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Link: Custom Bib Fortuna Life-Size Bust by Regal Robot (Based on Ralph McQuarrie Concept Artwork)

March 2, 2020

Tom Spina from Regal Robot just told me about a custom project that they worked on recently that might be of interest to Jabba fans. There were a number of different concepts created for the character of Bib Fortuna before they settled on the one we know and love, including the one below by Ralph McQuarrie. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I had ever even seen this drawing before, but it does remind me of a lot of the alien species we saw on the sail barge in particular. It’s kind of interesting how his collar kind of evokes the head tentacles we got in the final design.

Anyway, someone apparently liked the concept drawing well enough to commission a life-size bust of it, which is pretty awesome. Regal Robot is in the unique position of being able to make custom pieces of artwork and furniture that are actually officially licensed by Lucasfilm, which I find fascinating. From what Tom has told me, Lucasfilm is in fact involved in the process and will provide feedback and so forth about the direction to take. I’m sure it’s not cheap, but it would be a very cool experience for a diehard Star Wars collector (not that I know any of those…)

They apparently had an artist work up some more drawings based on the original sketch, showing how he might look from different angles and with some other accessories.

Then they sculpted and painted the piece and cast it in a translucent flesh-toned resin (which really helps improve the sense of realism).

Finally, it was painted and finishing touches like the flocked hat and pedestal were added.

Below you can see it in the client’s home, next to a bust of Chewbacca. Very impressive stuff.

Check out the Custom Busts and Statues page on Regal Robot’s site for more information about this project and others.

Jabba’s Dais Gargoyle Towel Ring by Regal Robot

March 1, 2020

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Late last year I posted about the Jabba’s Dais Gargoyle towel holder and door knocker from Regal Robot. I bought the towel holder, but never got around to actually making a post about it, so here it is. These were both based on the Jabba’s Dais Gargoyle magnet that was released as a 2019 Celebration exclusive.

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The towel holder is essentially a giant version of the magnet, although the ring has been made even larger in proportion to the head so that you can easily put a towel through it. The head part is painted resin, while the ring is metal.

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The whole thing has a nice weight to it and definitely looks like it would be a fantastic addition to any Star Wars-themed bathroom. I haven’t installed mine anywhere yet, since I’m not sure where it would go (as understanding as she is, my wife would probably draw the line at putting this in our main bathroom, and I’m not sure I trust my kids not to mess it up). But this is too cool not to put it into service somehow. It has mounting holes in the back and comes with the hardware necessary to put it up on a wall.

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For the photo below, I used a custom printed “satin bandana scarf” that I got a couple of years ago from a Chinese site that does custom printing on all kinds of items, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. The photo on the scarf is one I took myself (it’s the same Jabba action figure that I use as the site’s mascot).

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Jabba the Hutt with Two-Head Announcer Figure (Japanese version)

January 24, 2020

I wouldn’t say this is my favorite version of a Jabba toy — far from it, really. But I have managed to accumulate a lot of stuff related to it. In addition to the normal American release, I also have the multi-lingual European release, a preproduction “Kenner Standard” version, and a lot of preproduction documents from Kenner about the set’s production. But I never had the Japanese version until now, so I was excited to see it pop up on Yahoo Actions Japan. Like the Japanese version of the POTF2 Jabba figure, this is really just the American version with a sticker on the back, but it’s still cool to see.

There’s nothing too interesting in the Japanese text. Most of it is the usual safety warnings, although it does include instructions about how to use the water-squirting and chuba-spitting features. I also find it interesting that they used the English word “with” twice: “Star Wars Episode 1 Creature with Figure” and “Jabba the Hutt with Announcer.”

What I would really like to know is if the original vintage Jabba the Hutt Action Playset ever had a Japanese version like this. So far I haven’t found even any photos of one.

 

Jabba the Hutt “Happy Kuji” Lucky Draw Prize from Japan

January 20, 2020

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“Lucky draws” (kuji) have been around for quite a while in Japan, and while the details may differ the main idea is the same. You buy a ticket and you win something. I think many if not all of them guarantee you some sort of prize, but of course the better prizes are harder to win. Interestingly they have entire stores in the electronics districts of Osaka and Tokyo that sell leftover prizes from these.

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“Happy Kuji” appears to have prizes from all sorts of popular franchises, including Disney, Marvel and Star Wars (which are all the same thing now, really). Looking at the Star Wars section of the website shows that the prizes range from a badge/button for last place, up to posters, Bearbrick figures, and finally the larger prizes. These include individual figures like this one I’m posting about today, as well as some “pair figures” that include two in one box.

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These figures aren’t fantastic but they are certainly competently done. I haven’t seen the others in person, but at least on the Jabba, the paint is pretty good. They did get his arm tattoo, which one thing I always like to check for, and the eyes look cool as well, even if the entire thing is the “wrong” color from my point of view (not the orangey color we know from Return of the Jedi). But I guess this is the official coloration for Jabba now, so that can’t be helped. Similarly, Jabba officially has three fingers and a thumb now (despite having more alien-looking hands in Return of the Jedi) and this is also reflected in the sculpt. It’s a nice size — the Jabba is a fairly hefty chunk of plastic. I’m not sure if all of them are unique sculpts, but the Jabba does appear to be, which is nice to see.

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They also included Jabba as one of the “pair figures” I mentioned earlier, along with Boba Fett. But since both of the figures are the same ones as in the single packs, I am not going to go to a lot of trouble to try and track that version down.

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New Jabba-Related Items From Regal Robot (Plus 20% off for Black Friday!)

November 29, 2019

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I’ve posted before about Regal Robot’s Jabba’s Dais Gargoyle magnet, which was a 2019 Celebration exclusive. That seems to have been pretty successful for them, and now they have adapted the design to some larger items. Namely, a towel holder and a door knocker. These seem like a perfect fit for the gargoyle design, and I’m excited that someone finally made something like this. The towel holder is made of resin and metal (I’m assuming the ring is metal and the head is resin) and retails for $74.99.

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The door knocker is made entirely of metal, which is impressive.

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It looks like the neck portion has been cut off so that it doesn’t stick out quite as much, which makes sense if you’re going to use it as a door knocker. This one retails for $119.99. Both of these are still in production, but are supposed to arrive before Christmas.

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One other item that caught my eye was this mini Mythosaur skull from The Mandalorian.

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This is a resin sculpture with a faux metal look and retails for $39. (By the way, can we talk about how awesome The Manalorian has been so far? I am really liking it, and it’s helping me get excited about Star Wars again after some disappointments with the recent films.)

Regal Robot is also giving 20% off Star Wars decor items for Black Friday with the coupon HOLIDAY19, so now would be the perfect chance to order one of these. The code is valid through this Monday (December 2nd).

3D Printed Jabba on Throne Statue (STLs from Zsculptors.com)

September 30, 2019

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If you’ve seen my YouTube channel, you will know that I have made quite a number of videos about 3D printing. In fact, I had originally intended to make this a video review, but I’ve been finding it very difficult to make the time to work on videos. So for the moment I am going to write it up here on the site. There haven’t been many high-quality 3D models of Jabba. In fact, when I made my life-size 3D printed Jabba statue, I had to commission a model myself (which is freely available for people to download and print on their own). But even my Jabba was just the character by himself — if you wanted to make a complete throne room display, you were basically out of luck.

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That’s why I was so excited to see that Zsculptors.com (a site that sells 3D models for people to print on their own) was selling files to print a complete Jabba diorama. I immediately got in contact with them to see if they would be willing to provide the files to me for review, and they kindly did just that. So for the record, I did not pay for these files, and they do cost a fair amount of money — $45. But after working with these in detail, I can definitely say that they are worth the money, assuming you are interested in printing a full Jabba diorama like this. The models are also available individually if you so desire, but I imagine most people would want the whole set.

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These files have been created with enough detail to allow you to print them at quite a large size — similar to the 1/6 scale Jabba the Hutt statue from Sideshow Collectibles. I was initially going to do this, and may still do so at some point, but a lack of time as well as a rather critical lack of space for large collectibles like this made me decide to print it at a scaled down size. Also, Gearbest.com had just offered to send me an Alfawise W10 Resin Printer [affiliate link], so the timing seemed perfect.

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This was quite a learning experience for me, since I don’t know a lot about resin 3D printing. The optimal ways to position the models and add support materials are quite different from traditional FDM 3D printing, since the models are printed upside down, and of course the printing technology itself is also completely different. But after a few failures and problems, I mostly got the hang of it. Below you can see an ogre model from Artisan Guild that I printed on the W10.

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This isn’t a review of this printer, and I did have a few issues like some weird banding on some flat surfaces, but it obviously worked well enough to print these and other models, so I’ll have to say that low-cost resin printers are definitely viable. However, they can also be dangerous if used incorrectly, since they use potentially toxic chemicals. If you are thinking of getting one, do your homework about what is involved.

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I ended up printing the Jabba models at 30% the original size. The original models have pins that allow you to slot the pieces together, but when you resize something so drastically, the tolerances (spaces between the parts) also shrink, and in this case it meant that the pins wouldn’t fit. So I just cut most of them off. I also had some other minor issues with fitment that I’m sure were a result of the resin printing process not going perfectly (such as the large space between the tail and the body you can see below). I also ended up breaking off the hookah pipe because it was so small, so I just left it off.

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I filled in some of these gaps with some Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty, and then sanded them smooth with the surface of the model.

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Resin printers are capable of recreating minute details at very small sizes, but this is a little difficult to see in the photo above because I printed using white resin. So I decided to prime the models using a gray primer, just to help bring out some of that detail (except for the very smallest pieces since I was afraid the force of the spray paint would send them flying!).

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I did print just the Jabba model at full size on my Creality CR-10 S4 printer, and it turned out well (although I did break off the hookah on that one as well, so that may be something that could use reinforcing). Here you can see the two together to give you an idea of the difference in size. It is made up of 4 pieces: the tail, the body (and one arm), the head, and the other arm.

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Painting these models was a bit of a challenge. They are very small. Admittedly, I used to paint even smaller models when I was playing Warhammer and other miniatures-based games, but that was many years ago and my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be.

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I just used some cheap acrylic paints from Michaels for this, and they definitely aren’t as nice as the Citadel paints I used to use, but those are quite expensive these days and I probably don’t do enough painting to justify it.

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Below is my new apple (Jabba model for scale).

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I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The faces of Leia and Bib Fortuna are a bit of a weak point since they are just so small, but as an overall piece I think it looks great. The idea that I was able to print something like this in my home using files I downloaded off of the internet really does seem futuristic.

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I decided to try printing the hookah pipe dome and frog bowl in transparent resin. I don’t really have the settings correct for this yet, but I think they turned out well enough to use, and it looks way better than trying to paint them. By the way, the ornamental piece on the top of the dome was printed separately, and is insanely small!

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Here are a few more shots of the finished piece.

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As I said above, I think this is an excellent collection of models. I love all of the little accessories they’ve included, like the mug and plate of food. My only real criticisms would be that the throne seems too thin — it should probably be at least twice as thick. You could of course alter the thickness before printing the model, but then the holes for the gargoyle heads will end up distorted.

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Also, Jabba from Return of the Jedi should only have 3 fingers and no thumb, but their model has three fingers plus a thumb. I removed the thumbs for my model. Finally, it would be nice to see Jabba have his arm tattoo added. If you want to pick up a set of these models, you can get them on the Zsculptors.com website.

Mighty Jabba’s Collection is 10 Years Old Today

September 15, 2019

I started this blog ten years ago as a way to catalog my fledgling collection of Jabba the Hutt-related merchandise. This website (and later my YouTube and Instagram accounts) has been a creative outlet for me in various ways, but probably also encouraged me to spend more than I really should have. Still, it’s been a fun ride, and I’m not going to be stopping any time soon.

That said, at this point there is very little in the way of Jabba merchandise that I don’t have in my collection, and there isn’t a huge amount of new stuff coming out either. And as I’ve grown busier at work, I have less and less time to devote to this. Making YouTube videos and doing large projects in particular has been difficult. So I’m not sure how much I will be able to do in the near future. I have been posting photos to Instagram relatively frequently since it’s not too time-consuming, so you might consider subscribing over there if you’re interested in the latest goings-on at the palace. In any case, I thank you all for reading and watching, and I hope I will be able to continue for the next 10 years and beyond.