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Link: “How Hasbro Created Its Jabba the Hutt 6-inch Jabba the Hutt Action Figure”

July 24, 2014

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The folks at Mental_Floss have posted an interesting article about the creation of the new 6″ scale Black Series Jabba the Hutt figure. There are some very interesting tidbits of information. The biggest surprise for me was that they designed all of the Black Series figures 100% digitally — no physical sculpting was involved. I wonder how common this is nowadays. I still have the impression of toys being first physically sculpted by artists, but it sounds like things are definitely changing.

[Hat tips to Galactic Hunter and JediDefender]

Upcoming: Jabba the Hutt Polo Shirt to be Available at SDCC

July 20, 2014

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Super7, the company that has recently been making waves with its Reaction series of action figures (based on unreleased prototypes of figures for the movie “Alien”), has recently announced that they will be releasing a line of Star Wars T-shirts and polo shirts. You can see a number of them here, but of course I’m most interested in the Jabba polo shirt, which is a perfect parody of the Lacoste alligator. They will be available at SDCC for $25 (which is apparently a discount from the usual price of $35) but it doesn’t sound like they are exclusive to the show. I hope not, anyway.

Star Wars: The Card Game (with Edge of Darkness Expansion & 2014 Regionals Playmats)

July 13, 2014

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I’ve never really been a card game player. I spent a lot of time in comic book and game stores as a kid and young adult, but that was before games like Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering came around. But I have recently become obsessed with Hearthstone, which is a streamlined and computerized version of these kinds of games, so I thought I might give a more traditional card game a try. The fact that there were some Jabba-themed accessories for this year didn’t hurt, either…

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It turns out that Star Wars: The Card Game is significantly more complex than Hearthstone — or maybe it’s just that you have to keep track of all the game mechanics yourself using counters and the like, rather than having the computer do it for you. There are so many phases and rules that I found it rather difficult to keep track of everything. My eight-year-old son and I tried playing for a couple of hours, but we had a hard time getting a handle on it and eventually gave up. I think with this kind of thing it really helps to be shown the ropes by people who already know how to play. I do like the game as a product, though. The cards have nice artwork on them, and it’s all stuff from the original trilogy. The main set doesn’t have any Jabba-related cards, but you can get that in the “Edge of Darkness” expansion, which is really just two additional decks of cards. For example:

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They also have a nice set of protective card sleeves that use the same artwork as the Jabba the Hutt card. These are thin plastic sleeves with artwork on the back and a transparent front, allowing you to view the card while the sleeve is still on.

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Since I never fully figured out how to play, my chances of winning a regional tournament are rather low, but thanks to eBay I was able to get a couple of the special playmats that they gave out to the top players in the regional tournaments. From what I understand, there are 8 regions in the US and each region can hold up to two tournaments. Since these mats were given out to the top 8 players in each tournament, I guess that’s a theoretical maximum of 128 of these that were given out, although I think it may have been quite a bit less than that. It’s roughly 1 foot by 2 feet and is made of a rubbery material like they use for mouse pads. I really like the artwork on them. They also gave away things like a limited edition version of the Jabba the Hutt card with alternate artwork, and acrylic damage counters.

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This playmat is in French. I initially thought that it must have been used in Canada (the seller I got it from was in the US) but the URL appears to point to a European company. I wonder if they made versions in other languages.

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“The Jedi Doth Return” by Ian Doescher (Book & Poster)

July 11, 2014

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The Jedi Doth Return” came out at the beginning of July and is the third in a series of Ian Doescher’s series of “Shakespearean Star Wars” books. They tell the Star Wars stories, but are written in a pseudo Shakespearean style that is strangely compelling. Jabba himself still speaks in Huttese, which seems a little odd in places — especially since Salacious Crumb actually has a number of lines in English.

Here’s a sample from the scene where Luke and Han are about to be thrown in to the Sarlacc.

JABBA: Koneetah!

C-3PO: –Hear ye! Victims of the great
Almighty sarlacc: Jabba of the Hutt,
His excellency, hopeth ye shall die
With honor. Should ye wish for mercy now
To beg, great Jabba of the Hutt shall hear
Your pleas.

HAN: –Nay, 3PO! Say thou to that
Vast slimy piece of filth bestrewn with worms
He shall have no such pleasure out of us!
Now that I am no more a markèd man,
I shall most fully proffer my belief
That Jabba is a horrid murderer
Far worse than any I have ever known.
Who here shall prove me wrong or argue, eh?
‘Tis right, good Chewie, I speak true?

It’s impressive that Doesher was able to write not only one book but three on the back of what is essentially just a gimmick. But it’s well done. And the characters from Star Wars lend themselves surprisingly well to this kind of thing. I suppose part of it is that they were created as archetypes in a tradition that can be traced back to Shakespeare and beyond.

The book includes some excellent line drawings by the artist Nicolas Delort. Of course Jabba himself is on the cover (along with his barge), but there is also a nice drawing of Bib Fortuna and Salacious Crumb inside. I imagine that Crumb was originally envisioned as a court jester, so making that more literal makes sense.

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And here’s the Rebo Band.

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I also got this promotional poster that was handed out at Wizard World Comic Con. It’s 14″x24″. I’d like to get it framed. I love collecting different oddball versions of Jabba, like “Jabba the Robber Baron” that I commissioned from Greg Peltz that was eventually turned into “Kingpin” from ACME Archives.

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“Nerdburgers” Print by FriendPrices (Don Picton)

July 4, 2014

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This 12×16 screen print is from FriendPrices (aka Don Picton) on Etsy. I love the artwork and the quote (being a big Star Trek fan myself). The colors, though, are extremely off-putting. By which I mean that you can’t stare at it too long without feeling rather ill, but it’s definitely an interesting effect.

Jabba the Hutt Plastic Card Figure by Bimbo Bakeries (Mexico)

June 28, 2014

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This “kit” is a piece of plastic card with a bunch of parts that you can pop out to assemble a figure of Jabba the Hutt. I think it dates from 2002, and it was included with baked goods made by Bimbo Bakeries in Mexico. A few months ago, I posted about a similar Jabba the Hutt rubber band shooter kit. In that entry I complained about how laughably bad the instructions were, and I’m still not entirely sure how that one was supposed to be assembled. The instructions are, if anything, worse with this one, but at least you know that the finished product is supposed to look like Jabba. The “instructions” are there to the left of Jabba’s head. Can’t see them? How about now?

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Yep, that’s all you have to go on. Considering that the entire card is about 2 inches long, it’s very hard to see the instructions even in person. I actually had to scan the card and then blow it up on my monitor, and even then it’s tricky. You punch out the various parts, including a bunch of microscopic connectors that hold the larger pieces together. I ended up losing one of those connectors (it flew off somewhere never to be found). Then I lost one of his arms, which is bigger but still only two or three millimeters long. I really should have assembled this at a clean table instead of at my messy desk… So here is the completed figure, minus one connector and one arm. They actually have an image of his arm printed on the pieces of his body, so it’s not too obvious that it’s missing. I got this in a lot of several with other characters like the droids and such, but it was so frustrating to put this one together that I don’t think I’ll be trying those anytime soon.

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Disney Star Wars Weekends 2014 Rancor & Keeper Vinylmation Figures

June 21, 2014

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Last year, Disney released a set of Jabba the Hutt and Salacious Crumb for Star Wars Weekends. This year, it’s the rancor and his keeper. (This box has been autographed by the artist, Casey Jones.)

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They’re both jumbo figures, which seemed wrong for Jabba, since even though he’s bigger than a normal humanoid, he doesn’t tower over them. But for the rancor this seems about right.

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One thing that’s always interesting is to see what’s done with the ears on the figure template. In this case, the rancor’s ears show the grating of his pit above him, while the keeper’s show the rancor’s chain. Unfortunately, my keeper got a paint rub on his face from rubbing up against the rancor in the package.

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Here are all of my Vinylmation figures. I believe a Boba Fett is coming out that I’ll probably want to add to this, but I haven’t heard of other Jabba’s Palace figures on the way.

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