Original Conceptual Model for Hoth Ice Planet Playset
One of the first steps in developing a toy is the creation of a three-dimensional model representing what the final product will look like. These models are usually hand-crafted from plastic, found parts, even pieces from cannabilized model kits. They are often used for early promotional photography, product presentations and similar things that need to be taken care of prior to time at which hardcopies and first shots are available for use. Sometimes, these models even make appearances on packages and in official catalogs.

What you see here is the original model for Kenner's Hoth Ice Planet action figure playset. Although it's constructed quite soundly, anyone familiar with the production version of the toy will immediately recognize that it differs substantially from the item that eventually was mass-produced. For one thing, the art on the cardboard backdrop is entirely different from that which was used on the production version (check out that goofy looking AT-AT marching around in the left portion of the background). For another, the radar laser cannon that's included with the set looks like it was constructed from a paper clip, a spool and about four thumb tacks. Also notice that the Han Solo and Hoth Rebel figures have hand-painted details. This particular photo comes from a retailer catalog issued by Australian toy licensee Toltoys, but this model also made an appearance on the ESB 31-back blister card.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore
From the collection of: Ron Salvatore
Country:United States
Film:Empire Strikes Back
Category:Prototypes / Product Concepts


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