A protomolded item is a part or figure that was created totally in-house at Kenner. The mold was made in-house and the part was injection molded in-house as well. This is in contrast to the production molds which were made of steel by outside vendors. Production molds would be sampled by the mold shops as well as the overseas factories that would produce the toy. The parts created at that stage are referred to as first shots

A protomold is made of aluminum by the Kenner model shop in order to quickly make near production quality parts. In the case of action figures it allowed Kenner to make many figures easily rather than rely on making hardcopies by hand which was a laborious and time-consuming process. In most cases, protomolded items are really the true prototypes of a toy.

The plastic used on these parts was fairly ductile and was almost always white. The parts or figures could then be painted whatever color Kenner desired. With the ability to create these protomolds in-house, Kenner was able to more easily translate their ideas into plastic.

Protomold for X-Wing Tail
Protomold for Y-Wing Landing Gear Mechanism
Emperor Protomolded Figure
Protomolded Rocket Firing Boba Fett

Description: Chris Georgoulias