This is the story about the Danish toy store chain “Fætter BR” (which translates to “Cousin BR” in English) and their huge clearance sale on Star Wars toys in January 1987 which included many Trilogos .
Fætter BR started life in Roskilde, Denmark in 1950 with a single modest kiosk and has since turned into one of the biggest Scandinavian chains with stores in 5 different countries. The mascot of Fætter BR is a rather cool looking soldier figure which bears a resemblance to the toy soldier mascot US based store “Kay Bee” (Kay Bee also had an interesting role in the Trilogo story which you can read about here: Kay Bee & The Overstock) used.
In fact, the Fætter BR soldier is actually modeled after the Danish Royal Guards, similar to the English Queen’s Guard but still not quite an Emperor’s Royal Guard.. 😉
In Denmark in the mid to late eighties, just like the rest of the world Star Wars was winding down. During Christmas 1985 Fætter BR decided to cut prices on their Star Wars toys to move their stock, a reduction of 15 kr (Danish kroner) was made off of the normal sale price for a Star Wars figure which was at the time 34.95 kr.
During this time they continued to cut the prices of their figures and even sold them for half the regular price, this particular reduction is captured in the picture below on this Trilogo Hoth Snowtrooper:
In 1986 Star Wars figures started to decline in popularity. Many children were moving on and stores were no longer stocking them. Soren Arndal (the Danish collector behind this article) remembers clearly that Star Wars figures were still on his wish list that year but due to a lack of figures in Denmark at the time his parents could not find any he didn’t already have.
Fast forward to January 1987 however and things changed drastically. Fætter BR had bought up a lot of what must have been the remaining stock from their distributors and they started selling the figures super cheap.
One Star Wars figure cost just 5.95 kr and you could buy 5 figures for 25 kr, so effectively if you bought 4 you got one free. These were huge savings compared to the prices of figures when Star Wars was at its peak.
Fætter BR also stocked ROTJ speeder bikes for 19.85 kr which previously retailed for 128 kr and they had huge amounts of Trilogo Sy Snootles and the Rebo band sets for 29.85 kr which were usually sold for around 168 kr.
Here is a picture of a Rebo band next to a box with normal 168 kr Fætter BR sticker:
And here is the 19.85 kr Speeder Bike:
During this time Fætter BR made special bright orange price stickers which read “Chokpris! Star Wars 5.95 Kun i din BR-Butik” (Which means: Shock price! Star Wars 5.95 Only in your BR store)
Unfortunately as Denmark never had it’s own licensee for Star Wars, there is very little to distinguish the Star Wars toys sold there from Star Wars toys sold elsewhere in Europe, this is because the product was merely imported from other countries.
The “Chokpris! Star Wars 5.95 Kun i din BR-Butik” sticker shown above is cool for so many reasons, it not only specifically mentions Star Wars unlike other price tags of that time but for Danish collectors it really is a nostalgic little sticker and it ties Vintage packaging to their home country, something that for Denmakr can’t be done by a Licensee logo like a lot of other European countries. The Chokpris! sticker is also really bright and eye catching, which for a retail price sticker is quite unusual, I think it has a lot of appeal simply because it is so in your face – it screams “Buy me I’m cheap!”
Along with all these great price stickers, Soren was kind enough to supply an image of the Fætter BR catalogue from 1987 in which the store announced the huge sale. This is a very special magazine advert because it shows an actual Trilogo MOC Nikto! Trilogo packaging is rarely seen in European advertising so it is a treat to see one here.
Soren has quite vivid memories of the Fætter BR sales:
Soren – I can clearly remember hangers full of carded figures and right next to them huge clearance bins with even more figures in them. All the kids were just diving into them! One time I visited the store with my Mother and we asked an employee if they had any different figures to the ones out on the shop floor, the employee walked to the back of the store and came back with a box of MOC and just dumped them onto the other figures in the bins!
I also remember picking up Trilogo Luke Stormtroopers and looking at miscards in the store, I used to talk to my sister and laugh about how stupid the workers must have been for putting figures on the wrong cards! In Fætter BR I also saw a Nien Nunb with five weapons in the bubble, I wanted to get the figure to have more guns but I already had the figure so I didn’t get to buy it!
Unfortunately many of the figures in these bargain bins were quite boring ones like the Emperor, Bib Fotuna, Rancor keeper, Wicket and Anakin which are of course all quite plentiful even now all these years later, I guess they misread the demand for certain figures!
Fætter BR not only had Trilogo cards in stock in 1987, it seems they bought up every thing that their suppliers still had in stock in order to stock their shelves for the huge clearance sale, the stock they managed to buy included many Kenner and Palitoy figures like the ones shown below.
(This Teebo is actually Canadian!)
Amazingly there where even French Star Wars square card Meccano Jawa’s appearing on the shelves in Denmark in 1987! Sounds incredible but the proof is below!
The stock obviously came from various places and from different time periods, they had everything from early Meccano figures all the way to POTF Palitoy Trilogos with the large factory applied £1.59 NEW FIGURE stickers on them.
Soren owns all the Danish items featured in this feature but one of his most prized possessions is a sealed Trilogo Han Carbonite with a selection of Fætter BR price stickers on them, it has the earlier mentioned 34.85 kr price sticker, then to the side it has the orange Chokpris! 5.95 sticker. The Chokpris! sticker on this Han has been applied directly over a red 1/2 price price sticker mentioned earlier!
This Han Carbonite really stood the test of time by managing to stay unsold through so many clearance sales and remaining sealed till today!
And finally, we all know a Trilogo Anakin is probably the most abundant Trilogo in existence and back then there were bins full of them, this guy got knocked down to an amazing 1.95 kr and went unsold before being put back up for sale at 4.95 kr..I guess they couldn’t give these guys away! (Some things never change 😉 )
Below is a great gallery of Trilogo cardbacks from Soren’s collection with various Fætter BR price stickers on them.
For many collectors a price sticker will always be just an annoying blemish on an otherwise good conditioned toy, perhaps this article will highlight the importance of the history of the toys we collect, how they survived clearance sale after clearance sale and just how much of a story the price stickers on them really have to tell.
A special thanks to Soren Arndal for allowing Trilogo.info to tell the Fætter BR story!
Update: As a direct result of this article, A Trilogo.info reader from Sweden got in contact with Soren and kindly donated a Trilogo Leia Bespin cardback with Fætter BR stickers to his collection!
Not only was it an incredible gesture, this sticker variation was actually one that Soren didn’t have in his collection! The sticker on the Leia above is from the 1985 Christmas sale mentioned at the beginning of this article when Fætter BR cut 15 kr off of the usual retail price!