Super Powers figures known as “Trilingual” are the ones that have 3 languages in the chat balloon, and are found released in European countries. At one time it was thought that the variations of these Trilinguals was either “with Poster Offer Sticker” and “without” sticker.
Well this is not the case!
Allow me to present a closer look into the world of collecting Trilingual variations of Super Powers. Based on my findings there are up to 4 (and possibly 5!) possible variations of each Trilingual action figure. And if you lump in the “Super Poderes” line from Spain (same size cardback but only Spanish in the chat balloon) then that leaves 6 potential European Super Powers of each figure that you could be chasing down.
First we’ll look at the most common, the UK “Poster Offer sticker” variation. I’ve been able to track down one of each of this set, shown below. After acquiring Hawkman, it is my belief that the Poster Offer stickers were factory placed (and not retailer placed) because the Poster Offer sticker was placed under the heat sealed bubble on Hawkman. The languages shown in the speech balloon are: German, English, Spanish
Second, is the next common (possibly just as common on certain figures) variation that’s the same as above but without the Poster Offer sticker. Just like with the Poster Offer he languages shown in the speech balloon are: German, English, Spanish
Here are some that I’ve been able to track down.
The back’s on these are all very similar (different bio cards, character logo, and action drawings) but the layout and rest of the info is the same. These backs are the same with and without the Poster Offer sticker. Much like the speech balloon on the front, the bio cards on the back are in 3 languages: German, English, Spanish
Now this is where it gets exciting!
Third we’ll look at the more rare Spanish version of the Trilingual. These were released by General Mills-Juguettes (GMJ) Spain. “They look exactly the same?!” one might exclaim, but the subtle differences put these beauty’s in a league of their own in terms of rarity. The speech bubble on these are also in these 3 languages: German, English, Spanish.
The way you can differentiate these from a UK trilingual by looking at the front of the card is the hole punch shape. These have a full circle through the hole punch, instead of a semicircle.
How’s that for an obscure variation? “Not enough” you might say? Well lets flip it over to the back. You’ll notice the fine print at the bottom doesn’t say “SUPER POWERS” – instead it’s in Spanish, and says “SUPER PODERES”! But the coolest difference for me is the lack of barcode at the bottom left, which is also the big indicator if doing a quick glance to determine the country it was released.
Fourth is the very rare Italian version of the Trilingual. This one has the most interesting differences, in my opinion. I’ve only been able to track down 4 of these, and they all have interesting differences when compared to the figures released in other countries. One thing I noticed right away, was the difference in Hawkman’s name flag. It’s just HAWKMAN – unlike other releases where it’s written in 3 languages. Another odd variation is the blue arrow pointing to the mini comic, it has no writing whatsoever! But what I think what sets these apart from the other variations is the complete lack of English on these cards! The speech balloon on the front as well as the bio cards on the back are in the languages: French, Dutch, and Italian.
The back of the card is interesting as well, with slight differences compared to the other ones. The barcode spot was replaced with a block of text that basically says this product complies with safety regulations, but not for children under 3 years. The licensing/distribution list is also formatted a little different, and the only English text found on the whole card is at the very bottom, showing manufacturer and trademark info. This has got to be the most bizarre and certainly my favorite trilingual variation.
The reason I count a possible 5th variation, it has been said that a certain release of UK Trilinguals were packaged without a mini-comic. Since I’ve only been able to track down one of these, I’m not sure if it’s an actual variation or simply a random error where it was mispackaged without the comic.
Then of course there’s the GMJ Spain “Super Poderes” which I’m adding to this list simply because it’s very related to the GMJ Spain Trilingual listed as the Third variation above. While this used to be considered the white-whale variation of foreign Super Powers collecting, I’ve been able to track down a few of these and have even found different variations between them! Here are a few that I’ve been able to track down, you’ll notice 2 different styles of cardbacks. While I haven’t found an aquaman with the “white stripe” (top left banner) on the cardback, I’ve seen a loose cardback of Superman without it, which leads me to believe there are likely up to 2 variations of each cardback, or there were at one time. Some have the yellow name banner at the bottom and others do not, but it is unknown as to whether or not both variations of that exist, I assume it’s because some names required translation while others did not, and if that’s the case then the yellow banners probably follow the characters and not the cardback variations.
Much like the Italian Trilinguals, you’ll notice no text in the blue arrow that normally points out the mini-comic. In this case there are no mini-comics so I guess that makes sense. One thing to note, the GMJ Spain Trilinguals above do have mini-comics, and the mini-comics are in Spanish and not English, which is a distinction from the other UK trilinguals.
The backs you’ll notice 2 different variations, one like the GMJ Spain Trilingual shown previously, but the other completely different. Even features the star logo with “Super Poderes” like on the front of the card. The layout was completely redone, with a 12 back photo very similar to the US cardbacks.
Hope you found this guide useful. Happy hunting!