The Story of Playmates
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Here is a list of all of the figures that I have from this series:


The Story of Playmates
The Story of Playmates
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Name Serial No. Asst No. Stock No.
The Story of Playmates None None None

Additional Notes: Playmates was founded originally,as a Hong Kong-based manufacturing facility which could be commissioned by any US or European company to make toys. The big break came for the company in 1975 when it launched a range of pre-school items which were highly successful, giving them sufficient financial muscle to become a toy producer in their own right. Two years later the company established its first subsidiary operation in the U.S. a move which ultimately led to the migration of its headquarters to California in 1986. What moved Playmates truly into big league status was the acquisition of rights to produce action figures based around a modestly budgeted children s film due for release in 1988. That movie was “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles“. At the peak of Turtle-mania in 1990, world-wide sales of action figures, play sets and associated vehicles topped the $200 million mark. One reason behind the success of the Turtles range was undoubtably the size of the figures. Ever since the Star Wars merchandising boom of the mid-Seventies, action figures had been standardised as just under four inches in height. The Turtles were the first to be tried at nearer five inches, which opened up greater freedom in articulation design, detailing and the level of accessories that could be provided. In every respect they were role models for the future of this type of retailing. In 1991 Playmates took the bold step of a license deal with Paramount Pictures to produce a range of 12 figures based on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Bold, because the non-networked series had been running on air for around four years, bolder still because the show had already seen off one set of action figures, produced by Galoob in 1988. Again though, mega-success was forthcoming. The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-D was released in mid-1992 and the rest, as they say, is history. As Playmates licensing deal with Paramount Pictures only covered the US territories, the company entered into an agreement with one of the Japanese toy corporations that had managed to gain a foothold in Europe - Bandai, to extend distribution of their products to Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, the raw materials - the action figures themselves - would continue to be moulded and painted in China (where all the fine detailing and any intricate paint-work is still done by hand), but packaging and final assembly would be done by Bandai in Europe. This enabled Bandai to circumvent restrictions by claiming. truthfully, that the toys were made in Europe. With an eye too on potential markets available through the EEC, the initial ranges of ST: THG action figures were marketed in blister packs with instructions and information printed in French and Spanish as well as English. At least Jean-Luc Picard would have needed little in the way of translation for Parisian shops. Copyright: Jeremy Bentham, Star Trek Magazine, October 1995.