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Original R2-D2 Kenner Photo Art
Posted by Bryan on March 5, 2008 at 08:44 PM CST:



For collectors of vintage Star Wars packaging collectibles, original Kenner photo art represents the pinnacle of two dimensional prototype collecting. Owning a one of a kind photograph, the original photograph, that graced the card front or card back is a special thing indeed.

The item pictured here is the original photo art for the first issue R2-D2 card back thumbnail image. Kenner changed card backs during 1978, going from hand drawn images of characters to actual photo representations of the toys (or prototype toys in some cases) to get kids to "collect them all". This R2-D2 photo art was used on all card backs from Star Wars 20A backs through The Empire Strikes Back 41C back (20, 21, 31, 32 & 41 backs to be precise). Who knows how many millions of card backs this photo appeared on but needless to say it was a lot! What's really ashamed is in virtually every card back photo used the airbrushed waves shown below the R2 are cropped out. All that work for nothing - but at least we can enjoy it here.

Of note is that this piece retains its identity as a presentation piece, with the existence of the original black cardboard covering (with the logo of the agency, Cato Johnson Associates Inc., that handled the outsourcing on the job), tissue separator and clear plastic protector over the photograph. Many original photo art pieces have either fallen apart or been dismantled to aid in presentation through framing. The owner of this piece has opted to preserve the integrity of the item by keeping all the presentation elements together.

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