Jabba Fitted Baseball Cap by New Era
You may have noticed that I haven’t updated this blog in the last couple of weeks, and the main reason for that was that I had to go to Japan suddenly for business. I was busy pretty much from morning until night, but one positive side effect of the trip was that I was going to be in Japan just when New Era was to start selling its full range of Star Wars fitted caps. As I said when I wrote about the Jabba cap a couple of months ago, the company started out by making each cap design in size 7.5, but was due to start selling all sizes in January. I had been checking the New Era web site regularly to see when the caps would be available, and sure enough they started selling all sizes a couple of days after I arrived in Japan. Plenty of time for me to order and still have it sent to my hotel in Tokyo.
Or so I thought. Because while the other designs were available in all sizes, the Jabba cap had disappeared completely (aside from a non-clickable image on one page). I wrote the company a quick email (being a Japanese translator can come in handy in some cases) and got the bad news that they had actually canceled the Jabba model due to unspecified problems in manufacturing. They had made some of the size 7.5 Jabba caps, but wouldn’t be making the other sizes and also wouldn’t be making any more of the 7.5s. Ack! I asked them if they had any stock left at all, but never heard back. However, I did stumble upon a Japanese online store that had a single Jabba cap in stock, and as they were based in Tokyo I was able to have them send it to me before I left Japan. I don’t know how many of these got made in the end, but I think its safe to say that it’s a very limited edition.
At the moment the New Era Star Wars hats are only available in Japan, and as I said the Jabba model is pretty much not available at all, unless you happen upon a store that has one left. At around $75 (converted from yen), they’re definitely not cheap, but they are individually fitted and very well designed. Now I should probably say that I don’t intend to actually wear this hat, except maybe at a themed party or convention. And since I had to get the size 7.5, it’s rather tight on me. But I LOVE this hat. Whoever made it obviously put a lot of thought into it. Jabba’s skin has been recreated using what looks to be a synthetic snakeskin material. They then added details like his wrinkles, his nostrils, mouth, and green patches using embroidery. His eyes are also completely embroidered.
The back of the hat is dark green cloth, and they even added an embroidered version of his tattoo (which reminds me strangely of a NY Yankees logo or something in this context). Finally, they’ve printed a picture of Leia and Jabba direct from Return of the Jedi on the inside of the hat’s bill.
It’s a shame that it ended up having such a short lifespan as a product, but I’m very glad that I was able to pick one up. Jabba seems happy about it too. 😉