LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

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LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by General Kahn on Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:28 pm

Special Report

Luke Skywalker in Bespin Fatigues
Lili Ledy 'Retorno' Transition Variation



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The title probably goes a long way to explaining what this figure is, so lets take a look at the evidence and explain the history behind the discovery of this new and rare Lili Ledy variation.
It started during in conversation with Ozio concerning the possibilities of both the Snowtrooper and Han Hoth as figures released on the El Imperio Contraataca line, this lead to Ozio saying he had an interesting Luke Bespin figure he would like me to have a look at. This was ultimately followed by a series of photo's of a blonde Luke Bespin figure that featured the no COO 'raised bar' typically associated with the Later Jedi Luke Bespin figure, which of course had brown hair. The only other variation to feature this country of origin stamp was the so called 'China Baggie' figure which of course also had brown hair.
Naturally this sparked an instant curiosity with me, but like everything that goes against the ordinary, my brain was first questioning it. The way I look at things like this is to first question it, and then question it again Smile
The first thought that popped into my head was the obvious 'head swap' scenario. So I asked Ozio if the head moved freely or was it stiff? His response was that it moved freely like any other normal figure. The reason why I asked this question was because the rod which the head is attached to was altered for the raised bar figure from a simple ball design to a bell shaped design as shown below:
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Left : Early ball design - Right : Later bell design


The cavity inside the head was also altered to accommodate this new design, the point being, that any heads intended to attach to the first design are a very tight fit on the later 'bell shaped' design and they are very stiff and hard to move.
ALL Luke Bespin COO families started with the ball shape design, the MIHK family kept the ball shape design after it's first alteration for the PBP figures and the Lili Ledy Imperio blonde figure but was changed to the bell design when the mould went to China. The HK Small family mould was also altered to the bell design when it had it's COO removed to the smoothed out no COO. At this stage it's important to note that NO Luke Bespin figures from any family featuring the later bell shaped design had blonde hair, brown or mustard was the standard colour at this stage.
This was evidence enough for me to rule out a head swap. It's also important to add that the alteration to the interior cavity of the head to accomodate the bell design on the MIHK family figure gives the head a wider 'fat' face look which is clearly visible on both the standard Jedi LL figure and the China Baggie figure. This new blonde Luke also has this wider 'fat' face look which again is strong evidence that this is the correct head for this figure especially as no other figure features this look.
The Evidence

There are several key features that can be found on this figure which place this figure firmly in the Lili Ledy time line and define it's authenticity.
Naturally the first place to start is with the hair as this is the primary 'oddity' concerning this figure. Below is a comparrison picture showing the 'new' figure on the right and the original Imperio LL Blonde Luke on the left:
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Left : El Imperio Contraataca blonde Luke - Right : El Retorno Del Jedi blonde Luke


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Left : El Imperio Contraataca blonde Luke - Right : El Retorno Del Jedi blonde Luke



As can be seen in the picture, the hair colour is a perfect match and again it is important to note that the hair colour used for the original Imperio Blonde Luke was completely unique to that figure, it was a pale yellow and no other Luke Bespin variation found anywhere has a hair colour that matches this which places the origin of this figure firmly in Mexico.

The next important feature to look at with this figure concerns the plastic used for the head. The original Imperio blonde Luke's featured a pale flesh tone plastic for the head where as the later Jedi Luke's featured a darker 'pink' tone.
This new figure features the 'pink' tone which is correct for the raised bar no COO and later Jedi production in Mexico.
This can be seen in the comparrison picture below.
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Left : El Imperio Contraataca blonde Luke - Right : El Retorno Del Jedi blonde Luke


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Left : El Retorno Del Jedi blonde Luke - Right : El Regresso Del Jedi brown haired Luke


They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, well that doesn't really work in an action figure, but here the eyes are definately a window into the origins of this variation.
The original Imperio blonde Luke featured larger eyes and thin straight eye brows where as the later Jedi Luke's featured smaller eyes and crescent shaped thicker 'tear drop' eye brows. It is these thicker tear drop eye brows that help define the later LL Jedi Luke's because they are completely unique to the LL figure and notebly different from his China baggie counterpart.
This 'new' Luke variation features the later crescent shaped tear drop eye brows as can be seen in the comparison pics below:
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Left : El Imperio Contraataca blonde Luke - Middle : El Retorno Del Jedi blonde Luke - Right : El Regresso Del Jedi brown haired Luke


Next we have his boots. Luke is renowned for his huge array of boots colours with his Bespin outfit and one of the unique colours is the one found on the early Imperio blonde Luke, which features a darker brown colour similar to the PBP European counterparts but different in the fact that the LL Luke have reddish burgundy hint to them. The later Jedi LL Luke's feature a tan colour very similar to the standard colour used on the majority of Kenner Luke Bespin's.
The boot colour on this new Luke is very similar to the early Imperio blonde Luke's, much darker than the usual colour featured on the later brown haired Lukes and completely unique to the raised bar no COO figure as no other raised bar no COO variation features this colour.
This can be seen in the comparison photo below:
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Left : El Imperio Contraataca blonde Luke - Middle : El Retorno Del Jedi blonde Luke - Right : El Regresso Del Jedi brown haired Luke


Finally, although only a small feature, it is relevant. This figure no longer has the small strip of paint that connects the lightsaber hilt to his belt, a unique feature of the Imperio blonde Luke. It also no longer features the unpainted hip. This is because the new spray mask was being used that belonged to the later brown haired Luke's.
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Left : El Imperio Contraataca blonde Luke - Middle : El Retorno Del Jedi blonde Luke - Right : El Regresso Del Jedi brown haired Luke

Conclusion

The logical conclusion that can be drawn from this is that this figure fits in somewhere between the early Imperio blonde Lukes and the later Jedi brown haired Luke's.
Over the years I have heard many collectors state that the Lili Ledy blonde haired Luke could be found on the El Imperio Contraataca cards and also on early Retorno Del Jedi cards? Now this always bothered me because the Jedi run was a completely different production run so it didn't make sense that the blonde would have appeared on any Jedi cards unless there was some left over stock from the Imperio run, which again is unlikely as the Imperio run had small production number where cost effieciency was clearly high on the agenda, so it's unlikely that there would have been any overstock left from this run.
To me, this figure here answers this theory. When people referred to the 'blonde' LL Luke appearing on early Retorno cards, this is the blonde Luke they must have seen, a variant that truly fits the description of a Retorno Transitional figure. The figure it's self features the moulds used for the Jedi figures and also the spray masks but still features the paint scheme used on the early Imperio figures.
Former LL employee Mr. Alejandro Becerra stated that the LL factory worked very closely with Kenner head office in Cincinnati making sure everything was correct. This would have almost certainly been more prominant at the start and inaccuracies would have been noticed quickly. The fact this figure has taken so long to surface suggests that it is rare and had a very short life before the incorrect paint scheme was changed.
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It is important to note at this point, that the brown haired Luke would have almost certainly appeared on the Retorno cards as well, but labelling the three variants as Imperio, Retorno and Regresso just seems logical Smile
Thanks & Credit

I can not take credit for the discovery of this figure, that was done by our very own Lili Ledy expert Ozio, I can only take a small amount of credit at best for just helping him confirm what he already suspected concerning this figure.
I would like to extend a huge thanks to Ozio for not only letting me be a part of this discovery but also for actually selling me the figure to add to my Luke Bespin focus. I am also incredibly grateful for Ozio granting me the honour of publishing this work and introducing this figure to the collecting world. Thank you my friend Very Happy

The search begins for the second.........
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by Commander Clint on Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:29 pm

yay Awesome bowwing

This is a great discovery.
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by psybertech on Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:47 pm

I have no idea how I missed this topic!
Very cool to see this and a great write up explaining it all! Smile

And its in great shape man! Congrats on securing it for your collection, Alex!  cheers

cheers!

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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by General Kahn on Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:46 pm

Cheers Clint & Jay, I am very pleased to have been a part of this discovery and to have been able to add this to my collection thanks our very own LL Grand Master Ozio Very Happy

I have also now seen a second Smile which is always a good thing in the world of variant collecting because it's adds credence to the 'first's' existence Very Happy

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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:26 am

Crap another ledy that I need to hunt down. lol!

Great research Alex. Congrats on getting this into your collection, now find some more for the rest of us.

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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by olisuds on Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:38 am

I'm always impressed by your research and analysis skills. Very interesting find!
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by Akial on Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:12 am

Thanks for this intersting research. Very well documented. clapping
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by General Kahn on Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:13 pm

Thanks guys, this was first discovered just over a year ago now by OZIO who asked my help (a tiny bit) and we came to a deal for the figure Very Happy

I happened to notice a second example by accident in a photo on facebook, the owner of it isn't aware of it, not even sure if he still has it, the original post had zero attention.

Ozio was lucky enough to locate a third recently which now resides in Sergio's awesome collection clapping

Currently these are the only three known example at present, certainly one of the harder LL variants to find Wink
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by OZIO on Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:00 am

This is great Alex, excellent job! clapping clapping
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by emperorburns on Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:16 pm

Awsome write up alex.thats some detective work there Smile
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by Jedi Blueberry on Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:54 am

Super interesting as always! Thanks Alex
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by The84th on Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:24 am

Can you show picture of COO?

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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by Commander Clint on Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:56 am

The84th wrote:Can you show picture of COO?

You should be able to see the coo here.Very Happy

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Hopefully Alex will show a close up shortly. stick
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by General Kahn on Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:00 pm

Sorry guys, should have probably posted a picture of the COO in the main article instead of just mentioning it, my bad, here you go.....

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Raised bar COO from the Retorno/Regresso line
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by OZIO on Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:16 am

While going through my Lili Ledy overstock parts I found a Luke bespin head with some damage to the paint, at a closer inspection I found something interesting:
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at some point this head was painted blond and then repainted with the latter color used on the LL Luke Bespin.
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as you can see here the head on the left is the one used on the latter Luke compared to an early blond Luke on the right.
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Some small blond paint dots on the face.
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Under the brown paint we can see the unique pale blond tone used on the early LL variant (on the right a regular latter LL Luke bespin brown head).

Another clear sign of the transition between these two Lili Ledy variants.

Cheers!
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by chris.75 on Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:03 pm

Surprised I haven't commented on this thread before  Embarassed

It's an interesting read and a great, new, transitional figure discovery. Giving us a deeper insight into the production process, at the Ledy factory.

Fantastic research Ozio and Alex, well done guys  clapping

It's great that you managed to aquire this figure from Ozio, for your Luke Bespin focus, Alex.

I also consider it a cool privilege that I have had the opportunity to study this rare figure personally Smile
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by General Kahn on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:59 pm

A truly awesome find dude, thank you for making my night! I guess the big question now is........ Did any of these end up on figures????? :/
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by OZIO on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:04 pm

Possible, if they did a good job covering the blond paint, yes, for sure.
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by Pantzman on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:43 pm

Great detective work as ever.
I always find it fascinating that ( as the rumour goes) we ended up with a rebel commander instead of a rebel commando due to a 'lost in translation' memo.
Also. Still waiting for the 'legendary' Ledy Snowtrooper to one day make an appearance or at least more info to be found.
Then we just need the Black Wampa to show! ;-)
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Re: LUKE BESPIN - Lili Ledy Retorno Transition New Variant

Post by ChristianC on Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:50 am

That is a great find Ozio! You've got Alex all excited now!
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