Cardbacks: Advanced Guide

From minute differences to easy to spot variations, Trilogo.info brings you the most advanced guide to Trilogo cardbacks on the internet.

There are four different sections on the advanced guide, one for each company that produced Trilogo cards (Palitoy, PBP/GMJ, Meccano and Parker).

Within each section there will be detailed information on how to spot the Trilogo card variants that were distributed by each company.

Before you continue, it’s important to note that the following guide is a lot more advanced than the easy to remember A-D designations that are covered in the beginners section.

If you think you are ready then read on and enjoy!

 

PALITOY PRODUCED TRILOGOS


TYPE: HYBRID TRILOGOS

ORIGIN: UK

PUNCH STYLE:

(Factory unpunched but with perforation lines)

When ROTJ figures hit the shelves, Palitoy put out a 65 back card with 5 languages on the front, English, German, Spanish, Dutch and Italian. The “Hybrid” cards have the exact same 65 back Palitoy card front but also the “new” Trilogo back.

For many years there was a difference of opinion as to whether these were produced before Trilogos or later on (Some kind of repack/overstock issue). I wrote an article that touches on that subject here.

Luckily, the hybrid name still works perfectly in describing them as they are neither a True Trilogo or a ROTJ Palitoy card regardless of when they were actually produced.

What you will notice about the cardbacks punch is that it has the same style as the earlier Palitoy 65 backs & the common high quality Trilogo.

The only figures to appear on the Palitoy Hybrid packaging were: Hammerhead, Snaggletooth, Geedo, Bespin guards (Black & White) and the Cloud Car Pilot.

TYPE: REISSUE AND ROTJ CHARACTER TRILOGOS

ORIGIN: UK

The following cards were all produced by Palitoy and there are three differet variants. The figures released on these cards were all either reissues (SW-ESB) or ROTJ figures and can be found with a variety of bubble types but “etched” (long and short) are the most common.

TYPE 1: (Referred to as the 70B on the basic guide)

PUNCH STYLE :

(Factory unpunched with perforation lines)

The Palitoy type 1 card is considered the most common Trilogo card of all and most figures can be found on it. 

Type 1 Trilogo cards are glossy, lightweight and have a punch style just like the Palitoy hybrid cards. They are also factory unpunched. 

TYPE 2 : (Referred to as the 70C on the basic guide)

PUNCH STYLE:

(Long and thinner than the previous punch shapes and also factory punched)

This card has a low quality matte finish. It’s made from very thin card stock and can appear quite flimsy when held.

These cards exist for a large number of figures but not all Trilogo released figures have been found on them.

The racetrack around the bubble is noticeably larger than the Type 1 and the Lucasfilm Trademark is now inside the white border & written on black text as opposed to under the border & in white text. Also, take note of the long thin punch and the lighter coloured back.

(Shown together, the difference is obvious. Type 1 on top, type 2 below)

TYPE 3: (Not referenced on the basic guide)

PUNCH STYLE:

(Factory punched with no perforation lines)

While the Type 3 is quite a common card, it’s actually not a widely known variation.

This card has all the characteristics of a Type 1 yet the punch was die cut at the factory and has no perforation lines, it is also noticeably thicker than both the type 1 and 2 cards.

It’s important to note that a very similar card was also released in France by Meccano and the two card types are almost identical. For this reason many figures are often mistaken for Meccano variants when in fact they are Palitoy Type 3’s!

A few figures that are commonly mistaken for Meccano variants  are: Yoda, R2-D2 (sensorscope), Luke Jedi and Logray. Please click HERE for more detailed information on the Palitoy Type 3 variation.


TYPE: POTF CHARACTER TRILOGOS

ORIGIN :UK

(On the beginners guide this card is referred to as the 70D)

PUNCH STYLE:

(Factory unpunched with perforated lines)

This card is unique to all the other designs as it features a UPC code (barcode) on the upper right hand corner and the Lucasfilm trademark has been removed. This was also the final incarnation of the Trilogo card.

The only figures released on this particular cardback were the POTF range (Last 15). Palitoy were by this time producing the bulk of the figures distributed in Europe and many of these cards were exported to other countries.

The figures sold in in the UK on this card variant can be found with or without the factory applied “NEW FIGURE £1.59” special offer stickers.


PBP/GMJ PRODUCED TRILOGOS

TYPE: HYBRID TRILOGOS – REISSUE AND ROTJ CHARACTERS

ORIGIN: SPAIN


PUNCH STYLE:

When Trilogo cards replaced PBP’s ROTJ card design, there were some transition periods which made for some cool card variations.

The first transition card was the PBP/Trilogo “Hybrid” card which features a ROTJ PBP 65 back design but with the new Trilogo card front.

In fact, the decision to keep the ROTJ back on these cards was likely made on purpose due to the Nien Nunb mail away promo.

When the Trilogo design took over, PBP were still offering the Nunb free figure offer via their 65 back cards. They obviously decided to keep the backs active whilst the promotion was still in date, later switching to true Trilogo backs when the offer was over.

Another way to identify these figures from the front is the use of ROTJ PBP oversized bubbles, they also share the same punch hole as the PBP ROTJ line: a semi circle punch with a larger than normal hole.

In total there were only 8 figures released on this hybrid packaging, they were: 8D8, B-Wing Pilot, Zuckuss, Wicket, Teebo, Luke X Wing, Rancor Keeper and Nikto.


TYPE: GMJ TEXT TRILOGOS  (ROTJ CHARACTERS)

ORIGIN: SPAIN


PUNCH STYLE:


When General Mills took total control over Spanish production, the company information was updated on the back of the cards.

Previously, the Spanish address was listed as “Rodgau BRD, PBP, S.A. Spain.” as shown below.


The updated text reflected the new company name: “Rodgau BRD GMJ S.A. Spain” (GMJ stood for “General Mills Juguetes”)

If you look closely you will also notice that the Meccano company address is different as well. This was the only time the standard Trilogo cardback was ever edited or updated.

The GMJ cards are actually quite rare and that’s probably due to a small production run. The change from PBP to GMJ occurred quite some time after the first Trilogos were produced and the the GMJ cards (used for ROTJ figures) were probably not in production for a great deal of time before the POTF figures were released. Overall, it’s a minor change but a significant one nonetheless.

Not every figure was released on this Spanish Trilogo packaging but among them were – Wicket, Teebo, Nikto, Leia Poncho.

The punch on the GMJ Trilogos is circular and the larger “Spanish” bubbles also appear on these cards so they can be identified from the front.

TYPE: POTF CHARACTER TRILOGOS

ORIGIN: SPAIN


PUNCH STYLE:


The POTF cards sold in Spain were the standard Palitoy produced POTF cards, however Spain were still releasing their figures using oversized and unique bubbles so they can still be identified easily from the front.

Some examples of the Spanish origin POTF figures are: Amanaman (Special Shaped bubble), Yak Face with weapon (Gaffi Stick) and Imperial Dignitary (Pictured).

MECCANO PRODUCED TRILOGOS

TYPE : REISSUE AND ROTJ CHARACTER TRILOGOS

ORIGIN : FRANCE

Sometimes referred to as “Early Macao” Trilogos, French Meccano cards are quite similar to the more common Palitoy cards in appearance but they actually have some pretty cool differences which set them aside from their Palitoy counterparts. 

There are differences in the punch shapes, bubble types and some even contain hard to find figure variations not found packaged elsewhere.

All French release Trilogos have special shaped ROTJ era bubbles and some cards also have their printed country of origin text covered over with a sticker (either black or white and of course written in French).

These COO stickers are quite unique to Meccano releases and help to confirm the cards French origin for collectors when found. The Black sticker appears to be more common compared to white but both are considered as equally interesting & rare.


Above is an  example of the black “COO” sticker.

From looking at the countries on the COO stickers we can see that the majority of figures packaged on French Trilogo cards were being supplied by Macao but there were also other countries shown such as Taiwan and even Spain.

 

TYPE 1 :

PUNCH STYLE :

(Full circle)

Type 1 Meccano cards are what collectors think of first when talking about French Trilogos. The punch hole shape, instead of a semi circle is a full circle (or “UFO” shape).

The card itself is very well made and quite thick with very rich colours. The backs are glossy and have an almost orange background colour behind the figures.


TYPE 2 :


PUNCH STYLE :

(Similar to the Palitoy type 3 punch mentioned above, factory punched)

This is an example of the second French Variant. Luckily the cards are often found with the COO stickers attached (which make them easy to identify) but these cards have the more common punch shape.

The important thing to look at if there is no sticker on the card is the bubble. Meccano did not use the large etched or rounded bubbles that Palitoy used. It can be hard to confirm Type 2 Meccano variants at times but by a process of elimination it can be done.

TYPE : POTF CHARACTER TRILOGOS

ORIGIN : FRANCE


Just like GMJ in Spain, Meccano also released POTF figures in France on what appear to be standard “Palitoy” type cards.

The way to identify Meccano POTF figures is to look at the bubbles that were used.

The French POTF figures were released with a thin but quite large bubble not too different to the Palitoy version (etched /rounded) however the corners that attach to the cardback are NOT squared off, they are in fact rounded. The same bubbles are found on some Meccano ROTJ character cards too.


PARKER PRODUCED TRILOGOS

TYPE : REISSUE AND ROTJ CHARACTER TRILOGOS

ORIGIN : GERMANY


PUNCH STYLE :

(A long thin punch shape with a triangular shape in the middle)

Whilst very similar to the Palitoy 70C punch its important to note the German card can be found unpunched whereas the Palitoy 70C/Type 2 is always factory punched.

“Parker” Trilogos are very cool cards with some noticeable differences when compared to Palitoy or Meccano variants. These cards are not exclusive to Germany though and are often found with UK price stickers.

As you saw above, this card has a special punch shape but they can also be identified another way. The other distinguishing feature is on the reverse of the cardback.

The normal bright orange background of the figures is a lot lighter, in fact its almost yellow in comparison. 



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