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Thread: Toys R Us Price Stickers on Vintage MOTU Cards: An Under-Utilized Resource

  1. #26
    Heroic Warrior Universe's Avatar
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    Have you ever come across an "A" sticker sample? Someone in one of the other threads noticed that "Fifth Anniversary" He-Man came out in 1986, which might possibly indicate that some figures may have been released as early as 1981.

    I can't tell if it's dipped or sprayed, either. 8-back with warranty could go either way, although I would lean toward sprayed given how much of the top boot is unpainted.

    How can you tell it's short strap?

  2. #27
    Heroic Warrior Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    How can you tell it's short strap?
    I admit it's not crystal clear. I drew my conclusion from the very last picture on the auction, which gives a really good view up the back. However, the 4th picture gives a view from the left side and it is rather confusing. You might see what appears to be a strap hanging off, but I actually think that is the drawing of the sky sled on the comic cover page. Admittedly, the evidence is not conclusive.

    This is a G2 card, and by my observation, I have seen G2 carded He-Man figures with long strap harnesses, so that is why I am so interested in this one. I suspect the G2 is where we start to see transition from short to long, and also possibly from painted to dipped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    Have you ever come across an "A" sticker sample?
    Never. That would be a true find, and I would post that immediately.
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  3. #28
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    I've noticed that the C also appears on the Malaysia Fisto cards. And further, what I thought was RI is actually P.I. These markings, whether they be P.I. or C seem to show up only on Malaysia carded figures. I haven't found them on other cards yet. Oddly, I found a Dragstor (also Malaysia) with CIP. I have no idea what they mean. They could have something to do with copyright, as you say, or maybe Mattel had multiple manufacturing facilities in Malaysia.
    Mattel utilized at least two factories in Malaysia. Originally it was only Prai Industrial which I believe they later purchased. Production there was later supplemented with Chiyoda, later Chiyoda Integrale in Perai.
    Most wanted Origins figures: Mighty Spector, Fisto's Cousin's Babysitter, and Mer-Man's Seventh Grade Crush.

  4. #29
    Heroic Warrior Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Stalker View Post
    Mattel utilized at least two factories in Malaysia. Originally it was only Prai Industrial which I believe they later purchased. Production there was later supplemented with Chiyoda, later Chiyoda Integrale in Perai.
    Night Stalker, you are awesome. Wow. P.I = Pri Industrial. C = Chiyoda. CIP = Chiyoda Integrale in Peral. Another packaging mystery solved. And it is nice to know that other people are actually reading this crazy thread.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    Night Stalker, you are awesome. Wow. P.I = Pri Industrial. C = Chiyoda. CIP = Chiyoda Integrale in Peral. Another packaging mystery solved. And it is nice to know that other people are actually reading this crazy thread.
    No problem my friend. I'm fairly useless most of the time, but occasionally helpful.
    Most wanted Origins figures: Mighty Spector, Fisto's Cousin's Babysitter, and Mer-Man's Seventh Grade Crush.

  6. #31
    Heroic Warrior Universe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Stalker View Post
    Mattel utilized at least two factories in Malaysia. Originally it was only Prai Industrial which I believe they later purchased. Production there was later supplemented with Chiyoda, later Chiyoda Integrale in Perai.
    Wow! That's so specific - how did you know that?

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    Wow! That's so specific - how did you know that?

    I've got friends in low places. When I say low, I mean low. Like Mattel low.
    Most wanted Origins figures: Mighty Spector, Fisto's Cousin's Babysitter, and Mer-Man's Seventh Grade Crush.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    For those who just cannot get enough Toys R Us stickers, here's a fantastic example of an 8-back warranty He-Man with a Toys R Us sticker slapped on the card. The B on the far right denotes 1982. The A 5050 is Mattel's heroic warrior assortment number. The item is currently for sale (not mine), and it appears to be a late 1982 figure without the Free rebate, has short strap armor but honestly I cannot tell if the boots are painted or dipped. Here is a link with more pictures: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Masters-of-...kAAOSwtfRgFwCz.


    Attachment 124938
    Wow, that one just sold for $7100. That's a lot of $$.

    Looking over the pics, I'm almost positive this is sprayed. Later sprayed boots were much closer to the proper line, as this one is, whereas early dipped boots (e.g. most 8-back He-Man, Fakers and special edition He-Man, for example) are notably over-dipped. Although there may be exceptions to this rule, most early dipped boots are noticeably over-dipped, and they didn't get the dip at the proper line until later productions.

    Here is another 8-back G2 He-Man. I believe this one also has sprayed boots. https://www.ebay.com/itm/MOTU-VINTAG...gAAOSwVrtgIF43

    (edit: if that thing actually sells for $40k, I'm selling my collection today. )
    Last edited by Universe; February 7, 2021 at 09:47pm.

  9. #34
    Heroic Warrior Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    Here is another practical application of the Toys R Us Sticker theory.

    The first picture is a MOC Beast Man with a D sticker, indicating it was stocked on the shelf in 1984. This is a G6 card made in Malaysia.
    The second MOC Beast Man is an E sticker, indicating it was stocked on the shelf in 1985. This is a G7 also made in Malaysia.

    I had not previously appreciated that production of Beast Man moved to Malaysia as early as 1984. I figured Malaysia Beast Man figures were on the shelves in 1986/1987 toward the end of the line.

    I have not come across any Beast Man US cards higher than a G7, although maybe they are out there. Was the last round of production for Beast Man really in 1985? I thought I heard Roger Sweet explain that Mattel hadn't kept up production of some of the original figures, and that may have explained why there was a decline in interest among younger consumers new to the franchise.

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  10. #35
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    Off-topic:
    I see these cards once in a while which I can only guess are... misprints? That is, they left off the manufacture information for some reason. This is the second or third cardback I've seen like this. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Masters-Of-...4AAOSwNpdc0mtC

    On-topic:
    Early Castle Grayskull here with a "B" sticker. The instructions are G3. Lich Leech has a G2 instructions shown on his blog, so there are earlier versions out there. I still hold out hope that I'll find an "A" sticker one day.

    motucastlegrayskulltoysrusstickerg3instructions.jpg

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    Off-topic:

    This MOC Leo He-Man is interesting. The manufacture date on the back of the card lists October 1993, and the corner of the card shows this is a G9. This makes me think that G9 was the last official version of He-Man released by Mattel, so when Leo got molds to produce the figures years later, they were working from the G9 molds.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-Rare-...sAAOSwSbhgOvu6

  11. #36
    Heroic Warrior Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    Off-topic:
    I see these cards once in a while which I can only guess are... misprints? That is, they left off the manufacture information for some reason. This is the second or third cardback I've seen like this. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Masters-Of-...4AAOSwNpdc0mtC

    On-topic:
    Early Castle Grayskull here with a "B" sticker. The instructions are G3. Lich Leech has a G2 instructions shown on his blog, so there are earlier versions out there. I still hold out hope that I'll find an "A" sticker one day.

    motucastlegrayskulltoysrusstickerg3instructions.jpg

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    Off-topic:

    This MOC Leo He-Man is interesting. The manufacture date on the back of the card lists October 1993, and the corner of the card shows this is a G9. This makes me think that G9 was the last official version of He-Man released by Mattel, so when Leo got molds to produce the figures years later, they were working from the G9 molds.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-Rare-...sAAOSwSbhgOvu6
    Thanks for posting all of this. I will have to digest some of it. But one quick comment about the use of G. We often refer to G1, G2, etc. label as if it were referring to the product. I do that myself often as a matter of convenience. But as a technical matter, I believe that the G label is referring to the packaging itself, or in the case of an instruction manual or a mini comic, it is referring to the printing. Thus, I believe that if you were to set a G2 instruction manual next to a G3, there should be differences between the two. It would be interesting if someone put my theory to the test. What is still a mystery to me (and I think you have pointed this out too) is why some packages and printings don't seem to always start with G1 or G0.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    Thanks for posting all of this. I will have to digest some of it. But one quick comment about the use of G. We often refer to G1, G2, etc. label as if it were referring to the product. I do that myself often as a matter of convenience. But as a technical matter, I believe that the G label is referring to the packaging itself, or in the case of an instruction manual or a mini comic, it is referring to the printing. Thus, I believe that if you were to set a G2 instruction manual next to a G3, there should be differences between the two. It would be interesting if someone put my theory to the test. What is still a mystery to me (and I think you have pointed this out too) is why some packages and printings don't seem to always start with G1 or G0.
    I believe this is correct; that's why we will see a G2 or G3 minicomic paired with a G6 card, for instance. A G3 instruction, however, does indicate that there are earlier releases out there. I've seen one sample of the G2 Grayskull instruction; I've never seen the G1, but it may be out there.

    In the case of the Leo figure, since it's obviously a new print run, my theory is that Leo put the G9 in the corner just because that's the way Mattel had last packaged it, and it doesn't necessarily indicate anything about the Leo figures. While it's likely that Leo used Mattel's latest molds, I suppose it's entirely possible that they were working from earlier molds. All I know is Leo He-Man was hard headed and appears to have similar characteristics to 1986 Malaysia Faker.

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    I was thinking we might want to start a small database of JC Penny price tags. I don't know how early Toys R Us got into the MOTU game, but I suspect JC Penny was doing MOTU mail orders for Mattel for their figures from the very earliest releases. If there's data to be had on these stickers, there are plenty of samples out there to work with.

    motutestmarketmanatarms1.jpg

  13. #38
    Heroic Warrior Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    In the case of the Leo figure, since it's obviously a new print run, my theory is that Leo put the G9 in the corner just because that's the way Mattel had last packaged it, and it doesn't necessarily indicate anything about the Leo figures. While it's likely that Leo used Mattel's latest molds, I suppose it's entirely possible that they were working from earlier molds. All I know is Leo He-Man was hard headed and appears to have similar characteristics to 1986 Malaysia Faker.
    I completely agree. The fact that the card also uses the 0910 package number is also telling, since that was the standard package number for most cards sold in the US. It does in fact look like Leo was just recycling the US card with modifications to satisfy India law.
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