Rocket-Firing "Boba Fett" Action Figure (L-Slot and J-Slot Prototypes)
Kenner, USA 1979In early 1979, Kenner added a special offer to their Star Wars action figures: mail in four proofs-of-purchase and they'd send you a free Boba Fett action figure with a "Rocket Firing Back Pack."
The proposed design involved a spring-loaded launcher traveling in a slot shaped like a backwards "L," so surviving prototypes of this version are known as "L-Slots."
By the time Kenner's mailaway offer was reaching stores, toymaker Mattel had recalled several Battlestar Galactica toys after several accidents—including one death—involved children choking on their missiles.
Kenner's engineers attempted to prevent accidents by redesigning the launcher so that it had to be pulled back before being released. Since the launcher slot now resembled the letter "J," these prototypes are known as "J-Slots."
Ultimately, the rocket-firing feature was scrapped, and the figures Kenner mailed out had the rocket permanently affixed.
Prototypes of the rocket-firing Boba Fett figure are extremely rare. Seen here are a standard L-Slot (which are typically unpainted)—and a standard J-Slot (which are typically painted).
From the collection of Steve Sansweet