Hoth Generator Attack Playset Photoart
Here you see several pieces of the original photoart used to create the box for the Micro Collection Hoth Generator Attack playset. 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 black paper that covers one of these pieces of art. Since all the covers of the various images featured here look more or less the same, I've only included one as an example. As you can see, the words "Hoth Generator" are written in crayon on the cover. That's the logo of the graphics company you see in the lower right corner.

This first image is for the front of the package and it's larger than the rest. You can make out some blue airbrush overspray off the right edge of the image.

Next up is one of the smaller images that appeared on the package. It shows the components of the playset from a different angle. In the closeup you might be able to make out some of the subtle ways in which the image was modified. The highlights you see on the figures were largely hand applied with paint. Much of the work involved in producing photoart was aimed at sharpening small details, so that the products displayed would be seen in the best way possible.

Another secondary image, this one demonstrating one of the action features of the toy. See those white streaks trailing from the Scout Walker? Those are painted details, added to suggest motion.

Lastly, we have the photoart for yet another of the smaller box images.

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.

One of the later phases of the development of the Hoth Generator Attack box, the cromalin print of the package, can be seen here.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Michael G. Mensinger
From the collection of: Michael G. Mensinger
Country:United States
Film:Empire Strikes Back
Category:Prototypes / Micro Collection


Checklist by Duncan Jenkins, Gus Lopez, and the Star Wars collecting community
Software by Chris Nichols

All information © 2014 Star Wars Collectors Archive