Skip to content

Now on YouTube: Jabba’s Sail Barge Bonanza

May 4, 2018

In honor of May the Fourth, I thought I would make a video introducing all of the Sail Barge-related items in my collection. (I focused on things that were just related to the barge, and not products that just happened to have the barge on them.)

Advertisements

Upcoming: Jumbo Kenner Bib Fortuna Figure and Amanaman Mini-Bust Appearing as Gentle Giant’s 2018 PGM Gifts

May 1, 2018

I’ve talked about Gentle Giant’s PGM program a number of times in the past, but in a nutshell you pay a certain amount for a year’s membership, which then entitles you to a certain number of “free” rewards (depending on the tier you select), as well as access to some exclusives, and some discounts on other products you might purchase during the year. If you’re interested in Gentle Giant’s stuff, it’s usually not a bad deal, since even if you’re not interested in any of the things that they have as rewards, you can pretty usually easily get your money back by selling them on the secondary market, while still enjoying the discounts, coupons and other exclusives available to members. They’ve changed the way the program works a couple of times, but basically you choose Platinum, Gold or Silver membership, and get the rewards mentioned below.

Last year, I wasn’t super into the available choices, but I did end up joining largely to get access to the Bib Fortuna mini-bust. It’s a different story this year, though, since they have not one but two Jabba’s palace characters available as rewards. (There is also a Spacetrooper mini-bust, Cloud City Leia mini-bust, and Darth Maul statue available as choices.) The first is the Jumbo version of the vintage Kenner Bib Fortuna figure, which should go well with the other jumbos they have released up until now. However, it just makes me wonder what happened with the Jumbo Jabba the Hutt figure even more. I checked back through some of my previous posts, and they first mentioned it in 2014, and I said that it was slated for 2015! Obviously that didn’t happen, and Gentle Giant has largely kept silent about it since then. If it’s not canceled, releasing this Bib Fortuna figure seems like a bit of an odd choice, since it would be a perfect companion to a Jumbo Jabba.

The Amanaman bust is an interesting one because Gentle Giant recently did a survey of PGM members to see which character they would like made into a mini-bust. The choices were Amanaman, Ahsoka Tano, Count Dooku, Doctor Aphra and Ponda Baba. It ended up that Ahsoka took the lion’s share of the votes, at 53.95%, with Amanaman coming in a distant second at 17.57%. I was pretty disappointed in that result, since I have no interest in an Ahsoka bust, but would really like an Amanaman to help fill out my display of Jabba’s Palace mini-busts. I don’t know if they had always planned to make the second-place bust, or maybe they thought Amanaman would do better in the survey than he did (it’s interesting that they already have an in-progress digital sculpt of him, but haven’t shown anything of the Ahsoka bust as far as I know). But either way, I’m just happy that we are getting him in bust form after all.

If you’re interested in signing up, you should be able to do so starting today on the Gentle Giant site, although as of this writing I don’t think it is available yet.

I’m 3D Printing a Life-Size Jabba the Hutt

April 30, 2018

The model I am printing

I realized recently that I’ve never posted about this project in my website, even though it’s been taking up a lot of my time and energy on my YouTube channel for the last few months. Not everyone who reads the site is a subscriber to my channel, and having a blog post can sometimes help attract attention to something in ways that just a YouTube video can’t, so I thought I would talk about it a bit here.

I started incorporating 3D printing into my YouTube channel a little over two years ago, starting with a print of the Jabba from the Disney Infinity video game, and working my way through a number of projects, including recreating vintage unlicensed ceramic figures, making life size versions of vintage Kenner action figure weapons like Han’s blaster, a stormtrooper blaster, or Luke saber, and trying to make my own version of the Jabba cookie originally released by Pepperidge Farm in 1983. There’s now quite a playlist of 3D printing-related videos if you’re interested.

Creality CR-10 S4 3D printer

I have also been reviewing 3D printers on my channel for a while, and that has allowed me to build up an arsenal of large printers, such as the Creality CR-10 S4 and S5 that I am using for this project. This got me thinking about what I could use them for, and eventually I hit upon the idea of making a series of videos about printing a life-size Jabba the Hutt. The first step was to find a decent 3D model of Jabba, since the ones commonly available for download weren’t very good, and were definitely not suitable for printing at life size. So I ended up reaching out to Josh Smith at Beast Toys. Josh does 3D modeling on commission and was able to create a very respectable Jabba model, with some input from me. I did a test print at roughly 1/6 scale, which you can see below, and I think it turned out quite well.

My new banana. 3D printed Jabba for scale

However, printing this at life size would be a different matter. I would of course need to split up the model into many pieces, and it seemed to me that the best idea would be to hollow it out and just print a shell that I would glue together. I figured this would dramatically decrease the time and filament required, although it would still be a huge undertaking. I ended up with around 70 sections, most of which were fairly large and would each take 15-24 hours to print.

The model cut up into printable sections.

Here’s one section getting printed on the Creality CR-10 S4.

Printing part of Jabba’s face

After printing the first few sections and gluing them together I was left with the front half of Jabba’s head, which looked surprisingly good and made me pretty optimistic that the approach I was using was going to work. I had scaled the model based on my life size bust of Jabba the Hutt, which was taken from an unused latex face mold from Return of the Jedi. (The Gamorrean Guard head I’m wearing is a life-size bust that I printed. It’s not really a mask since there are no eye holes.)

Just chillin’ with my homie Jabba

However, I did notice after making some more progress that the proportions of the 3D model were off — the head and arms were a bit too big relative to the rest of the body. So that means that while the head/arms/torso of my version will be life size, the tail is going to be shorter than it should be. I should have noticed this during the design phase, but I was too focused on getting the details of the face right. But even with a stubby tail, he’s going to be roughly 6′ tall by 10′ long, and even as a hollow shell, it would take hundreds of dollars worth of filament. It occurred to me that a filament maker might be interested in sponsoring this project, so I got in touch with MakerGeeks, which is a US-based filament company whose filament I use pretty frequently. They were quite interested and agreed to send along some filament for me to start printing the rest of Jabba. They even gave my viewers/readers a coupon code “JABBA” that can be used to get 15% off.

With the second layer done.

As you can see below, I now I have much of the statue finished, although the bottom layer will undoubtedly take the longest to print. For the most part, things have gone well. I encourage you to check out the Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 videos if you’re interested in the details. I do plan on painting and finishing this later, but that will probably take a while. I will be releasing the 3D model for free once I have finished the printing part of the project, so if you want a good Jabba model to print at any size from action figure to life size, this will be a good option.

My 3D-printed Jabba the Hutt statue in progress. He’s roughly 3/4 finished.

Upcoming: Sarlacc Themed Table by Regal Robot

April 23, 2018

The name Tom Spina should be familiar to many collectors of Star Wars statues and props, as his studio Tom Spina Designs not only did things like creating the prototype for Sideshow Collectibles’ Figrin D’an life size bust, but also made the Han in Carbonite coffee table that got quite a bit of attention online a few years ago. They also made a stand for the purpose of displaying the latex Jabba the Hutt face casting that my life size Jabba the Hutt plaque was based on. And they’ve done a lot more than that, as a stroll through their portfolio will show you.

Tom recently got in touch with me to tell me that his second studio, Regal Robot, is working on a new project — a Sarlacc-themed table. Right now it’s just a concept and they are waiting on someone to commission one before they build it. I don’t know how much that would cost, but since the Han in Carbonite table apparently goes for $7,499, I doubt it will be cheap. But if you’re looking for something to fill that Sarlacc-table-shaped hole in your life, this is your lucky day! The interesting thing to me about all of this is that they are officially licensed by Lucasfilm to make these things, so someone who commissions one of these will have one of a VERY small number of officially licensed products. And if you have an idea for something else, they even make completely custom creations for people.

You can contact Tom through his website, or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Unproduced Prototype Gemmy Airblown Inflatable Jabba the Hutt with Christmas Present

April 8, 2018

gemmy_jabba_prototype3I was surprised when this popped up on eBay the other day. I have a number of inflatable Jabba figures at this point. The first was the Morbid Industries Jabba, which is the largest and was widely billed as being “life size,” although that is debatable. All of the other ones are from Gemmy and are variations on the same design you see above. There’s the larger Canadian-exclusive Jabba figure holding a Jack o’lantern, and also a much smaller version not holding anything, which was sold at Walmart stores in the US.

gemmy_jabba_prototype1

This prototype is sort of a combination of those two figures. It’s the smaller size of the Walmart version (maybe 3″ tall by 5″ wide), but has him holding something like the Canadian version. But of course in this case he’s holding a Christmas present instead of a Jack o’lantern. I don’t have any information about how this was used or how it ended up for sale. The seller had quite a number of prototype Gemmy figures for sale (although this was the only Jabba), and said they just bought them as a lot on pallets. Either way, I was really happy to get this for a very reasonable price.

gemmy_jabba_prototype7

If you look closely, you’ll see that all of the details on the face, arm (tattoo) and Christmas present are hand-painted, although with the exception of the tattoo they match up very closely with the details on the retail versions.

gemmy_jabba_prototype5

As far as I know, this version never went into production. In fact, all of the other inflatable figures I have were marketed as Halloween decorations, rather than for Christmas, which I find interesting. They have made a number of Christmas decorations of other Star Wars characters, but maybe they thought Jabba wasn’t quite festive enough. Personally, I think adding a Santa hat to Jabba would have been a good idea.

gemmy_jabba_prototype6

A little Googling shows that there are actually some people who collect Gemmy prototypes, so I guess it’s not too unusual for them to sold in this way. If anyone knows anything about how these were used in the production process, I’d be interested to know.

gemmy_jabba_prototype2

Real Silver and Gold Jabba the Hutt Coins by the New Zealand Mint

March 19, 2018

I posted about the New Zealand Mint back in 2015. Back then, I was talking about their gold- and silver-plated coins with Jabba on them. Since they incorporate some kind of color printing or decal into the coin, they don’t quite look like proper coins, but they weren’t super expensive either, although I did have to wait a while to find an acceptable deal on the gold version.

nzm_jabba_coins3

It seems they are stepping up their game a bit, since they have now released 3 high-end coins in silver and gold, all implausibly featuring Jabba the Hutt. The first is the 1oz silver coin pictured below. They all come in a nice looking presentation box, and are proper engraved coins, unlike the previous releases.

This retails for $85 on the company’s website and is limited to 10,000 pieces. (As of this writing, silver costs about $17.50 per oz).


Next we have a 1/4 oz gold coin. It also comes with a nice wood (?) display case. It retails for $600 on the website and is limited to 1,000 pieces.

nzm_jabba_coins6.jpg

Gold is currently at roughly $1,300 per oz, so that’s $325 worth of gold and $275 worth of Jabba, I guess.


Finally, there is a 1oz gold coin that retails for $2,500 (!) on the website and is limited to 500 pieces. So you’re paying a $1,200 premium over and above the cost of the gold.

This one uses the same design as the silver coin, showing more of Jabba’s body. It’s not clear just looking at the pictures what the difference between the 1/4 and 1 oz coins is. In fact, the 1 oz version below looks like it might be smaller than the 1/4 oz version above. But looking at the technical specs shows that the 1/4 oz one is 22mm in diameter, while the 1 oz one is 32mm. Maybe the 1 oz is also thicker?

nzm_jabba_coins9.jpg

In any case, it’s not often that I introduce items here that I have no intention of buying, but barring a donation from a generous and wealthy fan, there is no way I’m getting the gold versions of these coins. I might consider the silver version, but even then I would have to find a good deal.

I really do wonder if there are 500 people in the world willing to pay $2,500 for a coin like this, but basically I guess it all depends on how much overlap there is between coin collectors and Star Wars fans.

Video Rundown of Upcoming Jabba Merchandise (Hasbro Sail Barge, Sideshow Jabba and More!)

March 9, 2018