“Trilogo bubbles are all the same aren’t they?” ..Actually, no – not at all!
Due to the common misconception that all Trilogo bubbles are the same I’ve put together this brief guide which should help show some of the main variations and their origins.
I’ve not covered some of the more interesting bubble types yet, but in time, I hope to add a complete gallery of all known variant bubbles for every single Trilogo figure.
As you might expect this is a huge task and will take time and input from many collectors, so until then please enjoy this brief guide!
Trilogo Bubble Seals
Typically, when checking to see if a carded figure is authentic many collectors will instantly look to the seal and for something called a “Waffle Pattern”.
In short, the Waffle Pattern is a term used to describe a cross hatch pattern that can be seen within the plastic border of the bubble seal. While this pattern is commonly found on Kenner cards there are actually NO waffle Patterns present on the majority of Trilogo figures.
Trilogo bubbles rarely show any type of pattern visible around or under the seal. The sides of Trilogo bubbles can often look hand cut with uneven edges which can look odd to newer collectors but it is actually quite normal (see the picture below).
Trilogo Bubble Types
“Etched” (Common throughout Europe)
You may have heard the term “etched” before. It’s been commonly used since appearing in the book “Meccano to Trilogo” and while it’s not a perfect descriptive word, to avoid confusion I will continue to use it here.
The etched bubble is only found on Palitoy produced Trilogos (which were also exported throughout Europe). The outline of the plastic that attaches to the card has been shown in red and as you can see it has right angled corners.
“Etched” actually refers to the indented parts of the bubble that extend from the cardback seal to the front of the bubble.
Although these are not considered true variations you can in fact find two different types of etched bubbles:
- Short Etched
- Long Etched
The indentation of the short etched version is usually only half the length of the bubble and reduces in size until it is no longer visible.
The indentation of the long etched version runs the full length of the bubble.
“Rounded” (Common throughout Europe)
This is the front view of a rounded bubble. This bubble type is the second most commonly found bubble on Trilogos.
As you can see, its quite hard from the front to tell an etched bubble from a rounded bubble as the sides are usually hidden. The rounded bubble also has right angled corners that attach to the cardback and has roughly the same dimensions/overall look as the etched.
To identify the rounded bubble you need to look at the side where it will have rounded edges instead of an indentation.
PBP Bubbles (Exclusive to Spain)
PBP, the company that produced and distributed Star Wars toys in Spain used very different bubbles to Palitoy, they are however quite easy to identify.
The majority are noticeably oversized when compared to the other Trilogo bubbles and they allow the figure more room to move inside.
Instead of the previously shown right angled corners the PBP bubbles are rounded. It also has no etched edge.
ROTJ Bubbles (UK , France & Germany)
Some of the earliest Trilogos produced and distributed in the UK, France and Germany were packaged with much smaller “ROTJ” style bubbles. They appear to be bubbles left over from earlier production runs and fit the figures much more snugly than the oversized and more common ones shown at the start of this guide.
The plastic used to produce these bubbles was quite durable and not like the mass produced oversized bubbles that are easily dented.
None of the small fitting bubbles are etched.
Over the years, this particular bubble style has become known as the “miscard” bubble due to it being the most common bubble used for Trilogo (and some Meccano ROTJ) miscards. It wasn’t exclusively used to package miscards though, as this list demonstrates.
The miscard bubble is sadly very fragile and often yellows over time.
It has rounded edges that attach to the card and it’s also noticeably smaller in overall shape than any other Trilogo bubble used.
Meccano exclusive bubbles
(Work in progress)
This is an example of a bubble used on some Meccano ROTJ and POTF figures. It has rounded edges that attach to the card and is quite fragile and thin.