Bootleg Jabba the Hutt Costume (Copy of Rubies Jabba the Hutt)
I posted about the Rubies Jabba the Hutt costume all the way back in 2009, and it’s still available as the only commercial Jabba costume. But just before Halloween, I was interested to see a different kind of Jabba costume pop up on eBay from a seller in China. It was similar to the Rubies costume, but… Different. Clearly, it was some kind of Chinese knockoff. (Just in case it’s not obvious, the knockoff is on the left below…)
At first I ordered from a seller who said they had a child-sized version available. I thought it would be funny for both my son and I to dress up as hutts, but after many weeks of waiting I eventually had to get a refund. But luckily I did find the adult size from another seller. It was quite cheap — less than $20 shipped from China. Compare the two costumes and you’ll see quite a few similarities, and a number of differences.
The art on the knockoff is a lot simpler, with less detail. There are just horizontal lines going across the stomach, for example, and the face is a lot simpler as well. Somehow it reminds me of characters in some Chinese artwork I’ve seen, but maybe it’s my imagination. The actual Rubies costume has mesh in both the nostrils and the entire mouth, which give you a bit of visibility. The knockoff only has a small square cut out of the mouth area that’s covered in mesh, making it very difficult to see. They both use nearly identical little orange fans connected to battery boxes by a wire to help inflate the suit, and the knockoff actually seemed to inflate a lot better. Maybe it’s because the fit is tighter at your wrists and ankles. In fact the entire suit on the knockoff is noticeably smaller. It’s still big enough for a relatively big guy like me to wear it, but more difficult to put on and walk around in. Certainly the actual Rubies costume is nicer, but neither one is a great costume by any means.
I wish there was a better quality costume available — one that was more like the Jabba from Return of the Jedi — but of course it is a rather challenging character to make a costume for. In any case, I thought it was pretty cool to find a knockoff item like this.