Chief Chirpa (Osito Ewok) Carded Sample
Carded samples can come in a variety of styles. The figures can be painted hardcopies, protomolded figures, first shots, or production figures. The card backs can be sample cards, proof cards, or production cards. Finally, the bubbles can be hand cut or production quality and can be applied by hand with glue or double sided tape or applied by machine. These samples would mainly be used for presentation internally, as salesman samples, or for photographic purposes. In other words provenance is key when dealing with carded samples. With so much variety involved a collector must make sure their source is rock solid.

Featured is a Top Toys carded first shot of Chief Chirpa on a Chief Chirpa (Osito Ewok) card. The card is square cut, with two staples on the top of the card, and has a bit of paper left attached to both staples. My best guess would be that sign off sheet had been attached at one time, similar to US carded signed samples. The figure is totally unpainted, and comes with the correct weapon. The material of the card looks to be just cardboard, with the Chirpa image adhered on. I'm not exactly sure of the reasoning for doing it but the name plate is underlined and checked. I would assume this sample met the name plate approval. It seems a bit strange though that this one turned up on the correct cardback while the others pictured didn't. Though not pictured, the back of this one is also completely blank. This helps support my earlier theory that Top Toys would run off comp sheets and just glue them to whatever they needed at the time.

This is a great close-up shot of the figure.

Unfortunately, Jonathan doesn't have a production Chirpa to show a side by side comparison.

Foreign to the US prototype material is few and far between but thanks to the diligence of collector Matt Brand this stash of Top Toys prototypes was unearthed. In this stash are a Top Toys presentation board, an unproduced Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Disguise) hardcopy , and a Top Toys licensing sheet. Subsequently, Matt's source opted to offer some more prototypes on a popular auction site through two seperate brokers. Among these other protypes were carded samples for Luke Skywalker (Maestro Jedi), Stormtrooper, Chief Chirpa, and Darth Vader, as well as laser copies of an additional unmarked proof or comp sheet.

Description by: John J. Alvarez, Matt Brand
Photo: Jonathan Bow
From the collection of: Jonathan Bow
Film:Return of the Jedi
Licensee:Top Toys
Category:Prototypes / Action Figure Related


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