The unknown "Kenner Employee Store" JABBA and the JABBA COO variations

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Hello my name is Matthieu and I have a Jabba focus !:rolleyes:
Yes, for some reason I'm still trying to figure, I've got a Jabba focus....
The fat Hutt is not usually listed as an action figure (it is considered only as a creature part of an action playset, or a monster like the Rancor) and as such, unless I am missing something, there is no real documented resource about the Jabba variations as you can find on the action figures. Of course we all know the major Lili Ledy variation (soft rubber head on the LL figure, hard head on the other releases). But I've not seen any thorough research on the other possible Hutt variations yet.
Now here is the story. A few months back I purchased a loose Jabba playset, having the throne in a sealed baggie with no markings on it (the accessories are kept in the inner part of the throne). I bought it off of a Facebook group from a trustworthy and reputable seller who offered it to me as soon as he saw my Jabba limelight.
The seller told me that this loose playset came from the Kenner Employee Store. As I found it pretty interesting and the asking price was quite fair I bought it in a heart bit to add it to my focus.

Here is the "Kenner Employee Store" Jabba playset I received (hereafter the "KES" Jabba):


Then I decided to check all my Jabba's markings out and compare to the KES Jabba. Here's what I found:
Left to right: Kenner box with Meccano import sticker / European Bi-logo / Sears Exclusive Lienart / US Kenner / Lili Ledy / Kenner Canada


All the Jabba releases appear to have the same 2 line markings - copyright 83 on first line, HK on second line - except the Lili Ledy release which has markings on a single line.

And here is the KES Jabba...:


The KES Jabba has no markings - no copyright or date or COO stamp - on the bottom of the figure as the other ones have.

I thought that the toys which were sold at the KES were regular production items (including overstock production items). If that is the case then there's no reason why those toys would be different from the toys retailed to the public market, and you would expect the KES Jabba to have the regular 2 line markings on the bottom.

So... my question is: did my KES Jabba actually come from the Kenner Employee Store? Is it something different?

Thanks in advance for your input. :grin:

-Matth
 
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I wonder if the Jabba was poured before they added the COO to the molds, interesting Question Matthieu. I will follow the thread and hope for an answer
 
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Very interesting. I suspect that you have a pre-production Jabba there. A painted vendor first shot most likely. I believe that it still may have come from the Kenner Employee Store as I'm sure all kinds of 'leftover' vendor produced first shots that weren't used in testing of some sort ended up there and Kenner got rid of them by selling them cheap to employees. Just a hunch. I'd try to go back to the person you purchased it from and confirm the details of where it came from.
 
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I am of the same opinion as Gary stated above, (I'm Gary Too LOL) Especially with the COO scared/removed on the base as well.
 
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I should add that the throne does have markings. The country name (HK) has been left blank / erased though.
 
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Sure looks to be a first shot. If the provenance truly traces back to the kenner store, it's pretty certain that's what it is. I guess there's a chance that, like some of the figures, there were Jabba's made with no copyright marking. I don't think anyone's ever paid enough attention to that toy to know.

Cj
 
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You might get in touch with Steve (The dark artist) as he helped a person last year named Tim over on TIG to document a first shot Jabba from a find of other prototype pieces. He may have some knowledge on what to look for. I think that the Jabba had a completely different color plastic used on the internals of it where they are normally cream or something and it was white? John (darthberezing) now owns said Jabba I believe and it was graded by AFA I think as a first shot. The arms pop off relatively easy so that may be some way to tell. They would have more knowledge than me, but I remember the thread on TIG as it is a sticky on the main vintage page over there. Hopefully they can help you out with this.

Bryan
 
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Thanks Cj.

The seller was kind enough to provide some more backround. Quote: "I originally bought several of those Jabba sets back in the mid 90s from an ex-Kenner employee at the Kane County Antique Toy & Doll show. It's a huge biannual toy show held in Illinois. I have one myself still left and it has the same markings. The vender had a case of about 50 of them plus several other overstock Kenner items like12" accessories, c3po figure cases and a couple of cases other ships parts and pieces still bagged up". "One other thing I just remembered, Jabba's were loose in a different box than the bagged bases. I never thought anything of it until now, but it might be significant".

-Matth

Sure looks to be a first shot. If the provenance truly traces back to the kenner store, it's pretty certain that's what it is. I guess there's a chance that, like some of the figures, there were Jabba's made with no copyright marking. I don't think anyone's ever paid enough attention to that toy to know.

Cj
 
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You might get in touch with Steve (The dark artist) as he helped a person last year named Tim over on TIG to document a first shot Jabba from a find of other prototype pieces. He may have some knowledge on what to look for. I think that the Jabba had a completely different color plastic used on the internals of it where they are normally cream or something and it was white? John (darthberezing) now owns said Jabba I believe and it was graded by AFA I think as a first shot. The arms pop off relatively easy so that may be some way to tell. They would have more knowledge than me, but I remember the thread on TIG as it is a sticky on the main vintage page over there. Hopefully they can help you out with this.

Bryan
Bryan:
I know of Johnpaul's first shot Jabba and I even offered to buy it off of him lol!
My Jabba seems to have regular production colors. I've tried to pull his arms off (gently though...) but they won't pop off.
I'll ask Steve.
- Matth
 
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I am of the same opinion as Gary stated above, (I'm Gary Too LOL) Especially with the COO scared/removed on the base as well.
Gary:
Here is a picture of the markings on the throne


The seller said the throne came from a different box from the Jabba figures.
-Matth
 
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It would seem to make sense if it were a first shot that the Jabba's would have come in a different box than the bases. The vendor from the orient prob sent a box of first shot Jabba's and a box of bases during the pre-production process as the 'parts' were produced separately. What the guy bought were most-likely the leftovers after kenner used what was needed for in house purposes. The rest sat prob around until they got sold off at the Kenner store. After the pre-production process the 'parts' (jabbas, bases and accesories) were packaged together prior to distribution and all came in one box as the complete product.
 
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The Pre-production / Prototypes Thread! Index on first page - Page 17
There is the link to Tim's find I helped on... Hope it helps : ) Nice piece by the way, and nice find. Tim's piece was glued together and had internal parts that were non-production. Take a read and take a look at the pics : ) His Jabba was authenticated by Tom Derby : )
You have to be a Member of TIG to visit. Best of luck, -Steve
Thanks Steve.
I am a member of TIG and I'm going to read this thread very carefully!
Cheers
-Matth
 
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Are you positive no Jabba the Hutts were produced without copyright markings? That would be the first thing to determine because you can have a First Shot that looks exactly like the production toy in terms of material, paint, and constuction.

These Jabbas have been around, available by the case, since the 90's so before automatically assuming they are First Shots you really need to determine how the rest of the population looks. As Cj said, most people never really cared about that and I doubt many have ever turned theirs over to see if it had dates or not.

Could overstock First Shots have made it to the employee store? Sure. Could the first 6 months of production Jabbas have not had dates? Equally as plausible. Maybe even more plausible because from what I know, the company store was production items. Kenner was a small company, but large enough where some things didn't cross over. Excess samples and prototypes (that weren't thrown out) would often be given away to employees, especially near the holidays. There was one lady in particular who was more or less in charge of that. We bought a good number of pieces, including prototypes, from her daughter close to 10 years ago. Her mom would even give things to the neighborhood kids.

So a Kenner connection doesn't always equate to a prototype. And as we learned years ago, a lack of copyright dates doesn't either.

-chris
 
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Are you positive no Jabba the Hutts were produced without copyright markings? That would be the first thing to determine because you can have a First Shot that looks exactly like the production toy in terms of material, paint, and constuction. These Jabbas have been around, available by the case, since the 90's so before automatically assuming they are First Shots you really need to determine how the rest of the population looks. As Cj said, most people never really cared about that and I doubt many have ever turned theirs over to see if it had dates or not.

Could have overstock First Shots have made it to the employee store? Sure. Could the first 6 months of production Jabbas have not had dates? Equally as plausible. Maybe even more plausible because from what I know, the company store was production items. Kenner was a small company, but large enough where some things didn't cross over. Excess samples and prototypes (that weren't thrown out) would often be given away to employees, especially near the holidays. There was one lady in particular who was more or less in charge of that. We bought a good number of pieces, including prototypes, from her daughter close to 10 years ago. Her mom would even give things to the neighborhood kids.

So a Kenner connection doesn't always equate to a prototype. And as we learned years ago, a lack of copyright dates doesn't either.

-chris
Thanks Chris.
I am with you and that's why I did not mention that I was assuming it was a pre production item in my OP.
Now I need to investigate about the whole Jabba population... At least I know I'll have something to do for the rest of my life :disgusted:
I forgot to say that I also inspected the loose Jabba's in unsealed HK baggies which come in my Kenner case (see pics) and they have the 2 line markings.


Cheers for your help
- Matth
 
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I love threads like this. Equal parts mystery and discovery.

Can't wait to follow this thread see how this story turns out.
 
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Now I need to investigate about the whole Jabba population... At least I know I'll have something to do for the rest of my life :disgusted:
As the saying goes, "inspecting Jabba's butt all day long is no way to live a life."

Seriously though, interesting thread, and I hope you find the answers you seek, Matth.
 
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As the saying goes, "inspecting Jabba's butt all day long is no way to live a life."

Seriously though, interesting thread, and I hope you find the answers you seek, Matth.
Reminds me of a schoolyard rhyme we used to say as kids...."Jabba the Hutt picks his butt, when he eats at Pizza Hut".
 
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I was going to mention the solid cases of HK Jabba, but I see they have already been touched upon.

Just checked my Jabba, and it would appear that my Jabba has the same COO markings as the Lili Ledy.
 
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I have three Jabbas. Not sure about the other two, but my Display Jabba has the 2 line COO.
 
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As I have a Jabba focus myself (see my signature), this is a topic that is quite interesting to me. I looked through my case of Hong Kong Jabbas just to see what they had, and there were actually two versions: one with the COO on a single line on the front side (by his stomach) and one with it on two lines on the back left. I can't check the my others right at the moment, but I don't remember seeing any without a COO. That may not mean anything, of course.
 
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Hey icruise,
Very nice website you have!!
Do you have pictures of the two different COO versions you are referring to?
Thanks
-Matth

As I have a Jabba focus myself (see my signature), this is a topic that is quite interesting to me. I looked through my case of Hong Kong Jabbas just to see what they had, and there were actually two versions: one with the COO on a single line on the front side (by his stomach) and one with it on two lines on the back left. I can't check the my others right at the moment, but I don't remember seeing any without a COO. That may not mean anything, of course.
 
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I know of five different Jabba Coos.....probably 2 Coo-families. I never have heard or seen a no marks at all. That doesn't mean it could exist prodcution wise....but well...

I am guessing if it is a production piece you should find remanents of a former (deleted) Coo for sure....and if there is only slight irregularities.

here is a very old pic (only showing four of the five...sorry for that):

 
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I know of five different Jabba Coos.....probably 2 Coo-families. I never have heard or seen a no marks at all. That doesn't mean it could exist prodcution wise....but well...

I am guessing if it is a production piece you should find remanents of a former (deleted) Coo for sure....and if there is only slight irregularities.

here is a very old pic (only showing four of the five...sorry for that):

Thanks for the information, very interesting indeed.

I will post additional pictures of what I found in the week end later today or tomorrow. What I can see on my "unknown" Jabba is that there are no marks nor 'residues' of a deleted, scarred or erased COO. Just nothing!

-Matth
 
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Hey icruise,
Very nice website you have!!
Do you have pictures of the two different COO versions you are referring to?
Thanks
-Matth
These are the two I was talking about. One under his stomach and the other under his back. But from looking at the images above, I may have glossed over some subtle differences like the spacing between characters, so there might actually have been more than two versions in the batch that I looked at. None without a COO, though.



 
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Now that I think about it, what was the reason for so many variations on the same theme? Were these COOs added one letter at a time to individual molds, leading to variations in spacing and the like? Do these different COOs have any meanings that we know of?
 
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I am currently putting together pictures of different Jabba's and making comparisons I will'post later.
What I can tell is that my KES Jabba has no markings whatsoever and there is no trace of a scarred or erased marking! Just a smooth belly :p
 
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As a quick update on that "Kenner Employee Store" (KES) Jabba:

I have been comparing it with two other Jabba figures, one comes from my big Kenner case and the other one is the Canadian release. It's pretty confusing as I've seen the Kenner and the Canadian have two different sculpts, you can see on the moving part of the tail (the lines are different). The KES Jabba has a sculpt slightly different from those, plus the sculpt seems to be more detailed and the color brighter! I'll post pics once I've been able to inspect other Jabba figures I have as I'm not sure I could come to conclusions right now based on the inspection of 2 other figures only.

What I've found interesting on the KES Jabba is that not only it has no markings on the bottom (that is no COO or copyright AND no trace of reased or scarred markings), but it also has these two white dots symmetrically positioned on each side of the separation line between the two parts of the body, as shown on the picture below:



That does not look like wear or damage.

Is that something you guys have already seen before?

-Matth
 
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But the one-line COO Jabba family has ;). You are comparing it to the wrong Coo-family :D

( I have sadly no own picture ready but from my archive I can tell you its there on the one-line HK COO Jabba)
 
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But the one-line COO Jabba family has ;). You are comparing it to the wrong Coo-family :D

( I have sadly no own picture ready but from my archive I can tell you its there on the one-line HK COO Jabba)
Ok but its hard to know what "COO familiy" it is as it has no COO.
 
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Agreed, but thanks to your observations we know now :D :D :D...and I could be wrong...the placement seems different. The two examples I have pics of have the break marks...but more to the tail ( and both are different as well regarding the placement)
 
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Agreed, but thanks to your observations we know now :D :D :D...and I could be wrong...the placement seems different. The two examples I have pics of have the break marks...but more to the tail ( and both are different as well regarding the placement)
You're right! I just checked my Ledy Jabba (one line) and it has the marks indeed but those are closer to the tail:

 
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Could be there is three families?!?!? I have found another pic (my own :D) in my archive. Three-line I would call that one. The copyright symbol is far above the LFL.....so it's really different two the other two-lines (two examples)....but well....just a guess for now.

Anyway...I think these break-marks are right positioned. What do you think?

 
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Could be there is three families?!?!? I have found another pic (my own :D) in my archive. Three-line I would call that one. The copyright symbol is far above the LFL.....so it's really different two the other two-lines (two examples)....but well....just a guess for now.

Anyway...I think these break-marks are right positioned. What do you think?

/QUOTE]

yes indeed.
Now we need to figure if there is a no COO family!
 
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