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Vintage Unlicensed Jabba the Hutt Pillow/Plush

April 3, 2015

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Things have been a little slow recently when it comes to Jabba collecting. I’ve picked up a few items here and there, but there hasn’t been that much new stuff coming out. I attribute this partially to the new Star Wars film coming out later this year. A lot of manufacturers seem to be saving up for a big push to coincide with that release. I don’t know if there will be any hutts in the film, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something Jabba-related came out around then just because of the renewed interest in Star Wars. In the meantime, I have been able to check a couple of items off of my long-term want list. One item was a pair of Jabba the Hutt pajamas by Wilker Bros. The item I’m posting about today was another.

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I first heard about this pillow about 5 years when I stumbled upon a listing for one on an online collectibles store. I tried buying it but after a long time they were unable to locate it. (They also still haven’t removed it from their website, so if you happen to stumble upon it, it’s not actually available.) The next time I saw one for sale was on an eBay auction a year or two ago. Unfortunately I was outbid on that when it went quite a bit higher than I was expecting. So as you can imagine, when a dealer I know acquired one last month, I didn’t hesitate to buy it.

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It’s usually referred to as a pillow or a throw pillow, but because it’s in the shape of Jabba, I think it qualifies as a plush. From what I can tell, it dates from 1983, which would make this the first Jabba the Hutt plush by a considerable margin. It’s made of a fuzzy fabric sewn over some sort of foam rubber and stands roughly 13 or 14 inches tall, making it rather large if you think of it as a plush. The design is interesting. Jabba looks sad, or possibly bored. They also saw fit to give him a bellybutton. I think it’s also interesting that they went for a brownish color scheme — probably influenced by the vintage Jabba the Hutt figure. There are no copyright notices anywhere, or even any tags on the pillow itself. There is a cardboard tag, which you can see below. The Star Wars Collector’s Archive just lists the manufacturer as “unlicensed” so I really don’t know who made it.

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For some reason in the illustration, Jabba’s tail is facing the opposite direction. It also looks quite a bit more cartoony than the actual design.

One reason these pillows are so rare is that they have not held up well over time. Both the outer material and inner foam rubber are deteriorating even on this example, which came from a collector and was never played with. You can see that the outer material is sort of starting to rot away. I think if you handled it very roughly at all it would soon start to fall apart. Still, I’m very happy to add this unusual item to my collection.

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