C-3PO Blue Harvest Hardcopy

The first thing one should notice about C-3PO is that it is a Star Wars era hardcopy and it is not cast in a brownish resin known as Carbalon. It's cast in a blue resin like many of the modern Kenner/Hasbro hardcopies. The fact is that Kenner did not start using any blue resin until about 1989, or about 12 years after this piece should have been made. This piece is what is known as a "Blue Harvest" hardcopy. Though most of the "Blue Harvest" pieces to turn up were Micro Collection 4UPs a good amount of 3 3/4" hardcopies also turned up.

The first image shows a nice side by side comparison between the hardcopy and production figure. One should note that the hardcopy is slightly larger. As plastic cools there is a certain amount of shrinkage that goes with it. Figures are sculpted slightly larger to account for this and as a direct result the hardcopy will also be larger. Another great thing about hardcopies is the amount of detail that can be seen. It's unfortunate that some of this detail is lost in the translation to plastic but hardcopies are a testament to the fine work that Kenner's sculptors did.

The next image shows the back of the two side by side. Take note that the hardopy lacks copyrights and the pin in the back that holds the production figure together. Though it is not shown the hardcopy also lacks foot holes. All of these elements would be added later during tooling.

The next shot shows the figure disassembled. Hardcopies can be pinned with both plastic and metal dowels. This example utilizes metal.

This image shows a nice view of the side of the hardcopy with the limbs removed. Take note that in this image, and the others, there are several sections of the head and torso that are damaged. What appears to have happened is that the material poured/set incorrectly. I don't think the mold itself had issues. If the material had cooled or something as it was poured it wouldn't fill correctly. If air was in there and created a pocket it might have done the same. Though some of the collapsing on the torso has the appearance of the disks that would appear on the wax sculpt that is purely coincidence. The sculpt would have had to have collapsed and then had a mold taken from it and that isn't the case since these came from the authentic molds used to make hardcopies originally.

Please bear in mind that although this is an interesting piece to look at it is not a true hardcopy in the production sense of the word. "Blue Harvest" pieces do make for an interesting way to have a representation of that step in the production process but no blue piece was ever used to actually create the toys. They are all reproductions and employees lost their jobs for perpetrating this fraud. If you ever purchase a blue piece please remember what it is and remember that something like this is only worth a fraction of what a real hardcopy would sell for.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way let me just say how outstanding this piece really is. Even though it's a "Blue Harvest" piece and exhibits some imperfections it's still probably one of the more significant hardcopies I've seen in a long time. At this time there are no confirmed original 12 hardcopies known to exist. This piece, though made many years later, was pulled from the oldest known silicone molds. This is an absolutely amazing piece and makes an incredible addition to Tracey's already outstanding C-3PO collection and I'd just like to thank him for sharing images with the SWCA.

Description by: Chris Georgoulias, John J. Alvarez
Photo: Tracey Hamilton
From the collection of: Tracey Hamilton
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Category:Prototypes / Action Figure Related


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