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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)
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.
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.
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.
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.