Conceptual Prototype for Unproduced Lando Calrissian Doll: The four 12" dolls planned, but not released, for Kenner's ESB line of products are among the most notorious of all unproduced Star Wars toys. The four, which were to include Luke in his Bespin fatigues, Han in his Hoth outfit, Princess Leia in her Bespin gown and Lando Calrissian, made it far enough along in the production process to have boxes printed for them. Little else exists, however, to prove that these dolls were in development--they weren't even featured in any Kenner catalog literature of the time, a fact which suggests that they were never formally offered to retailers. In other words, the Star Wars line of 12" figures had performed poorly enough to dissuade retailers from re-ordering them, let alone an entirely new assortment of dolls. In truth, there wasn't much work on Kenner's part required for them to produce these new doll prototypes; three of the four are simply the old figures jazzed up with new outfits. Lando, of course, represents the only entirely new toy of the bunch. It is, however, uncertain that his head ever made it past the hardcopy stage.
The pictures you see here come from promotional literature issued by French toy licensee, Meccano. For some reason, they jumped the gun and advertised the dolls as being among their upcoming releases. None of the unproduced ESB dolls were released in France or anywhere else.
This, of course, is not the Lando doll prototype that most collectors have seen in books like Steve Sansweet's Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible. Rather, it's a mocked-up prototype, meaning it was basically thrown together by the folks at Kenner in order to get the idea of the Lando doll across. In other words, it wouldn't have looked like this once it had been produced. What this is, in fact, is a doll from Kenner's Hardy Boys line representing the character played by Parker Stevenson. Parker's face has simply been painted brown and a mustache has been drawn under his nose. It works every time.
The guys at Kenner must have deemed Stevenson's face neutral enough to be appropriate for this type of application. They actually used the same Hardy Boys doll to represent the Han 12" figure on some early spec sheets.
Of course, a genuine Lando head was sculpted in the exact likeness of actor Billy Dee Williams; but, unfortunately, it never made it into production.
Description: Ron Salvatore