Italian & German Four Packs
Both the Italian and German four packs are really interesting and extremely eye catching. Hard to find, especially in good condition they make a great display piece in any collection and they even have a cool European back story!
While mostly containing Trilogo cards they are also found packed with ROTJ Palitoy and Kenner cards as well. They were designed to get rid of overstock and offer a “special offer” type deal of four figures in one package for a low price.
While these multipacks were another attempt at dealing with overstock in Europe during the Star Wars downfall, it has been said that many of them may never have even reached retail stores in the first place (or even left the UK after being packaged by Palitoy) and the majority likely sat in boxes until they were later sold by dealers who had bought them up in bulk towards the end of the 1980′s.
Packaging & Design
The large black special offer header held all four figures side by side and the cards were stuck to the outer packaging on the front and back using a strip of adhesive. You can sometimes find figures that were once part of these special offer packages, they are easily identifiable due to the tape mark on the back and/or front of the card.
Below are pictures of the header text as featured on the Italian and German four packs and also the English text as seen on the reverse of the Italian ones.
The white “starburst” logo on the top right hand side was of course a blank space for stores to write their own price on, some four packs do turn up with handwritten prices (“Special set of 4 – 1.99″ for example) and the prices seem to be about right for retail and not the collector market (you would expect a higher price than 1.99!) so it appears at least some of these multipacks made it out there to some very lucky children!
It would be interesting to track down some other examples with the price written in another currency (or even some price stickers) to see where else these may have been sold in Europe.
Some of the common figure combinations found in the Italian packs are:
- Lumat, Teebo, Emperor and the Cloud Car Pilot (CCP)
- Darth Vader, Paploo, Leia Hoth and the Imperial Commander
- Rebel Commander, Lobot, Lando and Biker Scout
- Squidhead, Royal Guard, B-Wing Pilot and AT-ST Driver
All of the known four packs to have surfaced have had at least one Trilogo carded figure in them, the majority have two or more and in the case of two of the combinations mentioned above – ALL the figures are Trilogos.
Below is one of coolest Trilogo only four packs:
Are Four Packs Tamper Proof?
Well no is the answer to that question unfortunately.
You can see in the first picture in this feature that the CCP figure was removed from the four pack header, this four pack figure combination is the most likely one to be tampered with because the CCP hybrid Trilogo is quite a difficult figure to track down. In the early days, collectors or dealers would buy four packs just to get the CCP and then remove it from the package, either for themselves or for resale. The same can be said for figures like the Trilogo Emperors Royal Guard, sometimes swapped out due to it’s rarity.
As these figures can be swapped in and out (not easily but not impossible either) it is important as a buyer to look for documented examples of any combination before buying. If you can’t find pictures of the same combination on the net then examine it closely for signs of tampering and buy from a trusted seller, that is not to say unique combinations do not exist of course (and this article is not an attempt to raise doubts with anyone about their own four packs) but it is always better to be cautious, especially for the uninformed or newer collector.
Along with the possibility of figures being switched in and out, it must be noted that the empty cardboard headers sometimes come up for sale.
German Four Packs
Along with the Italian four packs, there are a number of similar German four packs out there as well, these feature the exact same cardboard packaging style, four figures sealed to the large special offer package but the header text is in German and features different figure combinations, on the reverse it has “Collectors Special Offer Pack” in French text.
Here is a great example of a German four pack with a combination of figures that is known to be legitimate:
- C-3P0, ERG, Stormtrooper and the AT-AT Commander
A mixture of ROTJ Kenner, Palitoy and Trilogo cards have been used to assemble this four pack which is a little more evident from the back:
German four packs show up less frequently than their Italian counterparts so it would be great if someone with additional information and pictures on the German four packs could get in contact to expand this article as it would be great to get some information on confirmed combinations and of course images! – firstname.lastname@example.org