Artwork, Cardbacks

Top Toys cardbacks & cross sell art

Special thanks to Martin Alejandro Salinas for sending me all of the Top Toys cardback scans used in this article and providing some background information as well.

Typically the cross sell art used on the backs of Top Toys cards was the same as what appeared on US cards. One exception to that is Jitsu, where a photograph (mirror reversed) of the toy was used rather than artwork:

Another interesting difference is Two Bad. Although the artwork is the same as was used on US cards, Two Bad was grouped with the Evil Horde:

Below we have Zodac’s card, which is similar to the US reissue card, but the layout of cross sell art characters is changed, and it also includes larger toys like Castle Grayskull and Battle Cat:

By comparison, here is the US version of Zodac’s 1983 cardback.

Here is a selection of additional cardbacks from various Top Toys figures. One note is that the Trap Jaw cross sell art is the “jawless” version that appeared in later US cardbacks as well as on the backs of many of the US minicomics.

Another interesting note: Hordak’s cardback includes a blurred-out section for the Evil Horde faction on the back, with a message saying the the Evil Horde would arrive soon. Martin notes that Grizzlor, whose silhouette is visible in the blurred image, was never produced in Argentina.

Finally, Martin says that at the tail end of the line in Argentina, Toy Toys began using generic cards for figures. On the backs of those cards they used artwork from the cover of first issue of the Star Comics Masters of the Universe series. The name of the figure would be announced on the front with a sticker, since it wasn’t printed on the actual card.

Image via He-Man.org

Because there were no instructions for the toy printed on the back of the card, they would include a black and white printout of the instructions inserted in the bubble with the figure:

Thanks again to Martin for the wonderful scans and background information. This website would not be half as comprehensive as it is without contributions from fans like Martin!

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2 thoughts on “Top Toys cardbacks & cross sell art

  1. Very cool article!

    We would often travel from Ohio back to England in the 1980s for summer vacations and to visit relatives, and seeing the differences in both the packaging and the toys themselves in other countries is a real eye-opener.

  2. Seeing the old Star Comics MOTU cover has made me want to reread the series again; my oldest friend from childhood (still good mates after meeting as 5 year olds back in ’84!) had most of the issues (think he was only missing 2 from memory) including the awesome 2-part time-travel final issues “Life Time” which is the highlight of the run. Last read them in the late 90’s when were were housing together as university students but he still has them in his bookshelf as of 2023. Be cool to see an article on those comics unless I’ve missed it here !

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