Archive for the ‘Special Offer’Category

Star Wars Toltoys Update

Star Wars Toltoys Update

Our latest Toltoys Star Wars update features the unassuming little green guy above. A regular ESB Yoda you say? Computer says No. What appears to be a regular Kenner USA release is in fact a rare Toltoys release Survival Kit Offer card, see the reverse shot below. Or at least that’s what it was, until Toltoys updated the offer with the ultra-rare 4 Lom Offer stickers. Yes that’s right, a double Toltoys offer card. Not since the Anakin POTF / Aussie Coin Offer Sticker combo has a Toltoys double act come along, and aren’t we glad it did!

Part two of this update features the mysterious “Toltoys NZ upside-down blister” attached to the 9/10th scale card. If I were a northern hemispherian I wouldn’t be able to resist some kind of “Down Under” pun here, but I’m not so I will.
These crazy blisters appear to have been affixed to their cards by Ugnaughts, it’s the only possible explanation. The cards themselves are also slightly smaller than their Kenner counterparts (see the pic below for comparison); again resist the urge for size jokes please. This Hammerhead is only the third carded example I’ve seen, although there are a couple of cardbacks out there too. The supposition of New Zealand origin comes largely from anecdotal evidence, plus anyone whose ever seen an episode of Flight of the Conchords understands it’s no stretch for weird yet strangely entertaining stuff to come out of the Land of the Long White Sheep. Anyone have any of these weird blisters out there?

Finally this update we have a Droids 3-pack set. It appears to be a standard Kenner USA release but check the back and you’ll notice all the height measurements have been blacked out. Why? Well for the same reason the Royale with Cheese exists – the metric system. The card was printed with US imperial measurements, not the proper (!) legally approved Australian metrics. While they appear to have been done by hand that seems unlikely, so unless Toltoys employed a thousand 15 year-old work-experience kids for the worst week of their lives I’d suspect (as does the discoverer and owner of this item) that they were created with a template or hastily constructed overprint. It will only take one more example to prove the theory, anyone got one?

Huge thanks to Dax for these three incredible items this week, what will his eagle eyes turn up next?



07 2009

Star Wars in the 1982 Waltons Wishbook

More Star Wars from the 1982 Waltons Wishbook

$60 was a lot for a toy in 1982, hell it’s a lot for a toy today. Just as well then that you received one of the all-time great play-sets for your cash back in ’82, the Kenner Millennium Falcon.
Walton’s caption writers went off the deep end in this one, declaring the Falcon to be ‘faithful’, as opposed to all those other lousy cheating spacecraft one presumes. Dig the “Simulate Space Chess” – is the simulate really necessary? I mean even slow Darren from down the road gets that we’re not actually playing real space chess here.
The keen-eyed among you will have already noticed the uber-cool Empire Strikes Back Electric Toothbrush labeled as a Star Wars one, a tough item to locate for collectors today. They were one of the earliest Star Wars toys so it’s good to see them still around in 1982.

The last little reveals of this particular page are the fantastic AT-AT, still sold in the modern Hasbro line today, and the short lived but much admired Micro Collection, represented here by the Bespin environments. Comparing the prices of the Micro stuff with the creature / figure combos to their right gives some insight I think into why the line did not last. What would you have preferred as a kid? Micro Rob don’t answer that 🙂

Finally we have the whole page on show, and what a treasure trove it has proved to be, solving the mysteries of the not one but three Toltoys Special Offer items, and throwing in rare ads for 3-Packs and ESB Toothbrushes just for fun.
I’ll be continuing the Wishbook posts soon, but stay tuned for some other vintage toy coolness this week.


03 2009

Waltons Special Offer Star Wars

Two more Special Offer mysteries solved…
A couple of years ago on we presented a feature on all the known Star Wars Special Offer boxed toys that had surfaced in Australia during the 1978 – 85 period. In the post below we were able to confirm that the Attack Base was a Waltons Department Store special offer and also list the contents.
This week I’m happy to reveal the origins and contents of two more mysterious special offer items, the Empire Strikes Back Wampa and Tauntaun. There is only one known example of the Wampa box, and only a cut front of the Tauntaun box.

Neither were found with contents intact, leaving it open to speculation as to which figures were included.

Now thanks to the discovery of the 1982 Waltons Wish Book we can confirm that these two were also Waltons Special Offers, and narrow down the identity of the figures included.

This is the ad for both items, and while we can confirm the price and the three figures included, I’m not sure we can say which figures came with which! The photo suggests that Han Hoth came with the Wampa and the other two with the Tauntan, but it could just as easily have been the Snowtrooper with the Wampa (Bad guys together?) and the other two with Tauntaun.

Until we find a sealed example let the speculation continue!
More reveals coming soon…


02 2009

Toltoys Star Wars Special Offer Origins

Toltoys Star Wars Special Offer origins revealed!

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough (thanks to the eagle eyes of fellow Toltoys collector Dax) to pick up a very cool Imperial Attack Base featuring a huge “Special Offer” sticker across the front, indicating that four figures were included. As featured in a previous post on the origin of  this piece was at first a mystery, until a Queensland collector named Paul chipped in with his recollections of seeing it at the Waltons chain of stores.
His recollection was remarkably accurate, as thanks to the recently discovered 1982 Waltons Wishbook above we can confirm that the item was indeed a Walton’s Toltoys exclusive, and that the four figures included were Rebel Commander, Hoth Rebel Soldier and two regular Stormtroopers.
Another part of Paul’s recollection was proved correct with the catalogue appearance of the rare Star Wars Three-Packs, priced at $6.99. What’s very interesting is that the three-packs were being sold new at retail, still in Star Wars livery, just a year before the single cards changed to Jedi packaging. Were they overstock from overseas? It’s hard to believe that they weren’t a popular item wherever they were sold.
The final toy items featured today are Luke’s blaster , presumably in ESB packaging, and the hapless mini-rigs apparently used by the ‘Empire Spy Force’. Not quite the most bone-chilling secret police name I’ve ever heard. And at $2 more than a three-pack, what are you going to buy? Ahhh… yeah.

More Toltoys Star Wars mysteries will be revealed this week…


02 2009

Toltoys Special Offer Items

Toltoys Special Offer Items

Some of the most sought after pieces in the Kenner US Star Wars line are the “Special Offer” (SO) vehicles. To help move old product and keep large department chains happy Kenner would include one or more free items (usually figures) inside the box, advertising the fact with a flashy sticker applied to the outside. There is a great feature article on the Star Wars Collectors Archive on Special Offers, a must see for all Star Wars collectors!

While the Kenner versions have been well documented, a small number of previously unknown Toltoys examples have come to the attention of Australian collectors in the last few years.

The first to surface was the Toltoys SO Landspeeder. This has so far been the only SO vehicle to be found in a Toltoys logo box.

It is unusual in that it included three figures (Luke, R2D2 and C3PO) as opposed to the US version which had only R2 and 3PO. It is unclear whether the figures were included loose in the box or in baggies, and until a sealed example turns up we can’t be certain.

The second one to surface was the SO Dewback. This was a regular Kenner box with a sticker advertising the Stormtrooper figure inside, an offer also released by Kenner Canada for the Empire Strikes Back (ESB).

Next came two unexpected finds, the first was the Kenner Tantaun ESB box with a SO printed flash proclaiming the inclusion of two figures. The only proof of this offer is the cut box front above, so again we have no way of knowing which two figures were included.

Shortly after the Tauntan find a Kenner Wampa ESB box appeared on Ebay Australia with the same printed SO circle, advising that two bonus figures were included. The item was not sealed unfortunately so again we do not know which figures were included.

The most recent find is the ESB Imperial Attack Base. This box has the same style small round printed offer as the Tauntaun and Wampa , but advertises four figures as being included rather than two.

Not content with the small promotional circle Toltoys added another huge yellow sticker shouting the fact to the world! This box was actually manufactured in Australia, but since Toltoys had been recently acquired by Kenner, it features a Kenner logo.

Again we don’t know for certain which figures came with this offer, but luckily the big gaudy yellow sticker caught the eye of at least one young fan, and I’m delighted to bring you his memories of this item from all those years ago…

“I was around the age of 10 or 11, so many years have passed since this memory but what I can recall is that I went to a Waltons store in the suburb of Fortitude Valley Brisbane. Waltons seemed to be the store that had the harder to get items and special offers unseen at stores like Target and K-Mart, incidentally this was the only store where I ever saw a three pack for sale. I was in the store looking for the one figure out of the collection that had so far eluded me, a Princess Leia in the white outfit. I started collecting at the release of the 41 backs so I had a fair back catalogue to obtain!

I spotted the Imperial Attack Base with a huge sticker (couldn’t recall the colour until seeing the pics above) offering free figures inside. I reasoned with my Mother to open the boxes and find out which figures were in there in case they had a Princess Leia. My Mum opened all three boxes, only to find that they had the exact same figures in each box. This is where my memory gets a little hazy unfortunately. I recall seeing the Rebel Commander but can’t say for certain whether Rebel Soldiers or Hoth Stormtroopers accompanied him. I do believe there was a Rebel Soldier at least though. I recall the figures being loose un-bagged but that could be my faded memory. I am positive they were Hoth related figures as after opening the second box I realised it was going to be a huge waste of time to keep going, even though my Mum did. So that is pretty much my memory on that little moment in time.”

Paul N, Brisbane

My own recollections of receiving a SO Landspeeder as a child also fit with Paul’s theory of the figures being loose / un-bagged in the box, so until evidence shows us otherwise I’m going with that!

Another tantalising piece of evidence we have is the page below from an Australian catalogue of the time. It shows the SO Dewback with the Stormtrooper, but interestingly it lists the SO Landspeeder as only including Luke and R2D2, the same as the US release. I’m not even going to begin to talk about the $4.99 three packs… wow!

So far these five items have turned up in extremely limited numbers. There are two known SO Landspeeders, three SO Dewbacks, one SO Wampa, one SO Imperial Attack Base and only a box front for the SO Tauntaun. Articles such as this one will I’m sure will bring more to collector’s attention, if you have one or know of one I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks this week to Paul Naylor, Dave MacLeod, Brody Walker and Dax for the images, info and memories!




PS – This will be my last Star Wars post for a while, I have some great non-SW Aussie stuff to showcase next, but never fear Star Wars will return… (Doesn’t it always?)


04 2007