lucas and kenner
how much influence/control did lucas have over the kenner vintage toys? what was his purpose in licensing all this stuff? just to make money or what? who handled the design of the figures? was it someone at kenner, or did Lucasfilms give kenner the designs and say 'make this'?
did george review each toy as it came and and approve/disapprove? did he buy his kids any of that stuff? ha ha.
what do you think/know? thanks.
Although I have not seen the original licensing agreement, most of them have clauses which are designed to protect the proprietary interests of the licensor.
GL has clearly indicated a firm willingness to protect his exclusive rights to the SW saga - exampled by his now infamous lawsuit against Universal for Battlestar Galactica.
Although I doubt that he reviewed and approved each and every figure -I think he was a fairly busy man- I am sure that he was kept informed of what figures were being produced.
I am also sure that if he disliked a figure - especially if he believed that it could damage his proprietary interests in SW - his objections would have been heeded by Kenner.
As you may or may not know 20th Cen. Fox was the third studio Lucas tried selling the Star Wars idea to. Fox agreed to release the movie, but let Lucas keep the licensing rights because they didn't think SW was going to be the hit it was.
Kenner got wind of the movie and thought they could make a go at it with the toys. Kenner got a hold of Fox, who likely passed them on to LucasLicensing (a company Lucas formed to license his IP).
Kenner designed the toys, of which action figures were a small part of. LucasLicensing likely signed on and stuff they were unsure on they might have sent on to Lucas for his approval.
Lucas did sit in on the early concept design boards in 77/78 because Lucas said: "Merchandising was mainly to help promote the film." He said: "I didn't want manufractures slapping the Star Wars name on everything under the sun and cheapening it. It was deffinately a control issue." He originally made some book deals for the film. They tried to get marvel comics originally but Marvel said: "Come see us when your finished with your film." T-Shirts and posters followed with little interest in the film and they had some cheap offers for toy distribution but Lucas didn't take it.
Finally Bernie Loomis (then president of Kenner) took an interest in Star Wars and since Kenner was hot with their 12" Six million Dollar Man toys they were looking for something new. Loomis thought Star Wars had a Toyetic quality and soon they were maing the first 3 3/4 figures ever. Originally Kenner created all the figures without guns. It was around the Vietnam War and Kenner was a little sensitive about the issue. During their first presentation of the figs to Lucas, Lucas blurted out to Loomis: "Where's the Guns?" The group of designers and big wigs felt kind of embarassed but Loomis went into a long explanation why there were no guns. When he was finished Lucas repeated: "Where's the guns?" and Bernie answered: "You got the guns George". All this information was from the book Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible by Steve Sansweet. It's a great read for collectors. I suggest you get it.
Even today Lucas examines everything, make no mistake. The only thing Lucas never really inspected was the production of his STAR WARS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL in 1979. Lucas still denounces it. So the relationship between Hasbro is still monitered by Lucas. By the way Kenner had drawings mainly for their figures rather than seeing things on the set that is why everything was rushed into production and why Snagletooth was blue. Kenner only had a picture of the creature from waist up I think.
thanks i will def ILL that book.
how did lucas avoid the draft, by the way?