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Think Bubbles

Posted: 04 Jan 2014 21:06
by Thundershot
Hi guys.

Well.. what with all this recent controversy in the Star Wars collecting community, concerning issues about loose vintage figures being factory re-packaged (but using genuine vintage over stock cards & bubbles) during the 90's, has got me wondering.

What type of blister bubbles were used to package those single bubbled :af: figures?

You guys know the kind I mean.. those which were produced during the final days of Palitoy, when they were clearing the stock rooms of stock & used :af: cards to package :AFLogo: (without any accessories) or totally miss matched figure/card combo's.

Did Palitoy use Star Wars blisters, :AFLogo: (boxed) vehicle driver, or some other type blister bubbles?

Just curious really.


Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 04 Jan 2014 21:19
by Thundershot
& while I'm on the subject.

Am I correct in thinking that :doc2: , :snowjob: & :scrapiron: are the rarest carded :af: characters to find?

It's probably just a wild coincidence, I was just browsing through the archives & notice that these have different bubbles & not the standard (3 compartment) blisters of the rest of the range...

Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 04 Jan 2014 22:18
by buddusky
Eddie, any further info on the Star Wars scandal as it sounds interesting ?

Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 04 Jan 2014 22:56
by Thundershot
Hi John.

That video pretty much sums the situation up, there's been a lot of discussion on the subject in the various online communities: ... 507a588701 ... discussion

It's all gotten a bit too complicated for my befuddled old brain.. the basic jist is: back in the 90's a dealer got his hands on a shed load of genuine vintage over stock Palitoy cardbacks & bubbles, hovered up the corresponding mint loose figures & had a factory re package them. they were done so well even the professional grading companies were fooled.

There's been all hell break loose with attempts to find out the true story, from those involved, which figures were re-sealed & how to identify them & how it'll effect values.

Then there's the question of if these are they considered as being authentic vintage items or not?
I mean all of the ingredients are genuine, they just weren't packaged by Palitoy back in the 80's. It's a real minefield.

Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 05 Jan 2014 00:17
by SteveD
You're spot on with the rarest three series 3's there T'shot. Definitely. I'd not say they're the rarest of all though. They'd pretty much rank equal in terms of numbers known to exist with flash, s1 night patrol, and s2 minesweeper.

Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 05 Jan 2014 10:38
by Thundershot
The annoying thing is, back in the day, amongst the few :af: figures I bought were :flash: :snowjob: & :scrapiron:.

I purchased :snowjob: from the Peterborough branch of Zodiac Toys.(in Bridge Street) It was a single bubble example & included an extra Ski Pole but no weapon.

The :scrapiron: I got from the Peterborough (Queensgate shopping centre) branch of McKenzies.. it had two bottom halves of the missile launcher yet no top section.

:flash: I got from Hawleys toyshop in Stamford, the tip of his rifle was missing..

The others were scarlett: & :torpedo: which were all present & correct.

Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 05 Jan 2014 11:39
by Graham_UK
Reading this, I can quite honestly say that this is one of the big reasons I don't collect Star Wars. Excuse me for going off topic but throughout the early 90's I had a complete set of loose figures and about 20-30 boxed unopened vehicles. I sold them all back in 2003 but I was buying with confidence from local toy fairs and dealers that were very reputable for their quality etc... I've often thought about selling all my Joes and buying some Star Wars again but this kind of thing always puts me off! There's a local collectors market that I always pop into. There's a guy that sells loose figures and he clearly labels them if they have a "Repro" weapon, I used to work for a modelmaking company many moons ago and having a college design background I can honestly say, I couldn't tell the difference between the repro and an original piece. These aren't the resin copies, these are full plastic injection moulded pieces. I took for comparison a Princess Leia "Sporting" blaster and the guy let me compare the 2, there was no difference, the colour, feel and "Roundness" to the piece were perfect!

Back to the topic though, if the guy was selling original figures on an original card with an original bubble the only sketchy part of the mix is the figure! Unless he was re-carding "Openers" every figure would have had to be C9+ as you'd be buying a "Used" figure. If the figures were indeed re-cards I don't really see the problem! Except for the Vinyl caped Jawa which I don't know if this story brings into the mix.

There's another (Again off-topic) question that I would ask, I have several vehicals which are mint in sealed boxes but the tape has either fallen off from age or has been neatly removed. If someone was able to buy the same packing tape and reseal the toy up how is this called fraud if the person is being honest? I realize there's always going to be people that will try to con everyone and there's nothing to stop someone putting a similar weighted item back int he box and resealing it, I wonder how many "Bricks in boxes" have been AFA graded??

Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 05 Jan 2014 14:32
by Thundershot
Hi Graham, yeah I think the golden days for collecting loose vintage Star Wars are long gone.

Besides, I've never really figured out what qualifies the AFA grading people as being the 'experts'.

The present scandal just adds to my suspicion that they're making good money by offering their services to boost both a certain type of collectors ego (in high value one up-manship contests) & insurance firms profits.

Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 05 Jan 2014 14:32
by wolforrest
Surely if the figure is mint and the parts are all original along with the reseal being of such immense factory quality that pricing would be pretty much the same as if it where original wouldn't it?

If collectors and graders cannot tell them apart why worry?

I only really collect loose stuff but like having the boxes purely for background display purposes.
I do however appreciate moc misb pieces a lot but the prices they command and care needed to preserve them makes it a collecting habit I am happy to steer clear of.

Re: Think Bubbles

Posted: 06 Jan 2014 00:27
by buddusky
I'm up to page 100 of 140 something and it's fascinating reading.