Saturday, November 3, 2012

Estrela Cape Identification

Over the past several weeks, I worked on a deal for a loose Shazam Estrela figure which ended coming with his cape.  As several collectors already know, many of the Estrela figures have some unique identification markers, such as the Estrela S.A. stamp on about 1/2 of the production run, but mostly the skin color is the main indication.  The figure identification has been thoroughly discussed, and you can follow the link to know a little more about the figure Estrela stamps and some pictoral examples of the figures.

The point of this blog post is not necessarly the figures themselves, but instead the capes that go with the figures.  When I was working on my loose Estrela Shazam deal, one thing that was important to me was the Shazam cape.  Since there are not may known loose Estrela Shazam capes around, I asked my buddy Ken on his opinion on the cape differences (Estrela vs. USA) using his carded Estrela Shazam as an example.

The picture below serves as a decent comparison between the two capes. The left cape is the Estrela Cape that was a part of my deal, and the right is from a USA figure.  Please note that the Estrela Cape shows an extra row of "X"'s on the top, but both Ken and I agree that someone probably put them there with yellow marker, and should not be used as an identification method.  Ken's carded Estrela Shazam figure does not have the extra row of "X"'s.   As initially determined in my discussion with Ken,  the major identification marker in his carded Estrela Shazam is the color of the clasp.  If you look at the picture below, the USA cape has a much brighter yellow clasp, where the Estrela clasp is somewhat duller.


Other than the clasp, the only other way to identify the capes is the fabric.  My mother-in-law is pretty knowledgeable about fabrics, and I asked her to give me her opinion on the fabrics.  Basically her interpretation between the two fabrics is that they are both different.  She believes that the USA cape is possibly a "nylon tricot" fabric, which has some properties of being wrinkle resistant, and a fairly specific fabric grain pattern (grain is one direction on one side, and is either faint or the other direction on the other side.)  As far as the Estrela fabric, she believes that is is some sort of nylon blend, possibly nylon/polyester blend, due to the cape being not wrinkle resistant, and the a totally different fabric weave than the USA counterpart.  So basically, I cant definitively say that the fabric types are indeed a proper marker, but hopefully this information is somewhat helpful to others if they are having trouble.

In summary, if you are lucky enough to get an Estrela Shazam loose, and want to know if the cape is Estrela or Kenner, the major marker is the yellow color of the clasp.  More than likely if you have the Estrela Shazam, you probably have the Kenner version and can do a side by side comparison.  Other than that, there should be some noticeable fabric differences that also clue you in on the authenticity of the Estrela cape as well.

Thanks to both Ken and my mother-in-law for their help, and hopefully this might be of some value to a few of you.

-Jon

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Highlight - Estrela Exclusive Mini-Comics

Thanks for reading again.  Today is an interesting post on the exclusive mini-comics only found in the Super Powers Estrela line.

I plan to highlight everything Estrela related at some point, but at this time, I am excited as heck to finally have a copy in my collection each of the three mini-comics that were only produced and included in the Estrela Super Powers line.  These mini-comics went with the Plastic-man, Cyborg, and Shazam Estrela figures.  As you are probably are aware, these figures were a part of Kenner's third wave, which did not have mini-comics included in their distribution.

What makes me super excited to have them is two fold, A.) They are very rare, B.) They are examples of what the mini-comics for these figures might have looked like if Kenner included mini-comics with the 3rd series characters.  There are many ramblings across the internet that these were created by Kenner and were initially intended to be a part of the third wave, however due to production cost cutting, Kenner scrapped the idea of mini-comics with the third wave.  Since Estrela figures were produced and distributed at the later end and after the Kenner run, it has been postulated that the Plasticman, Cyborg, and Shazam mini-comics  were left over from the Kenner designs and given to Estrela for their use of the Super Powers license in Brazil.  I am really happy Estrela did distribute these figures and their comics, and it makes me wonder and hope that somewhere out there, there are some pre-poduction items relating to the other 3rd series characters' mini-comics as well.

Below are pictures of the three mini-comics and all their pages for your enjoyment.  As you can see, the artwork is in line with the style of the other Kenner mini-comics artwork, which helps support the idea that they were left over from Kenner designs.  I do not speak Portuguese, so please dont ask what the storylines are!





If you in the foreign collecting field and are looking for these mini-comics, you are in for quite the hunt.  The Plasticman comic appears to be the most common of the three, and currently exists in several collections that I know of, and shows up on Ebay a few times a year.  Both Cyborg and Shazam mini-comics are extremely rare, and in my opinion the Shazam comic is the rarer one.  Lucky for us, there are a few Brazilian eBayers that post Estrela items from time to time, so if you are patient, I'm sure more will pop up in the future.

Happy hunting and hope you enjoyed!

-Jon

   







     

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pre-Production Highlight - Darkseid First Shot

Today I will be discussing one of my few pre-production pieces in my collection, and one that gets quite a bit of attention from my son, the Darksied First Shot figure.

In the world of pre-production and prototype collecting, first shot figures appear to be some of the most common pieces out there.  There are several examples of parts cast in non-production colors, first shots that are unpainted (cast in production colors), and painted first shots (both hand or production painted).   Kenner would do extensive testing on their production process to make sure the molds, paint application, and packaging processes are ready for full scale production, and a few examples from these tests survive today.  In most cases, first shot figures normally exhibit no date/copyright stamps, but in the world of pre-production pieces, this isn't the standard.  Ask one of us collectors about the Batman or Superman Lili-Ledy fugures (which don't have date stamps) and you might get a response that a figure with no date/copyright stamp does is not proof of one of these first shot figures.  After Kenner was done with their first shot examples, they would normally discard them, and then put the date/copyright stamp on the mold to be used for production.

Below are pictures of my Darksied First Shot.  His entire body exhibits all traits of a production figure, including the date/copyright stamp, however as you can obviously see, his face is not cast in the normal gray production color and is instead a peach color.  It is definitely one of most interesting pieces that are on my shelf, and he has traveled the world!  He was first purchased by a former collector here in the USA who left the hobby a year ago and put him on eBay in 2011 and I lost the auction.  I really wanted him, and hoped he would re-surface at some point (or another example), but to my luck a fellow collector that I know won that auction and was getting rid of him.  And where was he from....England.  So this dude went from Kenner, to NC, then all the way to England, and is now retired here in Arizona!

An yes..he gets a lot of attention from my son, because now he believes that Darksied's face is not grey, but instead Darkseid in his mind.....wears grey makeup! 

-Jon




      






Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Collector Spotlight - Ken

This is the first of a series of blog posts on other Super Powers collectors who have agreed to participate in an interview and allow me to spotlight their collection.  If you want to participate in an interview and have your collection spotlighted, please message me.

Today we are giving the spotlight to one of the most avid collectors of Green Arrow Super Powers figures, Mr. Ken Rohlf, also known as krohlf24 on the www.kennersuperpowers.com message board.

Before I get started, I would like to acknowlege Ken's service to our country in the Army.  He bravely fought for our freedom as well as the freedom of others while on two tours of duty in Iraq.  I applaud Ken and other people in the armed forces serving our country worldwide!

For those of you who don't know Ken, he originally grew up in Northern Ohio, and currently lives in Tennessee.   He is a fan of many of the sports teams from his home state of Ohio, and works in sales and distribution.  He is one of the top contributors to the Super Powers forum, and currently focuses his collection on collecting Green Arrow (based on his love of archery) and Lex Luthor pieces.  He still enjoys playing with toys (don't we all!) with his nieces and nephews, but don't be alarmed, he only plays with them with his loose "beater" figures!

Now.. on to the interview!



What kinds of toys did you play with as a kid?
Star Wars, Voltron, Transformers, Secret Wars, G.I. Joe(12” and 3-3/4”), He-Man and the MOTU, Thundercats, Lone Ranger, Silverhawks, Crystar and of course SUPER POWERS. I'm positive there are others, but these are the ones that stick in my mind at the moment.

Were Kenner Super Powers one of your favorite toys as a kid, or did you grow to appreciate them later in life?
I grew up a huge fan of comic books and loved the Super Friends cartoon so Super Powers was a great toy line to transition from the books and TV to action figures.  It wasn't until later in life that a real appreciation grew for Super Powers as more than just toys. It was something I became passionate about and they became my collection.
  
If you had Kenner Super Powers as a kid, which characters/vehicles did you have?  What were your favorites?
My cousins and I would get together and decide who got which figure. We would always buy different figures. Batman and Superman were the only ones that both me and my cousins would each have because they were the two most popular at the time.  I had Batman, Superman, Joker, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Firestorm, Darkseid, Cyclotron, Shazam and the Batmobile.

When did you begin to seriously collect Kenner Super Powers?
I picked and chose for years before leaving them all behind in my teens. It wasn't until my brother was born(18 yrs. Younger than me) that I started going back in the toy aisles again. It wasn't until my late teens that I started picking things up for myself again. About three to five years ago was when I got real serious about collecting again though.

What made you want to start collecting Kenner Super Powers (what interested you in the line)?
It wasn't until I was on leave from the Army that I was sitting at my computer in our Apt. my wife was to work and I was really bored. I was goofing around on the internet and started thinking about the toys I had as a kid and how nice it would be to have some of them back. Super Powers was one of the first lines that popped in my head. I remembered the action features and the name of the line. I looked them up and found Michael Mensinger's kennersuperpowers.com site and an article written by Jason “Toy Otter” Geyer and it was all over from there.

How did your Super Powers collection evolve over time (how did your collection grow)? 
I started off buying loose incomplete figures, just for nostalgia, but that just wasn't good enough. I had to have them in mint(as mint as a loose figure can be) condition and complete with the accessories, I wanted to display them. First was the figures, then the vehicles and the Hall of Justice. Next I wanted to get all the mini-comics and all four of the variations. A friend of mine decided to sell off his collection and I got first dibs on anything I wanted. It helped me to obtain some of those hard to find mint on card pieces and in some cases I was able to grab a few pieces that I'd been searching for, for years. Some pieces, to this day I've never seen available to the public again. I'm sure some private sales have taken place and other pieces are out there, I just don't know about them.

Do you have a particular character or foreign focus?  Why did you choose that focus?
I have two characters! Green Arrow and Lex Luthor. I love archery, so it was inevitable that I choose Green Arrow! I've managed to get one example of every cardback type and every Green Arrow that is known to be released overseas.





 Lex Luthor was a complete accident, but I'm glad it happened. I started with a Kenner and Estrela Luthor, took a chance on what was being sold as a Lily Ledy Luthor, because I had never seen one before. One day I look around and realize I have a good run going with Luthor having picked up both the Playful, Pacipa and GMJ SA Luthor. I have since compared it to every known variation of Luthors from every country of release and believe that my chance has paid off and it is in fact a loose complete LL Luthor.


As for the foreign focus, I have the Estrela line. All complete with their accessories. In my opinon Estrela is the closest released production figure to Kenner's line. To date I have 16 of the 17 characters and 14 of the seventeen mini comics released by the Brazilian company. I have posted pics and some information regarding this line on Mike's site.  I'm still looking for a loose Estrela Flash. Superman, Aquaman and Flash mini-comics. As well as a MOC Green Arrow, I have a loose one already.
Do you collect foreign or pre-production Super Powers pieces?
Years ago I made it a goal to own at least one example from every foreign country. That goal has been completed! Palitoy, Australian, NIBO, GMJ SA, Tri-Lingual, Lily Ledy, Gulliver, Pacipa, Playful and Estrela.




Pre-production wise is all Green Arrow stuff. Proof card, Cromalin with errors markings and an Engineering Pilot.  I also own a conceptual drawing of the Batjet.

How did you go about finding Super Powers pieces?
Years ago it was brick and mortor stores and store catalogs Hills, Sears, etc., then it was the back of magazine adds. Nowadays, unfortunately eBay for the most part, but there is always toy shows, comic shops, flea markets and garage sales. I'm lucky enough to have friends in different countries that have helped me out. Other places I'll keep private, to keep competition away.

What were some of your most exciting acquisitions?
Those rare and HTF pieces are always exciting, but my 1st pre-production item was the most exciting since it represents a step in the production process.

What pieces were hard to obtain?
The hardest pieces to find are the ones that exist in small quantities. Pre-production stuff exists is super small quantities. Certain foreign pieces are also extremely hard to locate. MOC NIBO Penguin and GMJ SA pieces just to name a few.

Was there a particular Super Powers piece that you passed up on purchasing that you now regret not buying?
Yes! I had the chance to buy a MOC Estrela Luthor and passed.  I had a loose one already and hadn't actually decided to put together a Luthor focus until later.  The seller offered it to me more than once and tired to convince me that I needed it for a Luthor run. Man, I should've listened!

What are your favorite pieces?
I love them all! Looking at my MOC pieces, seeing my entire loose collection on display.

Is condition important to you, or is just having a piece important.
Both! When looking at US pieces, loose or MOC, condition plays a huge role for me. When I look at foreign pieces or really rare examples I'm more lenient on condition. Either because it's that rare of a find or because it's coming from another country and I've seen first hand what postal services can do both here and overseas.

What is your Holy Grail piece… what are you wanting to add in the future?
Like every Super Powers collector I know, Manbat and the Tower of Darkness playset are the two most sought after Grail pieces. With Green Arrow as my main figure focus, any of his pre-production stuff is right up there for me as well.

How do you define a Collection? (All USA Cards/ Everything/ Character focus?)
That's up to the individual collector. Mine has many definitions, each set forth by my current goal or focus that I have at the time.  Whether it be MOC, Foreign or character focus. I know a few collectors that have to have everything for theirs to be complete.

Do you collect any of the non Kenner Super Powers items?
I do! I have all four of the BK happy meal boxes, unused. All four of the prizes that came inside, I wouldn't call them toys though since a Batman tooth brush holder, Superman coin,  Puffy door sticker and an Aquaman bathtub floater aren't really toys, IMO. I also have all four of the figural cup/holders still sealed.






How do you display your collection (or do you store it?) Do you use protective cases?
My loose collection is displayed in a custom bookshelf. I added a plexiglass window to the front that opens like a door, to keep the dust out. My MOC collection is carefully packed away during house renovations to keep them from being damaged. About 40% of the MOC's are in acrylic cases.
  
Do you collect anything else? If so, what do you collect, why does it appeal to you, when did you start….
About the same time I got back into collecting, I starting thinking about all the toys I had as a child. I started picking up random things like G1 Transformers, MOTU, Thundercats and Silverhawks. I have put together a mint complete loose set of US Secret Wars, including the lenticular shield inserts. As well as a mint complete loose set of Gabriel Lone Ranger figures, it's only five figures, but finding all those little pistols to complete them is a pain.

What other kinds of hobbies interest you?
I've been customizing SP figures on and off for a few years now and enjoy it, as a hobby. I've also been thinking of getting into makings molds and castings, when time will permit me is another story.

 Ken's custom El Capitan Rayo

Do you want to share any personal information about yourself (any interesting life stories, what is your job? Education? Sports teams you like?  Favorite activities?  Do you play with any of your old toys  with your kids/ nephews/ nieces)?
Being a Veteran of the US Army, Infantry, with two tours to Iraq, I support many great organizations that help out the Armed Forces. Now I'm in sales and distribution. Being from N. Ohio of course I'm a fan of the Browns, Indians, Cavaliers and The Ohio State Buckeyes. My collection is off limits and the kids know it, another reason it's behind glass! I have bought my nieces and nephews plenty of loose “beater” figures to play with, which makes us all happy :^) They're big time into the Star Wars and DC Nation cartoons at the moment so I'm good with either come playtime!

For those of you who are interested in Ken's collection, and would like to see how it is growing, please visit his collection thread at the Kenner Super Powers Forum.

Thank you Ken and I hope everyone enjoyed!



-Jon

(If you would like your collection to be featured in a future blog post, please message me, or get a hold of me on the Super Powers forum (@www.kennersuperpowers.com - handle: HUT64).

(All photos in this blog post are credited to Ken and are his property)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Focus - Gulliver Juguetes Super Powers line

Hola!!



Welcome to another Super Powers foreign release Focus post!  Today I will be highlighting the infamous Gulliver Juguetes Super Powers line from South America.  This line is definitely notable due to it's inclusion of an exclusive figure, El Capitan Rayo..... but lets start with the basics.

From what I could find from several discussions online, Gulliver Juguetes Super Powers figures (I'll refer it as "Gulliver" from now on)  were produced between 1986 and 1995 (please don't quote me on those years) and distributed in Colombia.  There are several references to Gulliver actually being a Brazilian company, as evidenced by their website.  At least they didn't get bought out and dissolved like Kenner and looks like they are still producing toys to this day.   I do however, lean towards the line actually being produced for the Colombian market, due to the following placed on the Gulliver figures cardbacks:

I have not seen any other evidence that they were available in Brazil during their run, probably due to the Estrela line being available in Brazil.

It appears, that initially, the Gulliver figures did indeed have a licensing agreement between Kenner and DC Comics, due to a copyright and trademark statement at the back of the figures:

However, as I will discuss later, the El Capitan Rayo does not have this statement on its cardback.

Under the DC/Kenner license, Gulliver released 7 figures that mirror their Kenner counterparts, but to a certain degree!

As you can see, Superman, Batman, Robin, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman are all a part of the line, and all these Gulliver figures have appeared over the years in their carded form in various collections and on Ebay.  I personally own a Superman and Wonder Woman carded example, and examples of Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Robin, can be found at www.kennersuperpowers.com, and a Batman example has shown up in a picture on the Super Powers Blog at Action Figure Insider.  Below are the pictures of the Superman and Wonder Woman pieces that I have in my collection.






By inspection of the figures, it is note worthy to say that their quality is VERY substandard as compared to their Kenner counterparts.  The capes on the figure appear to be made of some sort of vinyl or plastic, as compared to cloth on some of the other lines.   The paint quality appears to be very cheap and missing some of the details (See the Wonder Woman picture above), as well as the head sculpts and paint looking rather gnarly!  As you can tell from my Wonder Woman example,  the mouth has a distinctive smirk, which adds character to the figure, but is a good example of the bad quality paint job!  Heck.. the picture on the cardback has stars on Wonder Woman's undies.. however the figure does not...do Colombians have something against stars?  I also suspect that these figures do not exhibit the "Power Action" features like their Kenner counterparts, but I am not willing to open any of mine to find out!  If anyone knows, please let me know.

However, what is somewhat exclusive to the Gulliver line, is the inclusion of a poster that our amigos could hang on their wall.  The only other Super Powers line (that I know of) that packages posters with the figures are the Trilingual Super Powers figures, which were distributed in Europe.  At least the Colombian kids had something different included than all of us USA/Canadian kids, but in my opinion, doesn't make up for the poor quality figure.

If I were discussing one of the other foreign lines, I would probably be wrapping things up by now, however, there is much more to the Gulliver story!

What makes the Gulliver line kinda neat in my opinion, and as evidenced by the sky high prices paid for this particular figure, is the inclusion of the "El Capitan Rayo" figure.  This figure cannot be found anywhere else in any of the foreign releases of Super Powers figures.  I won't go into too much detail about Rayo, since a former collector blogged about him on Action Figure Insider, but he is so noteworthy I gotta say at least something!

Based on the Wikipedia Article (which I normally don't like to reference), Rayo was created by Gulliver, and has never appeared an any comic books.  Based on some discussions I have read, it appears the Abominable Snowman is his arch enemy, which also also has appeared on a Gulliver cardback, but whether or not it was an actual Gulliver figure as a part of this line is up for discussion, and might be a bootleg.  If you want to know more about this figure, please read the Abominable Snowman Wikipedia Article.  Damn it.. I just referred to Wikipedia again!

 Well.... back to Rayo... What I find interesting about him is the fact that his card front exhibits a "Super Heroes" logo, instead of a "Super Powers" logo.  I would assume that since Gulliver created this figure on their own, they could not properly call him a "Super Powers" figure, due to the licensing from DC and Kenner. By inspection of the pictures below,  you can see the "Super Heroes" logo, and some other notable details on the back of the figure's card.  You can tell that he was a serious addition to the line, since his picture is included in the figure list.  However just below the picture of the figure list, you can see the copyright and trademark are not for DC or Kenner, which I suspect they were protecting themselves from a lawsuit on marketing him with the "Super Powers" brand.  However, wouldn't you think they would need to keep the DC/Kenner license anyways, since they included pictures of the other figures?  Nonetheless, many Super Powers collectors consider him a part of the Gulliver line, and pay top dollar for him!



I would like to thank NICKINNY for allowing me to post pictures of his Capitan Rayo on my blog!  I do not have him in my collection, but it is nice to have some other collectors that are willing to provide photo examples from their collection!

There are some known variances of Rayo, such as different: chest emblems, shades of hair color, and paint jobs, which is expertly detailed at the blog entry at Action Figure Insider.

At this point, I am going to close out this blog entry and discuss what I have seen recently as far as the Gulliver line in the collectables market.  Over the past year (2011-2012) or so, each carded Gulliver figure has shown up on eBay for sale, so there has been some recent buying opportunities for a collector to get their hands on all these guys.  The one thing that really stands out to me though, is that in some cases. the selling price for these guys have risen, and in some cases been sold recently for 2-4 times the selling prices in 2011.   Are they that rare?, is there a steep increase of Super Powers collectors?, is the economy recovering?... who knows!   All that I can say is that it appears the Gulliver line has its own appeal and charm, people are paying top dollar for them, and represents noteworthy inclusion in a foreign Super Powers collection!

Thanks for reading!  Chao!

-Jon


   



Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Ovarian Cyst Wonder Woman

Ovarian cyst Wonder Woman.... what the heck?  Well yes, one of my lovely WW figures did end up having some severe bloating, and the Dr. said she needed surgery to remove some ovary cysts that grew due to her advanced age.   The surgery did not go well, and I had to perform an autopsy. In all honestly, my mother was going through the same thing, and it was a funny diversion to her whole real life experience, and she is doing fine and well and luckily (LOL!) didn't end up with a similar fate!

Now that the joke's over, you are probably still wondering why this particular WW has the Ovarian Cyst label. Well, since I'm an engineer, I have for a long time wondered how the internal parts work inside the Super Powers figures.  Since I primarily collect WW figures,  she was a natural first for me to experiment on.  I first asked some others on the Kenner Super Powers Forum, however after all of their help and input,  this was something I needed to find out on my own.

I did not know the first thing about taking these guys apart, but did learn from others that if you boil them, the arms, legs, and heads pop off pretty easily, and if you boil them some more.. you can get access to their torso (with some help from a knife).  Below is my experiance.

1.)  I had a few extra loose WW figures, and this one was the one that had the Ovarian Cyst problem, was well used, and was not worth a premium on eBay.
 
2.) Boil her up.. and pry her open.   DO NOT USE WIFE'S FAVORITE POT!! (there were a bunch of little dots at the bottom of the pot, more than likely due to some material in the plastic).  She was pissed, and now I have to get her a new pot... which means a new set!


3.)  The end result!

Well, I guess.. job accomplished!   She is now apart and ready for inspection.  Based on her insides, it appears that when you move her right leg, the bar in the middle (the vertical piece pictured between her arms) moves to the right (when looking at the picture), which turns the cylinder (pictured below her head), and causes both arms to move up.  When you let the leg go, the spring on the aforementioned vertical piece moves the cylinder to the left, bringing her arms back down.  I was totally glad that I did this, because from what I found out, this does not match the breadboard drawing that was posted in the topic at the Super Powers Forum.

At this point, I had a trashed Wonder Woman figure, and I kinda wanted to make a display to mimic the picture above because I thought it looked neat.  Well after a discussion with my crafty wife (who was still mad about the ruined pot), a trip to the craft store, and a shadowbox and some sticky wax later... i ended up with this:    



Pretty sweet... and she displays well in my WW collection, and is kinda the focal point of the display!


Well.. I figured I would share my experiance that started from my desire to understand her innerworkings, to a pretty cool accent piece in my collection.  My wife and kids totally made fun of me for doing this, and thought I was crazy, but they still love me anyways!

It was nothing truely special to add to the collecting front, but if you have any old loose figs that you dont know what to do with, this is a cool project.  When I get my Aquaman and Darksied focuses going, I might do the same for those figs as well!

I hope you enjoyed this entry!

-Jon




Thursday, October 11, 2012

Focus - Australian Super Powers

G'Day Mates!
Today I will be focusing on the Australian/New Zealand Super Powers foreign release.

In sever other toy lines, some of the foreign releases exhibit the same figure and cardback as USA or Canadian release toys, but with some regional differences.   These reginal differences are then accounted for by placing a sticker on the USA or Canadian cardback, and released on those areas.  In our case, the Austrialian/New Zealand Kenner Super Powers release exhibits a particular sticker, always placed on a Canadian Cardback.


What offer do you ask?  Well.. the lucky children of USA and Canada were able to send in some money and proof of purchases to Kenner to obtain some of the following:
  • Superman Cape
  • Clark Kent Figure
  • Steppenwolf Figure and Darkseid Record
  • Poster
However, the children of Australia and New Zealand were apparently are not offered these, and instead of creating a specific offer less cardback, Kenner placed stickers on the cardbacks to let these unfortunate kids know they cant take part.  I suspect Kenner did this to cut down costs, since these guys were produced in Mexico or Hong Kong, placing a sticker on the cardback was easier to do than to create offerless cardbacks for the Aussies.

Lucky for us collectors. this gives us a new foreign release to collect, even though they are Canadian cardbacks with a sticker applied!

Currently, only 5 different characters have surfaced with this special sticker applied:
  • Red Tornado
  • Desaad
  • Hawkman
  • Darkseid
  • Robin
Several examples of both Red Tornado and Desaad have surfaced over the years and in 2012 Darkseid and Robin were officially entered as two new examples to the Australian/New Zealand Release.

As of now, the Austrialian releases are my most sought after foreign releases... Most ask why.. and I cant give a good answer.  I loathe the Canadian cardbacks, but for some reason that little sticker on the back (or the front in the Darkseids case), makes me want to have it.  I have always had a yearning to travel to or even live in Australia,  and that coupled with one of my best buddies in grad school being from that wonderful place, gives me a special affinity to want to collect this specific foreign series (even though it is a sticker on a measly Canadian cardback!).

Below are the two pieces currently in my collection (I am still happily hunting the others).  Both pieces were purchased off eBay.   I was lucky enough to discover the Robin figure on eBay Australia, and it is the only known (to date) example to surface.

Also you will notice the Aussie flag on my Red Tornado picture...  I use cases from Zoloworld to store my carded pieces (and hang them on the wall).  Since the sticker is on the back of the card, I like to know from the front these are Aussie pieces, so I have cutouts of the Aussie flag sitting inside the case to let me know... Thanks and enjoy!