Lili Ledy Discussion

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Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by Captain Antilles on Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:01 am

INTRODUCTION

Have you ever purchased a figure assuming it was Lili Ledy because of the matching Country of Origin (COO), but in the end it appeared to be Kenner? It happened to us a few times (Admiral Ackbar, Chewbacca, Rancor Keeper).

Maybe some of you share the same experience and therefore we thought it might be a good idea to start a thread filled with side by side pics of Lili Ledy and Kenner figures to allow a good comparison and initiate discussions.  

WHAT IS LILI LEDY?

Lili Ledy was a toy company in Mexico that acquired a license to produce the 3 3/4"line of Star Wars toys in 1982. The reason Kenner did not just export figures to Mexico was because of Mexican's protectionist trading laws at that moment, stating that toys for the Mexican market had to be produced in Mexico. After a successful market test with a limited set of figures on “Imperio Contraataca” cards, Lili Ledy decided to produce Star Wars action figures on the larger scale. By the end of 1985, Lili Ledy had produced no less than 50 different figures for the 3 3/4" line.

The reason Lili Ledy figures (in short Ledy or  LL figures) are so interesting to collectors is that they are different compared to Kenner figures. The differences can be obvious or more subtle and reflect the used sculpt, plastic, paint or accessories (capes, weapons, etc.).

Some examples just to give you an idea how Ledy figures can differ compared to Kenner:
  Sculpt:
  - Short instead of long mask Biker Scout
  - Unique COO for Nien Nunb
  Plastic:  
  - Hard (more detailed) instead of soft torso Stormtrooper
  - Tanned instead of pinkish moulded face for Leia Boushh
  Paint:
  - Unpainted wrist button for Star Destroyer Commander
  - Almond instead of round sprayed eyes for Jawa
  - Vibrant yellow instead of pale yellow boots for Cloud Car Pilot
  Accessory:
  - Lightsaber with thicker tip for Darth Vader and Ben Kenobi
  - Burgundy instead of grey cape for Bib Fortuna

WHAT IS A COO?

COO stands for Country of Origin. However in the context of this thread (and many other threads) it had a broadened meaning and stands for any combination of marks on the figures indicating:

1) Country where the figure was produced, for instance;
- "China"
- "Hong Kong"
- "Japan"
- "Macau"
- "Made n China"
- "Made in Hong Kong"
- "Made in Macao"
- "Made in Taiwan"
- "Taiwan"
- or no country mentioned ("no COO"). In this case the country designation may be 'scratched' away from the steel mould or was never applied in the first place (this is the case for the last 17 figures).  
2) Copyright , for instance:
- "© L.F.L." (Lucas Film Ltd.)
- "G.M.F.G.I." (General Mills Fun Group, Inc.)
- "© C.P.G." (Consumer Product Group, of which GMFGI was a branch)
3) Year, for instance 1977, 1980, 1985.

LILI LEDY FIGURES SHARING THE SAME COO AS KENNER

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  The Max Reebo Band Members

Above is a list of Lili Ledy figures that were produced from steel moulds that were also used by Kenner.
This means that these Lili Ledy figures CAN NOT be distinguished from Kenner figures by solely looking at the COO or sculpt. The unique differences are therefore to be sought in the used plastic, paint and accessories.
One more thing: Forget about the myth still being spread by some ebay sellers that a no COO is an unique identifier for Lili Ledy figures. It is just plain wrong.

So to give you an example: A Ben Kenobi with an extended right index finger, might be a Lili Ledy figure but chances are higher it is a Kenner figure which was produced from the same steel mould. The paint of the eyes and the beard should therefore be the specific Lili Ledy traits here which help you to decide: Lili Ledy or Kenner?
Most plastic accessories (guns, sabers, staffs) that came with the figures in the top list, were produced from moulds that were also used by Kenner. This means that these Lili Ledy weapons can only be distinguished from their Kenner counterparts based upon (subtle) differences in the used plastic. A few examples to give you an idea:

  Colour difference:
  - Leia Poncho grey instead of blue gun
  - Nikto dark grey instead of light grey vibroblade
  - Han Solo Trench Coat black gun
  Appearance:        
  - Matt instead of glossy Ackbar staff
  - Matt instead of glossy Boushh rifle

LILI LEDY FIGURES HAVING AN UNIQUE COO COMPARED TO KENNER

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Above is a list of Lili Ledy figures that were produced from unique steel moulds that were NOT used by Kenner before.
This means that these Lili Ledy figures CAN be distinguished from Kenner figures by looking at the unique COO and sometimes sculpt. Besides there may be unique differences in the used plastic, paint and accessories.

Interestingly all these Lili Ledy figures were also exported to the US on Kenner’s “Made in Mexico” cards (see further).

The plastic accessories for these figures were cast from moulds that are different compared to their Kenner counterparts, which gives them an unique Lili Ledy sculpt. Check it out:
- Biker Scout: unique gun mould, mostly with small “A”, “B”, "D"
- Chief Chirpa: unique staff having small “LL”
- Darth Vader: unique thicker saber tip
- Gamorrean Guard: unique shorter axe
- Lando Skiff: unique thicker vibroblade, mostly with a small “A”, “B”
- Logray: unique hood mould (different number inside), unique staff and pouche both with small “LL”
- Lumat: figure and its accessories were only produced by Ledy, so all Ledy unique
- Paploo: same
- Ree Yees: unique gun mould with little “Y”, “S”, “W”
- Nien Nunb: unique gun mould with little “L”, “I”
- Squid Head: Unique belt mould with small "LL" on the inside. NO unique gun mould
- Yoda: This figure is the exception that proves the rule, as the moulds used for the snake, cane, and belt were also used by Kenner.

REMARK: The mould of some of these accessories were also used to produce weapons for other figures:
- Chief Chirpa's staff was used for The Emperor and Wicket (both cast in differently coloured plastic)
- Darth Vader's saber was used for Ben Kenobi (cast in blue plastic)
- Lando Skiff's vibroblade was used for Klaatu, Klaatu Skiff, and Weequay
- Nien Nunb's gun was used for Jawa, and TIE Fighter Pilot


COO DIFFERENCES

SMALL COO DIFFERENCES FOR ONE FIGURE:

For most Lili Ledy figures (and their Kenner counterparts as well) there exist COOs with only minimal differences. Most likely they indicate steel moulds that travelled together and were used in parallel during production of the figures in a factory. Therefore they do not seem to match with any other visible differences (for instance paint applications).

These small COO differences occur for instance for:
-Bib Fortuna
-Boba Fett (scar and split scar)
-C-3PO (two line COO with and w/o dent)
-Cloud Car Pilot
-Luke Jedi
-Nikto
-Teebo
-TIE Fighter Pilot (different scars from the same 'mother' COO)

another example of a small COO difference, is for Luke Jedi: Position of "MADE IN HONG KONG" is slightly shifted along the leg.


COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COOs FOR ONE FIGURE:

Some Lili Ledy figures appear with completely different COOs. In some cases the different COOs match with differences in paint applications as well.
Examples:
- C-3PO (2 line and 3-line COO)
- C-3PO Removable Limbs (Hong Kong and no COO)
- Darth Vader (Hong Kong and no COO)
- Han Solo Bespin (Hong Kong and no COO)
- Leia Bespin (China and Hong Kong)
- Luke Bespin (no COO raised bar and no COO smoothly deleted)
- R2D2 (Hong Kong 1977 and no COO 1978)
- Yoda (Hong Kong and no COO)

Interestingly most of these figures were also released on the early “Imperio Contraataca” (ESB) cards. Maybe some of the COOs are linked to these early releases?

MADE IN MEXICO (MIM) FIGURES

In the 80s, Kenner exported overstock accessories to Mexico to be packed together with Lili Ledy figures on “Made in Mexico’ (MIM) cards which were subsequently exported back to the US.
There is a theory stating that Lili Ledy raised (had to raise?) their quality standards for these MIM figures as they were meant for the US market. This would have resulted in the usage of a better quality plastic and better paint apps. However so far this theory has never been supported by convincing evidence. The common view is therefore that the differences between Lili Ledy figures and MIM figures if any are not significant enough to make a real distinction. See for instance the quote below:

@_Rog_ wrote: wrote:@_Rog_ wrote:
As mentioned in that thread I don’t own all the Lili Ledy guys that correspond with my MIM figures but from what I have gathered, Gamorrean Guard, Nien Nunb, Chirpa, Logray, Lando Calrissian, Ree Yees, Darth Vader, Paploo & Lumat are all pretty much the same. There may be slight differences in quality of finish between MIM & Ledy with MIM being slightly better, but I’m guessing if you took the nicest Lili Ledy Chirpa for example and stood it next to the worst MIM Chief, they would be equal in quality (the LL might even be better!).
   
So once a figure was pulled from its card – either Lili Ledy or MIM - you basically ended up with a loose Lili Ledy figure. Only the accessories on the cards might differ. On MIM cards you could have Lili Ledy or Kenner accessories, or even a combination of both.


JOIN THE LEDY DISCUSSIONS!!

The information in this thread is neither complete nor presents you the absolute truth on Lili Ledy figures. There is still a lot unclear and left open for discussions. Also when something is plain wrong, just chime in and let us know.
Basically the main goal of this thread is therefore not merely providing an overview of Lili Ledy figures but rather provide a starting point from which we can initiate discussions, in order to extend our common Lili Ledy knowledge at the end of the day.

Don’t be shy, and keep the discussion going!


USEFUL LILI LEDY LINKS

A list of links which I found useful when preparing the entries:
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Captain Antilles
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Re: Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by Commander Clint on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:17 pm

Has anyone else noticed with Wicket, that the limbs on Kenner counter part to the LL, turning green and the LL staying brown?  I have 3 Kenner's with the same coo, and they all have the limbs in various stages of green.  Could this be similar to the Kenner Max Rebo fading to pale blue & the LL staying blue?

Kenner on the left, Lili Ledy on the right.

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Re: Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by Commander Clint on Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:47 pm

With Lumat's bow. Is it the same sculpt as Kenner's Warok's bow?

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Re: Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by cantina_patron on Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:05 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Has anyone else noticed with Wicket, that the limbs on Kenner counter part to the LL, turning green and the LL staying brown?  I have 3 Kenner's with the same coo, and they all have the limbs in various stages of green.  Could this be similar to the Kenner Max Rebo fading to pale blue & the LL staying blue?

I would guess so Clint due to the different plastics / pigments used. Although Lili Ledy are often criticised for QC and sticky paint, they certainly got something right here.
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Re: Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by cantina_patron on Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:39 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote: With Lumat's bow.  Is it the same sculpt as Kenner's Warok's bow?

Based upon the photo examples I donated to another site, I would say that they are identicle. Excuse the bend in the Lumat bow, I played with it as a child.

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Other opinions are very welcome. Very Happy
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Re: Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by Commander Clint on Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:28 pm

Thanks Steve, hopefully some of the others will chime in on the questions. As far as the bow sculpt. I'm assuming that because LL would have been producing Lumat & his accessories, that there would have been another mould for the bow for Warok being produced at the same time in another factory. So we should be able to see some sculpt differences somewhere?
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Re: Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by cantina_patron on Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:03 pm

I'll have to dig mine out Clint and look at the other side of the bows. As Lumat was produced first (Lili Ledy & Kenner Made In Mexico 79 back) perhaps Lili Ledy forwarded the steel mold for the bow to an Asian factory for the later Warok (Trilogo / POTF release)? scratch I know Lumat was also released on Trilogo / POTF cards, but perhaps Lili Ledy made overstock of this accessory before passing on the mold? I believe Lili Ledy was owned by General Mills at this time.

Thoughts guys?
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Re: Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by Dr Dengar on Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:06 am

That sounds very plausible, Steve.

The steel mould for Lumat's bow could also have been duplicated and send to Asia to produce Warok's bow?
Or more probably the other way around?
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Re: Lili Ledy Discussion

Post by Dr Dengar on Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:26 am

Good point about the Wicket, and Max Reebo.

The plastic/dyes that Lili Ledy used for production seems to be less prone to degradation compared to Kenner plastic. Especially the plastic used by Kader Industries is renown for its colour degradation.

Here is another example:

Prune Face: Kenner (left), Lili Ledy (middle), Lili Ledy (right).

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