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Leia smooth hair: how can this happen?

bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
edited May 2013 in Collecting
I've just learned about the smooth haired Leia, and have some questions:

1. How could a manufacturing defect like this happen in the first place? Wouldn't the hair be sculpted by the designers with more detail than plain smooth? Having seen the Mega Factories Lego episode, and the way the Police dog was designed and made, I would expect the designers to not have created a half-baked design as moulds are so expensive.

2. Wouldn't the early boxes picture the smooth Leia? If there were throwing in smooth haired Leias, how could a textured hair piece appear on the minifig box? (I haven't seen a box but it appears obvious that the early boxes show the correct part or everyone would be using the boxes to tell if they had the blob-head Leia).

3. Does anyone know or have an estimate on how many were 'released' into the wild?

=== UPDATE ===

Heh, blob-head :D

Comments

  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    Maybe they accidentally put an earlier prototype template of the hair piece in their assembly chain and then realized their mistake? Just a guess, I don't know what their process is like.
  • BeavBeav Member Posts: 303
    As far as I was aware, it was just a broken mould, the proper hair piece is more detailed like normal hair. The design was fine, it was just a small manufacturing error (on one of the moulds) that wasnt picked up straight away.

    Thats why any pictures would show the correct detailed hair piece.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,374
    @bkpr- As surprising as it may seem, it was actually a LEGO manufacturing error. An incorrect mold was placed in the assembly line, and the first few batches of Tantive iv #10198, and from what I've heard from a few people the X-Wing from the same year, received the error hair piece. LEGO quickly realized their mistake, and replaced the head piece with the correct one.
    Thus:

    1. It's surprising LEGO would make such a goof error, but we all make mistakes, and it seems LEGO made a small slip-up here. They quickly fixed it though, like I said previously, and replaced it with the correct "rough" hair piece.

    2. No, considering she wasn't supposed to be included in the set with the smooth hair. After they shipped the first few batches out, it was to late to change it. The box art depicted what was supposed to come with the set, however the error piece is actually more sought after :o)

    3. How many were actually produced, is unknown. However numerous Brickset members struck gold when they found out about the smooth haired Leia. If you have an X-wing or Tantive iv that you bought as soon as the set was released, you may just be lucky!

    Honestly, I don't think the figure is very neat. It's an error.. Besides.. smooth hair.. isn't all that exciting. Either way though, it's unique, and holds dear to many collectors who were lucky enough to rip open their set and discover it.
  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    Fair enough. Makes sense that it wasn't a smooth mould, but a fitment/manufacturing error with the correct mould.

    I think I may have one coming my way in a recent used Tantive purchase. I wanted the set, and didn't know anything about this error. Researching afterwards I stumbled upon this info, and looking back at the photos supplied to me it looks like* there is a smooth hair piece in the set.

    * The supplied photos were a bit blurry so I'm not 100% sure yet. I'll just have to wait and see. Fingers crossed!
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,316
    I love the Minifigure, but that is only because I have one... :)
  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    Not sure what to do with it *if* I end up with one. I'm not a collector, so don't really 'need' it, but at the same time it's kinda cool to have. It's probably better off in someone's actual collection. They'd appreciate it more.

    Not getting my hopes up yet though. I am looking forward to building the Tantive :)
  • BeavBeav Member Posts: 303
    If you do get one and dont want it, someone will snap it up. Its an interesting one in my opinion, the smooth hair is rather odd looking. I love mine.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,374
    bkpr said:

    Not sure what to do with it *if* I end up with one. I'm not a collector, so don't really 'need' it, but at the same time it's kinda cool to have. It's probably better off in someone's actual collection. They'd appreciate it more.

    Not getting my hopes up yet though. I am looking forward to building the Tantive :)

    I sold mine just today for $200 pending payment (the worst words for an eBay sale).

    So if that's what you would like to do, sell the figure. Then it's like getting the set, opening it up, and finding a $50 bill lying in the bottom. Not bad if you ask me :o)
  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    Free lego! My wife'd like that :)
    cheshirecat
  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    Got me a blob-head Leia :)
    CapnRex101
  • smokebelchsmokebelch UKMember Posts: 85
    Yeah was found in the Xwing as well- that's where I found mine. Can understand why completest collectors would want one, but I wasn't too fussed so sold mine on for £50 a few years ago- ment the Xwing was effectively free so was nice to have found one!
  • BeavBeav Member Posts: 303
    bkpr said:

    Got me a blob-head Leia :)

    Congrats!

  • bkprbkpr Texas, USAMember Posts: 295
    edited May 2013
    Thanks! I'm thinking I'll try to trade it with someone for some other less special but cool to display in my car figs. I think a collector who's missing the blob-head will appreciate it a lot than I will.
  • RomanticWarriorRomanticWarrior United StatesMember Posts: 248

    Yeah was found in the Xwing as well- that's where I found mine. Can understand why completest collectors would want one, but I wasn't too fussed so sold mine on for £50 a few years ago- ment the Xwing was effectively free so was nice to have found one!

    Did the same thing a few years ago. Had one from the X-Wing and one from the Blockade Runner. Put them on bricklink at $75 each and they sold within the hour. Still felt like I was ripping off someone when they came in sets that cost $50 and $150...

    thenos
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444

    Yeah was found in the Xwing as well- that's where I found mine. Can understand why completest collectors would want one, but I wasn't too fussed so sold mine on for £50 a few years ago- ment the Xwing was effectively free so was nice to have found one!

    Did the same thing a few years ago. Had one from the X-Wing and one from the Blockade Runner. Put them on bricklink at $75 each and they sold within the hour. Still felt like I was ripping off someone when they came in sets that cost $50 and $150...

    You shouldn't feel that way. If they paid that much, then that's on them.

    I may or may not have the Leia in my Tantive. I grabbed the set the first day Lego released it, but I will not open it to find out. I wish there was a batch code that could tell me.
  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    Wonderful new picture Pitfall!

    Glad to see everything went smoothly! :-)
  • RomanticWarriorRomanticWarrior United StatesMember Posts: 248
    You shouldn't feel that way. If they paid that much, then that's on them.

    Thanks. That's what I tell myself. I think it was a pretty low price at the time and especially now.

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    edited May 2013
    legoprods said:

    Wonderful new picture Pitfall!

    Glad to see everything went smoothly! :-)

    What went smoothly?

    Yeah, I needed to change the profile pic. I have been told many times I don't look happy and ready to fight.
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