We all know the text on the back of Trilogo cards states “Collect all 70” yet there are in fact 79 figures listed. At first glance it just looks like a simple mistake, but..is that all there is to it? Lets take a closer look..
When you examine the back of any Trilogo, you will actually notice that while the numbered list of figures does indeed start from number 1 and end with number 79, there are actually figures missing from both the list and the picture.
The numbers that are missing from the Trilogo cardback are:
22, 24, 25, 44, 55, 52, 58, 59 and 60.
Now, that might not mean a lot at first, but when you check those numbers off against an earlier released Palitoy 65 back card things become a little clearer.
When you compare a Trilogo cardback to a Palitoy 65 back card (shown above) you can see that although more figures were added to the Trilogo cardback when it was designed (and the layout of the figures changed), the actual order of the figures listed did not! Instead of rearranging the list, the new ROTJ figures were simply added to the existing list, from 66 onwards.
So, which 9 figures are missing from the Trilogo cardback? Well, using the earlier 65 back card we can see that the numbers correspond to the following figures:
- 22 : Cloud Car Pilot
- 24 : Bespin Security Guard (Black)
- 25 : 4-LOM
- 44 : Bespin Security Guard (White)
- 52 : Power Droid
- 55 : Snaggletooth
- 58 : Hammerhead
- 59 : Greedo
- 60 : Walrusman
The interesting thing here is that it shows the figures listed above were purposely removed from the backs of the cards when Trilogo packaging and the second wave of Return Of The Jedi figures were introduced.
It looks like a decision was made to stop producing these figures and the packaging change reflects that. Perhaps these characters were chosen due to their low popularity with children or the fact that the new film (Return Of The Jedi) had a bunch of brand new figures which obviously needed to be promoted and sold in stores.
You can see even more evidence of this change by looking at other packaging and paperwork from the same period, in fact we can see that it was a change that affected all of Europe, not just the UK.
On the German KDM (Kraft Der Macht) multipacks, the back of the cards displayed a selection of figures up until the second wave of ROTJ. All of the figures missing from the Trilogo cardback are also missing from the KDM cardback.
The European Power Of the Force catalogues (which were released in a variety of languages/countries) also show this change, albeit with a slight twist. Greedo, Hammerhead, Power Droid, both Bespin Guards and the Cloud Car Pilot are all missing from the catalogues but Walrusman and 4-LOM are still shown. It’s possible that they hadn’t been axed at that point yet or maybe they were left in the catalogues just to see if there was still any interest in either character.
Strangely, there is a figure that is both listed & pictured on all Trilogo cardbacks (and other European packaging) yet was never released on a Trilogo card. That figure was number 50: The Death Squad Commander/Star Destroyer Commander.
Perhaps he was intended for a Trilogo release that never happened or was meant to be removed from the list and was forgotten, we may never know. (*Although, he can be found “miscarded” there was never a Trilogo Death Squad Commander released*)
The Hybrid Theory
Six of the figures mentioned above will be familiar to collectors with regard to Trilogos because they were actually released on “Hybrid” Trilogo cards produced by Palitoy. A hybrid card has a Return Of The Jedi front and a Trilogo back.
Below is a complete set of these Hybrid cards in almost factory fresh condition.
After looking at the design of the Trilogo cardback and the purposely removed figures, we can get a better idea of the reasons behind these Trilogo Hybrid cards and more importantly when they were produced.
Many collectors have always assumed that the hybrid figures were produced before the true front and back Trilogos.
However, it makes a lot more sense that these figures were in fact a cheap way to reissue certain figures either through an unforeseen increase in demand or simply just to move overstock that had accumulated after they were discontinued.
This theory of the hybrid cards representing some kind of cheap reissue packaging rather than the bridge between Palitoy ROTJ cards and Trilogos definitely looks to be more plausible when you look at all of the information above.
Unfortunately, it looks like 4-LOM, Walrusman and the Power droid never managed to regain their popularity with children to warrant a reissue, which let’s face it isn’t hard to see why, one of them was just a box with legs!