Unproduced Emperor's Royal Guard with Metallized Head: This piece is neat as heck. Apparently, Kenner toyed with the idea of releasing some of their figures with vac-metallized parts. I guess they figured that, by doing this, they could add a new selling point to older products and thereby catch the interest of the fickle kiddie set. It wasn't a bad idea; the vac-metallized Emperor's Royal Guard that you see here really does look pretty sharp. But, for some reason, the idea never got off the ground. According to Kenner sources, Lucasfilm wasn't so hot on the idea of flashy gimmicks being applied to their property. The earliest (and rather discoesque) renditions of the never-released 12" fashion outfits, for instance, were changed at Lucasfilm's request, their loud colors being replaced with more subdued earth tones. So it's quite possible that Lucasfilm shot down the vac-metallization idea soon after Kenner proposed it.

Here's a closeup of the head. As you can see from a look at this photo, a vac-metallized TIE Pilot is also known to exist.

Description: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Vic Wertz
From the collection of Lisa Stevens and Vic Wertz