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Unproduced Prototype Gemmy Airblown Inflatable Jabba the Hutt with Christmas Present

April 8, 2018

gemmy_jabba_prototype3I was surprised when this popped up on eBay the other day. I have a number of inflatable Jabba figures at this point. The first was the Morbid Industries Jabba, which is the largest and was widely billed as being “life size,” although that is debatable. All of the other ones are from Gemmy and are variations on the same design you see above. There’s the larger Canadian-exclusive Jabba figure holding a Jack o’lantern, and also a much smaller version not holding anything, which was sold at Walmart stores in the US.

gemmy_jabba_prototype1

This prototype is sort of a combination of those two figures. It’s the smaller size of the Walmart version (maybe 3″ tall by 5″ wide), but has him holding something like the Canadian version. But of course in this case he’s holding a Christmas present instead of a Jack o’lantern. I don’t have any information about how this was used or how it ended up for sale. The seller had quite a number of prototype Gemmy figures for sale (although this was the only Jabba), and said they just bought them as a lot on pallets. Either way, I was really happy to get this for a very reasonable price.

gemmy_jabba_prototype7

If you look closely, you’ll see that all of the details on the face, arm (tattoo) and Christmas present are hand-painted, although with the exception of the tattoo they match up very closely with the details on the retail versions.

gemmy_jabba_prototype5

As far as I know, this version never went into production. In fact, all of the other inflatable figures I have were marketed as Halloween decorations, rather than for Christmas, which I find interesting. They have made a number of Christmas decorations of other Star Wars characters, but maybe they thought Jabba wasn’t quite festive enough. Personally, I think adding a Santa hat to Jabba would have been a good idea.

gemmy_jabba_prototype6

A little Googling shows that there are actually some people who collect Gemmy prototypes, so I guess it’s not too unusual for them to sold in this way. If anyone knows anything about how these were used in the production process, I’d be interested to know.

gemmy_jabba_prototype2

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