|Original Wax Sculpt for Bossk Action Figure|
|Some collectors are surprised to learn that the original sculpts for most of the action figures in the vintage Star Wars line are extant, which is a fancy way of saying that they still exist. But it's true: While a handful are MIA, notably some key early ones, for the most part the folks who worked on this stuff had the foresight to save it.
One of the figures whose sculpt hasn't surfaced is the blue version of Snaggletooth, one of the line's most infamous constituents. As everyone with some collecting experience knows, after being initially issued by Sears in late 1978, Snaggletooth was changed prior to wide release, a move which rendered the original version a scarce item.
Why would the sculpt for a figure be missing? Loss and damage are viable explanations. Another is resculpting. As I discussed in this article over at our blog, Kenner's sculptors sometimes reworked the sculpts for existing figures into new ones. I'm fairly confident that this happened to the original versions of Luke, Leia, and Han: they were reworked into, respectively, Bespin Luke, Bespin Leia, and Han Hoth. We also know that it happened to the Stormtrooper: When it came time to create the Hoth Strormtrooper, Kenner's sculptors pulled out the original Stormtrooper sculpt, and sculpted over it.
As you've surely already guessed from eyeballing the photo at the top of this article, the sculpt for Blue Snaggletooth doesn't exist because it was resculpted into the iguana-like bounty hunter known as Bossk.
It's funny, right? Somehow the knowledge that Blue Snaggletooth and Bossk share DNA has always been there in the back of your brain, but until now you didn't grok it. It's like when you realized that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were the same guy. All that time watching Cheers and it never occurred to you until someone pointed it out!
Close comparison of the sculpted Bossk components with the corresponding parts of a Snaggletooth hardcopy really emphasize the similarities.
In this shot you can see the pencil-drawn parting line that sculptors used to mark the spot where the two halves of the production mold would eventually meet.
In this shot you can see how the claws are composed of a wax whose color differs from that visible under the foot. That less pinkish wax is probably indicative of the color of the Blue Snaggletooth sculpt.
I love how the two creases right below what I guess you would call Snaggletooth's left butt cheek were carried over into the Bossk sculpt.
You're probably saying to yourself: "Gee, Ron seems pretty confident of this, but to me it seems like just a kooky theory. Where's the proof?"
See above. Fortunately, the Bossk sculpt was found with this note, which pretty much says it all. A similar note, by the way, was found with the sculpt for the Hoth Stormtrooper; it indicated that it had been created over the original version of the Stormtrooper.
And that, in short, is the story of how one pig-nosed action figure was transformed into a wholly different pig-nosed action figure. I bet you'll never look at Bossk and Blue Snaggletooth in quite the same way again.
Oh, in case you're wondering, the Snaggletooth figure you see pictured here is a painted hardcopy -- the only one known to exist. It is surely the same one that was featured in certain promotional photographs from the late '70s, such as the one seen above. It's great to see it here posed alongside the sculpt of the figure that succeeded it!
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Anonymous|
|Film:||Empire Strikes Back|
|Category:||Prototypes / Product Artwork|