Prototype Roman Ceramics R2-D2 Bank
Posted by Bryan on March 2, 2008 at 06:00 AM CST:

It's easy to forget that not every vintage Star Wars prototype on the market isn't necessarily from the venerable Kenner 3 3/4" line. Although the toy line gets a lot of notice because of its popularity, prototypes and conceptual pieces existed for just about every vintage item ever created. One of those neat "non-Kenner" pieces is shown here - a prototype R2-D2 bank released in 1978. R2-D2 is without a doubt the most adaptable Star Wars character in terms of storage type items and Roman Ceramics nailed it with this offering.

For purposes of comparison all of the photos show the prototype bank on the right contrasted with the final production version on the left. The biggest difference between the two items is the overall size as the prototype is about 1/2" taller than the production version and is also thicker all around. This may have been from using an in-house prototype mold for the concept piece versus using production molds. Throughout the production process items tend to shrink as copies are made from copies and this may have been the case here, although the size difference is more dramatic in these ceramic items then you usually see in plastic toy items. You also can see the red dome dot on the prototype is slightly larger than the production version. The darkness of the blue paint and the overall completeness of the paint application is more evident in the prototype than it is in the production version. Mirroring toy prototypes, this bank is also missing it's copyright information on the bottom. There is an internal Roman Ceramics sticker on the bottom which identifies this sample as: Style C65, 2nd edition. Special thanks to Cloud City Collectibles for bringing this amazing piece to market.

From the collection of Bryan Simmons.
Photography by Bryan Simmons.

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