Monday, August 4, 2008

Cheesegraters and Jawbones: The Hearing

I came across the full hearing document from propmaker Andrew Ainsworth's recent court loss to Lucasfilm regarding claims of intellectual property rights over various Star Wars helmets and armor including those of the classic Stormtrooper, Imperial Gunner, TIE Pilot, and others. Hardcore costuming enthusiasts may find a few gems within the lengthy court document. Although not directly mentioned by name, I was excited to see the 501st Legion get a tip of the hat in this passage:

85. In 2004 Mr Ainsworth set up a website ( and started to sell products in a concerted manner. There is a significant market for such products amongst aficionados of the Star War (sic) films all over the world, some of whom organise themselves into "Garrisons".

Yeah, we crazy fans will actually pay money for this stuff. And on a related note, it seems that Ainsworth's invoice for Stormtrooper helmets in 1976 was about the same as one can expect to pay now for a Master Replicas Collectors Edition bucket ($98 US):

39. Mr Pemberton told Mr Ainsworth that he wanted 50 helmets and Mr Ainsworth quoted £20 per helmet. Mr Pemberton said he would have to get back to his customer about that and a couple of days later the price was approved.

And, believe it or not, the armor itself was also priced very similar to what a fan-made kit would go for today on ebay (~$755 US):

43. Mr Ainsworth agreed to attempt to produce armour. Over the following weeks he did so, both for the initial filming and for subsequent studio production. He also modified the armour in order to make it more wearable, based on the experience of actors on the Tunisia shoot, and produced modified tools to produce it. The armour that one sees in the 1977 film was all made by him. He made 50 sets. In relation to the armour, Mr Ainsworth contracted directly with Lucas. His invoices were drawn on the instructions of Mr Mollo. He did not have an order number before the Tunisia shoot, but he obtained one afterwards. His first invoice was for 50 sets of armour at £385 per set, and his invoice for new tools, including some for additions, apparently, was for 12 sets of tools at £200 per unit.

No comments: