Composite Painting for Die-Cast Falcon
Original product artwork, whether it be in the form of toy sculptings, wood patterns or painted images, is usually considered the most desirable category of Kenner prototype. Most pieces are one-of-a-kind, of course, but artwork pieces are significant for another reason--they serve as the masters for mass-produced products; they're the starting point for the toys and packaging images we've all become so familiar with.

However, most collectors are probably fairly unfamiliar with this particular piece of artwork. This is due to the obscure nature of the product it was used to create, the "special offer" backdrop that was included with some versions of the die-cast Millennium Falcon. The piece is fairly large (compare with the penny in the lower left), being several times bigger than the production backdrop, and appears to have been made using a combination of painting and airbrushing techniques.

Actually, the image is a composite, meaning it was pieced together using several elements. Each of the space ships, for instance, was first drawn on a separate piece of paper. Then, each was cut out and carefully pasted onto the starfield background. I think you can tell by looking at this image of the regular TIE Fighter that there is a slight ridge where the vehicle meets the background.

Here's a close-up of the Falcon's forward mandibles. Here again you can see the division between the pasted-on elements of the image and the background into which they were incorporated.

This piece was supposedly hanging in a room inside of the Kenner building for quite some time. Eventually it was discarded, only to be rescued from the trash by a thoughtful Kenner employee. It remained in the possession of that employee for many years before being discovered. It's really an impressive piece.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Chris Georgoulias
From the collection of: Anonymous
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Category:Prototypes / Product Artwork


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

All information © 2014 Star Wars Collectors Archive