Even though this is my least favorite Jabba figure (by a considerable margin), I have quite a number of these because of all of the variations they made. I’ve talked about the regular American release, the rarer variant box, the Japanese version, and two European versions in the past. This one is the Mexican version, but it actually uses the same box as the variant version. You can tell because Han on the back is looking down toward Jabba — they changed this photo in the later, more common version. For the Mexican version, they pasted some Spanish language stickers on it, which is pretty similar to what they did for the Japanese version. There’s a strip at the bottom of the box, and a gold foil “Edicio Especial” (“Special Edition”) sticker. It integrates pretty well with the box design, so you might not notice that it’s a sticker if you just glanced at it. There’s also a sticker on the back that has some information about the distributor and importer, etc.
This coin was given out at 2013’s Celebration Europe II to people who completed a sort of digital scavenger hunt. Clues were given via the official Celebration Europe smartphone app. It’s about the size of a silver dollar and is made of metal.
As the event was held in Germany, there was no chance that I would actually attend, so I had to play the waiting game and hope that I would be able to find the coin later. I asked around the Rebelscum forums to no effect, but one did eventually pop up on eBay. Unfortunately, it had an opening bid of $190 and a Buy-it-Now of $290… Needless to say, I passed, and that one is still up on eBay as of this writing. Luckily, another one did come up for auction, and I got it for their reserve price of $20. That’s only two of these coins (that I know of) that have appeared on eBay in over a year, so it is relatively hard to find. But this goes to show that unless something is truly rare or one-of-a-kind, it pays be patient. Of course, the other side of the coin (so to speak) is that in some cases you pass on things and end up never finding them again. Still, $200-$300 for this is just outrageous.
Warwick Davis got his start at 13 playing Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi. He was apparently just slated to be a background ewok when R2-D2 actor Kenny Baker, who was originally supposed to play Wicket, got sick. It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to be able to be in a Star Wars movie at that age. He was still young enough to be interested in the toys, as this letter he wrote to George Lucas after the product attests. He wrote, “I hope this is not too rude of me to ask you, but would it be possible for you to send me the very latest figures and walkers — I was hoping very much that there may be an ‘ewok’ or ‘Jabba the Hut’ (sic).” But despite his young appearance, he was a 13-year-old boy and probably not entirely oblivious to something like having Carrie Fisher as Slave Leia hug him.
I thought this shot of him sitting on Jabba’s tail during a visit to the Sail Barge set was adorable, and an angle of the Jabba puppet that you don’t see very often as well.
I got the ceramic figure above a few years ago (see here for more details about it). It’s one of many fan-made ceramic statues that people made in the 80s. Since they’re unlicensed and individually made, it has been difficult to find any information about them. I know that some of them were apparently made by “Windmill Ceramics” but I dot know if they were responsible for the Jabba figure. And I will say that the Jabba version is considerably less common than characters like Darth Vader or R2-D2. You can find those on eBay any day of the week, but these really don’t come up very often. When I bought this one, I thought it would be fun to collect these figures since they’re all unique and not generally that expensive, but since then I’ve only found one more (a brown one). I haven’t found any in the past 3-4 years.
That’s why I was very excited when someone kindly pointed me toward an eBay listing for what appeared to be a mold for these figures. Plus, it was only $7. :) I was pretty sure it was the mold for these figures, but when I got it in hand I had no doubt. As you can see, mine fits perfectly into the mold. I have no idea how many of these molds were made, but I can’t imagine that very many of them have survived. It’s a two-part mold made of a chalky white plaster. As you can see below, when you would actually use the mold, it would be upside-down so that the three holes are on the top, and the ceramic “slip” would be poured in there.
There aren’t any real markings on the mold except for some numbers in pencil and the letters “XJ” in the mold itself. Could the “J” stand for “Jabba?” Maybe.
The mold seems to be in pretty good shape, although the half shown below is kind of discolored. I did clean up the mold with a damp cloth, but this part didn’t want to come clean. I don’t know if it is feasible, but I’m considering trying to use the mold to make a very small run of ceramic figures. They would of course be properly marked as modern versions to avoid any confusion. We’ll see.
The SDCC-exclusive “Jabba’s Throne Room” set comes with some fairly elaborate packaging, but its design is not fantastic if you want to just display the figures in the packaging on a shelf. The two obvious options are keeping the package closed (meaning that you can’t see the figures at all) or having it open as in the shot above (which takes up way too much room for the average shelf). Some have just cut the flaps off entirely. There is another option, however. If you bend the front flap (with the rancor pit on it) under the package and the top flap (with the Star Wars logo) behind the back, you can display it fairly well. I also decided to go ahead and remove all of the plastic parts sticking up from the throne and I think it looks quite a bit better. (Although there’s still plastic covering parts of the throne’s surface that can’t be removed.)
When folded under, the bottom flap sticks out about one inch from the back, so it won’t sit flush against the back of the shelf, but that’s a lot better than the alternatives. I used some black paperclips to hold the flaps in place:
In the shot above, you can see that I’ve made a few alterations to my Slave Leia figure. This is definitely a work in progress. I replaced the fraying piece of material used for the skirt with a piece cut from the FAO Schwarz-exclusive Slave Leia’s skirt. It’s really too transparent, but I don’t think it looks bad. I also replaced the collar and chain with ones made out of metal. I just used some jewelry crafting supplies I had lying around.
Leia seems happy about the new additions, anyway! :D How are you displaying this set? Feel free to post links to photos of your own setup!
You’ve got to hand it to Topps. Trading cards themselves aren’t a new or exciting concept, but somehow they keep adding and changing enough to keep people interested. For this Return of the Jedi Widevision set, for example, the cards themselves are in a “widescreen” format and come in a “Han in Carbonite” box. Plus, the sets also include some randomly selected bonuses in the form of autograph cards, artist sketch cards, and patch cards like this. I got this card on its own from eBay since even if you buy one of the $100 sets you still only have a chance that a particular card will be included.
It’s a tribute to the original vintage trading card packs from 1983 (pictured below), with the Jabba portion represented by a patch that is integrated into the card itself. They also made the other three characters (Vader, Jedi Luke and Wicket). It’s a bit of an odd concept, but I like it.
Since I have a number of the Black Series Jabba the Hutt figures now, I thought I would try modifying one of them. The retail version of the Jabba figure has a mouth that is fairly wide open, and will open even wider when you use the action feature. But the original prototype we were shown had a mouth that was almost entirely closed. I kind of like that look, myself, so I decided to try and replicate it. It turned out to be not that difficult, but it is does involve some major Face Off-level surgery for Jabba.
First you need to remove the torso from the body, which is just a matter of pulling and twisting. I neglected to take a photo of this step, but there is a clear green plastic ring under his torso that you have to pry up (a small flathead screwdriver would work). That will allow you to peel off his skin. It’s glued in several places, but you can remove it without any damage as long as you’re careful. It fits over him like a sweater, with his arms going through the arm holes.
Here is what he looks like underneath. It’s the stuff of nightmares, really.
The head/torso is held together by three screws, indicated by the red arrows below.
It isn’t glued together, thankfully, so you can get it apart just by taking the screws out.
Now you can see the inner mechanism. There’s a lever on either side that is connected to the arms and presses on the mouth piece to make it open. There’s also a small spring inside that makes the mouth close up again.
This is a more complex figure than it might appear at first.
Enough already, Jabba! Anyway, the reason the mouth won’t close more is that there are two parts that stick up on the mouth piece (see below).
I used a rotary tool (aka a dremel) to grind these areas down, which lets the mouth close further.
However, I found that even after doing that, the mouth wouldn’t really stay tightly closed and didn’t look that different from the normal figure. So I decided to sacrifice the opening feature to achieve a more tightly closed mouth. I wedged some wadded-up paper and a rubber eraser inside under the jaw to help keep it closed. When you’re done, you can just slip the skin back on, and you don’t really have to glue it again except around the mouth to make sure it stays in position there. You can see a before and after below (well, they’re actually different figures, but you get the idea).
I’m not sure if the closed-mouth look is necessarily superior, but I do think that the open-mouth version makes Jabba look like he’s smiling. So this is a bit more serious look.