Friday, September 21, 2018

The Last Star Fighter Prototypes Found



This past week I got one of those emails that I just absolutely live for and that is from the owner of the hand painted set of prototype figures for the Last Star Fighter. Pictured about is the original catalog page we showed here. 

Originally proposed by Galoob, these figures never saw light of day, probably due to the film's lackluster box office (it's a good movie too, I saw it opening weekend). It haunts collectors such as myself a little and that's why this image and the following story made me smile.



More after the Hyper Jump!


How did the owner come to get these? We'll let him explain that in his own words, this story goes back 25 years.









"A friend of mine at the time wanted to become a sculpture for movie makeup and he had met a guy who did that for a living. I was asked to go over with him as he did not want to go alone."




" We got to his house and he had his garage set up like a flea market with a bunch of stuff he either worked on or had gotten while working in the industry. I think he worked with Phil Tippett because he had stuff from Star Wars and the Terminator as well as stories about working on the Terminator."



"He had the figures with the other stuff and wanted to sell it, he had found religion and did not want anything from his past in the movies. I remember he had some Strawberry Shortcake stuff as well that I did not have the money to buy."



"So I ended up with the 6 figures as well as some model kits and a few props as well as a Gumby that was used in a Gumby movie."

Pretty neat stuff and I also know someone in the special effects field who now sculpts for toy companies, it seems to be commonplace. It still doesn't take away the pain of these never getting made.




The owner is now considering parting with them , so he's asked to me to share them to gauge any interest. Got any questions? Fire them to me via my gmail (kid70s) and I'll forward them on down!











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26 comments:

Sean Vandehey said...

somebody get reaction on these

Charlton Hero said...

Wow...amazing post. I have always wondered about these prototypes! I saw the one group photo for years but those new ones are amazing! Great job as usual guys!

Hugh Walter said...

Absolutely fascinating!

The guy in red from the catalogue image looks a lot like the protagonist in Enemey Mine (another good movie - I agree with you about The Last Starfighter; for what was technically a 'kids movie' it was bloody good! And both are hard/impossible to find on DVD, at least they are in the UK?), while the guy in red above, looks like he might have some Judge Dredd features to him under the paint?

H

Anonymous said...

They belong in a museum!

Gamera977 said...

That's awesome! Love the movie, it may be blasphemy with some but frankly I like TLS better than Star Wars. I mean I can identify more with Alex Rogan, a good kid whose life is going nowhere and likes playing video games as compared to Luke, whose father is a knight and has all kinds of magical force powers.

I hope the figures find a good home. Some sort of toy museum would be fantastic!

John Addison said...

The worlds largest toy museum is in Branson, Missouri. Just sayin'

Chris Georgoulias said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell Lawrence said...

How much is he asking for them?

Chris Georgoulias said...


Very cool!!
If the seller is interested, these would be great material for the upcoming Propstore Toys & Collectibles auction. We are currently taking consignments and wbe happy to discuss the details. chris@propstore.com. Let the market decide the value transparently. It’s a great fit for what we are doing. Cheers!
https://propstore.com/toyauction/

Kevin said...

I am 100% in agreement with Gamera977. I totally related more to Alex Rogan being a normal kid like me. And the actor, Lance Guest, is great. Met him here in Chicago when he was playing Johnny Cash in Million Dollar Quartet. He signed my DVD with “Victory or death! Lance Guest.” Great night!

MrAmpsycho said...

Somebody needs to contact ReAction, maybe they can make molds and we can ALL enjoy them!

Christian Maser said...

Before selling them, take 360 photo rotations of them and post them first. Maybe fans could use the photos to make their own custom figs. Better yet, let Neca come photo and measure them for a collector's figure set. They would do it justice.

Anonymous said...

Not to long ago, creating molds from these might have been destructive to the prototypes.

But with today's technology, 3D scanning could create nearly perfect copies for production.

I would seek out a company like ReAction or others that might have access to such technology.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he could first sell the rights to some company to digitally 3D scan them, and then sell the prototypes themselves at auction after that.

Anonymous said...

Amazing figures from a criminally underrated movie.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anons don't take shots at Special Guest Stars, Anon Above Me, only regulars on the show.

A big thank-you to our host and the gent with the figures for the fascinating history! As for the figures themselves? *wince* The character design/ color scheme was...*sigh*. This Anon is trying to be charitable. They're mostly generic lumpy-head aliens that look like rejected character designs for Star Wars' creature cantina/ Jabba's palace.

The color scheme for the figures is extremely unpleasant. Sad browns, tired greys, harsh reds. Even Alex Rogan in his flight suit (bottom row, viewer's far right) looks incredibly unappealing. There's no way he could have caught the attention of kids who'd grown up with the orange and white sexiness of an X-Wing pilot.

The designers of the original Star Wars Kenner figues always had a keen eye for colour. It's something that children respond to instinctively and, much later, when they're adults they recognize consciously. The Kenner people were using much more appealing shades, even when working with what appear to be superficially the same basic colours. As seen here:
http://www.starwarsreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Kenner-Figures-Poster.jpg

It's obvious that even back then, the Kenner people realized they had a basic colour scheme problem since a big chuck of the first and third movies take place in a desert environment. There are just so many ways you can "do" tan on brown on brown on grey-brown. They solved the problem in three ways: 1.) Tossing the original costume pages out the window and using bright exciting colours. Greedo and Walrus Man are the classic examples. 2.) enlivening the figures with patches of bright, lush, entirely non-brown colours... bright blues, bold oranges, interesting greens 3.) extremely careful colour coordinating of their brown palette. Even then, they clearly recognized they had to be very careful not to over-do it. Bib Fortuna and Squid Head are the super-models of the classic tatooine desert fashion scene with desert clothing in truly lovely colours. It's the kind of clothing that would have appeared in an ideal version of Frank Herbert's Dune.

These guys, no. They just weren't going to do it. The "two to a blister card" idea is simply awful. It means they were planning on charging more (parents LOVE that) and it also raises the certainty of getting stuck with loser character (kids LOVE that). I know for a fact that would have been a sticking point because it already had been with Star Wars figure groups sold in the Christmas catalogs. Even back then, I remember always looking at those figure groups with annoyance. "Wow, all the Imperial forces from Hoth. Oh, wait. there are also some Bespin guys. Lobot? Get out." Or, in one catalog, they deliberately broke up the Empire Strikes back bounty hunter group, saddling them with loser "side-kick" figures. If you wanted the classic line-up that stood on the bridge getting Darth Vader's pep-talk, your folks had to buy four different sets. That's crummy and a cheat. Even a kid can spot it.

Still, I'm going to add my vote for a ReAction reprint of these figures for one major reason and he's bottom row, viewer's far left. I don't remember who he's supposed to be in the movie but that is a fantastic likeness of KFC's Colonel Sanders. For a lot of personal and admittedly stupid reasons, I've always wanted a KFC Colonel Sanders action figure scaled for Star Wars/ GI Joe. He'll do. He'll do nicely!

Alex Newborn said...

Top to bottom, those six are the Bodati Starfighter (or maybe his navigator?), a Ko-Dan soldier, Centauri without his human disguise, Grig, the Zando-Zan assassin, and Alex Rogan.

Alex Newborn said...

By the way, Centauri is almost certainly made from a M*A*S*H figure like Hawkeye.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, Did you get my email I sent regards these ? I sent it as soon as they popped up ? Cheers,

Andy (Rylos)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gamera977 said...

Kevin: Getting to meet Guest and get his autograph is awesome! BTW he has a great 'looking back' feature on the movie DVD. Bet he remembers it a lot more fondly than Jaws IV...

Anon: Good points. Frankly as much as I love the movie the only figures I'd have wanted out of the line were Rogan, Grig, Centauri, and a couple of Ko-Dan.

YesterdayIsNow said...

Cool find! I have to say I agree mostly with the commenter above about the meager visual appeal of these figures. The aliens are all kind of nondescript, and the colors don't pop. No cool humans for kids to roleplay either, except for maybe the pilot. The fighter craft were the only really cool visual in the film - definitely needed to make that toy.

Of course all of this is more the fault of the filmmakers than the toymaker.

Unknown said...

Better yet get Reaction Super 7 to make them

Kevin P said...

Cool, this made it to Den of Geek:

http://www.denofgeek.com/us/culture/toys/276584/the-last-starfighter-action-figure-prototypes-are-found

Unknown said...

amazing I love this movie are thay going up for sale ? I would love to have theses .very interested !! strype@sbcglobal.net

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