Jabba’s Palace and Droids Snapback Cap by New Era
One of my favorite pieces in my collection is my New Era Jabba the Hutt fitted cap. That’s partially because it’s quirky and funny, but mostly because that particular model got cancelled, making it quite rare. I happened to be in Tokyo on business at just the right time to get one of the few that were released to retail, and that memory makes it seem more special somehow.
This cap is also from New Era, but in most other ways it’s very different from the Jabba cap. It’s a snapback hat with an adjustable plastic band in the back, rather than being a fitted cap that comes in a particular size, like the Jabba hat. While the Jabba hat came from Japan, this one was apparently sold in the US at Hot Topic stores. (I was not successful in finding any information about the hat online and had never seen it before it cropped up on eBay, so this is just a guess based on what I have heard. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has any info.)
The background is the famous concept art of Jabba’s Palace by Ralph McQuarrie that you can see above, but in black & white. I guess they did that to make the embroidered patches of R2 and C-3PO stand out more, but it just doesn’t look that great to me. The patches themselves are not fantastic, and it seems odd to have the droids there in the middle when you can also see them at the far left of the image of the palace. They also managed to mess up the palace itself a bit by having the seams not match exactly in the center.
There’s a rebel symbol patch on the right side and a New Era logo patch on the left. Overall I find the design of this one to be uninspired. Still, I thought it made an interesting companion to the Jabba hat (see below). Even though I never wear hats, I’ve managed to accumulate quite a number of Jabba-related ones over the years. They just keep cropping up.