|Preliminary Wax Sculpting for Unproduced Ewoks Princess Kneesaa Action Figure|
|If you're at all familiar with Ewok-related merchandising, you're familiar with Kneesaa, a principal character from the Ewoks cartoon series.
As Chief Chirpa's daughter, Kneesaa was a sweetheart, a princess, and and unapologetic member of the Ewok One Percent.
Although Kneesaa never appeared in the Ewoks action-figure line, the above item proves she was strongly considered for release by Kenner. In fact, the pre-production figure you see here is so nicely refined that you can almost imagine it as a production figure.
This model cel, created for reference by the animators at Nelvana, provides an idea of how closely the Kenner rendition matched the animated character.
The back of Kneesaa reveals that Kenner shortened her cape considerably, probably because a cape that draped below the waist would not have been viable absent a separate rubber or softgoods element.
As you may have guessed, this and the similar figures representing Latara, 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:||Todd Chamberlain|
|Category:||Prototypes / Action Figure Related|