You know what? I typed out and then deleted the original title of this post, because I just couldn’t go with “Makin’ Whoopee with Jar Jar Binks!”. Even I have standards. Instead, a barely-there pun using Whoopi Goldberg’s name…clumsy, inelegant, and dumb, but at least it doesn’t make me cringe or die inside.
When the Celebration VI exclusive Jar Jar whoopee cushion was announced, I instantly started thinking about how I’d get one, as I wasn’t going to Celebration VI. You may remember my pathetic open plea on this very site, which surprisingly actually ended up working! A really nice guy named Jarrod grabbed Jar Jar for me after seeing my post, sparing me from cut-throat, cold-blooded eBay profiteers. Jarrod, I think Qui-Gon Jinn was talking about you when he said, “He gives without any thought of reward”—thank you again! (and thanks to Karen for putting the word out, too).
I was pleasantly surprised with the high quality of the Jar Jar whoopee cushion—part of me had feared that he’d just be some cheap piece of garbage made of stitched-together carpet remnants and stuffed with a used sandwich baggie as a “whoopee cushion”, or almost as bad, some mangy, threadbare thing soaked in gasoline that you’d win at a traveling carnival. But no, he’s really nicely made, and was manufactured by Comic Images, the same company that puts out a host of other stuffed animal-ish Star Wars merchandise.
The actual whoopee cushion stuffed inside of JJB’s plush body is a perfect color, as it matches the chubas that came with the classic “Hungry Hero Jar Jar”. I half-heartedly started to blow into it, but had a moment of clarity and realized that I didn’t really give a damn about the whoopee cushion function, and decided not to bother filling it with my acidic spittle. As admirably ridiculous as the concept of a Jar Jar whoopee cushion is—and I hope it provides hours of fun for kids—-I just can’t imagine placing this on somebody’s chair and rubbing my hands together gleefully as I wait for them to sit down. Hasn’t poor Jar Jar suffered enough at the world’s hands without being sat upon for cheap laughs??
It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized what this Jar Jar reminded me of—
…a Pound Puppy, just like the ones my sister had when we were kids! In a more perfect world, they’d launch a whole line of whoopee cushions in this style: “Gaseous Gungans”! The “gross-out toy” genre of the 80’s is back in full force with The Trash Pack, so why not give every kid on the planet a chance at a flatulent Boss Nass?? Yet another missed opportunity, Lucasfilm. Look, even George Lucas himself loves this thing:
(picture from the twitter of @lfensterman)
I don’t know how well the Jar Jar Whoopee Cushion sold at CVI; a quick look at eBay completed auctions had them going for between 30-50 bucks, so maybe they were a hit. I wish more Star Wars licensees would realize that with the right concept and quantities, Jar Jar (and other neglected prequel characters=most of them) items are viable products. Until they do, here’s a picture of Whoopee Cushion Jar Jar about to eat a bone, since he vaguely resembles a Pound Puppy:
Do you remember the brief, probably never-to-be-repeated (more on that in a future post) Phantom Menace wonderland back in January/February? Fresh new TPM products on store shelves, Jar Jar Binks pens in Cheerios, goofy glorified tops with Sebulba stickers on them in Happy Meals? Ring a bell? One of the few TPM-branded things I didn’t buy back then was the Toys R Us exclusive “Podracer Pilots” 5-pack. Not only did I already have all five figures in it, but the price was nuts—it vacillated between $24.99 and $29.99…for five old re-released and unchanged small-sized figures. The only thing “new” about it was the five Podracing flags included, and though I held that set in my hands many times over the past 6 months or so while in TRU, I could never justify spending that much money for a few flimsy flags.
Dropping the price of the set to $12.79 creates a ton of justifications, however— “I’ll always regret it if I don’t get the flags for those podracers!” “I can always use back-ups of these figures, since some of them have really small parts that are easily lost!” “$12.99 for five figures is insane 1978 Kenner pricing, and only a FOOL would pass it up!” But I still had some weird reservation about buying it until my wife rolled her eyes and grabbed it off the shelf, muttering something about me bringing it up out of nowhere in two years—“Do you remember how stupid I was back in 2012 when I didn’t pick up that podracer set? It haunts me to this day.” (that kind of thing happens in our house more than you can imagine.)
If you don’t have any of these figures, this is an absolute steal at $12.79 (it’s at or around that price until September 22, 2012), as a single Star Wars figure will run you around $9.99 these days. This would make a great Christmas or Hanukkah present for Star Wars-loving girls and boys; if I was like 7 years-old and ripped the wrapping paper off of a box of five outer space weirdos with removable goggles and guns, I’d be thrilled. It’s too bad Hasbro couldn’t have thrown Ody Mandrell in this set, as he’s the only previously-produced podracer that wasn’t available at retail in 2012.
The figure that has aged the worst in this set isn’t Gasgano, who has some of that “Kenner Charm” that the original TPM figures have—though his arms fall off even faster than the original 1999 release—but Teemto Pagalies…though there are exceptions, most of the 2002 Hasbro Star Wars figures are deeply flawed as toys and “collectibles”, and poor Teemto suffers from a really awkward sculpt. Clegg Holdfast is the best figure in this set, and easily could’ve passed as a “Vintage” figure slapped on one of those beautiful black and silver cards. Mars Guo and Dud Bolt, who came out together in a 2-pack in 2006, still hold up well. The flags are ridiculously cheap, consisting of a plastic stick and some razor-thin sheets of acetate, so I’m glad I didn’t spend 25 bucks for this set just to get them!
(l. to r.- Mars Guo, Gasgano, Dud Bolt, Clegg Holdfast, Teemto Pagalies)
For whatever reason, this set is still at full-price on tru.com, so you’ll have to make a trip to an actual TRU to get this fantastic bargain. My only regret is that I didn’t stare into the cashier’s eyes while paying for this and declare, “Now THIS is PODRACING!”
Sometime after The Phantom Menace came out—I can’t remember the year, it could’ve been any time between 2001-2005 — boxed bundles of overstock packs of Star Wars “Collectible Card Game” cards started showing up in Toys R Us stores. As any habitue of TRU stores over the past decade or so can tell you, it’s pretty common to see this kind of product; some unknown third party company buys up excess warehouse lots of different cards, throws them in a flimsy package, and sells them to TRU as a discount item. What’s not so common is for the packages to be masterpieces of cosplay gone horribly wrong:
Before descending into the madness of this box, I should point out (why?!? I’m not on trial here!) that I’ve never played a Star Wars CCG, though I have hundreds of the cards…I just don’t have the patience for it. In the days before every Star Wars image you could think of was readily available online, CCG cards were a good photo source for tons of super obscure characters and objects—I’m pretty sure I have one called “Blue Milk” that’s just a picture of Aunt Beru’s Tupperware pitcher. This package contained all-Phantom Menace cards, I think they were from a game called “Young Jedi”.
The seedy company (no name or copyright information appears ANYWHERE on the box) that put this out surely wanted to avoid a lawsuit from Lucasfilm, while still screaming “STAR WARS!” to any potential consumer—so they showcased the worst cosplayers that the former Soviet Bloc had to offer. I really wish I could remember what year I bought this—upon looking at the box, you’d think, “oh, it’s obviously supposed to be Revenge of the Sith imagery,” with the flames and General Grievous-esque dude on the lower left…but I seriously think it was released closer to Attack of the Clones, and all the cards were TPM-based; it’s also possible that lower-left dude is supposed to be a Clone Trooper. There’s also the back of the package, with an altered SR-71 Blackbird that’s clearly supposed to be Queen Amidala’s Royal Starship:
WTF. I could swallow the three knock-offs of Amidala, Anakin, and the Clone Trooper/Grievous(?) on the front, but that ship is over-the-top. “AXIS”?? They’re flying for Hitler now?!? What kind of Star War is this????? I’d like to imagine that this packaging fell through a dimensional rift from one of those dime-a-dozen alternate history realities in which Germany won WWII. “Herr Lucas, the Fuhrer finds your Prequel Trilogy WUNDERBAR! He especially loves your Jira character, the sand witch who can detect weather changes in her bones!”
Until I found this in a box in our basement last week while searching for something else that I never ended up finding, I hadn’t laid eyes on this package since I bought it, whenever that was. I was probably too bowled over by the bizarro cosplayers to really look closely at it before, but if I had, I would’ve discovered that in the alternate reality that this package came from, journeyman actor David Keith was flying the Queen’s AXIS starship in service of the Third Reich!!!:
Wow, Leibniz was right, this reality really is “the best of all possible worlds”. I like my Phantom Menace free of any Nazi associations, thank you very much!
Is anybody going to Star Wars Celebration in Orlando this week and planning on visiting the Celebration Store? I hate begging for favors, and really, I hate even asking for them, but the prospect of missing out on this makes me sick:
It’s a Jar Jar Whoopie Cushion, and it should be obvious why I’d want something this ridiculous. It’s $20 in the Celebration Store, and if anybody’s willing to grab it for me, I could paypal you $35 in advance—20 + 10 for shipping (I think you can ship it directly from the CVI Store?) + 5 bucks for your trouble…and of course full credit in the inevitable TPM:TH post about it! If you can help me out, leave a comment here or on the FB page. Thanks,
Welcome to the 100th post on TPM:TH! It’s not like any 13 year-old with a smartphone can’t make 100 posts on tumblr in the space of a few days, but I feel like most of the time, I’ve tried to put some effort into this. If you’ve been reading all along, thank you for sticking around—I really appreciate it.
You may remember Part 1 of the TPM Holiday Decorations, and while I took everything seen in Part 1 down months ago, the contents of the room featured in Part 2 have stayed exclusively TPM since January. It wasn’t easy finding other places in the house to store away the huge Hasbro Millennium Falcon and AT-AT in the meantime, but keeping them in there would’ve killed the Prequelicious mood. A lot of Star Wars fans have a “Star Wars Room”, but I’m not sure how many people have one that’s solely comprised of TPM stuff —and this isn’t even all of it (If you do have an exclusively TPM room, please send me pics, and I’ll post them here). I usually rotate the contents of this room out a few times a year; doing that keeps things fresh, and it prevents stuff from being stuck unappreciated in a lonely box somewhere in our dank basement. Though I’m changing the room over to a particular “All Star Wars” theme that I’ve wanted to do for awhile (which wasn’t possible before this year), I’ve loved walking into this room and being bombarded with The Phantom Menace every day.
You can check out The Phantom Menace Room in varying degrees—if you just want the casual tour, watch this video (for best effect, go fullscreen):
…but if you’d like a more immersive experience than some shaky-cam video can provide, click on any of the photos below for an album containing detailed pics. There are few things more satisfying than covering the top of a credenza with cheap 13 year-old kitsch that was ultimately available for pennies on the dollar at closeout stores. If you have a question about any of the items pictured below, don’t hesitate to ask— I’d be more than happy to answer!
“Welcome to Club Kenner, Mr. Binks. We’ve been waiting a very long time for you to join us.”
A lovely day for a Gungan Patrol…
” …? “
Captain Tarpals doesn’t hold a grudge!
When I first heard about Hasbro’s Star Wars “exclusive” from the 2012 San Diego Comic Con—the Carbon Freezing Chamber Multi-Pack with “Frozen” Jar Jar Binks—I was torn. On one hand, of course I wanted it, because 2 of the 7 figures included were brand new JJBs; on the other hand, I wondered if buying a product like that just fed the Jar Jar Hate Machine™. Ultimately, I figured what the hell—if George Lucas can laugh off the original piece and display it at LFL, it was fine to include in my own collection.
Seeing that I had no plans to be at the San Diego Comic Con, I was left no other choice (other than the bloodsucking profiteers on eBay!) than to watch Hasbro’s website like a hawk for 3 days directly following Comic Con, refreshing their “exclusives” page literally every minute during business hours. My vigilance/madness paid off, and the Carbon Freezing Chamber arrived here at the end of last week. I’m mostly going to talk about the Jar Jar/TPM-related aspects of this set, since you can read about the rest of it on a million other websites and blogs.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, there are a couple of different gimmicks at work in this set. The first is that the top of it has graphics that look like the floor of the Bespin Carbon Freezing Chamber from The Empire Strikes Back; you pull open a panel and can slide your packaged Jar Jar in Carbonite figure up through the opening, as if he’s just been frozen and packaged for retail in some underground Ugnaught sweatshop. The second gimmick is the art on the cardbacks for 6 of the figures (one for each movie), which use a rejected design concept that Kenner had considered using in the 1970’s. I’ve long been interested in the pre-production/behind-the-scenes history of vintage and modern Star Wars toys, and so it’s neat to see this design being used, but the figure selection (outside of Jar Jar, of course) is kind of uninspired…but more on that in a bit.
The two Jar Jar figures look great. Carbonite Jar Jar is way heavier than I expected; maybe not “I can break your window if I throw it at it”-heavy, but I was expecting something light and hollow, like a bird’s bones. Looking at the two cardbacks side-by-side, it’s pretty obvious that Kenner made the right choice in 1977-78 in going with the black and silver cards. Though Star Wars was such a phenomenon back then that the blue and white cards probably would’ve ended up being iconic just because they were ‘Star Wars’, what they went with is so much more simple and striking. It is too bad that the photo on the Carbonite Jar Jar card isn’t what Hasbro went with on the general release “Vintage Collection” Jar Jar card, a neutral photo of him on a Kaadu, because this one is more “Jar Jar”.
Going back to what I said about the overall figure/character selection being uninspired, there you go…3 of the 6 are generic troopers. Though I get that these figures weren’t made for this set (all 6 of them aside from Carbonite Jar Jar are being released at retail on black vintage cards and the blue cards from this set), if they had wanted to increase the “wow factor” of this set, Hasbro would’ve chosen a memorable character from each film and put them on classic vintage cards. I would’ve gone with Jar Jar for TPM, a brand new Count Dooku for AOTC (or maybe a “smiling” Kit Fisto), a brand new Chewie for ROTS, Leia in her classic duds for ANH, a brand new Yoda (that actually LOOKS like Yoda) for ESB, and kept the ‘electrocuted’ Vader for ROTJ.
Still, the figures they included are all decent and worth having, if not thrill-a-minute exciting. The Clone Lieutenant from AOTC and the Shocktrooper from ROTS are just nicely repainted updates to previously released figures, as is the Sandtrooper, though he’s the nicest one Hasbro has ever released. Bespin Leia is good to have in “super-articulated” form, though I still think this one is a solid figure. The “electrocuted by Force Lightning” Vader has a cool translucent head that you can see his skull through, but Hasbro has used that trick at least once before…and I’m pretty sure the old one glowed in the dark.
Carbonite Jar Jar is made up of two pieces; the inside part pops out, and the reverse side is sculpted to look like “melted” Carbonite, though the Jar Jar figure doesn’t fully fit inside of it:
In this picture, you can also see the biggest flaw on this new Jar Jar figure: his distractingly unpainted knee-joints!! I try to overlook things like that on 4” action figures most of the time, but it really detracts from what’s mostly otherwise a great figure. Jar Jar has 15 points of articulation: a ball-jointed head, a jointed neck on his torso, ball-jointed shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist and legs, ball-jointed knees, and jointed ankles. Other than those knee joints, his paint job is fine except for the absolutely weird dark brown skin patterns they put on his arms. I’m glad he got his proper yellow eyes this time, but I think he’d look better with smaller and slit-like pupils. His cloth “skirt” allows him to sit easily, which is helpful for sticking him in a vehicle. With the right paint-job, this figure could be PERFECT. I hope that Hasbro repaints him in the future, but even in his current state, he still captures the spirit of Jar Jar better than any figure has since 2000.
I had also thought that this Jar Jar was going to re-use a lot of parts from the “Movie Heroes” Jar Jar that came out earlier this year, but no:
The only parts that look to be shared between the two figures are the waist/crotch part and maybe the upper legs. Though the heads look to be the same at first, I literally examined them very closely under a bright LED light, and they have different mold-lines; they may have come from the same original sculpt, but the mold was different (does a complete mental breakdown begin with or end at a forensic investigation into Jar Jar Binks toys’ heads?). I was also surprised at how much taller the Movie Heroes Jar Jar is than the Vintage JJB (you can also see the grody skin patterns/Gungan liver spots on Vintage JJB’s arms in this pic):
How crazy is it that there were only 2 different Jar Jar figures released from 2002-2011, and this year alone, there have been 3?? I would be pleased as punch (am I suddenly 80 years old?!?) if next year, Hasbro threw a “Senator” robe on this Jar Jar and put him out during AOTC 3D’s theatrical release. Though I really hate action figure “exclusives” because of the artificial elitist “I have this and YOU don’t!” fanboy mentality they feed into—I think if you collect something that’s regularly bought at Target, Walmart, or Toys R Us, you should be able to get all of it there—the Carbonite Jar Jar is a fun curio to have, though hardly essential to anybody’s respectable collection of Star Wars figures. Maybe in some bright and shiny future, Carbonite Jar Jar will serve as a puzzling artifact for enlightened Star Wars fans who wonder why anybody would ever want to entomb such a classic and beloved character in Carbonite!
more on this particular Jar Jar within the next couple of days!
It’s a sad day when, after hitting 3 Walmarts, 3 Targets, 2 K-Marts, and a Toys R Us this morning, I didn’t find a single worthwhile Star Wars thing I was looking for. I did buy a couple of things that I wasn’t looking for…enough for an anemic Phantom Phindz, at least. I won’t break our sacred internet-borne trust by feigning excitement over a couple of notebooks, but they are Phantom Menace-based, so they’re worth talking about.
I found both of these notebooks at Target; the first Target I went to, I looked in the usual school/office supplies section, and couldn’t find them…the next Target had them in a large “Back to School” section in the back corner of the store, where they usually have Christmas or Halloween decorations. The first one is definitely the less exciting of the two:
Oh look! How surprising—it’s Darth Maul! And wow, they’ve pulled out all the stops and rolled out some vintage 13 year-old promo art to slap on there!! I guess I should just be happy enough that they even bothered to put a Prequel, let alone TPM, notebook out there, but that truly is 1999-vintage promo art. At least Qui-Gon is on it, right?
The back cover is just your average Maul Montage, but I can give a point or two for the Sith Probe Droids floating threateningly above the UPC. Like I’ve said before, I like Darth Maul just fine, but my God, there are more than three characters in The Phantom Menace!! I also realize that these are marketed to kids and not dudes in their late 30’s, but I wish they would just mix it up a bit. How about a picture of Darth Maul on the balcony with Darth Sidious? A close-up of his face the moment that Obi-Wan slices him in half? ANYTHING, just something different! I think I was spoiled as a kid by things like this:
That ESB image was the cover of a drawing tablet—just look at it: The Probe Droid, an Ugnaught, 2-1B, a Snivvian, a Lutrillian, and lastly, the Bounty Hunters!! And that’s from the least species-diverse Star Wars movie of them all! Can’t you imagine a TPM notebook with pictures of Sebulba, Ratts Tyerell, Yarael Poof, Queen Amidala, and Sio Bibble on it? I sure can. Instead, stale stock photos of Darth Maul. Yawn.
The second notebook—well, composition book—is a little bit more interesting:
Even though those are the same old 13 year-old photos, at least there’s some art to the design, with a sinister Darth Maul looming in the darkness behind the Jedi, and the Star Wars logo at the bottom shooting out towards you. The back cover of it truly shocked me:
Whoa, the manufacturer dared to explicitly use the TPM logo!! Good for them. Although this is the same image that was on one of the Target “$1 Spot” mini-notebooks that were out months ago when TPM3D was released, the star field background and TPM logo make it a winner. If I had designed this notebook and could only use Obi-Wan, Darth Maul, and Qui-Gon, I’d have chosen this image in color with a huge spectral Qui-Gon nobly staring out at you from behind the logo.
Aside from the over-produced Hasbro Phantom Menace figures and toys that are preventing any new Star Wars stuff from hitting the shelves (and are probably giving all the usual shrill suspects even more reason to hate TPM) , it is nice to see new TPM merchandise in the store, even if it’s a couple of uninspired notebooks…and it’s good for TPM-loving kids to have characters they love emblazoned across their school supplies. I realize that I’m being ridiculous by demanding Yarael Poof merchandise in every aisle, but surely, there are other iconic TPM characters beyond the omni-present trio featured above?? Jar Jar, of course (he could even be “ironically” merchandised to people who think they don’t like him)…but why not Watto? Sebulba? Boss Nass? “Naked” Threepio and Artoo? And most glaringly absent, Queen Amidala. Though I think it’s perfectly great for little girls to love Darth Maul or Qui-Gon or Ben Quadinaros, you’ll never convince me that the non-use of Queen Amidala in (non-“collector”) Star Wars products isn’t a wasted opportunity for Star Wars licensees. I’m not some marketing guru, but I see all those pink princess aisles of “girl toys” at retail and feel like there’s room in there for a QUEEN who’s closer in age to the target market. It seems that Star Wars licensees didn’t know how to sell Queen Amidala in 1999, and still don’t.
sorry, fans of “college-ruled” paper…these notebooks are “WIDE-ruled”!
And just to up the excitement factor, here’s a picture of Jar Jar Binks holding Aurra Sing’s severed head aloft after beheading her with Qui-Gon Jinn’s lightsaber.
Anakins are people too!
Hi, and welcome back! I hope Jar Jar June lived up to your wildest dreams and most dire fears. Now that your palate is cleansed after 30 days of a non-stop Binks buffet, let’s talk about money. Specifically, fake Thai money featuring Boss Nass and Mas Amedda.
I must’ve bought these counterfeit Thai baht banknotes sometime between 1999 and 2002. I have no idea what their origins are, and though I’ve often fantasized that Thailand—so overcome with excitement brought on by The Phantom Menace— used these as legal tender for awhile, it’s probably much more likely that they’re the work of a lone revolutionary toiling at his computer on an ancient (circa 1999) graphics program. Who better than the greedy Neimoidian, Daultay Dofine, to showcase these?
The first one is a 500 baht note, that, if it were real, would be worth about $15.75USD. As it is, emblazoned with the wise face of Qui-Gon Jinn, it’s priceless:
Boss Nass’ presence manages to add more gravitas. Maybe if Boss Nass was on our money, we wouldn’t have recessions?
The flip side may be even better!! It almost looks like Darth Maul has taken Jar Jar on as his apprentice! Mas Amedda sternly disapproves—“Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!,” he huffs to himself. Anakin’s Podracer cockpit floating behind Jar Jar’s elbow is pretty randomly-placed, but I like to think that the Falumpaset and Ammo Wagon in the upper left is what Darth Maul and Jar Jar tool around in when they’re attending to their Sithly business in their ornate Thai Sith Castle (seen in the background).
The 1000 baht note doesn’t mess around with some dumb king or president, and slaps The Chosen One right on the front:
The Queen’s Royal Starship seems like an afterthought; it would have made a lot more sense to put Anakin’s Podracer there…but getting into the mind of a Thai counterfeiter is a dangerous game that you can rarely win.
The reverse side features Queen Amidala and Obi-Wan:
The Trade Federation Droid Control Ship and Darth Sidious are expected, the Battle Droids and even the Pit Droids make sense, but look under the “1000”—it’s a random Ithorian Merchant from Mos Espa (not to be confused with Senator Tendau Bendon, despite what the wiki picture is captioned)!! I have no idea what he’s doing there; maybe the counterfeiter just really liked Hammerheads.
I wonder if our local Thai restaurant would accept these as payment…?
Daultay Dofine can’t resist rolling around in filthy lucre—Neimoidians!!
thanks for reading, and more later this week!
Thank you very much to everybody who commented, read, or shared Jar Jar June, and a special thanks to my wife for her invaluable assistance and support throughout the whole month.
Though Jar Jar June 2012 is now over, The Phantom Menace: The Holiday will of course continue after I take a short break—the party will start again a few days after the Fourth of July. If you’re distraught about the end of Jar Jar June, don’t worry—I’ve only scratched the surface of the Glorious Gungan, and I’ll have tons more to say about him. Maybe Santa Claus will bring Jar Jar January 2013…
To experience Jar Jar June all over again, here’s an index of every post by title:
Jar Jar June Index
As ever, click on the pics to enlarge them!
Jar Jar ‘83—Return of the Jedi!
The Carbonite Melts!
“Whosa there?” “Someone who loves you.”
“Jabba, meesa payin’ you triple! Yousa throwin’ away a fortune!”
“Good, meesa hatin’ longo waitin’.”
“Threepio, yousa tell that slimy piece of worm-ridden filth that heesa gettin’ no such pleasure from weesa!”
“Boba Fett? Wheresa?”
“I thought you were blind?!” “It’s alright, trust meesa!”
“Yousa the respectable hissen, remember?”
Jar Jar vs. Biker Scout…to the DEATH!
Snared in the Ewoks’ Trap!
Teebo vs. Jar Jar!
Barbecued Gungan, ala Ewok
“But yousa could tell Luke? Is that whosa yousa could tell?”
The Battle of Endor!
“Meesa love yousa…”
Wicket the Wet Blanket
Relive Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back!:
Jar Jar ‘77
Jar Jar ‘80
Come back tomorrow for the last day of Jar Jar June! Thanks for making it this far!
Bootlegged Binks THE END…?
I love the optimism of the international syndicate of bootleggers in 1999—they didn’t think that there would be enough Jar Jar to go around, so they took matters into their own hands…and the chemically-burned hands of those working in their back-alley toy factories. The results are below, with minimal commentary. When applicable, the actual Hasbro Jar Jar figure will be on your left for comparison. One word of advice before you scroll down—don’t breathe in the fumes, and limit touching these figures with your bare hands…they’re TOXIC!!!
Why would they bootleg the tiny bust that came inside that glittery soap?!? You can see how shoddy the paint on the bootleg is compared to the real deal.
My mom picked up these unlicensed stickers for me while visiting Eastern Europe a couple of years ago. I don’t know if you can see it too well, but the top right sticker is hilarious—you’d never see an official sticker of random Podrace spectators!
Most bootlegs are smaller than the real figure, because they make a mold using the original which automatically shrinks them…but not this one! This Jar Jar’s white and red arms suggest that he was tortured with chemicals. They didn’t even bother to scale up his staff!
This bootleg is SUPER-rubbery…I think he’s made out of a melted-down tire with poisonous lead paint slopped all over.
You can see how short this one is, and he’s very dense. You could probably shatter a car’s windshield with it if you threw it hard enough!
Definitely produced at the same bootleg factory as the previous one, but this one didn’t pass quality control (as if that matters to the bootleggers!)—if you look closely, his right arm is held on with Sticky-tac, and so are his ears.
My favorite one—I call him Albino Jar Jar. He’s made of the most cheap, hollow plastic available…and look at his sinister eyes!!
The carded figures could probably fool some well-meaning Granny at a flea market, as for the most part, they looked pretty close to the real thing…except when they inexplicably featured other characters’ faces on the front of the card!!
Wow, an actual Jar Jar picture on the card!! The comically huge picture in the “Commtech chip” is just a folded piece of cardboard. The bootlegs should say, “NOW FIGURES TALK!…but not this one!”
Who doesn’t love the Space Wars Saga???
You can still find these wind-up TPM bootlegs regularly on eBay. This is like the poor man’s version of the Jar Jar Palm Talker.
The friendly little super-deformed Jar Jar on the left glows in the dark, supposedly…maybe only at a wavelength that bats can see?
Blue-Vest Binks has the demeanor and gravitas of a small statue of a Saint. I wish I had gotten this for my First Communion.
The Many Tongues of JJB Jar Jar ‘83