|Unproduced Luke X-Wing Outfit for 12" Figure|
|The piece you see here was part of an important find of prototypes relating to Kenner's 12" action figure line. As you've probably already figured out, the figure you see here is a standard 12" Luke, first released in 1978. But the outfit is something else entirely. Of course, it's meant to represent the X-Wing fighter flight suit first worn by Luke at the end of the first Star Wars film.
The pieces on this page are parts of either a "Photo Sample," made for photography purposes, or a "Quote Sample," made to send to Kenner's vendors for cost estimates and production guidance. The outfit you see on the doll above is the photo sample.
A photo of this photo sample was first published in Steve Sansweet's book, Star Wars, from Concept to Screen to Collectible. Until recently, that photo was the only piece of evidence proving that the item had indeed been created. Fortunately, this piece came with a glossy print of the original file photo that was published in Sansweet's book.
The outfit itself may or may not be the one shown in the photograph. As the outfit was found, it was loose, without a doll to display it on. The head was seperate, the helmet being fashioned tightly around it. The helmet in the photo, however, appears to be somewhat different than the one shown here. For instance, the amber visor shown on the doll in the photo is not present on the helmet I have. As for the construction of the helmet, it is completely handmade, from what appears to be a combination of resin and styrene plastic parts. It's decorated with paint and decals.
Another apparently handmade component of this piece is the rubber chest computer, which is attached to a harness that extends under the arms and around to the figure's back.
When it's all put together and placed on the doll, it really looks sharp. The jumpsuit is made of orange nylon with velcro closures. The boots are actually modified versions of those included with Kenner's International Velvet doll. Interestingly, these boots seem to have served as the basis for the boots packaged with the standard Han Solo 12" figure. Although the Velvet boots are shorter in the toe than the Han versions, the stirrup-like detail around the heels and ankles is exactly the same.
The story behind this outfit and its counterparts (which also can be found on the Archive) is fascinating. Apparently, Kenner was planning on releasing mid-priced outfit/accessory packs for their line of Star Wars 12" dolls, much as they had for their extremely popular Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman lines. To present this concept to Lucasfilm for approval, several conceptual outfits were created. They can be seen in the photo above. Disco was popular at the time, and the oufits reflected its glittery aesthetic. Lucasfilm, however, had different ideas of what these outfits should look like. They asked that the colors be toned down and the metallic fabrics be eliminated. Also, that goofy "disco ghost" outfit on the far right was nixed entirely. But the rest went through some modifications and were eventually ok'd for release. You can see the concept prototype for this Luke X-Wing outfit on the left.
Still, Kenner wasn't too happy with the sales of their 12" Star Wars figures and the planned outfit packs were cancelled before going into production. But before they were cancelled, plenty of work went into producing "Quote Samples" for the purpose of determing production costs. , as well as patterns, so that overseas manufacturers could reproduce the prototypes exactly. These samples include a fully-finished prototype of the outfit; patterns, so that the outfit's manufacturer could reproduce the prototype exactly; and several specification sheets. Above you see the patterns for this outfit, complete with hand written identifications.
The above two sheets are parts of a packet of spec. sheets. The information included here would have allowed the manufacturer of these oufits to know exactly what types of fabrics to use. They include samples of the materials used for the jumpsuit and white straps, as well as reference to an identical fabric used to make an earlier Kenner outfit. The second page is not included here, since it's just a photocopy of the spec. sheet that was put together for this earlier Kenner fabric.
Here's the prototype that was included with the quote sample. It's basically the same as the jumpsuit on the above photo sample. It's tagged for the purpose of identification.
Finally (if you're still reading), here's the envelope the sample material came in. It has the name of the oufit written across the front of it. And the fact that it's a Kenner envelope makes it all the nicer.
Any way you cut it, these dolls are a major find of unproduced Star Wars toys. It's especially nice to know that they were approved for production by both LFL and Kenner, and cancelled only after their development was almost entirely finished. This outfit is certainly one of the most special things in my collection, and thanks have to go to an anonymous collector and Gus Lopez for tracking it down.
To see the design of the blister card that would have been used to package this outfit, click here.
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Ron Salvatore|
|Film:||A New Hope|
|Category:||Prototypes / Action Figure Related|