SPECIAL REPRO REPORTIntroduction
THERE'S A NEW VLIX IN TOWNby Walkie/TIGVlix Figure: Left to Right, MK.2 Poon Glasslite, Glasslite, MK.2 Poon Kenner First Shot
Love him or loathe him, but earlier this year Mark Poon struck back and released a new, more accurate Vlix REPRO onto the market. First offered to the public through the classifieds section on Rebelscum in February 2015, the collecting community was soon in uproar. The community, however, decided to fight back by launching a petition to stop the sale of reproductions on Rebelscum (ref: http://forum.rebelscum.com/t1117946/ ) and within a few days the site owner, Philip Wise, changed the selling rules to outlaw the sale of any type of toy or packaging which fell into the reproduction category. This has now been mimicked across the majority of the main Star Wars forums and Facebook groups - so, in a way, we have something to thank these latest REPROs for.The Packaging
The (dare I say it??) best part about these reproduction figures is the actual custom packing they come sealed in. They are closely styled on what can be best described as an 'Easter Egg' box design, with opening top and bottom flaps. The front is cut away in the shape of Vlix's head to display the action figure which is housed inside a clear-plastic clam shell insert, mounted in front of a removable red backing card.
The artwork on the box has been directly copied from several sources: the group image on the rear is taken from the 1986 Kenner Toy Fair catalogue, while the image on the side has been taken from the artwork for the Kenner card back proofs. On both sides of the box, above the cartoon image of Vlix, there is an embossed representation of the front and reverse of the unproduced Collectors Coin.
The inner clam shell packaging can be removed, along with the red cardboard backing card, by opening either of the top or bottom flaps of the box. The clam shell neatly fits together and contains two cavities: one for the action figure, and another above the head to house a weapon and an action figure stand. The action figure stand appears to be the only part of this item which is neither REPRO or custom, and bears the name of the supplier "The Earth" on the underside. As these figure stands can be readily purchased online, it seems likely that the REPRO makers included these as an easier option to making their own.
Packaging - Outer Box Front & RearPackaging - Outer Box SidesPackaging - Box InternalsPackaging - Clam Shell c/w ContentsPackaging - Clam ShellPackaging - Clam Shell Side ViewGlasslite Vlix FigureNOTE:
While the original MK.1 Poon Vlix appears to have been cast directly from a genuine Glasslite Vlix - thus sharing the same COO #1, the MK.2 Poon Vlix has been manufactured using newly produced die-casting tooling which, thankfully, has left many tell-tale signs on the end product. The most noticable of these is the new COO #2. In the photos below, an original Glasslite Vlix is used for comparison.
For reference, the MK.1 Poon Vlix can be viewed here as part of the Droids action figure guide.... Click Here!
Vlix: Glasslite on the rightVlix: Glasslite on the rightVlix: Glasslite on the rightVlix: Glasslite on the rightVlix: Glasslite on the rightVlix: Glasslite on the rightVlix: Glasslite on the rightDIFFERENCES:
Compared to the Glasslite Vlix, the MK.2 Poon reproduction figure has:
- A Lighter green moulded head
- Lighter blue mouth & eyebrows
- Lighter red spots on face
- The spray ops on the face (mouth, eyebrows & spots) are all too neat.
- Darker blue torso and limbs
- Lighter painted green hands
- Clumsier use of a spray mask on the grey paint ops, larger unpainted areas near corners, more over-spray etc...
- Peg holes in the feet have a 'circle' - observe the line around them
- No manufacturing melt marks between thighs (rear of the figure)
Now, I know what you're thinking... lighter paint, darker plastic - how can I distinguish this without having a genuine Glasslite Vlix to compare to?!? Well, thankfully, there are plenty of other obvious differences that I am happy to share below...Other Obvious Differences
Unlike the MK.1 Poon Vlix, which was cast in solid resin, this time the repro-makers have invested in proper die-cast tooling for the MK.2 REPRO action figure. I had planned as part of this comparison to document the internals on the action figure, however, after several failed attempts to boil and pop the limbs and prise open the two halves of the torso, I gave up. I can only assume that the glue used to bond the two halves of the torso together was very strong!!
Thankfully, as new die-cast tooling has been produced for this REPRO action figure, there are plenty of tell-tale manufacturing signs on the externals of the figures.
For those of you unfamiliar with the injection moulding process, steel dies are used to produce the plastic parts. These dies usually split into two to allow the finished component to be removed. When the two halves of the die come together, a machined cavity is formed in the centre of the tool which is typically a mirror-image of the finished component. Liquid plastic is then forced into the mould under pressure. Once cooled, the steel dies are opened and the finished component can be removed.
You can see the 'split' lines on the finished components where the two halves of this steel die join together (see the head & torso photos below).
It is also standard practice for these dies to produce more then one component at a time. In order to do this, components are joined together with a sacrificial 'sprue tree'. This joins the components together, allowing even flow of the liquid plastic as it enters the mould tool. The remains of the sprue tree connection can be clearly seen on the side of the genuine Glasslite head, and not on the MK.2 reproduction head.
COO Markings: Copia COO on both foot & legHead & Neck split lines: Glasslite on the rightHead 'sprue tree' break mark: Glasslite on the rightNeck split line: Glasslite on the rightMelt marks: Glasslite on the rightDIFFERENCES:
Compared to the Glasslite Vlix, the MK.2 Poon reproduction figure has:
- A different COO marking 'COPIA' which is Portuguese for COPY
- Different split lines on the neck and head
- No 'sprue tree' break mark on the side of the head
- An additional split line on the front of the neck
- No melt marks on the rear of the torsoGlasslite Vlix Figure RifleACCESSORIES:
The MK.2 Poon figure comes with a V1 REPRO Imperial Hoth Rifle moulded directly from a Kenner original. The original Glasslite Vlix comes with a shiny black Hoth Trooper with the V3 sculpt.
Rifle: Glasslite on the bottomRifle: Glasslite on the bottomRifle: Water TestRifle: Water TestRifle: Water TestWATER TEST:
- Both Rifles when placed on water float
- Both Rifles sink when tappedDIFFERENCES:
Compared to the Glasslite counterpart, the MK.2 Poon Vlix Rifle is:
- The wrong sculpt - V1 instead of V3
- Less shiny
- Missing the two large 'sprue tree' break marks on the top edge
Coming Soon.... Part II where we examine the MK.2 Poon Kenner first shot.
Thanks to Fred/Thargoil for the special reprot logo.
Paul/Artoo_Detour for proof reading and editing my draft report.