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Vintage Lucasfilm Jabba the Hutt Licensing Slick

February 19, 2018

jabba_licensing_slick_small

This licensing slick (so named because it is printed on somewhat glossy paper, similar to an advertising slick) was given to Lucasfilm licensees to supply them with officially approved line art and to ensure that they would use the correct colors on their products. It is in black & white as you can see, but it specifies Pantone colors for the various parts of the characters, and for most of the characters (but not Jabba) they also included the character’s height so licensees could scale them appropriately.

I’ve written at length about the issue of Jabba’s coloration (see here, here and especially here), so I was very interested when a bunch of these licensing slicks recently popped up on eBay.  I have collected images of all of the ones that were available into a PDF which can be downloaded here, but the Jabba one is the only one I actually own. In some sense, it gives the definitive answer of what color Jabba should be — at least in the context of vintage merchandise. Here are the Pantone color numbers they specify, along with the actual colors they correspond to.

jabba_colors

The coloration isn’t too far off what we might expect, but there are some interesting things to note. Under “Skin Shades” they list the colors 457U, 142U and 371U. But under that, it says that if you can only use one color you should choose 124U.

jabba_licensing_slick_excerpt

It seems possible to me that either 124U or 142U is a typo, since they have one number inverted, and it seems odd that the color they say you should use if you can only choose one color isn’t one of the main colors listed under “skin shades.” At the very least, this seems likely to have caused some confusion among licensees.

If you look through some of the vintage items on my site, you’ll see that this line art or variations of it was extremely common on licensed products. I’m not going to try and find every instance of it, but just looking for a few minutes yielded many examples. In fact, it’s more unusual for a Jabba-related vintage product to not use this artwork. I do wonder about some of the embellishments and changes. Were these all done by the licensees? You can also see that many of them didn’t pay too close attention to the rules about Jabba’s coloration — Topps for example made their Jabba pine green.

vintage_jabba_art_collage

I was excited to get this piece because it’s so central to many of the items that I remember as a kid. The same seller had a lot of items related to the watch company Bradley Time, including concept art for some of their watches and unused watch face stickers, so it’s possible that these slicks came from there, in which case it would have served as the basis for these watches (although again Jabba is green…)

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