Super Powers was distributed and enjoyed across the globe. Sometimes having their own cardbacks for different countries and sometimes not. In the US and Canada, different facilities were set up to honor mail-away offers for different promotional items (fan club, poster, etc) but most countries didn’t have these facilities in place and the US did not fulfill these mail-in offers globally. This was not a problem for the countries that had their figures distributed with different cardbacks, as the offers were simply omitted from them when they were printed. But some of the time the countries did not get their own cardbacks (or didn’t get them at first) and they were sent US or Canadian versions of the toys and they had to figure out a way to either handle the mail-away offers themselves (UK), or to just void out the offer completely (Australia/New Zealand).
Quick fix: Stickers! In this article I’m going to talk about the obscure variation of offer-modifying stickers found in the UK, Australia/New Zealand, and Mexico. If it weren’t for these stickers, we would have never known where these were sold. Because of this small variation, collectors have yet another little easter egg to hunt for.
UK Palitoy Stickers
In the UK, before they were given their own distribution of toys on Trilingual cardbacks, a very small number of US figures were imported to be sold to test the market to see how well the toys would do there. Instead of honoring all offers available in the US (Poster, Figure, Fan Club, Cape), Palitoy had a facility to honor just the Free Poster Offer, and affixed a sticker on the back of the card to give the updated UK address for fulfillment. On cardbacks that were US versions of the Free Poster Offer and Fan Club Offer, all they did was add the sticker to the back. On cardbacks that were US versions of the Superman Cape Offer or Steppenwolf Figure Offer, they often added large blank stickers to cover up the verbiage of the offer that was available to the US.
Here are the first series Palitoy Stickers I’ve been able to track down.
Since they only made Trilingual cardbacks for series 1 figures, when series 2 figures came out they simply used the US versions again. By this time, the poster offer was already expired, so they did not need to add Poster Offer information on a sticker, instead they just added the distribution info on a sticker. Note: Brainiac and Wonder Woman are series 1 figures, but they’re shown below since they are on a series 2 (23-back) cardback.
Vehicles featuring the Palitoy Sticker often have the “Palitoy Company” sticker on them, but the ones that don’t can be identified by the UPC sticker placed over the original UPC, and it starts with “3 010002”. In the case of the Batmobile, the instruction sheet itself is trilingual, different than the English-Only instructions that come with the US version.
Australia/New Zealand Stickers
Unlike the UK, instead of giving consumers a means to fulfill the promotional offers, Australia and New Zealand exports simply had stickers placed over the offers to void them out completely. While the UK had US released figures, Australia got Canadian released figures. You’ll see below the ones I’ve been able to track down so far, the two remaining that I’ve seen that I don’t have are Green Arrow and Darkseid.
Mexico “Club De Kenner” Stickers
Due to Mexico toy laws in the 70s and 80s, seeing imported toys in Mexico was extremely rare (almost unheard of) and wasn’t seen until the late 80’s after the Super Powers line was cancelled. The next variation of toys were US and Canada released (made in Hong Kong) and imported to Mexico, as exclusives to the Mexico Kenner Club (or “Club De Kenner”). These sticker variations are among some of the hardest to find Super Powers variations, as well as one of the lesser known. They sent both 3rd series large cards, and Shell promo Canadian Small cards. These stickers were not used to redirect or void out any promotional offers, because the 3rd series cards and Canadian Small cards had no offers printed on them to begin with. I won’t call them “quality control rejects” but you’ll notice on several of the short cards, a few were mispackaged on Superman cardbacks.
Details of the back sticker: