Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Outfit) Bagged Production Sample
As the majority of toy production vendors are located in the Orient, communication between parent company--in this case, Kenner--and vendor is often difficult, complicated as it is by the large expanse of ocean separating the two. In particular, assembly and painting instructions can sometimes get garbled, either in the translation between languages, or through a simple misunderstanding. Signed sample product provides an interesting look into the vendor-Kenner relationship, and the back-and-forth process that is required to ensure that all product is up to snuff with Kenner standards. The particular type of signed sample shown here is in the form of a completely-finished action figure, assembled, painted, and bagged along with its accessory. Though the figure comes from a finalized production mold, and thus has the date and copyright markings on its legs, it nevertheless is an early sample, and may feature slight differences from the figures which were eventually released to stores. The bag holding the figure is stapled to a small card with the G.M. Products, Hong Kong logo, and the words "signed sample" printed at the top. The purpose of the card, which appears to be very similar to those used on similar packaging samples, is to allow for the signatures of various engineers, as well as their comments as to what about the figure's production might be improved upon.

This particular example, Lando Calrissian in Skiff Guard outfit, is simply labelled "83 Lando" on the card. The vendor, SMILE, produced significant amounts of toys, both SW and non-SW, for Kenner during the vintage era. No notations exist in the comment section, signifying this figure likely met the Kenner's Quality Control/Quality Assurance standards when reviewed by Kenner engineers.

The Lando Skiff bagged production sample surfaced amongst a find of these dating back to the late 90's. The majority of these samples featured on the Archive stem from the find referenced above. Over the years they have become permanently nestled into private collections, thus they typically do not surface on the open market nowadays.

Description by: Ron Salvatore, Michael G. Mensinger
Photo: Michael G. Mensinger
From the collection of: Michael G. Mensinger
Country:United States
Film:Return of the Jedi
Category:Prototypes / Action Figure Related


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