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British Jabba the Hutt Mouse Mat by Mousepads, Co.

March 19, 2011

This mousepad was only sold in Britain as part of a series of Star Wars mousepads released in 1997. It has a lenticular design that’s used to create a slight 3D effect. The plastic part with the design is backed with black foam that’s about 1cm thick. So far, this is the only mousepad featuring Jabba that I’ve found, aside from one from the same series that features Han Solo and Jabba from A New Hope (don’t have that one yet).

In recent years it’s become possible to make things like mousepads on-demand, allowing people to use any image they like. While some companies may not let you use copyrighted images, others don’t seem to care, and there are even places like Zazzle.com that have a selection of licensed Star Wars photos that you can choose from to make any number of different products. While they can be a lot of fun to make and own, I don’t consider this kind of product to be part of the scope of my collection.

One reason for this is a practical one. When you consider all of the photos that you can apply to various products, Zazzle alone has a nearly infinite number of combinations you can make. It’s simply impossible to collect them all. But beyond that, part of what I like about collecting various products is the backstory that went into creating them. What audience were they targeting? Why did they choose the design they used? How were the products used, and by whom? Were they successful? These kinds of questions are a big part of what makes something like Jabba the Hutt tube socks or wristwatches interesting to me, and custom-made items have none of that. While I’m sure I could find a company that could print up something similar for me, it wouldn’t be the same.

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