A Custom-Built Jabba’s Palace and Rancor Cave

April 27, 2017 – Over the years, we have featured some custom-built Star Wars vehicles and themed sets made by model-builder David Styles of Colorado.

Some of the more complex creations have included:

Jabba’s Sail Barge
The Sarlacc Pit
The Emperor’s Throne Room
● a Neimoidian Shuttle

Best of all, each vehicle or themed environment is compatible with your 3.75-inch action figures. The scaled proportions allow you to pose your vintage Star Wars figures in any number of configurations.

In keeping with that interactive tradition, David Styles’ newest custom-built creation is Jabba’s Palace and Rancor Cave. This is no easy feat considering how much larger the themed environment must be to accommodate the large Jabba and an even larger Rancor Monster.

A Two-in-One Combined Environment


The model set pictured below was built for a Singaporean customer. (Yes, David Styles does accept custom requests.) The detailed Jabba’s Palace and Rancor Cave are really two playsets, one stacked upon the other.

Jabba’s Palace (top) and the Rancor Cave (below). [All photo credits: David Styles]

The dimensions are 48″L x 24″W x 30″H (122cm L x 61cm W x 76cm H), large enough to fit most all of Jabba the Hutt’s entourage.

The palace is made of cardboard and foam core with resin grates that allow light into the throne, cave and trophy areas. David added, “I painted the palace walls with a coarse texture acrylic paint to give it a sand/stone look. For this diorama, the fan I made it for is going to paint the weathering and aging on the walls, install the TaunTaun heads in the Trophy Room and install the controls panels in the caves.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Special Features and Details

David points out that “the palace floor has a trap door to the Rancor cave for unsuspecting enemies of the noble Jabba. And the large grates on the palace floor allow Jabba and his henchmen to enjoy the viewing of the Rancor while it dismembers its meals.”

The BBQ grill behind Jabba’s throne is made of resin and and wood dowels. The charcoal is coarse sand painted black, yellow and red.

Beneath Jabba’s throne is the Rancor’s cave, which is constructed from several materials, including cardboard and crumpled paper with a plaster coating for the rock structure. These materials are superimposed on a wood frame for stability. The paint application consists of a brownish-gray wash and then spray painted with a stone-textured finish.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Notice the gate separating the small and large caves. The wooden gate slides up through the ceiling of the cave and outside the right wall of the throne.

The grand cave also features a smaller cave for Luke to hide in while the Rancor eats any unfortunate Gamorrean Guards or Twi’lek dancers.

As for the bones and skeletons, David says they are remnants from Halloween. You can find them seasonally at your local craft store, drug store or thrift shop such as Dollar General or Dollar Store.

The small cave to the left will fit Jabba’s Dungeon playset. The small cave to the right features a sliding barred door, behind which the Rancor Keeper can safely watch his favorite pet. The base measures four feet long (48″ L /122cm L).

For direct inquiries, you can email David Styles at this link.

When Is an “Exclusive” Not an Exclusive?

April 26, 2017 – The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “exclusive” as:

Adjective. (1) not shared: available to only one person or group

(2) available to only a few people because of high cost”

The concept of an “exclusive product” for sale to the public is not difficult to understand: Vendors advertise an item as being exclusively available at one event (such as Star Wars Celebration), or to a limited and eligible class (“This offer available only to qualified veterans“), or from only one vendor.

Exclusivity is a marketing device with the goal of heightening consumer interest and demand. By creating a perception that a product is being offered at only one venue, one event, to an eligible class, or for a limited time, the vendor is essentially communicating “limited supply”. And as we all know from your basic Economics class, when demand exceeds supply, the market price will go up.

Hasbro’s Star Wars 40th Anniversary Six-Inch Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot) at Celebration Orlando: A Case Study


An exclusive? (Photo Credit: Hasbro)


Leading up to and during Star Wars Celebration Orlando (April 13-16, 2017), Hasbro helped to foster buzz and excitement about its Black Series 6-inch scale Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot action figure. Priced at $27.00, tax included, the Luke Skywalker figure reportedly sold out at Celebration Orlando.

Numerous collector websites and social media outlets discussed the exclusive nature of Hasbro’s Luke figure.

Anticipating high demand, the Star Wars Celebration website spelled out some strict rules in order to obtain the “exclusive” action figure.

In short, allegedly you could not even step foot into the Hasbro store the first two days (April 13th and 14th) without a “Hasbro Exclusive ticket”.

StarWarsCelebration.com page discussing rules for obtaining the Luke X-Wing Pilot figure.

The Celebration website further states: “You cannot get into the Hasbro line to purchase anything at their booth without a ticket on Thursday or Friday, regardless if what you’re purchasing is the Hasbro Exclusive or not. On Thursday and Friday the only fans that can shop in the Hasbro booth are those with tickets.”

Presumably, event organizer ReedPOP, which also controls the website, received this eligibility information from Hasbro.

This ticket, handed out Thursday, April 13, 2017, allowed admission to the HasbroToyShop.com booth.

Predictably, the Luke (X-Wing Pilot) figure sold out at Star Wars Celebration Orlando. And presumably, because this was an exclusive item, there were no more Lukes to be had.

But this begs the question: Was the Luke figure exclusively to be sold only at Star Wars Celebration Orlando? Or is the Luke figure merely “a Hasbro exclusive” – in which case, that phrase is practically meaningless. In the worst light, it might even be misleading. Of course the figure is “exclusive to Hasbro” because no other company has the license to produce and distribute it.

Judging by all the headlines and chatter among numerous collector websites and news organizations, a reasonable interpretation is that Luke was supposed to be a Celebration Orlando exclusive.

Reports of Six-Inch Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot Figure Being Sold After Celebration Orlando


Star Wars Celebration Orlando ran from April 13 through April 16, 2017. Nine days later, or on April 25th, the same Luke figure became available for sale on the HasbroToyShop.com site. Retailing for $24.99, plus applicable tax, the popular figure quickly sold out on the same day.

HasbroToyShop.com advertising its Black Series 40th Anniversary Luke Skywalker X-wing Pilot

Predictably, the “exclusive” versus “non-exclusive” nature of the Luke figure lit up a firestorm of discussion on social media. For one such example, read the comments HERE at JediTempleArchives.com.

Collectors become somewhat passionate about the supposedly “exclusive” nature of an item because of the time and effort involved in obtaining the item: If the Luke figure truly were exclusive to Celebration Orlando, then that fact meant you had to have spent considerable time in multiple lines to get the Hasbro booth admission ticket, then to enter the Celebration show floor, then to line up yet again at the Hasbro booth. All of this entails time and money.

The dopamine-like reward is pride of ownership and pride of accomplishment. There is a certain cachet to possessing a supposedly exclusive Luke figure.

The flip-side of the argument – especially from those not able to attend Celebration Orlando – is that the greater the availability of the Luke figure, the greater the social good. If more consumers can get their hands on Luke, then so much the better. As a bonus, increased availability undermines the efforts of the despised scalpers.

So what’s the problem?

Potential Violations of Consumer Protection Laws?


At a visceral level, nobody likes to be fooled, manipulated or taken advantage of. At an economic level, nobody wants to pay an artificially inflated price, based on either false advertising or a false assumption.

And so every U.S. state has a consumer protection law that prohibits deceptive practices, including untrue or misleading advertising. Many states prohibit unfair or unconscionable practices as well. Collectively, the statutes are known as Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices or UDAP statutes.

Consumer protection laws cover many areas, including product liability, privacy rights, unfair business practices, fraud, misrepresentation, and more.

To be clear, we are not asserting that Hasbro, HasbroToyShop.com, or any other vendor is in violation of any such laws. However, with so many news organizations and collector websites discussing the Luke figure as a “Celebration Orlando exclusive”, we have to ask: Where did they all get this information from?

Moreover, the official Star Wars Celebration Orlando website, promoted and advertised the Luke figure as “a Hasbro Exclusive”. It says so in the headliner HERE.

Do you see the legal problem?

If Hasbro has been advertising or promoting its Luke Skywalker figure as a “Celebration exclusive”, when it now clearly is not, then that may open the company to a consumer-protection investigation. Alternatively, if Hasbro is acquiescing to the official Star Wars Celebration website promotion of the “Hasbro Exclusive” – without making any attempt to correct what may be a misleading impression – then the toy company is complicit in the advertising campaign.

The same issue has arisen in the recent past with Hasbro’s six-inch Kylo Ren and Obi-Wan Kenobi action figures, which were ostensibly exclusive to either Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 (in regard to Kylo Ren) or to the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con (in regard to Obi-Wan). When the figures were made available for sale again after their respective convention roll-outs, they were arguably no longer “exclusive” to the convention.

Why Should We Care?


If there is a finding of illegality by a vendor – such as false or deceptive advertising – then we should all care. As a matter of public policy, the states have already determined that private vendors may not deceive the public with false or misleading advertising.

Even if a vendor, such as Hasbro, falls in a gray area because of cleverly-worded advertising which does not technically violate a consumer-protection law (“It’s a Hasbro Exclusive“), there is still something off-putting about the entire “exclusivity” campaign. Taken in full context, a reasonable consumer would interpret the Luke figure to be a “convention exclusive”, available nowhere else.

Either an item is exclusive or it’s not. Hyping demand and manipulating consumers to open their wallets a bit wider can ultimately hurt a company’s image and branding.

If it were up to us, we would end the gimmickry of “exclusivity” labels or restricted offers.

Instead, open wide the floodgates of production. Let everyone who wants a Luke, a Kylo or an Obi-Wan, have a fair chance to purchase one. And let the free market determine a fair price.

That would be a win-win for everyone.

How To Replace Vinyl Capes on Your Vintage Star Wars Figures

April 22, 2017 – Dave Moss has a passion for restoring vintage toys from Star Wars and other retro toy lines. Thanks to him and his Toy Polloi YouTube channel, you can now replace the torn or missing vinyl capes and cloth capes from your Star Wars action figures.

If you have beaters or “naked” Star Wars figures laying about, you can now rescue them from your Island of Misfit Toys with the clever instructions and cape patterns provided in the Toy Polloi videos.

Keep in mind that color-matching the vinyl or cloth from the vintage capes of decades ago can be somewhat challenging. But if you are looking to create capes that are inexpensive, easy to make, and “close enough” in appearance, then the Toy Polloi videos below will show you how.

Emperor’s Royal Guard Replacement Cape


Be careful not to break the head of the Emperor’s Royal Guard, which is glued on. See how to properly remove the head here:

Obi-Wan Kenobi Replacement Cape


Princess Leia Organa Replacement Cape


Jawa Replacement Vinyl Cape


You could, of course, turn to Ebay or other third parties to find a replacement cape. But as the video below demonstrates, the vinyl color you receive in the mail may be a terrible mismatch for your vintage Jawa figure. Why not, instead, take your Jawa with you to the hobby craft store or discount store, and see if you can find a more perfect color match?

Snowtrooper Replacement Cape


Technically, the Snowtrooper does not wear a “cape” per se. The vinyl wrap attaches itself only around the waist. But what great army-building fun you will have as you make these snow-white vinyl replacements for all your “cape”-less Snowtroopers.

General Lando Replacement Cape


Vintage 12-Inch Darth Vader Replacement Cape


SOMEWHAT RELATED ARTICLE:


Imperialgunnery.com has an excellent visual guide and notes comparing original capes, variants, repros and counterfeit capes. The article, which you can read HERE, is well worth your time and a great resource.

TIP: If you google image, say, “Star Wars vintage capes” or “ffurg snowtrooper”, you will find a wealth of cape patterns and websites discussing them.

DOWNLOAD: You can download the cape patterns HERE for free, courtesy of ToyPolloi.

SUPPORT: If you are a fan of Toy Polloi and would like to support the videos, check out: patreon.com/toypolloi.

For decal and sticker PDF’s, visit toypolloi.com.

So How Much Did You Spend at Star Wars Celebration Orlando?

April 19, 2017 – So how much did you spend at Star Wars Celebration Orlando?

If you are suffering from buyer’s remorse or feel a bit guilty from blowing the bank, take comfort in what your fellow travelers have spent. Or if you are just curious, read the Facebook comments below.

A Facebook reader on the “Flying Solo at Star Wars Celebrations” page asked fellow members how much they had spent. Predictably, travel and lodging were the biggest expenses. And while some splurged on big-ticket items (autographs, photo ops, certain collectibles, even tatoos), others were very frugal and still had a blast.

A great way to save on lodging costs was to share a room. A number of Facebook members in the Flying Solo group found a fellow member or two to help split hotel costs.

Staying at a moderate-priced motel, while it was further away from the convention center, helped to keep costs down.

These readers say they spent, respectively, $600, $600, $1,000, $1,000-2000, and $1,100.

If you spent around $1,500, including air fare, you’re probably somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Bruce wins our “Smart Shopper” award as he closely tracked his spending and kept his costs low by using frequent flyer points, uber and relying on groceries ($39) for most of the week. As a bonus, he even won a $50 gift card at Disney Springs for screening a movie, which he applied toward some low-cost purchases. Total spent: About $548. By contrast, Ben’s experience ($2K) closely mirrors what a lot of other fans did as well.

Kevin spent $2,300, Sean $2,000, Fernand $3,000 (he flew from Germany), and Deb $1,500. Lakota flew in from South Africa, so we don’t know her total costs. But she did point out another budget-friendly idea: AirBnB. By spending only $300 for six nights, her daily lodging was only $50/night.

Some highs and lows: Alice spent only $67 while Kyle spent about $4,000, albeit for a full week. And it looks like Kasey slept in a van. You can’t put a price on that experience.

Another $4K spender was Wayne. But he spent 10 days in Orlando, so that works out to about $400 per day.

Rob from the UK spent £2.5K (about $3,200), Mairéad from Ireland spent 1500 Euro (about $1,600), Brett from Minnesotta $5,000, and Edo from the Netherlands 1250 Euro (about $1,340).

Evan Payne is the creator/admin for the Flying Solo group. His answer is our favorite:

So from a low of $67 to a high of $5,000 – at least in the comments above – fans from around the world found a way to make their way to Star Wars Celebration Orlando and to spend within their means.

Certainly the memories of Celebration Orlando will last a lifetime. And you can’t put a price on that, can you?

Why the Return of Hasbro’s Vintage Collection Is Such a Big Deal

April 18, 2017 – During the Hasbro panel at Star Wars Celebration Orlando on April 15th, Hasbro announced the return of the super-articulated (SA) 3.75-inch Vintage Collection.

A fan favorite, The Vintage Collection and the SA figures essentially stopped in 2012. While a few SA figures were still being released as exclusives through certain retailers, collectors had begun to believe that the 3.75-inch line was all but dead.

Hasbro did little to relieve collector anxiety with its cryptic remarks that every story has “a beginning, a middle and an end”; its release of 5POA figures to the chagrin of many collectors; and Hasbro’s greater focus on its 6-inch Black Series action figure line.

The Vintage Collection ran from the summer of 2010 through 2012. It began with Dengar (VC001) and ended with Darth Vader (VC115).

So why is the return of The Vintage Collection, after a half-decade’s absence, such a big deal to collectors?

1. As a collector-focused line, The Vintage Collection provides its figures the super-articulation and poseability that fans have been begging/pleading/pestering Hasbro for over the last five years. There will be no clumsy 5 points of articulation for any VC figure.

2. The Vintage Collection, which started in the summer of 2010 and continued through 2012, was abruptly put on hiatus by Hasbro for two years. But with the passage of time, “two years” became “maybe never”. The VC line’s announced return for the spring of 2018 means that longtime collectors can resume collecting a hugely popular set of figures.

3. The Vintage Collection’s product packaging is nearly identical to that of the original Kenner toy series sold between 1978 and 1984. Aesthetically, the VC packaging has proven to be, by far, one of the most popular designs.

4. The first SA figure in the VC line will be Rey from The Force Awakens. You can see her in the video above. This will be the first super-poseable Rey and will, no doubt, ignite fans’ hunger for a re-release of other figures in need of a SA update.

5. The next figure in the returning Vintage Collection line has not yet been determined as Hasbro is now conducting a fan poll. You can vote for your favorite alien, droid, hero or villain from the Star Wars universe. But hurry: the poll ends April 19th.

6. Unlike the Black Series 3.75-inch figures, which had become a Walmart exclusive, The Vintage Collection will be available at many retailers and at HasbroyToyShop.com. Walmart badly mismanaged the Black Series line, creating needless bottlenecks and limiting availability.

7. Finally, the return of The Vintage Collection is such a big deal because it means Hasbro is not completely tone-deaf to the preferences and requests of the fan base. This sign gives us great hope. While the toy company has had lots of misses and made terrible decisions in the last few years (Star Wars Angry Birds? Star Wars Command? 5POA?), it can, on occasion, do something incredibly smart.

Over 70,000 Fans Set New Attendance Record at Celebration Orlando 2017

April 18, 2017 – If you thought the lines and crowds at Star Wars Celebration Orlando somehow felt extra massive, you were right.

Disney/Lucasfilm and event organizer, ReedPOP, have unveiled the headcount at “more than 70,000”, breaking all past Celebration attendance records.

They released a message to fans, which reads in part:

“As Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, Star Wars Celebration Orlando was especially important for Lucasfilm. We wanted to honor what came before and what comes next, from A New Hope to The Last Jedi, and George Lucas to Rian Johnson. We wanted to create compelling experiences, from The Star Wars Show LIVE! to panels on everything from Star Wars Battlefront II and Star Wars Rebels to theme parks and “Heroines of Star Wars.” And we wanted to remember Carrie Fisher and Kenny Baker, which made this anniversary a bittersweet one.

“But none of this would be possible or have real meaning without the fans who came — more than 70,000 of you, making this the biggest and most widely-attended Star Wars Celebration in our history. We are humbled by these numbers and by the outpouring of support we felt over Celebration. We know you take time out of your lives to come from far away and we so appreciate the love and hard work you put into your amazing costumes. Seeing the generations of fans who attended, this year in particular, was a reminder to us of the real power of these films and this event….”

You can read the full statement here.

The following video was shown for the first time at the Closing Ceremonies on April 16th:

The next Celebration will occur in 2019. The next host city has not yet been announced.

John Williams’ Surprise Performance at Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017

April 18, 2017 – Composer John Williams made a surprise appearance at Star Wars Celebration Orlando at the end of the “Mark Hamill’s Tribute to Carrie Fisher” panel.

John Williams performs at Celebration Orlando on April 14, 2017.

Fans were left teary-eyed after watching a video tribute to the late Carrie Fisher at the April 14th panel. But the emotional roller coaster was just beginning when suddenly, from stage left, a large black curtain slid open and a glow of purple lights revealed the 85-year-old composer and his symphony.

While the “powered by Verizon” live-stream is distorted at times, you can still relive the moment in the video below: