Mexican Rubber Bootlegs of the Vintage Kenner Jabba the Hutt and Gamorrean Guard Figures
I’ve posted about Mexican bootlegs of Kenner figures before. These kinds of bootlegs are a whole subset of vintage Star Wars collecting, and are usually extremely crappy — but that’s their appeal. Finding the worst paint jobs and color combinations is kind of the point. Most of the Mexican bootlegs I’ve seen are of this variety — made of plastic with limited or no articulation and sloppy paint jobs. But there’s another type that I talked about when I posted about my rubber Max Rebo bootleg. I suppose they’re another rung down the ladder in terms of quality since they’re just made of rubber (more like silicone, actually) and typically have no paint on them at all.
I’ve seen a fair number of these made of regular Kenner figures, but I had never seen a Jabba before. I had always figured that this was because the vintage Jabba figure was both too big and too common to make bootlegging worthwhile. But three of these cropped up on eBay a while ago. There were three colors: green, red and black. (For informational purposes, I’m posting photos of the colors I don’t have, taken from the eBay listing.) These weren’t cheap, actually (significantly more than an actual vintage Jabba, although not terrible) so I didn’t try to get all three colors. Instead, I went for the black one since it’s rather unusual.
Unlike the others, which are just blocks of solid rubber, this Jabba is squishy and filled partially with air. It looks like it was actually made in pieces and glued together, similar to the way the actual vintage Jabba was assembled. Despite its rather rough appearance, such as the very visible mold line right down the middle of the face, this must have taken some time and effort to produce.
The Gamorrean is like the Max Rebo figure I mentioned earlier, in that it’s just solid rubber, but it is different in that they used a separate color for the head. I’m not sure how they achieved this, since it looks like there’s red rubber under the black. They’re not separate pieces as far as I can tell.
With this kind of thing it’s always difficult to tell when they were made. I am assuming that these are modern bootlegs — perhaps even made for the express purpose of selling on eBay — rather than vintage era toys that kids might have actually played with. But it’s impossible to know for sure. I find them rather fascinating. Especially the Jabba, since it’s relatively intricate.