|Yoda Unproduced Cloth Hand Puppet|
|Until recently, there were no known examples
of the prototypes documented in
thought to be an
early prototype of the legendary
Talking Yoda Doll.
This prototype is the first known example of this
piece that for years
was only known through photographs, and now based
on information that was recently uncovered, we know that it is a
separate toy concept from the Talking
Yoda Doll. Although the arms and robe appear similar to the pull-string
Yoda, this toy was designed to be a large hand puppet with oversized
soft-rubber head and no talking mechanism.
A handful of prototypes for the puppet's head have found their way to collectors over the years (beware: there is a series of painted green heads which are fakes cast off originals that have also made the rounds on the secondary market). An electroform mold for this toy has also turned up, which is used to rotocast the hollow, rubber heads required for this toy. The rest of the toy is made of soft fabric.
The tag labeling this puppet as a quote sample, marks the toy as a distinct item: Yoda Puppet and the sample is dated April 18, 1980, just before the release of The Empire Strikes Back.
Ultimately the design was deemed too expensive for the price point that Kenner was targeting so they went in the completely opposite direction in order to create a hand puppet. Probably all collectors are familiar with the one-piece vinyl puppet that seemed to offer little play value, but was nevertheless a good seller. I think this piece answers the question of why the vinyl puppet seemed so lame and so cheap. It began as a neat idea, but the end product was quite different from the original idea. Often the designers constantly had to see their work altered by the bean counters and sometimes it took most of the art and imagination out of the design.
|Description by:||Gus Lopez|
|From the collection of:||Gus Lopez|
|Film:||Empire Strikes Back|
|Category:||Toys / Puppets|