1978 Kenner Star Wars Preproduction 12” Ben Kenobi Salesman Sample:
For collectors with a serious Ben Kenobi focus, this is an intriguing example sure to please. Though referenced in the accompanying CIB letter as a “salesman sample”, that modest description simply just does not do this specimen any justice. Both head and boots appear to be “preproduction” in nature: the head sculpt varies slightly from production – mostly around the hairline and jawline and is notably softer to the touch; the boots – they appear to be from the mold used for the 12” Luke, but molded in the more familiar brown. The crotch section on this 12” figure also appears to be hand painted. Then there’s the cloak: Both fabric and color also differ from production. This cloak has a slightly more “fuzzy” look and feel to it and has a gorgeous maroon color as opposed to the production brown. The stitching in places also deviates from production examples. Still despite all these early traits this 12” figure still appears to have all its point of origin and copyright info stamped in place. The accompanying lightsaber also appears production like. All this might make some wonder if this 12” figure might actually be a repurposed engineering pilot, or something, but without any further information at this time it’s impossible to say conclusively other that it’s a “salesman sample”. To date, I’ve heard of but one other example known to exist as other examples found appear to be no different than production. Condition wise, this 12” figure presents well, but does exhibit some thinning to the white paint used for the hair and beard. The tip of the lightsaber upon inspection is clearly distressed at the tip with a minor piece chipped away. The production Ben; cloak and white Luke boots in the reference images are just that – for reference, and are not included with this sale.
Grade: CAS 70 Serial# - 10159372