Growing up Trilogo
Welcome to “Growing up Trilogo!”
How many of you remember keeping track of your collection by marking your cardbacks or making wish lists from toy catalogues? Do you remember visiting toy shops and frantically tearing off the wrapping paper that was covering Star Wars toys on Birthdays or at Christmas?
Without a doubt, nostalgia is the reason the majority of us collect in the first place so I hope this look back at the Trilogo period brings back some of those great memories!
In this article we are going to be taking a look at various different photographs taken during the Trilogo period. Everything from catalogue and store photography to photos taken by family and friends.
Get ready for the ultimate Trilogo nostalgia tour!
Advertisements and product catalogues
Looking through toy catalogues as a kid is something just about everyone remembers about their childhood, especially toy collectors!
As an adult collector it’s great to spot carded and boxed toys in old catalogues..but, for obvious reasons most retailers chose to show the toys outside of their packaging rather than inside.
Depicting the toys “in action” was quite common and many retailers regularly recreated movie related scenes and dioramas with the figures and vehicles. This 2 page spread from the 1984 Autumn/Winter Argos catalogue is a great example.
While the scenes were cool and exactly what kids wanted to see, sometimes retailers would also take pictures of the toys packaging too and when they did..it was an amazing sight!
Below are some incredible images of Trilogos depicted in retail catalogues. I owe a huge thanks to a few very helpful collectors for allowing me to use them in this article. The images are shown in chronological order too so it’s easy to follow.
After the initial ROTJ branded figures, vehicles and playsets had hit the shelves in Europe from 1983-1984, a decision was made to standardise packaging, resulting in the Trilogo design.
Trilogos were introduced in 1984 but a lot of the retail catalogues from that year still showed the various licensees own branded ROTJ cards. It wasn’t until late 1984 and beyond that the Trilogo design phased out the previous packaging style almost completely.
The following photographs all taken from French retailer catalogues printed in 1985 perfectly reflect that period. They show how, as time went on, Trilogo cards took over from their ROTJ predecessors.
In the first photograph below you can see a single Trilogo See-Threepio (C-3P0) surrounded by ROTJ Bi-logo vehicles:
In the next picture you can see a real mixture of ROTJ and Trilogo cards. There are a total of five ROTJ Meccano figures and seven Trilogo figures shown:
Our next picture shows the majority of figures are now on Trilogo cards and just a single ROTJ Meccano card is visible (Chewbacca):
If you take a closer look you will notice a certain hard to find Bounty Hunter among them too!
And last but not least, this final French retail catalogue image shows three different figures which are all on Trilogo cards:
The Kenner/Parker 1985 catalogue features a fantastic double page spread of “KDM” (Kraft Der Macht) 3 figure multipacks, many of which were put together using Trilogos.
As shown above, in 1985, Trilogo packaging had become the most common form of packaging seen in Europe and there was more to come..
In an attempt to inject some life into the line, Kenner had launched a brand new wave of figures in America called “The Power of the Force” which gave children 15 brand new figures to choose from.
The Power of the Force figures were all released in Europe on an almost unmodified Trilogo cardback. As the design of the card was not going to change much for the POTF figures, it probably wasn’t deemed necessary to photograph the new card design again for catalogues or adverts as evidenced below.
This picture is from the French version of the Kenner-Parker 1986 catalogue. It clearly shows several figures from the POTF line but the carded figures shown on the right (Rebel Commander and Luke Gunner) are obviously earlier reissues and on the standard Trilogo card.
By 1987, interest in Star Wars toys was all but gone and retailers that still had a large amount of stock left over were forced to sell them off at reduced prices.
Our final image is from a Danish Fætter BR Catalogue and shows a Trilogo Nikto.
This particular advert announced the Fætter BR Star Wars sale of 1987, which you can read more about right here on Trilogo.info
If anyone comes across any other Trilogo advertisements or product photography (particular any from 1984) please let me know: [email protected]
Vintage Toy Shop Pictures
I’m sure that every collector remembers a trip to their local toy shop. In fact I bet that most collectors still remember exactly where the Star Wars aisle was located too!
As you might imagine, not many people thought to take pictures of those magical places back then though which is why these rare images of European toy shops are so cool to see.
United Kingdom 1984
To start things off, here is a pretty awesome “meet and greet” Darth Vader photograph taken inside a John Menzies store in 1984.
(Picture courtesy of David Tree & the Palitoy Archive)
Not only can you see a huge stack of Trilogo Rancor boxes on the floor in the background, there are also various Trilogo figures on the pegs above too (Chirpa, 2-1B etc).
The following pictures were taken at another in store Vader appearance in “Nuxley toys” Gravesend, Kent.
As well as the ROTJ and ESB figures, you can also see a few Trilogos behind Vader including Nien Nunb and an Emperor’s Royal Guard.
Ibiza, Spain 1984
A lone Trilogo Prune Face figure can be seen peeking out from the selection of ROTJ Star Wars figures in this picture which was taken in Ibiza, Spain.
The assortment of figures shown roughly dates the photo to 1984 but the exact period is unknown.
It’s a little hard to make out but the store display shown in the picture is also the very rare PBP/Poch Vader display stand too!
Seefeld, Austria 1985
This incredible picture was taken by Antoine Bardet in an Austrian ski resort store in the Winter of 1985.
Seven POTF figures can be seen on the pegs including Yak Face. You can check out Antoine’s fantastic recollection of buying his very own childhood Yak Face figure from the exact same place on a great French collector site called “toyzmag.com” by clicking here.
I would love to hear from anyone that has any photographs that are similar to the two above. I’m hoping that someone out there may even have some pictures of Trilogos lining the entrances of Kay-Bee stores too!
The “I Grew Up Trilogo” vintage picture gallery
The inspiration for the title of this gallery actually comes from the name of a fantastic website run by American collector, Tom Berges.
I’ve been a fan of Tom’s site for quite some time now and I always thought it would be cool to do something similar for Trilogos.
So, in collaboration with Tom’s site, I present the I grew up Trilogo picture gallery!
To start things off here is a great picture of French brothers Christophe and Cyril Corroy on their Birthday in 1984.
The picture was taken on the 4th July which proves Trilogos were for sale in France as early as the Summer of ’84.
According to Christophe, both figures (a Hoth Stormtrooper and an AT-AT Driver to go with their AT-AT) may well have even been purchased by their parents in June.
Simon from Germany sent in this image of himself looking pretty happy with his gifts on Christmas morning back in 1984! You can see a Trilogo Luke X-Wing card on the floor next to a ROTJ Princess Leia.
Colin Tawse from Scotland was kind enough to share this picture of himself on Christmas day 1984 holding a B-Wing. The Trilogo box it came in is sadly out of shot but you can however see a boxed Endor Forest Ranger on the right.
This next photograph came from a Flickr user in the UK but unfortunately I’m not sure who the owner is. If anyone knows please contact me so I can include their name.
At first glance there doesn’t actually seem to be anything Trilogo related in the picture but have a really good look at the logo on the card underneath the ROTJ Zuckuss..if only we could see what figure it was!
Next up is a fantastic picture of Jan Gellar from Germany actually opening Trilogo action figures (hope he spared the 8D8!)
In this picture taken in Germany, Thorsten Greth can be seen playing with his new Palitoy Imperial Shuttle. If you look next to the Shuttle box you can also see a carded Trilogo Boba Fett and Yoda!
It was all smiles for Carl Dennis on Christmas morning in Leicester, England in 1985 as you can see from this fantastic picture:
I’m sure both 3P0 and R2 had some adventures that day!
Apparently not every child was happy with their Trilogo Christmas presents though as you can see by this photograph that Swedish collector Tobias Strindlund sent in.
Tobias wasn’t quite sure why he looks so disgruntled but hopefully it was just because he was asked to pose for a photo and not because of what he had just unwrapped!
This picture was taken in Belgium during a celebration called”Sinterklaas“. Sinterklaas is celebrated on the 6th December in Belgium and as you can see, there was a whole table full of awesome awaiting these lucky kids that morning!
Bob Maertens, the collector who submitted these photos clearly remembers trying to claim the Star Wars toys for himself that day but sadly they were actually for his brother (he got the Lego Train set instead!)
Here’s Bob trying to sneak off with the Trilogo A-Wing Pilot while his Brother plays with his new Y-Wing!
Christmas 1986 (or ’87):
This is Mark Benjamin Storey and his brother putting together their brand new Trilogo Ewok Village playset with the help of their Dad on Christmas morning!
Mark wasn’t sure of the exact year the picture was taken but it’s still one of the most amazing pictures on this page! When you are photographed wearing Spiderman & Superman costumes on Christmas day with AT-AT’s and Chicken Walkers hanging out in the background..who cares when it was taken?
This next picture was taken by Steve Ryko in 1987. It shows his childhood collection on display around Christmas time.
What’s really interesting about Steve’s photograph is that it was taken in Szombathely, Hungary! I’ve heard a few times that Trilogos were sold in Hungary in the late 80’s but Steve’s picture (and the memories he shared with me) finally proves that they were!
Steve told me that a few of the Trilogo cards he had as a kid were definitely bought in his native Hungary while others were bought in nearby Austria whilst visiting relatives. In the picture you can not only see various cardbacks but also a POTF Trilogo Imperial Sniper Body Rig and a ROTJ Trilogo One man Sail Skiff too!
This part is where you guys come in..
Locating vintage pictures of Christmas and Birthdays which feature toys in Trilogo packaging has proven to be a difficult task! I’m hopeful however, that this feature will encourage more people to look at their old family photograph albums and perhaps scan in any of interest.
So, if you were a child growing up in Europe in the mid to late 80’s there is a very good chance you did indeed “Grow up Trilogo!” and can help!
If anyone has any vintage pictures of themselves or family members opening Trilogos then please get in contact: [email protected]