If you are one of those people who are vehemently against spoilers and you haven’t received your Cantina-themed Smuggler’s Bounty box, stop reading. Spoilers abound.
It’s always an exciting and yet somehow perplexingly strenuous time when the new Funko subscription boxes get shipped out. Inevitably, there are those that are excited for the contents, while there are others that will incessantly complain regardless of what they receive. This month’s Smuggler’s Bounty box from Funko had the theme of “Cantina”, with the promise of two newly-sculpted Pops. When it comes down to it, we actually got three! In addition to a resculpted Ben Kenobi in an action pose, subscribers received either a blue- or red-suited Snaggletooth.
“Snaggletooth? Who the **** is he?”
“But he hardly had any screen time!”
“ZOMG I’m so pissed I didn’t get Ponda Baba.”
This is a lot of what we’re seeing from Pop collectors when speaking of the inclusion of the pig-snouted alien from Star Wars, which tells me that it’s time for a little hobby history! Yes, Snaggletooth was virtually non-existent in the movies, but Kenner (the original producers of Star Wars action figures, from 1977 to 2000) wasn’t going to let that get in the way of producing him and several other creatures with minimal screen time. That’s part of what gave the vintage Star Wars line its character and longevity – we didn’t get 15 different Luke Skywalkers, we got Hammerhead, Zuckuss, Amanaman, R5-D4 and Prune Face. As a kid, recreating the adventures put together on the big screen by George Lucas and company wasn’t enough…I wanted Luke to battle Hammerhead, for Nien Nunb to lead a secret task force on Endor, for Prune Face to fight against Chewbacca in Jabba’s Palace! (Yes, I was one of those kids who thought Prune Face was part of Jabba’s crew. But I digress.) Over the course of nearly a decade, Kenner made just short of 100 different figures, only a handful of which were main characters. So that leads me to Snaggletooth.
You might be asking, why did Snaggletooth get two different figures? For this, we can thank a tight schedule, a black and white photo, and an incorrect assumption. The race for Kenner to pump out Star Wars figures was frenetic. The movie was a monster, and toys were flying off the shelves. For production of the Snaggletooth figure, Kenner was given only a black and white photo of the character, cut off at the waist. The designers at Kenner created a figure of a tall, blue-suited Snaggletooth with silver boots. “Oops” says Lucasfilm – he’s actually supposed to be short, with a red suit and furry feet. A small number of blue Snaggletooths made it into production (though not as small as some might have you believe) and were included only in the Sears Cantina Adventure Set. The figure was corrected and produced in his red outfit, which then replaced blue Snaggletooth in the playset, and was released on the standard figure cardback.
So here we are, 38 years later (making me feel reeeeeeally old), and Funko has paid homage to Kenner’s classic mistake with the release of both the blue and red versions of Snaggletooth. It would have been very easy for Funko to use the same mold for both figures, but Funko took it a step further. Thanks to a pic provided by Dean at May the Funko Be With You, we can see that the two figures have their own distinguished look, mimicking the look of the vintage figures. Blue Snaggletooth is taller, has his silver boots, and even has the more flesh-colored face. Meanwhile, red Snaggletooth is shorter, has his furry feet, and has the gray skin tone of the original. Both even have the classic belt logo design.
For this, I say kudos to Funko! This honoring of the vintage Kenner line will no doubt remain a top Funko moment for me, and likely for vintage figure fans everywhere.