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Vintage Italian Ad Featuring Jabba’s Palace Store Display

January 27, 2012

I picked up this vintage Italian ad from an ebay seller recently after being tipped off by a friend of the site. I think it was originally in a comic book or something similar (it’s about 5 x 7 in size, and on the back is an ad for Barbie dolls). The image on the auction was small, so I couldn’t make out much of the text (plus it was in Italian, which I don’t speak at all), but I could tell that the picture was of a cardboard store display that I saw listed on the Star Wars Collector’s Archive. Take a minute to look at that page.

This display is very interesting, since not much is known about it. It was apparently used in stores in Italy around 1983 or 1984. It’s pretty similar in concept to the Power of the Force 3D Jabba’s Palace diorama, although considerably bigger. When I got the ad in hand, it was obvious that the display was actually a bit different than the one on theswca — there was text about a Rancor Keeper figure giveaway across the top (similar to the one on this Palitoy flyer), as well as a mention of some sort of contest where you can win 61 figures. I’ve been told that the display on theswca may be the only one known to exist in a collection, so finding a photo of this different version is pretty interesting.

I’d love to have one of these displays, but it might be a little tricky to find. If you know where I can get one, please let me know! 🙂

According to Google Translate (with a little editing by me), the text of the ad reads something like this. If you can improve on the translation, by all means leave a comment.

(Text at the top)
A GIFT FOR YOU
ANSWER YOU KNOW (?)

(Text on the display itself)
If you buy 5 figures, get a RANCOR KEEPER as a gift.
And also you can win the 61 stars of Star Wars.
Details through TOPOLINO (Magazine) or at this store.

(Text at the bottom)
THE HEROES OF STAR WARS
To relive the emotions of the most famous space movies, use the great characters of Star Wars distributed by General Mills. The packages to play Star Wars can be found for sale in the best toy stores, department stores, and toy departments. You can, however, also win while attending if you know answer!

EDIT: Someone on the Rebelscum forums posted this picture of the display from the SWCA, taken at the auction where it was sold. I’m not sure exactly what it went for, but the bidding started at $5,000. Ouch!

If you’ll compare the two versions, you can see that there are several differences aside from the text about the Rancor Keeper offer at the top. In the ad, there’s no rancor pit in front of Jabba’s throne and the floor is completely different. And while the walls are similar, the pattern doesn’t match up between the two versions. That’s pretty interesting. I would’ve expected them to match up more closely. Maybe the one in the ad was a prototype.

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