LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

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LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by General Kahn on Fri May 13, 2016 3:59 pm

LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

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A little back story first. When I first posted my Research work on TIG for Luke Bespin in the lightsaber section I included a Version 6 Lightsaber that I had discussed with Wolff. He had had the saber a while and wasn't quite sure about it but believed it to be real. After talking with him and looking at some photo's that he had sent I came to the same conclusion. The sculpt was very good, especially compared to all the other reproduction weapons at the time as this was about 4+ years ago.
A year or so late Aussie James messaged me to say that he had acquired one of these V6 Lightsaber and that he too believed it to be authentic.
Earlier this year I was presented with the opportunity to get my hands on one of these through a trade with a friend and finally got one.
The saber it's self is a very close representation of the real sabers just with slightly different detail. The plastic looks good, in general everything looked the part.
Today however I received a parcel which contained a Luke Jedi figure in it which had the exact same saber but in green. Now this isn't unusual, the Blue Green and Yellow saber from the Smile factory where all produced in the exact same mould for example.
What was slightly worrying was the fact that the mould was identical even down to very minor flaws and the colour seemed a little too bright green unlike any other saber I had found.
The problem with the minor flaws is that the sabers where produced on sprues with several, maybe as many as 10 at a time, a minor flaw in one of those 10 cavities would show up the same every time the mould was injected. It just seemed odd that the first two I have both have it, almost like it came from a very small mould with maybe.... only one cavity, which sets off a few alarm bells Neutral

What is also quite worrying is that the injection point to the sprue appears to be on the side of the hilt where as all the other authentic sabers, the cut off point is on the top of the hilt.

Have a look for your selves....

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In the top close up, notice what looks like an etching mark across the EPM in the red box, it is identical on both. In the lower picture, notice the slight depression where the hilt meets the hilt guard in the red box. Again this is identical on both. Although I forgot to take a picture, it is in this area on the other side of the hilt where the sprue break appears to be.

Here is the yellow saber compared to two authentic yellow sabers of slightly different colours from the Smile factory.

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Mystery Saber in the middle


Here is the green saber compared to two authentic green sabers of slightly different colours from the Smile factory.

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Mystery Saber in the middle


And here is the green saber compared with the Taiwan Factory saber.

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And here is the original picture that I got from Wolff which shows the frosting much clearer.

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And finally here is one other rather worrying feature.....

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There is of course one other thing that goes against the grain of these sabers. Luke Bespin was produced in three factories originally, there are three different Lightsaber sculpts that correspond with the three different figures from these factories. The same applies to Luke Jedi..... So why is or more to the point, why would there be a fourth???
Everything now seems to point to a very convincing reproduction saber, it just doesn't add up.

In it's defense, if it was a reproduction which has clearly been in existence for 4+ years, then why isn't the market flooded with them, this is only the 4th one I've encountered in that time?

I would genuinely like anyone reading this to check all of there sabers, all colours and see if yours matches this bizarre saber and see if we can show a few more examples. Maybe they are out there in there droves, but look so good that they have largely gone unnoticed.

I'm on the bench at the moment, but my heart is telling me that these are not authentic lightsabers,  just a worrying good reproduction.

Thanks for reading...

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Ian_C on Fri May 13, 2016 5:38 pm

Hey Alex,

Excellent research!

I don't have one of these, and can't explain the differences from known versions, however, I think I may have a possible explanation. As far as having the exact same markings, it is likely that this was a mold being used around 1983-1984, when both Luke Jedi and Luke Bespin were in production simultaneously. The flawed mold would have been used for both green and yellow lightsaber orders, giving us this saber in two different colors as noted.

Again, I can't explain the origins of it, but I find it hard to believe it would be a repro. For a repro to look that good, and to also pass the float test, the maker would have absolutely flooded the market with them, and we would have seen many examples. As it is, there may be many examples out there, but most collectors don't examine their weapons with that kind of precision, accepting anything without the obvious repro identifications as the real deal, so many of these won't be really known.

Of course, the most definitive answer would be if we could find one carded, but as is, I'd be more inclined to call it a unique variant as opposed to a repro.

Cheers,

Ian
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Commander Clint on Fri May 13, 2016 6:29 pm

Could it be, that the original mould broke or was worn out, close to the end of the production run & they had to quickly reproduce a new steel mould to fill the final orders?
That might explain why there are so few of these sabers around? It might also explain why the sprue connection is in a different location?
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Dr Dengar on Sat May 14, 2016 5:43 am


Great in depth research of a possible new type of repro saber.
Thanks for sharing, Alex! Smile
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by General Kahn on Sat May 14, 2016 10:16 am

Thanks for your input guys.

I have spoken to Wolff again concerning this saber and he has said that it is possible that his may have been in his collection for as long as 10 years which is good to hear because it means that it is even less likely that this is a repro because as we have said the market would have been flooded with these and if they have been around for as long as that.

Ian, thanks for chiming in, and yes, only one mould per factory for specific weapons. In this case both the Smile and Unitoy factory both produced Luke Bespin and Luke Jedi and they only had the one saber mould which was used for both (this will be explained in more detail in an up comming thread I'm working on Cool )

This specific 'sculpt' is not the same as either of it's two similar counterparts as shown above, in this case, sabers produced at the Smile factory and the Taiwan factory, the Taiwan factory never produced Luke Bespin which leaves us with the Smile factory as the potential candidate for production of this.

It is possible as Clint said that this could have been due to problems with the original mould and subsequently a new mould was produced. Finding a carded example would be nice definately, I will certainly be keeping an eye out cyclops

Seeing these in the flesh really does seem real, it was just finding the identical green one that put me on the bench. I showed the yellow one to Christian and Chris when they stayed at mine and they both agreed that it didn't look repro.

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by chris.75 on Sat May 14, 2016 6:29 pm

Another fantastic thread Alex, thanks for posting your research on the V6 saber clapping
I checked all my Luke Jedi and Luke Bespin sabers, but sadly, I do not have the V6 version amongst them.
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by ChristianC on Tue May 17, 2016 8:59 am

Great thread Alex! If this is a repro than it is a damn good one. If you had to guess, what would be the most likely cardback/figure combo to contain that saber version?

Yes you definitely did show your saber to me in Scarborough. I think you even tried to put it in my mouth when I was sleeping.

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by M4K3R1 on Tue May 17, 2016 11:23 am

Alex, the only thing that stands out to me is the texture of the plastic, it looks very similar to the 90's repro flat tip texture that came out of china in the late 90's.
As you mentioned that to be a repro you would think that they are all over the place, but with these flat tips, that's not the case, they are far and inbetween, seems like a limited batch was made and then stopped.
You can see the texture in some pics I put below, I know this is a different type of lightsaber, and I know nothing about the bespin type luke saber, but sometimes other similarities can help.
Another thing I found with the 90's flat tip repro is the circles along the main shaft, its hard to see, but held at an angle in the correct sunlight the circles stands out. Could be a common thing on yours.
These are so close to the real thing and float, glow, colour, etc like the originals, if it wasn't for the texture you would not even think twice about these being repro.
Im not saying yours is repro, but there could be similarities between the 2 types of sabers.
BTW, I love your threads, makes us think and learn, this its missing from todays forums

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Dr Dengar on Tue May 17, 2016 6:48 pm

Thanks Oscar for contributing details of a well made repro saber from the 90s.
It provides an alternative perspective on this topic.

Cheers
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by chris.75 on Tue May 17, 2016 6:52 pm

Awesome post Oscar, thanks for chiming in mate. Fantastic pics too by the way cheers clapping
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by General Kahn on Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:43 pm

Sorry for the late reply.

Thanks for chiming in Oscar, very interesting and yes the texture really does look the exact same.

Let's take a quick look at the oddity points again:

- 3 Original moulds..... this is a 4th which doesn't make sense.
- Sprue cut in the wrong place which again doesn't make sense as it's not the logical place for a mould to produce multiple sabers.
- The fact that both mine share the exact same mould imperfection? Either absolute coincidence or a result of the there only been one mould cavitiy or very few at best. Unfortunately the only others I am aware of are unlikely to post here so it's difficult to find out if this exists on those too.

I think it's safe to say that these are reproductions, most likely from the same era as the one's Oscar mentioned which would also fit with Wolff's timeline on his.

Hopefully this was a short production run as you suspect Oscar. The worrying thing is that given how good they are, it's possible that many people have them but simply don't know it Sad

Either way, this thread is here now and they have been identified Smile

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Thomas John on Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:02 pm

I have one of these sabers in green, and all the same signs: sprue cut on handle near hilt, brighter color, mold imperfection, etc
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by General Kahn on Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:30 pm

@Thomas John

Thank you for posting here, I can see from your pictures that the saber you have does seem to match my two perfectly, which really does suggest that this came from a one cavity mould which is not how vintage weapons where made, they would be produced in anything from 5 to 12 cavity moulds, maybe even sometimes more, but never one.

What is the one good thing about these very well made repro's is that as Oscar has suggested, they appear to have only been a very limited run, so not many out there.

The problem is that this of course may not be the case because of how good they are, many may exist in collections that have gone un-noticed, so even if it was a short run, it's likely that there are many out there that haven't been identified. But I still personally believe that they exist in only limited numbers because I have collected Luke Bespin for nearly 20 years and still only found 1 and know of 2 others. Even the one I found wasn't through coming to me personally through a purchase it was a friend who got one and I traded him with another saber so I could finally study one in person as my attention to these had been drawn several years early through another friend.

I am 100% convinced that these are reproductions, every thing goes against the grain.

Thanks again for chiming in, it has helped a lot Very Happy

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Thomas John on Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:18 pm

@ General Kahn

Thank you for your help as well! FYI I bought this saber off of an eBay seller that had sold 8 total. I don't believe he was intentionally selling repros as vintage, but there are at least 7 more floating around out there. Hopefully I never run into one again.
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by General Kahn on Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:22 pm

I had a chat with AJ today who sent me these links from nearly 10 years ago where this was discussed on RS, interesting read:

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There is also this thread from the Jawa's Armoury which seems to claim it's real, but this is incorrect in my opinion.

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Thanks for the information AJ Very Happy  The riddle is becoming much clearer and the time frame is also correct.

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Thomas John on Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:00 am

I paid $18 including shipping, and I'm seriously considering hanging on to it even though it is very likely a repro. The seller is willing to take a return and offer a full refund. I really want to know the story of where it came from or who made it! Normally, I am 100% against anything repro in my collection, but this saber is intriguing.
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by General Kahn on Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:16 pm

Like all repro's I come to own, I keep them all for my own personal documentation and just so they don't get passed on. These are interesting because of how good they are.
From Oscar's (M4K3R1) post it would seem most likely that these sabers came from China in the 90's.

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by M4K3R1 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:15 am

If these textured weapons in question can be traced back to being sold by bluesnagman, then most likely these will be a 90s repro
not bashing this seller as he sells real also, but did have these in quantity as lately as 2010
and is currently selling repro darth saber which is, to be honest a 99.9% match in every way, there is no way of telling these apart
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Thomas John on Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:06 pm

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Here's another one that surfaced yesterday.  I referenced this thread specifically to show that it is a reproduction.  Notice, the same exact mold defect is present in this saber as well.
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Commander Clint on Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:06 pm

It's great that another example has surfaced. Hopefully Alex will chime in, for some more discussiion.
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by General Kahn on Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:45 am

Thank you Thomas for the additional update. I think the fact that all of these sabers have the exact same mold cavity defect is definitely one of the key signs that these are unquestionably reproduction.
This instantly implies that all were produced from a mold with just one cavity which is not how the authentic weapons were produced.

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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Thomas John on Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:54 am

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Here it is again!  Luckily auction was ended before someone bought it.
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Commander Clint on Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:51 pm

Apparently this now comes in blue.

TIG is just picking this story up.
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by cantina_patron on Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:25 pm

Thanks for posting the link to the blue version Clint.
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Re: LIGHTSABER MYSTERY - Different Sculpt Or Worrying Reproduction

Post by Commander Clint on Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:31 pm

Steve, Hopefully Alex will see this and give us an update.
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