Even though he lived in a nice house in a neighbourhood pretty close to the bright center of the galaxy, Bib Fortuna got teased a lot when he was in junior high. As if it isn?t awkward enough for the poor guy to put up with the challenges of puberty whilst dealing with the fact that he?d never win any beauty contests, he had to deal with having a name that was simply begging to be used against him. It?s no wonder the young wallflower grew up to hang out with smelly do-no-gooders with down right silly names on the planet furthest from.
Though all vintage figures have minor variations, for the most part, the Bib Fortuna figure itself has but one significant sculpt variation. The variation is between the Hong Kong and Taiwan versions of the figure and can be spotted easiest by looking at the sculpted rope belt on the torso. Where the Hong Kong version has tight bold detailing, the Taiwan sculpt is soft and smooth, lacking much the former?s detail.
The material jacket included with the figure came in different colours based on where and when it was manufactured. That being said, the colours available are all basically the same at a glance and should not be considered true variations, except in the case of the Lili Ledy jackets. One of the two major versions is similar to the traditional internationally released brown jacket. The second major Lili Ledy version, however, is distinctive from all other jackets packed with this figure in that it is a dark burgundy.
In early Return Of The Jedi photography, prototypes were used in place of pieces that were still in the early stages of production, yet to be produced, or for what ever other reason were not available. This is a practice that Kenner has used throughout the Star Wars line. As such, there are images (like on the Return Of The Jedi 77 back cards) of the Bib Fortuna figure with a red jacket. This version was never released on a card or offered in any way to the public.
There are documented examples of preproduction versions of this figure with different coloured jackets. It is important to keep in mind that these are often times faked. Thankfully, these fakes are easy to spot. Commonly, the fakes are dyed red, and in some instances bleached white. Even though the fabric colour is easily altered, the same cannot be said about the thread used to sew the jacket, which is quite resilient to both dye and bleach.
Bib Fortuna?s Battle Staff was produced using two distinctly different sculpts and can be easily spotted by the top portion. Where one version has a solid round shape on the top, the other sports an inner circle detail that is hollowed out on both sides. Though the examples shown show a slight colour mould variation, it is not known if either colour is exclusive to one sculpt. It is also hard to say that either staff was exclusive to one version of the figure.
Text & Photography by D. Martin Myatt.