Archive for the ‘POTF’Category

Australian Star Wars POTF Coin Offer

Star Wars Month

The Australian POTF Coin Offer

The transition from Return of Jedi carded figures to the Power of The Force (POTF) line in 1985 produced an interesting variation here in Australia. The POTF figures included a collector coin blister packed above the figure, a new idea to help revive sales of the long running Star Wars line. This however left retailers with large numbers of unsold Return of the Jedi carded figures that did not have the coins, not an easy sell to premium savvy kids.

At least one Australian retailer had a simple solution, add a yellow sticker to the existing stock of Jedi cards offering a free coin with the purchase of any figure.

According to an old article on the SWCA the coins and stickers were sent from the US to Australia in Trivial Pursuit question card boxes, and were applied at retail. That piece of info about the boxes is so bizarre and precise that it must be true, I mean, how could you make that up?

The keenly observant among you may have noticed that the card-back in the SWCA article has a Wonderland price sticker on it, which is probably why the theory that this offer was a Wonderland store exclusive exists. The only problem for me was that I’d never heard of Wonderland toys.

I talked about this with fellow Aussie collector (and Toltoys.com contributor) Dax, and he revealed that Wonderland of Toys had been a toy store chain in Perth, Western Australia. He also had a feeling they may have been connected in some way to the large Toyworld chain of toy stores in the eastern states, still in existence today.

Toyworld was Australia’s version of Toys’R’Us through the 70’s and 80’s, until the arrival of the local Toys’R’Us around 1990. It makes sense that if anyone had the leverage to ask for and receive a concession to help move old Jedi stock it would be Toyworld.

It was only when the picture below came through for this article that this theory was confirmed, as stuck on the Lumat cardback sat the instantly recognizable colour and logo of a Toyworld price sticker. So it seems the coin offer sticker was available Australia-wide, in Wonderland of Toys stores in the west, and the Toyworld chain in the east. That is a lot of stores, giving collectors hope that a number of cards are still out there waiting to be found.

The stickers seem to mostly turn up on 79 back cards, which makes sense since they were the last of the Jedi release. However they have shown up on other card backs, including 77 and 65 backs, and most strangely of all a POTF Anakin.

This card was sold on Ebay a couple of years ago, if you are the current owner I’d love to update and upgrade the photo, contact me at the email address in the top right of this page. I suppose if the promotion was successful and the store sold all it’s old Jedi cards it makes sense that they would want to use up the rest of the stickers and coins they had, so why not an Anakin? An uber-cool variation. Actually it does appear that the blister area on the Anakin is lifting, so potentially the store just clerk used the sticker to keep the blister in place! One mystery that we will never know.

Special thanks to today’s contributors Dax & Dave Trimboli for their photos and information.

Cheers!

Will

23

01 2007

Toltoys Power of the Force figures

The Little Aussie Battlers!


It’s a pity when a great toy line goes out with a whimper and not a bang, but more often than not that’s exactly what happens. Kenner’s Star Wars line of 1977-85 was no different. After re-writing toy sale records and re-inventing action figures and film-licensed products the mighty Star Wars line sputtered out over the summer of 1985-86. After a rumoured 250 million figures were sold, the last few releases were dumped in Australia. Why did we get them? Well we’re not called the lucky country for nothing mate 🙂

Lets go back to Australia in the late seventies and eighties. We didn’t get the latest blockbuster Hollywood movies until months after the US, which of course caused a time lag in the wave of popularity for any given feature film. This was great for Star Wars in ’77, because by the time it opened in Australia (27 October 1977 – five months after the USA) the popularity was a ‘known quantity’. The toy stores were bursting with Star Wars items of all kinds (well not the figures yet, but all the other stuff!) , no empty boxes for Aussie kids! True as it was at the start of the Star Wars craze it was again so at the end. Aussie kids were still six months behind their US counterparts. When little Chuck and Randy grew tired of playing with their tiny space-movie men and moved on to wonderful transforming robots, little Darren and Shane still had a last spot left in their heart for just one (or two) more Star Wars figures.

Which brings me to the image above. Here we have a couple of Niktos on the “Power of The Force” card back. The under-performing sales of the “Power of the Force” line of figures lead to their inevitable demise in the US. But what to do with the left overs? Those last few figures and cardbacks sitting in the warehouse in Taiwan or Hong Kong or China, who will take them? Why Toltoys in Australia of course! Just pop them on a card back and give them a coin (Left over ‘Warok’ the Ewok coins in the case of the Nikto and At-At Driver) and send them down under, we hear they still love that stuff down there! Problem solved. Fast forward 30 years and you have the hardest to find figures in the entire Kenner star wars line. Power of the Force versions of Nikto, AT-AT Driver and Gammorean Guard. Let’s hear it for the tail-enders, the little Aussie battlers!

Will

Have any Aussie toy memories? Post a comment or email me!

18

07 2006