White Cape Bib Fortuna--Carded Sample
The white and red cape samples of the Bib Fortuna figure are some of the most notorious and frequently-counterfeited figures in the hobby, and they've generated a tremendous amount of debate among collectors over the last decade. At this point, its irrefutable that neither of these prototypes was ever released comercially, all genuine examples having come, at some point, from a Kenner employee or someone with some other kind pre-retail connection to the company.

What you see here is an example of the white cape type, which has been applied to a 47-Back Walrus Man card for the purpose of demonstrating how the figure would eventually function within its blister packaging. At this point in the production process, the standard ROTJ 65-Back Bib Fortuna cards were likely not yet ready, which explains the use of an earlier card back. The bubble is not the standard type used on carded figures either: it has square corners and has been cut from a different type of plastic. Outside of its color (which matches the thread used to sew it exactly), the cape itself appears to be of the exact same cut as the standard-issue brown versions. Sample figures such as this would have helped Kenner to determine, first and foremost, bubble dimensions, a factor which would be particularly important for a caped figure, which has added bulk on top of its basic form to account for.

It is particularly difficult to pass judgement on this type of prototype--they're easy to fake, and they have been in the thousands. But several of these white cape Bib Fortunas on Walrus Man cards have originated from viable sources over the years, and this leads me to believe that this one is genuine. In many ways, I think these pieces are analogous to the non-camoflauge Han Trenchcoat samples, which have turned up in reasonable numbers over the last few years on Emporer's Royal Guard cards.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore
From the collection of: Allen Heidt
Country:United States
Film:Return of the Jedi
Category:Prototypes / Action Figure Related


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