|Princess Leia Unpainted 4-up Hardcopy (Unproduced, Exaggerated Features)|
|Now this is an interesting piece! In case you haven't already noticed, the breasts of this Leia 4-up (from the Death Star Escape playset)are about two times larger than they are on the 4-up used to create the production figure. This "boob job" Leia, as we have affectionately come to refer to it, has an interesting story behind it, which has only recently been brought to light.
Apparently, the figure that Kenner originally sculpted was rejected, by either Carrie Fisher herself or people representing her, because...well, because it had a rather large posterior. You should be able to tell from the above photo that the behind on this thing is a tad oversized. I actually don't blame Ms. Fisher for complaining. However, by the time the complaint was issued, 4-up hardcopies had already been made of the figure and these had been sent to an outside firm to be used in producing the steel production molds used to make the production figures. Changing it at this stage of the game must have been a huge pain in the....um, butt, so to speak, for everyone involved. So some of the workers at this firm decided to make light of the situation.
What we believe happened is that, when the folks at this outside firm were asked by Kenner to destroy the original, large posterior mold, they quickly saw in it the potential for a great joke. They "destroyed" the mold all right, but instead of disfiguring it in the standard fashion, they cut large indentations in the area corresponding to the figure's breasts. Resin test figures--sometimes called "squeezings"--were then cast using the "destroyed" mold, which were then sent back to Cincinnati were the folks on the Kenner end of the project had a good laugh. The actual mold in question still exists and can be seen here.
However, this story makes the existence of the 4-up "boob job" hardcopy something of a question mark. Why does it exist at all? Certainly, when this vendor was asked to destroy the steel mold, they didn't then go back to the 4-up stage of development, add larger breasts to the existing 4-up, and use it to create an entirely new steel mold. That would have been incredibly expensive, not to mention pointless. The only reason for the figure's having gained large breasts in the first place was the need on the vendor's end of destroying an already-created steel mold. The best explanation at this point is that the 4-up was simply created as an additional punch line to the whole joke. Having made the large breast mold and used it to create sample figures, the guys behind this prank must have thought it would be funny to also make a 4-up that would reflect their little foray into cosmetic surgery.
As you can see, the material this thing is made of is quite different in appearance from the green Dynacast that was typically used to produce Micro Collection hardcopies. The small figure you see pictured above beside the 4-up was made using this steel mold. To produce it, a urethane material was simply poured into the mold and allowed to harden. As is mentioned above, it is what is generally referred to as a "squeezing," a production scale test of the steel mold made using a quick-set type of urethane or epoxy.
From what we've been told, everyone got a good laugh out of this little prank. And rightfully so--it's a great story. Information like this, especially when it's augmented with actual physical evidence, really brings a new dimension to tracking down and collecting pre-production material. I bet you'll never look at that Micro Leia figure in quite the same way again. :^)
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Anonymous|
|Film:||A New Hope|
|Category:||Prototypes / Micro Collection|