Meccano Cardbacks

Stéphane Faucourt

Stéphane Faucourt

Jeff Echtenkamp

Jeff Echtenkamp

Stéphane Faucourt

Stéphane Faucourt

Jeff Echtenkamp

Jeff Echtenkamp


Texts / descriptions are copyrighted property of Stephane Faucourt, granted to Variant Villain usage on this page ; they can not be used or reproduced in any means without Stephane Faucourt’s express approval.


The United Kingdom [PALITOY] and France [Meccano] were among the few countries to use specific domestic packaging (adapted to the local market and produced by local teams) from the start of the original Trilogy marketing era (1978 to 1983). Meccano “Guerre des Etoiles” French toy line is characterized by significant details that make it quite unique, especially by the distinctive square blister card format used from the second wave of Star Wars action figures until the late Empire Strikes Back marketing era.


Meccano: Card Fronts (in order of marketing)


Meccano 12 back

Packaging used for the initial release of the first wave of 12 figures in France by licensee MECCANO. It meets Kenner-Palitoy quality standards (including blisters) and has been adapted for the domestic market with French characters names, prominent French movie and Meccano logos.

Meccano GDE1

This exclusive [almost] square format was introduced in 1979 by Meccano using the French Canadian horizontal logo. It features a Black-and-white logo with Meccano’s famous pitch line.

Meccano GDE2

Second card front introduced in 1980 with Luke X-Wing pilot and R5-D4, used only for those two characters. It features a RED logo introduced that same year.

Meccano GDE3

Third card front featuring the “MM” (for Miro-Meccano) starting late 1980 to reflect the recent merger between the two companies.

Meccano GDE4

Fourth variant, same as the previous front with an added “Miro-Meccano” text. Used from 1981, It was a transition cardback to the ESB line.

Meccano ECA1

Very first release for the ESB line from 1980 used only for the first three characters released. It shows the “MM” Miro-Meccano logo, and white lines racetrack (instead of the standard silver racetrack) around the picture, and dull cardboard surface. It is always combined with the 20-C back card.

Meccano ECA2

Second release extended to the first six ESB character released. It was printed on a more vibrant surface (as GDE cardbacks) with “Miro-Meccano” text added below the “MM” logo and assortment number added in the bottom left corner.

Meccano ECA3

Cardback used for the rest of the series, the white lines were replaced by the more standard single-line silver racetrack.

Meccano ROJ1

Initial release for the French ROTJ “Retour du Jedi” line in 1983 used only to re-release a selection of characters from the previous movies. It is associated with the 45-backs and can be distinguished from the latter ROJ2 from the assortment number located in the top-left corner. In most cases, plastic blisters are the same shapes as those used on square cards.

Meccano ROJ2

Card front used for a later batch from a selection of the characters that had been released on ROJ1. It remains unchanged from the previous front, but without the assortment number and some characters having their names restored to their original English name (eg. Chiquetaba to Chewbacca). Blisters are Palitoy ROTJ style. The back now shows 65 figures.

Meccano ROJ3

Card front used with the release of the 17 new Return of the Jedi series. The design has been updated with a larger logo and country of origin (coo) sticker is often found at the bottom right corner to meet French regulation. Tape is often found at the top and bottom of the blister, applied at the factory to prevent detaching due to a particularly weak seal.

Meccano: Card Backs (in order of marketing)

Meccano 12A

The back of the card follows Kenner-Palitoy 12-backs pattern with instructions for the mail-away diorama offer, it even featured the instructional diagram for the double-telescopic saber although it wasn’t released in France.

Meccano 20A

Only used with the first twelve figures reissues to square cards. It showcases the first and second waves totaling 20 figures.

Meccano 20B

Same as Meccano 20-A, with minor updates showing the new red-coloured 1980 Meccano logo and the Lucasfilm copyright mention in the lower left area.

Meccano 20C

Based on Meccano 20-B, a transition design between the Star Wars “Guerre des Etoiles” and ESB “Empire contre-Attaque” lines in 1980. The previous copyright mention is no longer printed.

Meccano 18A

Partially updated “GDE” cardback. Only the six figures from the 1980 “Empire Strikes Back” series are shown out of the 18 figures showcased. The ESB backing card was never updated to reflect the remaining figures from the ESB range.

Meccano 45A

The back shows 45 action figures (some not available in France indicated with “*”), Miro-Meccano notifications and logo.

Meccano 65A

Initial back for the new line of ROTJ-related figures and previous line reissues on ROJ2 front. It shows 65 action figures, with blackened-out Ewoks, and partially inaccurate markings in the availability list.

Meccano 65B

Same as 65-A except a few more figures are now set as available (eg. Tie Fighter Pilot) to reflect their imminent release, which would happen on the upcoming Trilogo packaging.