Spotting Price Sticker Transplants
Don’t be fooled by the figures above, while they might look OK they have in fact all been tampered with!
The concept of transplanting price stickers on vintage toys might be news to some but unfortunately it’s not a new thing at all and has been happening since the early days of collecting.
There are many unscrupulous dealers and collectors out there that think nothing of trying to cover up damage on carded figures with price stickers and some still do it even now. Have a read up on the following threads for more information on this practice:
Sticker cover ups are often done by re-using dried out vintage era stickers that have been removed from other toys or that have simply fallen off with age. They are then glued over rips and tears on other toys to conceal the damaged areas.
While they are sometimes hard to detect, there is at least one red flag that all Trilogo collectors need to be aware of: 99% of the Trilogos sold in America came directly from Kay Bee or one of a handful of Kay Bee owned stores.
By now, the Kay Bee Trilogo story should be well known, but not everyone knows that Trilogos were also sold by “Toy Works” and “The Toy Box”. These two toy stores were actually bought out by Kay Bee in the mid to late 80’s and while they seem to have retained their names for a short period, they were effectively operating as Kay Bee stores when Trilogos were brought over.
Here is a quick look at the stickers that those stores used:
Kay Bee 0.79cents
Kay Bee 2 for $1
The Toy Box
You will notice that apart from the different store names, the Toy works and Toy box stickers are identical to the Kay Bee ones and they even have the exact same product code printed on them (#402073).
There is only one exception to the Kay Bee rule (the 1%!). A New York department store called “Lloyd’s” reportedly obtained some of the leftover stock that Kay Bee were unable to sell. This claim has been confirmed by an ex-employee and collectors have noted Lloyd’s price stickers on Kay Bee manufactured two packs.
Due to the fact that Trilogo figures were being sold at roughly the same as the two packs, there was always a possibility that some were indeed sold in the Lloyd’s department store but up until now I had never seen one. Thanks to fellow Trilogo collector Simon McOwan, we finally have a picture of one on a Squidhead Trilogo:
You’ll notice that as well as using the same pricing as Kay Bee ($0.79 and later 2 for $1) the product code is exactly the same.
If you encounter a Trilogo with an American price sticker that doesn’t look like one of the above then it’s almost certainly been transferred from something else.
Almost all of the examples of price sticker cover ups on Trilogos that have come from US based sellers were done using American price stickers from stores like Sears or Toys ‘R’ Us.
Below are four different Trilogos with totally random US price stickers on them that simply do not make any sense.
None of these places had any kind of relationship with Kay Bee. In fact, three of the above were actually large department stores that definitely wouldn’t have been buying up cheap European overstock years after Star Wars had gone out of fashion.
The prices on these stickers also give them away. Kay Bee would have received European product around 1986/1987 and due to them being “old stock” they were priced to sell at 0.79$, not $1.97- $2.99!
Even at that price Kay Bee were forced to do a special offer on the figures in order to move them. This is why you often see “2 for $1.00” written on the stickers in red ink.
As you will no doubt have noticed, the prices on the four stickers above are much higher. If they were ever actually on a Star Wars figure at some point then it was likely when the figure was first released and not years later.
Ironically, the damage being covered up on these cards are most likely the rips and tears that were caused by somebody unsuccessfully trying to remove an original Kay Bee price sticker..
Please guys, stop removing stickers. If you ruin the figure in the process and then sell it on, there is a good chance that it will end up in the hands of someone who is just going to try to cover it up, then sell it to someone else.
Please share this article where possible so other collectors are informed. If you have come across any other examples please get in touch so I can add them to this article: firstname.lastname@example.org