Prototype Question

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  1. #1

    Prototype Question

    I have a question about how to judge the age of prototypes / test shots. Since you can't go by the copyright, what do you have to tell you? For figures that had duplicate uses out of their mold, how can you tell if the figure was molded during the first figure or the second? I collect GI Joes from the earlier years and don't want figures made just a couple years ago.
    Let me know

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  3. #2
    Yeah, you need to be carefull. I bought a snow job prototype off of ebay and was kind of mad. It was not a vintage one, but from the 1997 repaint. As soon as I picked it up out of the box I knew that I bought the wrong thing. The plastic was different. Oh well.
    Chris

  4. #3
    Typically, you will not find original prototypes from the 80s available. They were never available from China like they are today, so I would wager 9 times out of 10, that cool Cobra Officer prototype you're looking at is from a very recent date. Additionally, what most people call prototypes are actually called test-shots. That being - a figure made in plastic to gauge overall quality and fit. True prototypes are made from resin and usually remain in the hands of people at Hasbro. Those that have left Hasbro have landed in collectors' hands and will most likely not go up for sale.

    That being said, the ways to tell the difference between a vintage test shot and a modern one are fairly simple. The feel of the plastic is different. Starting in 1997, G.I.Joes went from using hard, sometimes brittle, ABS plastics to softer, more plyable PVC. No broken thumbs, but sometimes a loose fit for the parts - or things like creases in the plastics.

    With the number of repaints, franken-Joes and other oddities that have been produced in the past nine years, any testshot is going to be modern.

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  6. #4
    Have there been any good, formal discussions about the differences between vintage GI Joe and Star Wars prototypes and test shots on these boards?

    -Daniel
    I did only what my duty demanded. I could have taken no other course without dishonor. And if it all were to be done over again, I should act in precisely the same manner.

    -Robert E. Lee

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by danielmd06
    Have there been any good, formal discussions about the differences between vintage GI Joe and Star Wars prototypes and test shots on these boards?

    -Daniel
    There was a time when that was somewhat frowned upon because hasbro referred to these figures as stolen, or bootlegged, or at the very least, not legitimate, and was trying to curb the sale of them out of the orient. I remember when we could not even link to the auctions or pics of the items, especially if they were "early" pics of unreleased items. Things have calmed down a LOT in the past year or two, and there really should be some more open discussion of them, beyond the frequently incorrectly used "midnight chinese" term coined by Mike Renegar. They are out in the market, and people will be running into them, so the information should be logged and available. Just about all the painted figures can been explained as unreleased paint schemes, with ties to released or well known unreleased set, series or packs of figures. As for test shots, they have been so readily available in the modern age, once you're around them and handle a lot of them, it becomes very easy to distinguish them, especially if you're familiar with what has been released since 1997.
    Selling Joes all day onnna' 'bay...
    Armageddon Toys

  8. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by krymsyngard666
    once you're around them and handle a lot of them, it becomes very easy to distinguish them, especially if you're familiar with what has been released since 1997.
    tdutton17,
    I am sure between the 2 of us (Kevin and I) we could tell you exactly what series the test shot was made for. The only character that can be troublesome, is the 2002 Flint mold. There must be at least 5 different test shots for that. There were at least 3 different unreleased paint schemes on that one. So it would be hard to assign a test shot to one of the 3 unreleased painted versions. Otherwise, every other figure should be quite easy to determine. Post some pictures and I am sure you will get a solid answer.

    God Bless and Yo Joe,
    Ron Conner
    G.I. Joe Book Author @ http://www.backinthedaytoys.com/bitdt.htm
    G.I. Joe Toy Dealer @ http://www.treasuresntoys.com/gijoe334.htm
    G.I. Joe Fan Site Webmaster @ http://www.treasuresntoys.com/webcamp.htm

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