Photoart for Jabba the Hutt Box
Here you see several pieces of the original photoart used to create the box for Kenner's Jabba the Hutt toy. Basically, the term photoart applies to photographs that have been modified or enhanced in some way--usually using airbrushed paint effects--so that they may be used as the masters for mass-produced printed images. Today, with most commercial graphics work being done on computers with the help of programs like Adobe Photoshop, I suspect there is little need for hand-created photoart in the toy business. But during the '80s, when Kenner was producing their Star Wars line, it was standard practice. The first photo on this page displays the piece of photoart used to for the image on the front of the Jabba package. It's hard to tell it from this photo, but there was a considerable amount of detail work done to make certain portions of the image stand out. For instance, the rope-like texture seen on the thread attached to the Luke figure's neck was all added by hand in paint. The note scribbled at the bottom of the board reads "pull 'Crumb' out more". Presumably, this indicates that some highlighting was required to make the Salacious Crumb figure stand out against Jabba's similarly colored body.

This second image was meant to demonstrate the swishing action of Jabba's malevolent tail. Those white "swoosh" marks evident around Luke's head were added by hand.

Finally, we have the third and last image used on the Jabba box (there were three different images employed on the package). It demonstrates the opening action of the grate atop the throne.

Here's a closeup of those swoosh marks.

I think there is a risk that these pieces will come across as boring or insignificant to some collectors. But one has to keep in mind that they are the original masters for images that were eventually printed on many thousands of toy packages. And a lot of care went into creating them. Neat stuff.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore
From the collection of: Ron Salvatore
Country:United States
Film:Return of the Jedi
Category:Prototypes / Product Artwork


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