LILI LEDY WEAPONS - What's Mine Is Yours And Yours Is Mine... A Theory

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LILI LEDY WEAPONS - What's Mine Is Yours And Yours Is Mine... A Theory

Post by General Kahn on Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:52 pm

LILI LEDY WEAPONS - What's Mine Is Yours And Yours Is Mine... A Theory

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Did the B-Wing Pilot steal Luke’s gun? But then how did the AT-ST Driver get his hands on it? Did Wicket steal Chirp’s staff? But then how the hell did it end up on the Death star???
I’ve always wondered why certain figures produced by Lili Ledy had the wrong weapons? Originally I thought maybe it’s a cost thing? Cheaper to ship less moulds from Asia than more? But this didn’t really make sense, but one day a while ago while working on my new Luke Bespin research the ‘penny dropped’ so to speak.

This can be a little confusing but bare with me a while. I should also point out that this is just a theory that to me certainly makes sense.... But like everything with Lili Ledy, it doesn’t work for everything.

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Lets start with Luke Bespin and Luke Jedi. Luke Bespin has the wrong gun and Luke Jedi has the wrong saber, well at least the wrong saber for that specific figure variant.

The Luke Bespin figure that was produced by Lili Ledy had the raised bar COO which was a duplicated mould from the original mould made by Kader Industries. This featured this saber and blaster seen below.

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The Luke Jedi figure produced by Lili Ledy had the ‘Made in Hong Kong’ COO which was originally produced by the Unitoy Factory. This featured this saber and blaster seen below.

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Now compare the green saber and the yellow saber from the Luke Bespin that was also produced at the Unitoy factory.

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Here’s the thing. Producing a mould is costly, so producing two that are the same is silly. When the Unitoy factory produced Luke Bespin they needed a saber mould and therefore produced one. It’s unlikely that they also produced a blaster mould as they would have already had a smuggler blaster mould from earlier production of Star Wars figures. When Luke Jedi production began, they produced a blaster mould but would not have produced a saber mould as they already had one for Luke Bespin hence the fact that they are the same. It’s easier and cheaper to just use a different colour plastic in the same mould than produce a separate mould. This can also be seen from the Smile factory sabers, yellow, blue and green all bare the same mould as they would have been produced in the same mould.

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Smile Factory Lightsabers

Shortly after production began on Luke Jedi, Lili Ledy began production and they imported the mould from Unitoy.
Now the blaster mould definately went with the figure mould as the Unitoy blaster and Lili Ledy blaster are the same as seen below.

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Unitoy Top, Lili Ledy Bottom

However the saber mould clearly didn’t go as Lili Ledy never produced that saber variant. The obvious reason for this is that Unitoy still needed the mould for continued production of Luke Bespin for the then European market.

Now let’s skip back to Luke Bespin, who’s Lili Ledy origins came from the Kader factory which never produced Luke Jedi so when that mould went to Mexico the saber mould went with it and now Mexico had a saber mould, and just like Unitoy that worked for both which is why Luke Jedi has the same fat hilt saber as Luke Bespin despite none of the Asian factory ever producing a green fat hilt saber.

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Lili Ledy Bespin Saber Left, Lili Ledy Jedi Saber Right

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Lili Ledy Retorno Bespin Saber, Lili Ledy Regresso Bespin Saber, Lili Ledy Jedi Saber, Kenner Saber

As for the blaster for Luke Bespin. It’s unlikely that this would have travelled to Mexico for the same reason and that is that the factories in Asia where still using it for the numerous other figures that featured that weapon. Only one other Lili Ledy Character should have had the smuggler blaster and that is Han in Trench Coat who of course also didn’t have the smuggler blaster, and guess where the mould for Han in Trench Coat came from that Lili Ledy used????? Yep, hopefully you guessed it..... Kader Industries.

Now let’s take a look at a couple of others. Wicket. Now Wicket of course came with a spear but his Lili Ledy release had him teamed up with a Chief Chirpa staff. The question here is, why? No other Jedi figures required the spear so why didn’t it travel to Mexico with Wicket?
Well of course another figure did end up with the Spear and that was Romba. However Romba didn’t exist at this point? Given how Romba was one of the earliest POTF figures to be released one thing you can say for certain is that him and probably most of the other POTF figures where already heavily into the design & pre-production stage by this point in time. So it would have already been determined what accessory Romba would have. The mould that was imported by Mexico for Wicket came from the Smile factory and can you take a guess at which factory later went on to produce Romba??? Yep you guessed it..... Smile!
The same logic can also be used with Leia Poncho, B-Wing Pilot and the AT-ST Driver, none of which had the correct weapon when released by Lili Ledy.
Now lets take a quick look at where they all came from. Well all three of the moulds for Leia, B-Wing Pilot and the AT-ST Driver that Lili Ledy used came from the Kader factory and the Kader factory later went on to produce the Imperial Gunner which of course used the same blaster mould as the three figures mentioned above. So again a similar logic can be used as to why the tiny blaster never made it to Mexico because Kader still needed it for the future production of the Imperial Gunner.
Lili Ledy then used existing weapons that they had, Leia got her old gun back from the mould they already had for Leia Bespin and the other two got the Palace Blaster from the mould they had for Luke Jedi.
At this point it’s also worth mentioning that the POTF figures that featured the palace blaster where Luke Poncho and Lando General, both of which where produced at the Smile Factory which also produced the other Luke Jedi with the ‘Hong Kong’ COO which is why the black palace blasters have the same sculpt as the the brown/grey ones, because, again they where using the same mould exactly.

Hopefully all of the above makes sense and does present the most logical answer to the figures in question, however just when you think you have the answers, Lili Ledy certainly likes to throw a whole pile more questions at you.

There are of course several figures that can’t really be explained in this way. The Emperor for example, no other figure ever used the cane so why did the mould for it not travel to Mexico with the figure mould? The same goes for the Jawa, the weapon is unique to the Jawa so why didn’t it follow?
The Rebel Commander is also similar. Although another figure did use the same rifle (Luke Hoth) The mould that Lili Ledy used for the Rebel Commander came from Kader Industries. Luke Hoth was not produced at Kader Industries at all but Smile and Unitoy, so why did the weapon not travel with the figure?

I guess these question will never truly be answered, but an interesting way to look at it would be to wonder whether, Lili Ledy used duplicated moulds on some figures. It’s certainly my belief that moulds where in some cases duplicated.
Take for example the Luke Bespin figure produced at the Smile factory, it continued to be produced with the Hong Kong COO stamp right until the end of production for the U.S. Market, yet at the same time the same figure was been produced with the COO removed for the European market??? The thing is, the mould is different, not only was the country stamp removed but the feet where altered to make him stand better and the head socket was also changed so it’s my belief that the mould was duplicated to allow production for both the U.S. And Europe at the same time. I believe that this also happened to the Kader mould, when the mould had the country removed (smoothed version) this mould was producing figures in Spain till the end of production, yet the raised bar from the same family was in Mexico producing figures? Again, elements of the moulds changed, like the head socket again so it is my belief again that this mould was duplicated.

So what’s to say that others where not as well? Klaatu Skiff and Nikto for example. Both of these figures at this stage seem to have only been produced in one Asian factory, there is no evidence to suggest that they there where ever more than the one Asian factory producing these two figures, yet production continued side by side with Mexico, so where the moulds duplicated and sent to Mexico? If this was the case then, why not duplicate the weapon mould as well? Well if this is the case they certainly did with Nikto as his staff was also produced by Lili Ledy, but why not Klaatu? Maybe it was cost? They figured well we’ll just give him the same staff the other Klaatu has? Who Knows?
The Emperor was produced in two Asian factories, one shares the same COO as the ones produced in Mexico but why no cane, again, maybe the Emperor mould was duplicated and cane wasn’t?
The Emperor was certainly going to be a more popular figure than the likes of Klaatu and Nikto so production in two Asian factories was probably continued especially as he was used as a mail away offer, so it’s likely that it wasn’t seen fit to loose production in one factory so a mould was duplicated for Mexico. The Jawa? Well again who really knows why this happened and this is all speculation at best. Like I said and most already know, Lili Ledy will always remain a mystery on so many levels.

There are of course other interesting things that exist, which raise the question, Did Lili Ledy also produce it’s own moulds? Well the answer to that for me is quite simple.... Yes.
Take for example the Nien Numb/Jawa blaster and the Weequay staff. These are both clearly from unique moulds when compared to there Kenner counterparts. The letters are also a good hint as Lili Ledy clearly stamped there moulds with these (not every one of course because weapon moulds had multiple cavities that where not all individually stamped)
Compare the two below, moulds don’t alter shape during transit... Well not unless they come into contact with several thousand degrees of heat along the way.

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Kenner Left, Lili Ledy Right

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Kenner Left, Lili Ledy Right

What is also important to note is that both of the given examples came from the infamous MIM 13.

Biker Scout
Chief Chirpa
Darth Vader
Yoda
Gamorrean Guard
Lando Skiff
Klaatu
Logray
Nien Numb
Ree-Yees
Squid Head
Lumat
Paploo

Everyone of course knows about the 13 figures that featured on Made in Mexico Kenner cards. What’s interesting about these figures is that they also happen to be the same 13 figure that have a unique Lili Ledy COO and also the 13 figures that have unique Lili Ledy accessories.
The exception to this of course Yoda and Darth Vader who came from imported moulds which is why Yoda doesn’t have unique weapons.
This Unique COO’s are all basically the same stamp as well. Some may argue that Klaatu is the same COO as Kenner, but to me it isn’t, just very similar. The Copyright logo is different and there is no evidence of the removed H.K. Where as all the Kenner ones have this.
So at some stage Lili Ledy either produced 11 Unique figure moulds or Kenner produced them for Lili Ledy. Which ever it was Lili Ledy had those unique moulds for those 11 figures and the imported ones for Yoda and Vader.

Finally, in the case of Darth Vader and Obi-Wan. Again a unique saber mould was produced for these figures. Again they are lettered which Kenner only did early on and also they have the unique fat tip.
This falls back to the beginning and the most likely scenario. Let’s say for example that one of the factories in Asia was producing Ben, Vader and Luke Farmboy and it was this factory which then imported it’s Ben and Vader mould to Mexico. The factory in Asia would have kept the saber mould for Luke meaning that the Ben and Vader moulds travelled with out weapons. There was no alternative weapon for these figures though so a unique saber mould would have been needed.
It’s also worth noting that weapon moulds can be produced cheaper as they don’t require steel because of the less abrasive soft plastics used for the accessories, so moulds could be easily produced in house in the same way Kenner produced Kerksite Protomoulds for there bench shots in house. This would also explain the apparent lack of quality to these weapons.

Anyway, it’s just a theory, make of it what you will and feel free to expand on this What a Face

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Re: LILI LEDY WEAPONS - What's Mine Is Yours And Yours Is Mine... A Theory

Post by Dr Dengar on Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:03 pm

Fabulous read., Alex!  cheers

I need some time to absorb all this info, but hell it makes a lot of sense.

Thank you for sharing! Very Happy

BTW: Rebel Commando is the only ROTJ figure of the first wave of figures (as present on a 65-back) which was never produced by Lili Ledy. And Rebel Commander is the sole Hoth figure produced in the Lili Ledy line not counting the short run of 10-backs. No Han Hoth, Luke Hoth, Leia Hoth, Rebel Soldier, Snowtrooper, AT AT Driver, AT AT Commander were produced for the main 3 3/4 inch Lili Ledy line (12-backs and beyond).  
Why Lili Ledy only released one Hoth figure?

One explanation might be that there was some sort of miscommunciation between the Lili Ledy factory and Kenner when ordering a steel mould for the Rebel Commando?
Not sure why the rifle was not sent to Mexico though.


Kenner: Hallo this is Kenner, Cincinnati, Ohio. how can I help you?
Lili Ledy: Hello?...
Kenner: Hello, this is Kenner.
Lili Ledy: Hello?.... Sorry the line is very bad.
Kenner: No worries, I can understand you, sort of..
Lili Ledy: Hello this is the Lili Ledy factory in Tlanepantla, Mexico.
Kenner: Hey there. How are things going? Did you receive the first steel moulds from Asia?
Lili ledy: Yes we did, thank you!
Kenner: Great to hear that. We are all part of the big General Mills family and should help each other.
Lili Ledy: We would like to have some more steel moulds, including that new Rebel Commando figure.
Kenner:  Sorry, I didn't get that right, the line is bad indeed..... You mean Rebel Commander, the guy with the riflle hanging on his shoulder.
Lili Ledy: Yes indeed that guy!
Kenner: Ok, I tell you what.  You can have that figure's mould for free, the Hoth season is over anyway.  
Lili Ledy: Ok great. The temparature is still very hot here in Mexico.
Kenner: Do you also need the rifle for that Rebel figure?
Lili ledy: Yes sure, we need the rifle of Rebel Commando as well.
Kenner: Are you sure that you want to combine the figure with the Rebel Commando rifle?
Lili Ledy: Sure, why not?.
Kenner: I am terrible sorry my friend, but we can't do that as we need that rifle mould for our own Kenner production.
Lili ledy: Ok, don't worry about that rifle, we will figure out something. Maybe we can take the Chewbacca gun.
At Lili Ledy we are very creative. We even plan to let the Emperor walk with an Ewok stick.

Kenner: You got to be kidding me. You are joking right?...Can you imagine the expression on big George's face if he finds out....hahahaha...good one!  
Lili Ledy: hmmm....sure, I was just joking..... jejejejeje  (quickly hangs up telephone)


Last edited by Dr Dengar on Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: LILI LEDY WEAPONS - What's Mine Is Yours And Yours Is Mine... A Theory

Post by Commander Clint on Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:25 pm

Alex, Awesome read. cheers It makes sense that not all the weapon moulds traveled with the figures.
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