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 Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar

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Joseph_Y
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PostSubject: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 4:03 pm

This is the first of many articles being written for the TIG interactive section. It'll be a few days before the HTML version is ready to go live, so.... Here's a sneak peak at the Arco Spacewar article:



Arco toys out of Westbury, New York, were there and on the shelf in early 1978 producing the Spacewar line of knock off Star Wars toys - taking advantage of Kenner's slow response to the overwhelming demand for Star Wars toys. The Arco Spacewar line was an offshoot of its Playkid line which was very similar to the Playmobil, Airgam Boys, and Fisher Price Adventure People lines. The Spacewar line was available in many retail outlets thru America, especially 5 and dime stores (the 70s equivalent of a "dollar" store) as well as Woolworths and K-Mart. The 6 Spacewar figures retailed for just under $1 each.
The human character (most commonly considered to be "Luke") in the Spacewar line is the only one available on both a Playkid header card as well as a Spacewar card. BOTH are exceedingly rare. The other major variation on this line's packaging was that the (at the time) retail giant Woolworth had Arco send them their version of the Spacewar line with a slightly altered card. Gone was the die cut detailing and the addition of the Woolworth logo at the bottom of the card to distinguish the product for their stores. The Woolworth versions are ultra rare, and in fact some figures have yet to publicly surface on a Woolworth card, although they were produced. So far no examples of certain figures are known to have survived.

Here are carded examples of the entire Arco Spacewar line.

R2-D2
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485353590_93538f7dc4_z

Chewbacca
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485363658_0c8bed616f_z

Stormtrooper
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485353010_1aea9fc680_z

Woolworth card C-3PO
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485364454_aa8dbf6f70_z

Regular card C-3PO
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485340158_25b256c723_z

Woolworth card Darth Vader
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485351092_eeb83b503f_z

Regular card Darth Vader
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485351930_07e3dda3c1_z

"Luke"
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485362774_25bb0bb0ae_z

Also on the earlier Playkid card he was called "Moon Walker"
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485361884_f9e2e4dcc3_z


One of the great things about Arco having been a US based toy company that produced knock off SW items, is that some examples of pre production material have surfaced. Here are two examples of prototype figures and packaging art that came up and are now in collector hands. A mock up for a multipack that was never released, it has alternative art on a cromalin that's been glued to thicker cardstock and the decals are hand made with hardcopy heads on the figures.
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485360452_644918b341_z

The mock up for the "Luke" Spacewar package here is much different than what was released. I'd gather that they used the Luke for this early stage piece, as he was already produced in their Playkid line. Similar to the 3 pack, the "Luke" card is also a cromalin glued to thicker cardstock
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485359658_fb6965b8fd_z

The Playkid Spacewar line wasn't limited to just action figures. They also made a Galaxy Control playset, as well as several dart guns, and a sparkling gun with some great card art.

Galaxy Control playset:
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485361086_72841df984_z

Target guns in both blue and red. An odd packaging variant on the blue ones, one with the gun carded at an angle, and the other with the gun straight across.
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485342748_2e4b26e2ef_z
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485342046_f9d0c9d08e_z
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485341318_804fea7c3c_z

The same gun carded without the metal target. Two variations, one with blue darts, one with red darts
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485340700_dc99f061cd
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485339598_e9f8032358

Last but certainly not least in our journey into this great US released knock off line we have the "Sparkling Space Pistol"
Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar 7485343278_a7a8712450_z

If anyone has any other examples of items from this line that are not shown here, especially Woolworth carded figures and prototype material, please feel free to email me at jyx1138@aol.com or thru the message system here at TIG

Enjoy
Joe

PS: The UZAY article should be finished by tues/wed, and a similar sneak previ


Last edited by Joseph_Y on Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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emperorburns
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Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar Empty
PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 4:23 pm

absolutly awsome joe bow i knew this would be a mammoth task to do the write up and pics for each and every line... but it's going to be well worth it :Drool: and cheaper and quicker than the other avenue we considered Stormie Smiley i really want to give you a big big thank you for all that you are doing here :clap: i can't wait so see them all done study
sorry for dragging my feet with any pics,time is really short these days,just utterlly swamped at work sick and the time i've had to take pics they've just turned out to fuzzy Sad but i hope to dedicate some time to take a bunch again soon cheers
keep up the good work buddy,it's very much apprieciated king

daren
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rubberlike
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PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 4:33 pm

The sculpts and artwork on some of these are really amazing. I haven't gotten in to Arcos yet but I could see it happening some day in the not too distant future. Great work! I can't wait to see the Uzay article!
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Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar Empty
PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 5:42 pm

Oh man those are amazing. So much to learn about bootlegs, I can only echo what Daren wrote, again thanks for the effort Joe (and everyone else who has/will contribute).

I love that 3 pack prototype, beautiful stuff Shocked
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GanjaFett
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PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 7:28 pm

Very nice Joe! I also can't wait to see the other articles.

Really exciting time for bootlegs Smile
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Joseph_Y
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Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar Empty
PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 7:37 pm

They're coming. I had the bulk of this article written a while ago,and just took some better pics of my collection this past weekend and put it together in the downtime while waiting for a few more bits of info and pics of pieces to finish the Uzay article with. Glad you like it so far....LOTS more to come.

Cheers
Joe
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starwarsaw
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Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar Empty
PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 7:50 pm

Stunning moment - here we go, the beginning of a new era :drumroll:


Joe - wasn't it Uzay line to be first?

Jakub
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Joseph_Y
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PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 7:54 pm

It was, but as stated above your post I was waiting for some additional info and pics, and already had the skeleton of this article together. So it got finished first. No worries the Uzay article is days away from being done....

Cheers
Joe
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Michael Ritter
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Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar Empty
PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 8:48 pm

I've been exposed to the Arco line thanks to you and JohnA so I knew about the figures, but I never realized the full scope of the line. Thanks Joe for writing this up and sharing!!

Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 05, 2012 9:51 pm

That's some awesome stuff Joe. Great work.

I swear I had one of those sparking pistols but I remember giving it away to another kid since I was embarrassed that it looked "cheap". If we only knew then...
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PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 06, 2012 12:58 am

Like others have said, great job on the article. There are so many different "bootleg/knock-off" style figures out there its simply amazing. I remember playing with the Spacewar toys as a kid and not until now realized the Star Wars connection. I'm sure I've passed over these toys since thinking they were playmobile toys. Great informational articles like this are inspiring. Now theres something new to look for. I myself have just started getting into the bootleg figures and have opened a whole new door. Thank you Joe for the article and look forward to the bootleg panal at CVI.
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Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar Empty
PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 06, 2012 2:42 am

Great writeup and pics Joe! In your research, were these ever found for sale outside the US?
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Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar Empty
PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 06, 2012 2:51 am

This hobby has so many branches & new things to learn about. It's great that you're sharing your wealth of information Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 06, 2012 2:46 pm

@JesseVader08 wrote:
Great writeup and pics Joe! In your research, were these ever found for sale outside the US?

I've heard rumors that they were available in UK Woolworths, but until I see one, or even a cardback for one with a UK price tag or sticker on it, I wouldn't want to add it to the article, just based on hearsay.

Cheers
Joe
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Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar Empty
PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeSun Jul 08, 2012 7:06 pm

Awesome start Joe, can't wait to see more articles in the future. I didn't realize the Arco line had such a rich history. Good job!
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PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 10, 2012 8:45 pm

Joe,

Outstanding article. Very informative and the pictures are incredible. I remember seeing the version of C3PO at CV. Very cool looking, but I had no clue how rare the line is until reading your article.
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Joseph_Y
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PostSubject: Re: Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar   Special SNEAK PREVIEW of the first article for TIG: Arco Spacewar I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 21, 2012 3:02 pm

Hopefully it'll be transfered to HTML over the next few days. I'm putting the finishing touches on the Uzay article this weekend. I'm too much of a perfectionist when given free reign to do things, and nothing's ever exactly right,so things sometimes take longer than expected.

Cheers and enjoy
Joe
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