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.