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Vintage Toys & Collectibles – Glossary

Additional Resources

On this page you can find useful definitions for a variety of key terms used in the vintage toy collecting hobby.
Use the content list below to view key terms from the following categories.

1. Condition Terminology
2. Grading Terminology
3. General Toy Manufacturers
4. General Toy Collecting Terminology
5. Toy Manufacturing and Production Terminology
6. Prototype Terminology
7. Store Display Terminology
8. Star Wars Collecting Terminology
9. Star Wars Trademarks (Copyright, ©)

1. Condition Terminology

    MIB, MIMB (Mint in Box, Mint in Mint Box)
    Typically refers to a mint condition toy in its original packaging. Does not mean factory sealed. MIMB denotes contents in mint condition inside a mint condition package.

    MISB (Mint in Sealed Box)
    Refers to that is still factory sealed. Being untouched, the contents are in mint condition.

    MIP (Mint in Package)
    Essentially the same as MIB (Mint in Box) and MOC (Mint on Card). It means only that the toy inside of the box is mint inside of the original packaging or box.

    MOC, MOMC (Mint on Card, Mint on Mint Card)
    Denotes toys that remain sealed on their original blister cards where the figure or toy is generally in unused condition. MOMC denotes that the card and bubble are also mint.

    Generally refers to how the bubble is affixed to the cardback. An ultrasonic welder compresses the plastic blister to the cardback and friction causes the pre-glued perimeter to bond to the cardback.

    Waffle Pattern
    The cross-hatched pattern seen on the sealed perimeter of an action figure bubble. The cross-hatching is created by the ultrasonic fixture used to seal the bubble to the card.

    NOS (New Old Stock)
    Refers to items that are in new and unused condition but are items from the period that they were originally manufactured.

    YB, SYB (Yellow Bubble and Slightly Yellow Bubble)
    Used to denote action figure bubbles (or blisters) that are no longer clear and have a yellow tint to them. The tinting can vary from slightly yellow to brown in some extreme instances.

    Shipper / Shipping Box / Case / Shipping Case
    These cardboard box (or sometimes cardboard sleeve) that the toy company used to ship product to retail stores or distributors. Generally marked with appropriate logos and names.

    Items offered by toy companies as premiums, usually in some type of redemption program. The item is often in a generic mailing box ships directly to the customer’s home.

    NRFB (Never Removed From Box)
    Often used as a way of indicating that a toy, while not being sealed, contains the original unused contents in their original sealed baggies with original inserts and paperwork

    Sealed / Tape Seal / Factory Sealed
    Notation for a toy that retains its original glued or taped packaging. Contents would be mint and unused, although the outer packaging may not be in mint condition.

2. Grading Terminology

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    AFA (Action Figure Authority)
    A US company which grades toys. Parent company is CGA (Collectibles Grading Authority). Toys are sealed in acrylic cases and feature a holographic label with the grade displayed. Other sub-companies are DGA (Diecast Grading Authority), DGA (Doll Grading Authority), and VGA (Video Game Authority). Each grading those respective types of items.

    CAS (Collectors Archive Service)
    A US grading company. CAS has expanded beyond grading, to custom cases and enclosed displays for showing off groups of items or unique ways to display single items. The also grade packaged and loose toys, similar to AFA.

    UKG (UK Graders)
    A grading company based in the UK. Typically UKG is used for grading packaged and loose action figures.

    Graded action figures have sub-grades for the cardback, bubble, and the figure. The overall grade is not an average of the 3 sub-grades, but a determination of the overall condition. The sub-grades help show the weight of the individual contributions to the overall grade.

    U Grade / U Grading
    U stands for Uncirculated. This is a toy opened from its original packaging by the grading company and graded as loose. A controversial grading practice, opinions vary on the ethics of this practice. In some instances, U can designate an item pulled from a sealed shipping case which is generally more acceptable to collectors.

    Y Designation
    The letter Y appended to a grade (ex: AFA85Y) denotes that the blister/bubble has yellowed to a degree. The level of discoloration is not noted and can range from a slight tint to almost brown.

3. General Toy Manufacturers

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    Mattel (USA) – Manufacturer and distributor best known for Big Jim, Barbie and Hot Wheels

    Hasbro (USA) – Manufacturer and distributor best known for GI Joe and Mr. Potatohead

    Mego (USA) – Manufacturer and distributor best known for SuperHero action figures

    Ideal (USA) – Best known for Evel Knievel

    Dapol (UK) – Dr. Who

    Remco (USA) – Best known for Universal Monsters

    West End Games (USA) – manufacturer of Role Playing Games and game pieces

    Don Post (USA) – maker of masks and helmets beginning in 1977

    Playmates (USA) – Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Simpsons

    Galoob (USA) – Star Trek, Blackstar, Star Wars Micro Machines

    LJN (USA) – WWF, Thundercats, Temple of Doom figures, Adv D&D, Dune, TigerSharks

4. General Toy Collecting Terminology

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    Action figures that were available via mail order, catalog order, and included in some toys were packed in small, clear plastic bags or “baggies”. These were tape sealed or heat sealed and vary widely in style, printing, and sealing styles.

    Unlicensed products typically sold in secondary markets or gray-area primary markets. These are inexpensive copies of a licensed item, often with noticeable design differences.

    Bubble / Blister
    The clear covering that holds a toy to its cardback. Bubbles are vac-formed from plastic sheets and vary widely in size and shape depending on the toy it is designed to hold.

    Cardback / Card / Backer / Backer Card
    Refers to the flat piece of cardboard or cardstock onto which a plastic blister (or bubble) containing an action figure or toy would be attached.

    Anything denoting a notable mistake by the factory. For action figures, sometimes an incorrect accessory could be included, the figure could be in the bubble backwards, or there could be missed paint applications or a robe put on backwards.

    The small piece of cardboard placed under the feet and/or between the legs of an action figure in its bubble or blister card packaging. This practice (and expense) was later eliminated from many toy lines of the 1980’s.

    Hanger Hole / Hang Tab / Tab / Punch Tab
    The hole on the toy packaging that is designed to be hung on store pegs. Often hanger holes are diecut and cleanly removed or still resting in place. Some are perforated on one side so that the hanger tab does not fall off and create litter.

    Insert / Cardboard Insert
    An internal cardboard structure component that helps keep the box shape and holds the contents in place on the toy’s journey from the factory to store shelf, to the buyer’s home.

    In-Pack Catalog
    A mini-catalog inserted into a boxed toy which shows off forthcoming product. These catalogs can vary by year and style and were designed to help sell additional products to excited children as they opened a new toy. Sometimes these catalogs show early prototypes of toys since they are printed well advance of future sales.

    Typically confused with ‘bootleg’, a knock-off is an unlicensed item that is created in the style or theme of a known toy or licensed property.

    A toy that has been packaged (typically an action figure) on the wrong cardback. This is generally the result of a factory error. Often confused for prototypes, mis-cards are production mistakes, not pre-production pieces.

    Play Wear
    Often used to describe more noticeable signs of wear that occur from playing with or roughly handling and storing toys.

    POP (Proof of Purchase)
    A small printed graphic/seal on toy packaging. Used in mail-in redemption programs, the customer would cut out this seal and mail one or more to the company for a promotional item. After the mid-1990’s the UPC code would often serve as the POP.

    Shelf Wear
    A general description of overall damage on a toy’s packaging. Usually corner nicks or scratches associated with being handled and moved in its original retail environment.

    Short Shot / Short Pour
    A term taken from the injection molding industry, a short shot is literally a “short” or reduced volume of plastic that is shot (injected) into the production mold. This can lead to improper fill of the mold and yield a deformed toy or accessory. Sometimes the item may appear short as the plastic fills all but the end, and sometimes deformation occurs. The term “short pour” used buy collectors is used to describe this issue, however it is incorrect as the plastic is not poured into the mold.

    Toy Fair
    The American International Toy Fair is the annual event in New York City where toy manufacturers display their upcoming product lines for retailers to order.

    UP, P (Unpunched, Punched)
    In reference to blister cards made for hanging on retail pegs. This denotes the presence or absence of the cardboard making up the perforated or punched hanger hole.

    A difference in the appearance of a toy as compared to a standard version. Variations can be any differences in molding, design changes, color, painting, paint application, accessory changes, packaging differences, etc…

    Waffle Pattern
    Typically seen on vintage Star Wars action figures, the waffle pattern is the distinctive pattern around the perimeter of the bubble where it is sealed to the cardback. The pattern is pressed into the plastic by the steel press used to attach it in production.

    The clear celophane sheet used to display the inner contents of a packaged toy. This allows for the toy to be completely sealed, but largely visible to the consumer.

5. Toy Manufacturing and Production Terminology

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    COO / Country of Origin
    Where the toy was made. For instance: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, China, Mexico. There are also cases where there is no COO present.

    Decorating a part, usually with paint or printing.

    A die is the steel tooling used to stamp out or shape metal. Things like coins and small metal parts are made with dies. They are made of hardened steel for long use.

    Duplicating Aid
    Cast in a hard resin material, directly from a hardcopy or pattern, this item is a negative of the part (a cavity) and is used to create the production mold. The duplicating aid is then used as an aid to cut the steel production mold and that is achieved by tracing the contours of the duplicating aid with a pantograph that is tied to the cutting head of a milling machine.

    Factory Painting / Spray Op / Production Painted
    A “spray operation” denotes the process of applying a single color onto a toy. The colors are sprayed on using a paint mask. Production paint is done by hand with a small paint gun or airbrush gun. Very small and fine features like eyeballs and eyelashes on dolls are often applied by hand with a paint brush.

    Mold Cavity / Cavity Lettering
    The hollow area in the mold that produces the shape of the plastic part is the mold cavity. Often molds have multiple cavities and they are numbered for traceability during production. Because the cavities are made and finished individually by hand there can be differences which lead to what collectors call “molding variations”.

    Paint Mask
    A paint mask is used to cover all areas of a part except those that are to be painted a certain color. A different paint mask is used for each color required. There are 2 basic types – a plate mask and a book mask. The plate mask is a single sheet that is held on

    Produced / Production
    Denotes an item that was created for mass production and sold at retail stores.

    Excess paint that goes around a paint mask. Generally overspray will be faint and around the edges of the particular color that’s being applied.

    A pantograph is used to trace the contours of a tooling master (in the case of coins) or duplicating aid and scale it as the shape is cut into steel to create the production mold.

    Protomold / Protomolded
    A protomolded (PM) item is a part or figure that was created totally in-house during development. The mold was made of aluminum, made in-house and the part was injection molded in-house as well. The plastic used on these parts was fairly ductile and was almost always white. With the ability to create PM samples in-house, a company can more easily translate their ideas into plastic. Internal First Shot is a collector-derived term for the same.

    Plastic Injection Molding
    The manufacturing process by which plastic pellets are melted and injected into a mold under high temperature and pressure in order to create a plastic part. There is much ancillary equipment required for this process and generally requires a production environment.

    Roto-mold / Rotational Mold
    Process that uses a power or liquid vinyl poured into a mold that is heated and rotated in many axes so that the vinyl coats the inside of the mold. After partial solidification, the warm and flexible part is pulled from the bottom of the mold. Baby doll heads are the most common example of a roto-molded part.

    Silicone (RTV) Mold
    Silicone molds are made from the original wax sculpting of the figure in order to produce hard copies. The molds are made by hand and each part of the figure requires a 2-part mold to be made which allows for easy removal of the cast part once it has set. RTV stands for “room temperature vulcanization” which just means that the mold material itself (usually some type of silicone) will cure, at room temperature, without requiring external heat.

    Sonic Welding /Ultrasonic Welding
    A process that uses high-frequency sound waves to melt 2 plastic parts together to form a bond. The clamped parts are subjected to focused vibrations which cause friction and heat which melts or welds the item together. For action figures the front and back torso halves are welded together using this process.

    Steel Mold / Production Mold
    The injection mold used to create a plastic part. These molds are used in production facilities and often create multiple parts at once in individual “cavities”. The cavities are usually feature numbers or letters that transfer to the final part. These include copyright information and cavity IDs. Due to the high heat, temperature, pressure, and longevity, steel molds are required for production.

    Any item that was developed with the intent to be sold in stores, but was canceled for reasons such as forecast changes, cost, or approval problems. Generally, toys that went all the way to the production mold phase, but still went unmade are considered unproduced. Sometimes small run concept items are considered unproduced since their design was never used.

    Vacu-Formed / Vacu-Formed
    Creating a plastic part by pulling a heated sheet of plastic around a form by using a vacuum. This process is generally low-cost and limits design potential. Old Halloween masks are good examples of vac-formed pieces.

    Variation / Variant
    Denotes a difference between two toys of the same type. A variation can be obvious or small and the significance of the variation is often in the eye of the beholder. Major variations may constitute noticeable changes to a sculpting, paint colors, fabric colors or types, cardback photo or artwork differences, accessory colors, and plastic color differences. More subtle variations may include small details in molding differences, copyright location differences, etc… It is important to recognize that time and environmental conditions can cause color changes in toys and that these are not actual variations, but artifacts of the aging process.

    Most toys are often actually manufactured contract manufacturing companies, generally in low cost countries. The toy company (Kenner,Hasbro,etc) does the development and distribution and the vendors make the actual product. These company names are largely kept secret and never appear on the consumer goods.

6. Prototype Terminology

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    An item made at two times the intended size of the production item. Generally to facilitate ease of sculpting. Some action figures were sculpted as 2-ups.

    An item made at 4 times the intended size of the production item. The Micro Collection figures were exclusively sculpted at this scale in order to capture the proper detailing and to make parting lines easier to determine given the action poses involved.

    An item made at six times the intended size of the production item. The Power of the Force coins were sculpted at this scale in order to capture fine details like fur, hair, and facial and clothing features.

    A hard, plastic-like material used for the sculpting of toys and model kits. Working with the hard material required cutting machines and was a removal process, as opposed to the additive and removal process of working in traditional wax. Acetate was also used to make patterns in some cases for lines like Kener’s Fast111’s. Most acetate sculptings are fashioned from numerous individual parts.

    Bench Shot
    A Bench Shot is a figure that was injection molded at the shop where the mold was being made and predates those figures that are molded at the production factory. Whenever a mold is being made and/or worked on they say it’s “on the bench” meaning the workbench in the shop, hence the term. It means that it was “shot” (industry slang for injection molded) on the bench, but not literally on the bench.

    2-part epoxy resin used to make hardcopies. It is identified by its tan to brown color range. Added pigment dictates the depth of color. It can be lighter tan as well. Carbalon is a trade name of the material and it features a smooth finish.

    Carded Sample
    Action figures were often placed on proof or production cards to represent the appearance of the final product. Often, the figures did not match the cards used, since employees would often use whatever was on hand at that moment. Carded samples can contain regular production figures or various pre-production figures such as first shots that may have been on hand.

    Color Bars
    Color bars are the square colored blocks seen on the sides of uncut printing sheets and are a way to monitor the progressive color builds and keep the colors accurate across a large print run. The bars usually consist of C M Y K (Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black) plus any spot colors and also the “progressive build” of the individual colors. All are useful for debugging printing problems.

    A Cromalin is a printing proof made for color management and layout corrections and are often hand marked. Cromalin is a trade name for is special DuPont paper in which the individual colors are printed on separate films and bonded together. It is heavy like photo paper, has a slight texture and a vibrant image which makes it ideal for proofing the colors in the actual design.

    Dyncast is the trade name of a type of material used to make hardcopies. Its most noticeable characteristic is its green color which makes it easy to identify. It is a 2-part urethane material that was widely used by Kenner and its contractors during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The color was a pigment added in order to show off a figure’s detailing and can vary in shade. The material itself dries to be very hard, but also very brittle. It almost feels like a type of ceramic.

    Engineering Pilot (EP)
    An EP is among the first toys made in a production environment with production tooling. The term “pilot” means first, like the pilot episode of a TV show. Generally the figure is indistinguishable from a production figure since it is made the same way. The primary indicating feature of an EP is the presence of hand-written numbers or letters on the feet denoting their use as test specimens. Some known abbreviations are “A” (aged) and “U” (unaged). Meaning that they were baked to accelerate environmental impacts.

    First Shot (FS)
    One of the early injection-molded prototype toys. Often First Shots are lacking in copyright dates, sometimes lacking in foot holes, could be molded in odd colors and can be unpainted and even non sonically welded.

    Hand Painted
    Hand painting on toy prototypes almost always is done in-house at the toy company. These can be painted hardcopies made internally or even painted first shot that have been received by the overseas factory. Often the paint is of a different type than production paint and can be identified by brush strokes and irregular edges.

    Hardcopy (HC)
    A hardcopy is a (hard) resin copy of the original sculpting and made from silicone molds taken from the sculpting. They are cast, painted, finished, and assembled by hand at the toy company. Holes are drilled in each part and the limbs and head are held on with steel dowel pins. Hardcopies are used as approval samples and also serve as tooling aids for creating the production steel molds. Painted hard copies serve as paint masters to relay color schemes. Because there is no shrinkage involved in casting a hardcopy, it is dimensionally identical to the original wax sculpting and will be slightly larger than the final production toy.

    Internal First Shot (IFS)
    A term coined by collectors. For the proper term see Protomolded or Protomolded.

    This is a model-maker’s term, used to refer to anything that’s been built using parts culled from other sources – toys, model kits and frequently used during the conceptual stages of development to help flesh out the idea of a toy in three dimensions. For quick concepting purposes a model maker may take apart some pre-existing toys, cannibalize some old model kits, or simply root through his tool box, looking for appropriate-looking parts with which to build the model.

    Paint Master
    A paint master is a figure that is fully painted in the correct scheme and in the correct colors. The figure itself can be a hardcopy, internal first shot, or first shot. This master shows the manufacturing vendor how the final toy should look. The vendor creates the proper paint masks and makes sure the paint that will be used is the correct color. The paint master usually is accompanied by a set of paint swatches.

    Paint Swatch / Paint Chip
    Paint swatches are small plastic wafers which are hand painted a solid color on one side and corresponds to one of the colors to be used on an action figure. Each different color present on an action figure must be accounted for by an individual swatch. On the backside of each wafer you will typically find a small handwritten sticker noting the figure’s name and sometimes the part of the body which will receive that particular color. Paint swatches are generally found, linked as a group, on small chains to keep them together.

    Whereas sculptings are used to capture the essence of organic objects, patterns are used to create weapons, ships, or other mechanical things. Wood or synthetic material is meticulously crafted to represent the final shape and includes every small detail and protrusion seen on a toy. Once the basic shape is established, the pattern makers begin the tedious process of adding the minute details in small wood or shaping filler putty. From the pattern, an epoxy “duplicating aid” is cast which is directly traced (like an LP record) to cut the steel production mold.

    This term refers to any photograph that has been modified or enhanced using manual techniques, such as painting or airbrushing, in order to make it easier to reproduce in printed form. These days, most photo manipulation is done via computer programs such as Adobe Photoshop. During the vintage Star Wars era, Kenner employed photoart for almost all of the images used on their toy packages and advertising signage. This iis the master image used on packaging for a specific toy.

    Photo Sample
    Term used to describe the toy example that was used by a photographer to create packaging or marketing materials for a toy line. Typically these are sourced directly from the original photographer and can often be matched to a specific image by close examination to paint or molding flaws found in the figure. Also, sometimes remnants of wax are found in the hands or foot holes from the original photoshoot. Some photo samples have had paint or color retouching by the photo studio in order to enhance edges or to provide contrast. Generally speaking, the toy itself is not an actual prototype.

    Plastic Swatch
    A plastic swatch is a sample piece that is used to relay the look and feel of the material being chosen to determine whether or not it is suitable for a particular use. A sticker affixed to the sample would show manufacturer name and the material code and are produced by the actual plastic resin manufacturer. One or more of these swatches could be used to describe the requirements of a single action figure or toy.

    Proof Card
    A proof card (or proof) is an early printing of an action figure cardback. Generally proofs are printed on slightly thinner cardstock and the bottom corners remain square. Often proofs do not have glossy backs as they are mainly for showcasing the front image of the card and some proofs are not printed on the back at all. All proofs are printed on a large sheet and individually cut. Sometimes proofs are found that have not been die-cut from the sheet and have much of the white bordering around them. These were usually the result of a person hand cutting an entire sheet just to separate the individual cards.

    Proof Sheet
    A proof sheet is an entire sheet that is printed with several individual proof cards. The sheets usually were printed with 8 cards shown front and back. There is quite a bit of white space between adjacent cards so that there were no problems with separating them. Around each proof image small grid lines and tick marks can be seen which allows the printer to know the exact placement of the image. Typically, on the edge of a proof card you will see color bars which show the basic colors used for printing which are cyan, magenta, yellow,and black.

    Protomolded / Protomolded Figure (PM)
    An prototype sample made from low yield molds in the company model shop. Often the plastic is of a different type and the toy would be handpainted. Protomold is the industry term whereas IFS was developed by collectors and sometimes still used.

    Prototype / Pre-production
    A loosely defined and general term used to denote the various output created during the development of the toy line and can span a wide array of different items such as mock-ups, drawings, proofs, molds, etc…

    An polyurethane type of material used to make hardcopies. It can be identified by it’s dark black coloring.

    Sculpting / Wax Sculpting / Wax
    Typically action figures sculptings are made of wax which is a malleable material that can be formed, removed from, and added to with ease. Often an original action figure sculpting is done over an internal brass armature and the limbs are attached with steel pins into embedded plastic discs so that the joints are smooth. Colors and consistency may vary due to sculptor or company preferences. Some sculptings are done completely in wax if they are for items that are posed or otherwise static in their final form.

    Softcopy (a “Rubber”)
    Collectors coined this term to describe the byproduct of one step in the process of tooling the Power of the Force coins. The Kenner employees called these “rubbers”. In essence, a softcopy is a thin silicone positive. From the sculpting, a hardcopy would be directly cast and would be the negative image of the coin. It is from this negative hardcopy that a positive softcopy would be produced. Only the coin image would be present on these steps as the text would be added in at the very last stage when the steel die is cut.

    Spec Sheet / Product Sheet
    A Kenner product sheet, usually referred to as a “spec sheet” would normally be part of a 3-ring notebook containing early photography and descriptions of Star Wars toys. Each sheet has the same format with typed information about the product and a pasted-on glossy photo. Most photos are representations of the toys but they often differed from their released counterparts which makes it quite unique to look at. These were generally mock-ups of sorts created because the toys weren’t ready in time for photography and early marketing.

    A “squeezing” is the industry term for the earliest 1:1, three-dimensional figure made from the production tooling for the Star Wars Micro Collection line. The name derives from the process of making them– a resin paste is pressed into the mold cavity and the two halves are squeezed together to form the figure. Squeezings were used to test the molds and to make early samples that were often painted by hand.

    Styrene Model
    Conceptual 3D representation of a proposed vehicle, playset, or other mechanical accessory. Hand built from sheets of styrene plastic as well as other plastics that could be cut or machined. This type of item has largely given way to 3D printing due to speed and efficiency, but can be found in cases where the toy or mechanism is constructed from scratch rather than being computer modeled first.

    Test Shot
    This is a term used by collectors, but the proper industry term is actually First Shot.

    Tooling Master
    The tooling master is the hardcopy that will be used as the pattern for cutting the production steel molds. This hardcopy would be in perfect condition without any noticeable flaws. The tooling master would be used to create epoxy duplicating aids and the steel production mold would be cut using the duplicating aid as a guide.

    Vendor Supplied Prototype (VSP)
    A vendor supplied protoype is another term for a first shot. This term comes from the fact that the piece is a prototype manufactured by the vendor and supplied to the toy company. Since the vendor’s only purpose is to create the production molds and run production of a toy, the only type of prototype that they could produce is a first shot. Generally VSP’s are not painted. The term VSP has been used more for 1990’s items and not so much for vintage items

    Wax Cast / Casting
    A casting made by pouring liquid wax into a silicone mold made from the original sculpting. A wax cast could be used as a copy to rework a design or it could be simply extra wax that was poured into the mold to help the mold retain its shape. Or more benignly, was just an interesting way to use up extra wax. Often castings are rough and unfinished, often with excessive flashing at the parting line.

7. Store Display Terminology

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    A cardboard display box the manufacturer ships filled and ready for display. A colorful header card helped advertise the visible product. Used on store shelves and counters.

    Hanger / Bell Hanger / Bell / Mobile
    A 2-sided cardboard display sign that hung from the ceiling or from a a bracket attached to a high rack or shelf. Sometimes these were also clamped at the top of wire racks.

    Header / Header Card
    The largest type of Kenner store display, they are flat and usually made of heavy cardboard and could be either hung from a ceiling fixture or mounted to a shelving unit.

    Point of Purchase (POP)
    Used to describe store displays that are intended to be displayed next to the product – essentially, at the point (location) of purchase.

    Shelf Talker
    Plastic or paper advertisement that overhangs the edge of a shelf. Thin paper ones fit in a standard plastic holder and plastic or thick paper ones adhere directly to the shelf.

8. Star Wars Collecting Terminology

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    When collecting Star Wars you will inevitably come across some abbreviations or terms that you may not recognize. Below is a list of common ones you should learn. Some are easy to figure out and others not so much.

    Vintage – In the Star Wars collecting world, “vintage” refers to items produced before 1990 and corresponds with items made surrounding the marketing campaigns of the original Trilogy.

    ANH – A New Hope (a.k.a. Star Wars or SW)
    ESB – Empire Strikes Back (also TESB)
    ROTJ – Return of the Jedi
    POTF – Power of the Force
    Ewok Preschool / Wicket the Ewok – 1984 Kenner preschool-age toy lines
    Droids – 1985/86 cartoon series and toy line
    Ewoks – 1985/86 cartoon series and toy line
    Caravan of Courage – 1984 live action made for TV movie
    Battle For Endor– 1985 live action made for TV movie

    This is a way of identifying action figure packaging by referring to how many figures are displayed on the back of the card. When the figures first came out, there were only 12 different figures available for purchase. As they produced different figures, more became available and the backs were changed to reflect that. 12, 20, 21, 31, 32, 41, 45, 47, 48, 65, 77, 79, 92 and 93 are all the different backs you may find. You may also find suffixes with the number such as 12C. The letter denotes a change in the card and is a designation created by collectors in order to differentiate the packaging. This can be as simple as a sticker being added at the factory or a description being slightly changed.

    Double-Telescoping (DT) Lightsaber
    This refers to the two piece light sabers for the action figures of Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker (These figures can go for a premium, thousands of dollars).

    Early Bird Kit
    The first Star Wars action figure product for Christmas 1977. It was a cardboard sleeve and stand with a coupon that you mailed in to receive 4 action figures between Feb-May 1978. The figures were Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and R2-D2 and were sent in a plain white box with a vac-formed tray. The set also included a bag of white pegs that fit into the base of the cardboard stand.

    First 12
    This refers to the first 12 characters produced in the line. The packaging back shows 12 action figures.

    Last 17
    This refers to the last 17 characters produced. The last 17 was the end of the line for Vintage Star Wars action figures and as such not as many of them were produced. This makes them a little more desirable than many of the other figures simply because most children had aged out of toys by the time these were released in 1985.

    Micro Collection
    From 1980-1982 Kenner created 1.25” scale figures that featured action poses and were made of diecast metal. They were part of small diorama-style sets that connected together formed small “worlds”. The Death Star, Hoth, and Bespin worlds included multiple playsets and accompanying figures. There was also a mail-away set of 6 Snowtrooper and Rebel Soliders available as army builders. There were several other sets planned for the Micro Collection which were unproduced and included a Jabba the Hutt Dungeon. The earliest Micro Collection development included a Dagobah set that never went beyond the concept stage.

    Tri-Logo / Bi-logo / Tri-POTF
    Tri-Logo cards have the Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) logo in English, French and Spanish. They were largely available in Europe, but were also imported into the United States at Kaybee Toys, as close-out items during the end of the run. The Bi-Logo packaging featured the ROTJ logo in French and Spanish. There is also a Tri-logo style of Power of the Force (POTF) packaging which also features English, French, and Spanish languages.

    In the world of Star Wars and Star Wars collecting, vintage refers to the time period of the original trilogy of films and their associated products. The vintage time is typically said to begin in 1977, although there are pre-release materials from 1976. The Kenner trilogy film toy line ended in 1985 but 1986 ushered in their wave of Ewoks and Droids cartoon figures which featured carryovers like Boba Fett and A-Wing Pilot. 1987 and 1988 saw the unlicensed line of action figures Turkey and the true end of the vintage period is 1989 which saw the last products released in Brazil (Power of the Force and Droids action figures). It is for these reasons that the definition of vintage is anything made before 1990.

    Vinyl Cape (VC) Jawa
    The original release of the Jawa action figure was fitted with a light brown vinyl cape similar to the other vinyl capes used at the time. The figure was a limited release and was changed to a cloth cape to give more value to customers. The bubble used is very narrow and there is a plastic sheet behind to protect from color transfer from the yellow background. The cape is a tan color and lighter than the Ben Kenobi cape. There is a rare Australian (Toltoys) version that was available during the ESB era that featured a darker brown cape. The Toltoys VC Jawa figure itself is made of a type of plastic that shows green age spots.

    This action figure was originally part of a planned, but unproduced, second series of Droids action figures. It was only available in 1988 and 1989

    This collector-defined term is shorthand for Unproduced Droids and Ewoks and is used to describe the unreleased second series of those toy lines from Kenner.

9. Star Wars Trademarks (Copyright, ©)

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    One of the following trademarks should be found on all vintage Star Wars toys in some form.

    LFL – LucasFilm Limited
    GMFGI – General Mills Fun Group Incorporated (General Mills was the owner of Kenner)
    CPG – Consumer Product Group (only used on Boba Fett action figure)

    Licensed Worldwide Star Wars Toy Manufacturers

    Basa (Peru) – Manufacturer and distributor
    Clipper (Netherlands) – Manufacturer and distributor in Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg
    Denys Fisher (UK) – Primarily licensed the large action figures for the UK market
    Glasslite (Brazil) – Manufacturer and distributor (1988-1989)
    Harbert (Italy) – Manufacturer and distributor
    Irwin Toys (Canada) – Distributor
    Kenner (USA) – The primary vintage toy licensee, originally based in Cincinnati, Ohio
    Kenner Canada – Manufacturer
    Lily Ledy (Mexico) – A toy company in Mexico that produced and distributed Star Wars toys.
    Meccano – The French licensee for Kenner toys
    Palitoy (UK) – Manufacturer and distributor, originally based in Leicester England
    Parker (Germany) – Manufacturer and distributor
    PBP / Poch (Spain) – Manufacturer and distributor
    Popy (Japan)
    Takara (Japan) – Manufacturer and distributor
    Tsukuda (Japan)
    Toltoys (Australia) – Manufacturer and distributor
    TopToys (Argentina) – Manufacturer and distributor