Finally! A Toy Show Is Coming Back To The Home of Kenner!!!

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I got the chance to look at R2 this past weekend and it is beyond cool. Granted, I don't have as much experience with the first shots compared to either of you, but it really is an incredible piece. My brother and I traded for and purchased the Chewbacca first shot, which also has some significant difference versus the production version that we have noticed since bringing him home. I will post photos too later this week if anyone is interested.
 
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I had the honor of bringing the R2 back from the show to ship it the next day for Steve, so I spent about an hour or so with it and comparing it against a couple production examples, and I will tell you that the differences in this R2 were pretty pronounced. It's Steve's piece so I won't steal his thunder and will let him announce them, but they were great.
 
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Didn't get to our booth???! We had an entire row!!! :wtf:
I'm trying to recall and I think they were a Walrus Man, R5-D4, Hammerhead, Death Star Droid, and Power Droid. I'm just going to keep them at this point. They were all priced under $260 or less and averaged about an 8 out of 10. If I sell them now, it will either be at next year's show or I'm going to AFA them. Couldn't believe they didn't sell..... (please no PMs anyone, please please please don't send me any PMs, I hate them.)
Oh, I know you guys did. lol I was always at my booth. I did not get enough time to step away for a while and browse. I noticed somebody had Neo Geo games and I only noticed that when they were packing!
 
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On behalf of Steve, here are some R2 pics. I will let him tell everyone what we saw.

First shot on right, production on left









First Shot Label Sticker Shot




Production label sticker shot




First Shot on far right with two production examples on left side



 
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I guess, the problem with calling something a "internal first shot" is it confuses people. That term was made up to describe protomolds, by some of the pioneers, whom I respect, on this website. The R2 is not a promotomold. But it shows mold differences from production pieces and even differences to the first shots found in the 2004 Earth find. Some of those differences are huge. Like, the sticker, I am 100% sure the R2 has a proto silk screen sticker. More can be read about these proto stickers here Silk-Screened Prototype for R5-D4 Sticker - Star Wars Collectors Archive
In the link, you can see it has an outline. If you look at the pics above, the R2 has that outline also and visual differences, within the sticker.
The molded plastic is creme, not white. The mold is different, where the legs attach to the body. The screw is nonproduction. The legs are hand painted. Has no coo and has no date. The differences keep going on and on. I believe this piece was created internally, at Kenner, not overseas, with an injection mold.
Just a neat piece.... -Steve
 
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Does not look protomolded to me. Doesn't look silk-screened either, though it's hard to tell that from a photo. Differences are just that -- differences. Lots of first shots exhibit differences in comparison with production figures.
 
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I guess, the problem with calling something a "internal first shot" is it confuses people. That term was made up to describe protomolds, by some of the pioneers, whom I respect, on this website. The R2 is not a promotomold. But it shows mold differences from production pieces and even differences to the first shots found in the 2004 Earth find. Some of those differences are huge. Like, the sticker, I am 100% sure the R2 has a proto silk screen sticker. More can be read about these proto stickers here Silk-Screened Prototype for R5-D4 Sticker - Star Wars Collectors Archive
In the link, you can see it has an outline. If you look at the pics above, the R2 has that outline also and visual differences, within the sticker.
The molded plastic is creme, not white. The mold is different, where the legs attach to the body. The screw is nonproduction. The legs are hand painted. Has no coo and has no date. The differences keep going on and on. I believe this piece was created internally, at Kenner, not overseas, with an injection mold.
Just a neat piece.... -Steve
What details are you using to determine that it's a silk-screened sticker? You haven't seen it in person, correct? I think you're jumping the gun on this.

I see the odd detailing on the sticker. But that's not the tell for a silk-screen. I saw a different R2 sticker on a 3.75" prototype item this past weekend. It looked sloppy like the one on your figure. But it wasn't silk-screened.
 
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Correct. It is not in hand yet. I am going off the visual of the outline around the outer edge of the sticker, from the pics. This sticker matches Mattias's R2 on his limelight. -Steve
 
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The hex foot holes weren't a feature of internally-molded (a.k.a. protomolded, internal first shot) pieces. Making foot holes requires the mold to have retractable pins which is an unnecessary expense at that stage.

Differences in the crispness or detailing is generally due to the finished state of the production mold. Heads were generally created from cast molds while the torso and limbs were made from cut molds, but each always underwent some amount of polishing and finish work (usually the cut molds) before being released to production. Mold engravers' entire job was to add detailing and polish molds to create the appropriately detailed, smooth production part. This is why you can find parts that may be missing fine details or have tooling marks here and there as those feature simply were not in place at the time when that particular piece was shot. And it's important to remember that many different molds were used for production and different engravers worked on them at different times so you can definitely have variations. That's why collecting production variations can be an almost never-ending quest.

-chris
 
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I guess, the problem with calling something a "internal first shot" is it confuses people. That term was made up to describe protomolds, by some of the pioneers, whom I respect, on this website. The R2 is not a promotomold.
Just reading this from the sidelines here Steve but I'm not sure that's where the confusion is.

The problem with the terminology being used is that you referred to those figures (including the R2) as internal first shots:

That recent find of internal first shots including Mushroom Tip DT Vader, Chewbacca, R2D2 and Leia were found down in Cincinnati.
So, I can see why Chris and Ron are trying to set you straight on that because you called the R2 an IFS in the above post (aka a protomould) but are now saying you know the R2 is not a protomould. I'm sure they are just doing their part to make sure people are using the right terms for the right pieces.
 
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Thank you for that information Chris. I understand. I think what is being noticed though, especially among the first 12 first shots, is that in some cases, the features/details on some of the pieces are non-production.
I do understand this is not a protomold. : )
The sticker still strikes me as a silk screen. The outline around the outside, the off registration, the use of blue and black only. The sticker does not appear to be from an offset/lithography press.
 
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Oh and I agree Joe. There is confusion regarding that term. "Internal First Shot" is an extremely confusing term. To me internal injection molded first shot makes much more sense... unless I am misunderstanding that also?
And I am all for learning and helping others understand, so I am all for Chris and Ron jumping in with their explanations : )
 
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Oh and I agree Joe. There is confusion regarding that term. "Internal First Shot" is an extremely confusing term. To me internal injection molded first shot makes much more sense... unless I am misunderstanding that also?
And I am all for learning and helping others understand, so I am all for Chris and Ron jumping in with their explanations : )

Also speaking from the sidelines, but I don't quite get what you are meaning as far as the terms go and confusion. By classifying a protomold/internal first shot as "internal injection molded first shot", it is still the same thing. It just becomes a more wordy name like "first shot prototype" that is used a lot these days rather than just saying "first shot". Chris pointed out why this R2 would be a first shot from the orient and not created in house at Kenner, but it seems like you're still trying to classify it that way as something else. Or is that wrong?

Maybe it's just me, but I prefer the simpler names for things and people who are interested in this stuff already know it is preproduction and what stage they are rather than being wordy. Sculpt, Hardcopy, Protomold, First Shot, EP, etc. If a person happens to not know what a term is they can just hop on over to the archive and do a little research on it. I still think they'd have to even with the more wordy terms.
 
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Great R2 first shot, Steve!

As for the sticker, I have an identical sticker on my first shot R2, tough to say for sure if it is silk screened or not. But it could definitely be silk screened. The colors are solid looking in a magnifying glas (which they would have been if PMS colors was used as well, so thats not a 100% sign), the details (especially thinner lines) aren't the best which would be difficult to get perfect with silk screening imo. Then the (almost waxed) paper is really thick, not on thin sticker sheet like Ron's silk screened R5 on the Archive. But this was earlier than R5 and could easily have been changed. And my sticker is definitely hand cut.

So I can't say for sure if it is silk screened or not, and to me that doesn't matter much. No matter what it is, it's def an early prototype kind of sticker, not at all like the first shot stickers out there in greater numbers. And I have only seen this darker and thicker sticker on this and my own R2 first shots. I guess the first shot came from overseas and the sticker was an early prototype version used on the EB set photos, done by Kenner or someone else, but def not production quality like the other R2 FS stickers out there.

Mattias
 
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Ok.... lets see if this makes sense. I've heard the term IFS internal first shot used a lot. In some cases it's from collectors that are referring to the first 12 pieces (first shots) being injected molded in house, or domestic. Then I've heard collectors refer to IFS internal first shot as Protomolds.
Personally, I was referring to the first reference I made above. When I classified the R2 to being a IFS, I meant domestic injected molded. If this is impossible and that was only done overseas, them I stand corrected.
I brought up my Power Droid in the past. Ron and I talked about that piece. I thought I remember him calling it a Injected Mold First Shot that may have been created domestically/in the USA. This is what I was referring to regarding the R2.
The reasons for this are because of what appears to be a prototype sticker applied, possibly silk screened, and mold differences. The same could be said for the MT DT Vader with his light saber having a mushroom tip added to it by hand.
For these reasons, that is what I was thinking.
I guess, the best title for it would be "my beautiful, really neat, rare and awesome First Shot R2-D2 with prototype sticker" : )
I'm sorry if I confused anyone : ) That is the last thing I wanted to do : )
-Steve
 
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The hex foot holes weren't a feature of internally-molded (a.k.a. protomolded, internal first shot) pieces. Making foot holes requires the mold to have retractable pins which is an unnecessary expense at that stage.
The early used Internal first shot term has always confused me, likely because most collectors has started to use promoted when I started to get into pre production stuff more. And what confuses me more is that IFS is still being used, especially for early SW ones. But all figures like that I've seen has HEX-shaped foot holes, and I have never thought Kenner would do that internally, just like Chris explains above.

One of my hand painted Luke's doesn't have HEX shaped foot holes, there are holes but they are very very small and hand drilled, plus a lot different materials than my first shot Luke. And thats the only SW figure I've seen that I would classify as an IFS/protomold. Maybe other SW IFS/protomold doesn't have foot holes or hand drilled holes, but I have never seen or heard of one, and I was looking into this quite a bit some years ago. But would love to hear more thoughts on the subject as I find this very interesting :)

Mattias
 
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Thank you Mattias with the comments.
I guess, the best thing I can do is just use simple descriptions. That was a good point by Shawn. I also want to use factual information also.
I think some of the confusion arises with the differences we have seen on some of the first 12 first shots. Because of these differences, I believe collectors have resorted to calling them internal first shots. Some of those differences could be things like, mold differences, (examples) thin horns on the Tusken Raider head, different details and plastics used to mold the heads on the Ben and others, thinner arms, or different angles to limbs ect....
These pieces do have hex holes and are not protomolds. Except for Mattias's Luke example.
Also, to make things more confusing, some of them have internal created accessories, such as Mushroom tip double telescoping sabers, hand cut capes, prototype stickers (possibly screen printed).
So, the figures that were found down in Cinci, that were on display, the R2 and Chewbacca, were early examples of First Shots. The R2 may : ) have a screen printed sticker. I am still leaning this way regarding the sticker.
Either way, neat, early pre-production pieces.... -Steve
 
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I always thought Internal First Shots or Protomolded figures were made in house at Kenner from random plastics which were then hand painted. Plus they didn't have hex holes in the boot soles. I'm far from an expert tho. Cool piece regardless Steve. :)
 
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The early used Internal first shot term has always confused me, likely because most collectors has started to use promoted when I started to get into pre production stuff more. And what confuses me more is that IFS is still being used, especially for early SW ones. But all figures like that I've seen has HEX-shaped foot holes, and I have never thought Kenner would do that internally, just like Chris explains above.

One of my hand painted Luke's doesn't have HEX shaped foot holes, there are holes but they are very very small and hand drilled, plus a lot different materials than my first shot Luke. And thats the only SW figure I've seen that I would classify as an IFS/protomold. Maybe other SW IFS/protomold doesn't have foot holes or hand drilled holes, but I have never seen or heard of one, and I was looking into this quite a bit some years ago. But would love to hear more thoughts on the subject as I find this very interesting :)

Mattias
Among SW-era figures, there are cantina aliens and a Boba Fett that are legitimately protomolded, at least. Possibly also your Luke.
 
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If it's screen-printed, the ink on the sticker should be dimensional. You would feel it by running your finger over it. Also, the ink would have a strong gloss to it. Would stand out next to the paper, like a gloss layer laid on top of the paper. At least that's how it is on the screen-printed items that have surfaced. Those things are distinctive.

If it's not screen-printed, that doesn't necessarily take away from your R2. My point was that you are calling it a silk-screen before you've even seen it. And from the photos, it doesn't look like one. Not to me, anyway.

I've never heard "internal first shot" used except to indicate a protomold. If you just mean that you think this R2 was a first shot that was created in-house at Kenner, I would call it something else. Still, I don't know how you'd prove it was created Kenner rather than overseas...
 
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When the injection-molded figures, made in the Kenner model shop, first turned up we (Archive guys) called them "internal first shots". That's a term we created to describe them because they were first shots of sorts made internally at Kenner. Years later we heard the term "protomolded" from a Kenner guy and we switched to that term. It means the same thing, but IFS had been used so widely for so long that there was no way to remove it from the collecting vernacular.

Protomolded would be the correct term for these items which are pieces made from aluminum molds made and shot in-house at Kenner. It can apply to any plastic figure, toy, or part as it's all the same process.

-chris
 
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Seems to have been a great show! And Steve, nice R2-D2!

Very interesting discussion about First Shots, got a FS Leia that has smaller hand drilled holes along with some other attributes. Never called it anything else then The Beauty :)



 
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Among SW-era figures, there are cantina aliens and a Boba Fett that are legitimately protomolded, at least. Possibly also your Luke.
I should have been more clear, I dont know of any SW "first 9/12" protomolded figures. And my Luke is like you say only possibly that, much point at it though, but tough to say for sure. The drilled holes in the feet, white material (even the head) and the quality isn't as good as my first shot etc. So definitely very different from the other Luke FSs out there.

And the R2 stickers paint is def glossy, I think I can feel the embossing on the different colors, but defenitely not very much. Not sure it is screen printed though. Wrote silk screened before haha, that's the Swedish word for it, man I'm tired...

Mattias
 
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Very interesting discussion about First Shots, got a FS Leia that has smaller hand drilled holes along with some other attributes. Never called it anything else then The Beauty :)
Stackars Jack! Have you been drinking Jäger again? ;) I thought we looked at your Leia at a convention and determined that the foot holes were HEX-shaped. Or am I remembering wrong? Beauty it is no matter what. The Leia that is.

Mattias
 
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Ron, I agree, there is no way to prove it was created domestic rather then overseas. From what you and Chris stated, it seems it was created in an injection steel mold overseas.
I do look forward to seeing the sticker first hand. The biggest thing that catches my eye, is that "cut out" line on the edge. You can see it under the dome and at the side angle also. It doesn't prove it's a silk screen, but visually it makes me think it is. I want to look at the ink under a loop and see what it looks like.
And that Leia above is VERY interesting. "The Beauty" is pretty awesome!
-Steve
 
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Stackars Jack! Have you been drinking Jäger again? ;) I thought we looked at your Leia at a convention and determined that the foot holes were HEX-shaped. Or am I remembering wrong? Beauty it is no matter what. The Leia that is.

Mattias
Haha, no Jäger here. 100% sober between the conventions :). Remember that we looked at the Leia, but not that we determined that the holes were HEX-shaped. To me it looks like drilled round holes. Also smaller in size then the regular HEX. Anyway, you got a lot more knowledge in this area then me and I gladly change my view on this.
 
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Ron, I agree, there is no way to prove it was created domestic rather then overseas. From what you and Chris stated, it seems it was created in an injection steel mold overseas. I do look forward to seeing the sticker first hand. The biggest thing that catches my eye, is that "cut out" line on the edge. You can see it under the dome and at the side angle also. It doesn't prove it's a silk screen, but visually it makes me think it is. I want to look at the ink under a loop and see what it looks like. And that Leia above is VERY interesting. "The Beauty" is pretty awesome! -Steve
I didn't know what exactly look for with respect to the printing of the sticker when it was in hand, but I am pretty certain the sticker was hand cut for the reasons Steve mentioned.
 
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So just a quick question here.

If were going along the mold-hardcopy-protomold-FS-EP line of order....where does bench shot fit in? Is it under the protomold umbrella?

Very informative thread, thanks to everyone who is contributing,
Turk
 
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Haha, no Jäger here. 100% sober between the conventions :). Remember that we looked at the Leia, but not that we determined that the holes were HEX-shaped. To me it looks like drilled round holes. Also smaller in size then the regular HEX. Anyway, you got a lot more knowledge in this area then me and I gladly change my view on this.
Bring it (again) to the show next weekend Mike. If it's HEX shaped holes we use it as a drink stick.

Mattias
 
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Ron, I have heard some collectors, refer to internal first shots before and not mean "protomolds". Some of the collectors are pretty well known and have some pretty crazy awesome collections. Those pieces do have Hex Holes, but were pretty well known photography "first shot" pieces. Those pieces were explained as being molded internally at Kenner. I guess this is where I do get confused? So, that phrase "internal first shot" is being used, and has been used, and not in regards to it explaining a protomold. I could give a few examples right now, and links, but I don't want to upset anyone.
-Steve
 
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I invented the term "internal first shot." It referred to a protomolded figure.

If you want to repurpose it to refer to anything that was made inside Kenner, that's fine -- though I would advise against it, as it confuses people. For 15 years, "internal first shot" has meant a protomolded figure.

I don't have anything to say about "photography" figures being made inside Kenner. Presumably this is information from a source. If you're confident that it's accurate, and that those figures were made inside Kenner, that's great. Though I don't know how you'd ever determine what was made inside Kenner and what wasn't. This leads to the same identification problems we discussed with respect to EPs several months ago.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter to me if a first shot was made inside Kenner or not. The protomolded/non-protomolded distinction is much more important.
 
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I'm not disagreeing with you Ron. I think what I wrote might have been taken that way. What I meant was others have used that term, IFS, and mentioned "internally molded" when they are first shots, not protomolds.
 
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I'm not disagreeing with you Ron. I think what I wrote might have been taken that way. What I meant was others have used that term, IFS, and mentioned "internally molded" when they are first shots, not protomolds.
Yes, it's clear that's been happening.
 
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Just to clarify my understanding thus far on this (very interesting) topic:

Internal First Shot = Protomold (which should be the preferred term)

Protomold = aluminum mold shot figure or accessory (either in-house @ Kenner or @ a vendor site)

'Standard" First shot = vendor steel mold shot figure or accessory (usually, but not always lacking copyright)

Questions:

Were aluminum molds used prior to the generation of steel molds to check the outcome of a piece prior to putting out te expense of a steel mold?

Echoing Mete's question: what is a 'bench shot'?
 
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Some good reading right here: http://forum.rebelscum.com/t930520/

Chris G said:
In case anyone is wondering, a Bench Shot is a figure that was injection molded at the shop where the mold was being made. Whenever a mold is being made and/or worked on they say it's "on the bench". Hence the term "Bench Shot".

It's hard to know a figure is a bench shot. I found a solid black Gamorrean Guard years back that was indeed a bench shot (although it wasn't described with that term which I only learned of recently). Anyway, the material was a little weird, but the source was solid as a rock because his father worked at a mold shop where they made it.

I suspect that others have turned up over the years, but it's hard to know for sure. You can't really tell by looking at them. I think the likelihood is greater if all the parts are the same color and/or if the material seems different than a production figure.

Collecting-wise you can pretty much lump them in with first shots since it's about the same thing. Technically it is different though.
 
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I'd love to go to something like this. I've never really been to anything other than a very small scale Star Trek 'convention' many years ago.

I don't have much in the way of SW stuff that anyone would really care about, so I'd likely be spending way too much money.
Would sure be fun, though, to talk shop with others and see all the great toys!

We are quite close to Cincinnati, so far as I know.
 
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I think this entry provides a good example of how strikingly different a protomolded figure is from one created in production molds:

Star Wars Rocket-Firing Boba Fett Protomolded - Star Wars Collectors Archive

Ron has rued coining the phrase "internal first shot" for many years, and as he and Chris noted, it can be hard to stop the momentum on terminology or perceptions about processes once they get traction, which is why they're trying to push on clarification. There are definitely some distinctions among standard first shots, but I think it's important not to get too far into creating whole new categories based on minor differences.

I think it's important to point out that besides having had contact with a lot of Kenner employees, Chris is an engineer with direct experience in production processes that involve injection molding.

Todd
 
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Hey guys... : ) I completely respect the information. I respect the knowledge behind it also. But I understand the R2 is not a protomold : ) I get that. I never thought he was a protomold. My confusion was whether the R2 first shot was molded/created in house at Kenner, or domestic, here in the States. THAT's ALL.
I know the phrase "Internal First Shot" was used. MY BAD : ) I know that phrase was created by Ron, explaining what a protomold is. PLEASE know, I know this : ) Thank you, -Steve
 
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