A GUIDE TO VINTAGE STAR WARS FIGURES & ACCESSORIES

GM/Clipper Cardbacks

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ESB GM45A CARDBACK

The GM45A card is the first card produced in the Palitoy factory in Coalville for the German market and is referred to as a General Mills card or German General Mills card or just German card. This was produced in the factory at the same time as the regular Palitoy 45B card and featured the same set of 45 figures on the back of the card. The front of the card is identical to the the Palitoy 45B card. The only difference is that the punch is a distinctive inverted V shape on the GM45A versus the more rounded inverted U shape seen on the Palitoy 45B and other Palitoy cards as well as later German card releases. So you can always spot a GM45A card as no other card has this inverted V shape punch.

The back of the GM45A card is the same as the back of the Palitoy 45B card with the special offer at the bottom of the card being replaced with German text which doesnt have special offer. The German text says “45 Aktionsfiguren zum Sammeln und Spielen mit Star Wars Raumfahrzeugen. AT-AT, Snow Speeder, X-Wing Fighter, Millennium Falcon und viele andere sind uberall enhaltlich wo es Spielzeug gibt”. This roughly translates as “Action figures for collecting and playing with Star Wars spacecraft. AT-AT, Snowspeeder, X-Wing Fighter, Millennium Falcon and many others are everywhere where there are toys.”. The Palitoy Coalville address in the bottom left hand corner is replaced with a General Mills one in Germany and the copyright information separated and is in the bottom right hand corner of the card.

The English text ‘STAR WARS ACTION FIGURES Collect all 45’ that is above the picture of the 45 action figures on the back of the card is still present on the GM45A card. This is also on the back of the Palitoy 45B card. This text was removed on the next variation of this German card. Only a subset of all the figures have been found on this figure variation so far, and they are almost always MOC rather than a used cardback. Almost all used cardbacks are of the next version of this German card with the English text removed. The reason for this is explained in the Toy Toni section below.

This card saw the same bubbles being used to seal the cards as were used on the Palitoy 45B card. These were double stemmed bubbles or single stemmed bubbles with a bubble number embossed in the bottom right hand corner of the bubble.
German cards were almost half of the 11534 unused cardbacks acquired by Toy Toni after the Palitoy factory in Coalville closed and subsequently made into MOC with unused bubbles. Of the 4714 German cards 1483 are of this first card type GM45A. The unused cardbacks were 318 Bespin Security Guard (Black), 268 2-1B, 166 Leia Organa (Bespin Gown), 160 AT-AT Driver, 118 Power Droid, 97 Han Solo, 90 (Twin-Pod) Cloud Car Pilot, 73 Rebel Commander, 70 AT-AT Commander, 66 Chewbacca, 50 Leia (Hoth Outfit), 36 Rebel Soldier (Hoth Battle Gear), 26 FX-7 and 11 R5-D4. The number for Chewbacca is a 50/50 split between Palitoy and German cardbacks as large quantities of mint MOCs exist for both and the original sales list of unused cardbacks did not differentiate well between ESB Palitoy and German cards.The number for Rebel Commander is a 50/50 split between German and Clipper cards which the original sales list did not differentiate either for the same reason. The numbers for Han Solo and AT-AT Driver is a 50/50 split between the GM45A and later GM45B variation where both variations have been seen as Toy Tonis. The Dengar card featured at the top of this page also shows sign of being sealed with a very large bubble, but it assumed the 11 Dengar on the sales list are Clipper as those were for sale on toytoni.com and the German cards were not.
 
There are 14 different figures of this card variation that Toni had of the figures seen to date on this card variation. Toni didn’t have cards for are Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot), Dengar & Lobot and those are really hard to find. Almost all MOCs on this card variation appear to be Tonis. What this tells us is that this card variation was withdrawn very shortly after being produced, due to the English text being on the back of the card which was removed in the next card variation GM45B. A few made it out of the factory and were sold and the rest of them were withdrawn and bought by Toni when the factory closed and made into MOC.
 
Toni used single stem bubbles which have no number embossed on them in the bottom right hand corner. Bubbles used on genuine factory cards have this number. Toni also had a supply of the 03 bubble, so bubbles with 03 embossed on them could be his too. Figures used a fixed bubble number and these are detailed on the Palitoy 45B page. So if a figure is using the wrong bubble number, this is also a sign that the card is not genuine.
Toni also used double stemmed bubbles. The angle between the top of the double stemmed bubble is more pronounced on Tonis bubbles making them look more pointy, whereas on genuine double stemmed bubbles there is no angle and they don’t look pointy. He would regularly offer both bubble types to collectors saying that it would take him a few days to locate the other bubble type if they bought the other one first. This was him making a made to order MOC.

On Power Droid he used a square bubble with an extended lower backplate and also a rectangular bubble. Genuine cards have a double stemmed bubble.

GM ESB 45b

The GM45B was released very shortly after the GM45A. The first difference is that the inverted V shape of the punch is replaced with the more rounded U shape seen on the rest of the Palitoy cards. This makes the front of the card identical to the Palitoy 45B card.

The other change is the removal of the English text ‘STAR WARS ACTION FIGURES Collect all 45’ that is above the picture of the 45 action figures on the back of the card. This was because no English text was wanted on cards destined for the German market. All of the figures can be found on this card release except for Sand People, Jawa & Zuckuss. Sand People has not been seen on Palitoy 45B or the Clipper CL45 cards either, so it looks like it never existed. Jawa has been seen on Clipper CL45 so there is a chance a German card may exist. And Zuckuss has not been seen on Palitoy 45B so it is unlikely that existed on a German card either. Almost all used cardbacks are of the GM45B variation. This is because the GM45A variation was withdrawn shortly after release so very few of them made it into shops.

The text on the Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Sensorscope) card under the name plate on the front of the card was changed to ‘jetzt mit Sensorscope’ on the German version of the card which translates to ‘Now with Sensorscope’. On C-3PO (Removeable Limbs) it was changed to ‘jetzt mit abnehmbaren Armen und Beinen sowie mit Rucksack’ which translates to ‘Now with detachable arms and legs as well as with backpack’.

The Palitoy factory ran out of Palitoy 45B cards for some of it’s figures and used German General Mills cards instead. The card has a Palitoy sticker covering the entire bottom half of the reverse of the card to cover up the German writing. This sticker had the same text as on the back of the bottom half of the Palitoy 45C variation. This sticker had been seen on AT-AT Commander, Dengar and R2-D2 (With Sensorscope) and is known as 45BD on the Palitoy matrix.
Also, the black wrap round Clipper sticker seen on the Palitoy 45A card and other Palitoy cards has been seen on the Leia Hoth figure on this card variation.
 
This card also saw the same bubbles being used to seal the cards as were used on the Palitoy 45B card. These were double stemmed bubbles or single stemmed bubbles with a bubble number embossed in the bottom right hand corner of the bubble. On the Boba Fett figure, the factory sealer left a distinctive half moon gap in the bubble seal at the top of the card on the wider double stemmed bubble that was used with this figure. You can see the half moon gap highlighted on the used cardback shown next to the MOC example.

For the smaller figures like Yoda and Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Sensorscope), smaller double stemmed bubbles were used with long stems. This can be seen on the 2 MOC examples on the left. On right there are 2 used cardback examples that show the bubble imprint for a longer bubble that was used for Yoda and single stem bubble that was used for Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Sensorscope) as well.

German cards were almost half of the 11534 unused cardbacks acquired by Toy Toni after the Palitoy factory in Coalville closed and subsequently made into MOC with unused bubbles. Of the 4714 German cards 3195 are of this second card type GM45B. The unused cardbacks were 563 Han Solo (Hoth Outfit), 526 Stormtrooper, 500 Bossk (Bounty Hunter), 357 C-3PO (Removeable Limbs), 276 IG-88 (Bounty Hunter), 171 Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Sensorscope), 162 Han Solo (Bespin Outift), 160 AT-AT Driver, 138 Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, 97 Han Solo, 85 Yoda, 69 Bespin Security Guard (White) and 25 Princess Leia Organa. The numbers for Bossk (Bounty Hunter) and Bespin Security Guard (White) is a 50/50 split between Palitoy and German cardbacks as large quantities of mint MOCs exist for both and the original sales list of unused cardbacks did not differentiate well between ESB Palitoy and German cards. The numbers for Han Solo and AT-AT Driver is a 50/50 split between the GM45A and later GM45B variation where both variations have been seen as Toy Tonis.
 
Toni had 13 different figures of this card variation so there is about a 50/50 split between different German cards types he had as there were 14 GM45A cards he had as well. In quantity he had almost twice as many of this card variation versus the GM45A variation.
 
Toni used single stem bubbles which have no number embossed on them in the bottom right hand corner. Bubbles used on genuine factory cards have this number. Toni also had a supply of the 03 bubble, so bubbles with 03 embossed on them could be his too. Figures used a fixed bubble number and these are detailed on the Palitoy 45B page. So if a figure is using the wrong bubble number, this is also a sign that the card is not genuine.

You can see that for C-3PO (Removeable Limbs) that the bubble he used isn’t wide enough to accommodate the arms of the figure and the sides of the bubble bulge out where the hands are as a result.

Toni also used double stemmed bubbles. The angle between the top of the double stemmed bubble is more pronounced on Tonis bubbles making them look more pointy, whereas on genuine double stemmed bubbles there is no angle and they don’t look pointy. He would regularly offer both bubble types to collectors saying that it would take him a few days to locate the other bubble type if they bought the other one first. This was him making a made to order MOC. For Yoda, he used a smaller double stemmed bubble with shorter stems than double stemmed bubble with longer stems seen in the genuine examples above. For Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Sensorscope) he used a larger double stemmed bubble with shorter stems than the double stemmed bubble with longer stems seen in the genuine examples above.

GM ROTJ 45c

The GM45C variation was the last German card variation to be produced and featured the ROTJ logo instead of the ESB logo. The card is identical to the GM45B variation with the ESB logo on the front and back of the card being replaced with the ROTJ logo. Very few figures have been found on this card variation and they are really rare. There are just 6 that have been found so far. These are Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot), Leia Organa (Bespin Gown), Boba Fett, Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Sensorscope), (Twin-Pod) Cloud Car Pilot and Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot.
 
The Palitoy factory ran out of Palitoy 45C cards for some of it’s figures and used German General Mills cards instead. The card has a Palitoy sticker covering the entire bottom half of the reverse of the card to cover up the German writing. This sticker had the same text as on the back of the bottom half of the Palitoy 45C variation so that it matched that card. This sticker has only been seen on R2-D2 (With Sensorscope) and is known as 45CD on the Palitoy matrix. Only a few of these R2-D2 (With Sensorscope) cards have shown up with the sticker applied, and even less of them without the sticker. The example below has the German writing visible at the bottom of the card as the sticker has been applied to the card at an angle.

This card saw the same bubbles being used to seal the cards as were used on the Palitoy 45B card. These were double stemmed bubbles or single stemmed bubbles with a bubble number embossed in the bottom right hand corner of the bubble. This card variation also used Tri-Logo style bubbles which have rounded bubble corners and square corners on the back plate as can be seen on the Boba Fett cardback below.

German cards were almost half of the 11534 unused cardbacks acquired by Toy Toni after the Palitoy factory in Coalville closed and subsequently made into MOC with unused bubbles. Of the 4714 German cards 36 are of this third card type GM45C. The unused cardbacks were 30 (Twin-Pod) Cloud Car Pilot) and 6 Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot. For Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot, the card was listed as Palitoy on the original sales list, but this variation does not exist, so it is assumed to be German General Mills which does exist.
 
Despite Toni having so few of these cards, these account for most of the MOC examples as there are so few of these cards that have been found. Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot) is a one of a kind cardback that was shop sold. Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) has 2 examples, both Tonis. The Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) shown above came directly from Toni and has tell tale signs of iron marks. It is likely that some of these cards were produced but never released to market, and they only got into collector hands through Toni after he acquired them from the Palitoy factory after it closed. Boba Fett was shop sold as examples of used opened cardbacks can be found for this figure. And the R2-D2 (With Sensorscope) card was used with a Palitoy sticker on the back as a Palitoy 45C replacement card for the UK market. Other unique examples of figures on this card may exist.

CL ROTJ 45a

The CL45 card is an ESB Clipper card produced for the Dutch and Belgian markets and is referred to as a Clipper card or Dutch Clipper card or just Dutch card. This was produced in the factory at the same time as the regular Palitoy 45B card and featured the same set of 45 figures on the back of the card. The front of the card has 2 differences to the Palitoy 45B card. The first difference is a tilted white box on the top left hand corner on the front of the card that says ‘Gratis Premies! Zie Achterzijde’ and ‘Offre Gratuite. Voir Au Verso.’ The phrase is the Dutch and French for ‘For free offers! See back’. The second difference is in the top right hand corner where it is says ‘4 jaar en ouder’ which is Dutch for ‘4 years and older’.

The back of the CL45 card is the same as the back of the Palitoy 45B card with the special offer at the bottom of the card being replaced with a white box contained details of the special offers available in Dutch on the left hand side and in French on the right hand side. Below this white box is copyright and address details for Clipper Games and Toys B.V.

There were 3 offers which were available. These were roughly translated as ‘With the purchase of 4 figurines Star Wars. A Boba Fett or a Survival Kit. Free of charge’, ‘With the purchase of 12 Star Wars figurines, a free Arena display’ and ‘With the purchase of 20 Star Wars figurines, a collector’s box’Darth Vader’ free’. Following that are details of how to send in for the special offers with an address in Amsterdam and Brussels on the Dutch side of the white box, and a different address in Brussels for the French side of the white box.

The Dutch text ‘AKTIEFIGUURTJES 1-45’ is above the picture of the 45 action figures on the back of the card. There are 5 figures which have yet to be seen on this card variation. They are Han Solo, Sand People, Star Destroyer Commander, Snaggletooth and Boba Fett. Sand People has not been seen on Palitoy 45B or the German General Mills GM45A & GM45B cards either, so it looks like it never existed. Boba Fett is unlikely to exist too.

The text on the Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Sensorscope) card under the name plate on the front of the card was changed to ‘nu met Sensorscope’ on the Dutch version of the card which translates to ‘Now with Sensorscope’. On C-3PO (Removeable Limbs) it was changed to ‘nu met verwijderbare romp armen en benen + rugzak’ which translates to ‘Now with removable trunk arms and legs + backpack’.
 
The Palitoy factory ran out of Palitoy 45B cards for some of it’s figures and used Dutch Clipper cards instead. The card has a Palitoy sticker covering the entire bottom half of the reverse of the card to cover up the Dutch and French writing. This sticker had the same text as on the back of the bottom half of the Palitoy 45C variation. This sticker had only been seen on Zuckuss and is known as 45BN on the Palitoy matrix. They would have used a German General Mills card if one was available, but there is no Zuckuss card for this either.

This card saw the same bubbles being used to seal the cards as were used on the Palitoy 45B card. These were double stemmed bubbles that have a waffle seal pattern visible or single stemmed bubbles with a bubble number embossed in the bottom right hand corner of the bubble. The seals on single stemmed bubbles have a smooth seal unlike the waffle seal seen on the double stemmed bubbles. The Dengar card used a wide double stemmed bubble which is very low down versus the coloured bubble area on the card.

Clipper cards accounted for 277 of the 11534 unused cardbacks acquired by Toy Toni after the Palitoy factory in Coalville closed and subsequently made into MOC with unused bubbles. The unused cardbacks were 72 Rebel Commander, 69 Hammerhead, 69 Bespin Security Guard (White), 56 Walrus Man and 11 Dengar. Rebel Commander and Bespin Security Guard (White) were not listed as being Clipper on the original sales list that Toni got, but both the German General Mills and Dutch Clipper were offered on toytoni.com, so a 50/50 split is assumed. Hammerhead, Walrus Man and Dengar were listed as German on the sales list but these were not offered for sale on toytoni.com, but the Clipper versions were so they are assumed to be Clipper.
 
Toni used single stem bubbles which have no number embossed on them in the bottom right hand corner. Bubbles used on genuine factory cards have this number. Toni also had a supply of the 03 bubble, so bubbles with 03 embossed on them could be his too. Figures used a fixed bubble number and these are detailed on the Palitoy 45B page. So if a figure is using the wrong bubble number, this is also a sign that the card is not genuine.

Toni also used double stemmed bubbles and these are narrower than the double stemmed bubbles that were normally used on genuine cards. He would regularly offer both bubble types to collectors saying that it would take him a few days to locate the other bubble type if they bought the other one first. This was him making a made to order MOC.