|Preliminary Wax Sculpting for Unproduced Ewoks Latara Action Figure|
|The item you see above is an early wax sculpt for a never-released Ewoks figure representing Latara, the Blanche Devereaux of the Ewok Village.
Latara was a central figure in the Ewoks cartoon, appearing in the majority of episodes.
The Latara wax is interesting in that, though it displays a high degree of finish, some of its details differ from the final(ish) character design seen on the above model cel, made for reference by Nelvana's animators. Most obviously, the model-cel image displays a prominent lick of hair and a braid, neither of which is evident on the figure.
It's possible the Kenner Latara was based on an early design of the character, which was later modified by Nelvana.
As you may have guessed, this and the similar figures representing Kneesaa, Teebo, and Kaink are composed of wax of the kind used by toy creators to sculpt action figures. However, they differ in notable ways from finished pieces of three-dimensional toy art.
Although the limbs are affixed to the torsos via steel pins, as they would be on a finished sculpt, the joints lack the nylon disks typically incorporated into a wax sculpt at the very earliest stages. It's hard to tell just by looking at them, but I believe they also lack the brass "buck" that is commonly incorporated into the torso of a wax sculpt.
So what are these? My hunch is that they represent preliminary sculpts -- modified wax reworkings of earlier clay roughs -- dating from the early days of development on the Ewoks line. At that point in time, all of these characters must have been intended for release by Kenner as first-series Ewoks figures.
Further indication that these were developed early in the line can be gleaned from the chronology of the Ewoks cartoon. Kaink appeared in only two episodes. Both of these episodes aired during the show's first season. As there was no Kaink in Nelvana's Ewoks: Season Two, there would have been no Kaink in Kenner's Ewoks: Series Two.
Had Kenner opted to release these characters, it's likely these pieces would have been utilized to create more refined sculpts, incorporating all of the typical hardware, for use in generating hardcopies and then tooling.
As it happened, Kenner nixed Teebo, Latara, Kneesaa, and Kaink, and instead released a bunch of Duloks. That decision left these pieces as developmental relics. To collectors they represent tantalizing suggestions of what might have been had the line followed a different course.
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Chris Georgoulias|
|Category:||Prototypes / Action Figure Related|