billy
That's not to say that Bossks don't turn that color. I'll try to find the one I have with pink sleeves and pant legs.
 
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Re: Discoloration - a.k.a. \"prototypes and variati

ThorOakenfelder said:
That's not to say that Bossks don't turn that color. I'll try to find the one I have with pink sleeves and pant legs.
I agree. I was just pointing out that in that case it really was a prototype. I wonder why Chris didn't mention it. I do think that even though it's a FS it's still faded.

John
 
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ChrisGeorgoulias said:
Here's another Fett that was recently on ebay, being sold as a variation of course. Faded and opposing leg and arm. The auction was ended early which usually means someone made a side-deal for it. Lucky them.



This is my Boba, i don´t made a side deal, and it´s still mine
 
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On a personal level & as a collector i find these images of once beautiful figures which have since turned so ugly very distressing indeed. It's like looking at pictures of Brigitte Bardot as an old lady.
 
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