|Rocket Firing Boba Fett Final Concept (kit-bashed)|
|Due to a fantastic find of original photographic reference material,
we are now privy to some never before seen images of the infamous Rocket
Firing Boba Fett action figure prototype. This particular figure appears
to be the final version of the concept model and looks quite different from
the first version and the modified
second version. One big change separating
this from the previous version was the missile change to one taken directly
from a Mattel Shogun Warrior
figure. The firing mechanism on all versions of the kit-bashed Fett was
from this Shogun Warrior toy.
These file photographs are undoubtedly the basis for the images so widely recognized on the Star Wars 20 Back action figure packaging. The photographs were retouched by hand with an airbrush so that they appear to be completely painted by hand and look like original artwork. However, it can be plainly seen that the artist merely worked over the existing photographic images.
The Mail-In Offer for Boba Fett was Kenner's first action figure giveaway and the process of redeeming Proof of Purchase seals for free figures or items continued almost up until the end of the toy line in 1985. The initial selling point of the figure was of course it's backpack missile launcher, which through the 1979 January/February Product catalog clearly states that the figure was to come with 2 missiles. The imagery in the catalog is a larger version of what is shown on the cardback, but the added textual information drives home the notion that Kenner was really hyping this action figure.
What makes this seem like the final version of the concept model for the figure is it's more "dull" appearance when compared to the previous version. You can tell that they really went through and made this a more cost-effective toy. The missile tip has been enlarged and rounded for safety as a toy projectile which is a huge difference from the wicked point of the earlier version. The range finder on the helmet has been removed completely and the complexity of the backpack features and paint details have all but been eliminated. The number of different colors used overall has been reduced and that is quite obvious when looking at the forearms where the detail colors have been reduced from 4 to 1. The tools in the leg pouches are no longer separately painted white and the stripes on the feet are gone. The reduction in colors and number of parts is done for purely financial purposes because more colors and more parts equal higher cost. Overall it might not look as nice, but the toy has to meet the cost objectives dictated by Marketing
The story only grows from this point because after this conceptual stage the injection-molded plastic prototypes went through many versions of their own. The most widely recognized prototype for the Rocket Firing Boba Fett is undoubtedly the version that collectors have dubbed the L-Slot version.
Contrary to popular belief, the rocket-firing feature was not removed from the figure because a child choked on and died from a Battlestar Galactica toy missile. You can read all about it here.
|Description by:||Chris Georgoulias|
|From the collection of:||Cloud City Collectibles|
|Film:||A New Hope|
|Category:||Prototypes / Action Figure Related|