Welcome to another Super Powers foreign release Focus post! Today I will be highlighting the infamous Gulliver Juguetes Super Powers line from South America. This line is definitely notable due to it's inclusion of an exclusive figure, El Capitan Rayo..... but lets start with the basics.
From what I could find from several discussions online, Gulliver Juguetes Super Powers figures (I'll refer it as "Gulliver" from now on) were produced between 1986 and 1995 (please don't quote me on those years) and distributed in Colombia. There are several references to Gulliver actually being a Brazilian company, as evidenced by their website. At least they didn't get bought out and dissolved like Kenner and looks like they are still producing toys to this day. I do however, lean towards the line actually being produced for the Colombian market, due to the following placed on the Gulliver figures cardbacks:
It appears, that initially, the Gulliver figures did indeed have a licensing agreement between Kenner and DC Comics, due to a copyright and trademark statement at the back of the figures:
Under the DC/Kenner license, Gulliver released 7 figures that mirror their Kenner counterparts, but to a certain degree!
Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Robin, can be found at www.kennersuperpowers.com, and a Batman example has shown up in a picture on the Super Powers Blog at Action Figure Insider. Below are the pictures of the Superman and Wonder Woman pieces that I have in my collection.
By inspection of the figures, it is note worthy to say that their quality is VERY substandard as compared to their Kenner counterparts. The capes on the figure appear to be made of some sort of vinyl or plastic, as compared to cloth on some of the other lines. The paint quality appears to be very cheap and missing some of the details (See the Wonder Woman picture above), as well as the head sculpts and paint looking rather gnarly! As you can tell from my Wonder Woman example, the mouth has a distinctive smirk, which adds character to the figure, but is a good example of the bad quality paint job! Heck.. the picture on the cardback has stars on Wonder Woman's undies.. however the figure does not...do Colombians have something against stars? I also suspect that these figures do not exhibit the "Power Action" features like their Kenner counterparts, but I am not willing to open any of mine to find out! If anyone knows, please let me know.
However, what is somewhat exclusive to the Gulliver line, is the inclusion of a poster that our amigos could hang on their wall. The only other Super Powers line (that I know of) that packages posters with the figures are the Trilingual Super Powers figures, which were distributed in Europe. At least the Colombian kids had something different included than all of us USA/Canadian kids, but in my opinion, doesn't make up for the poor quality figure.
If I were discussing one of the other foreign lines, I would probably be wrapping things up by now, however, there is much more to the Gulliver story!
What makes the Gulliver line kinda neat in my opinion, and as evidenced by the sky high prices paid for this particular figure, is the inclusion of the "El Capitan Rayo" figure. This figure cannot be found anywhere else in any of the foreign releases of Super Powers figures. I won't go into too much detail about Rayo, since a former collector blogged about him on Action Figure Insider, but he is so noteworthy I gotta say at least something!
Based on the Wikipedia Article (which I normally don't like to reference), Rayo was created by Gulliver, and has never appeared an any comic books. Based on some discussions I have read, it appears the Abominable Snowman is his arch enemy, which also also has appeared on a Gulliver cardback, but whether or not it was an actual Gulliver figure as a part of this line is up for discussion, and might be a bootleg. If you want to know more about this figure, please read the Abominable Snowman Wikipedia Article. Damn it.. I just referred to Wikipedia again!
Well.... back to Rayo... What I find interesting about him is the fact that his card front exhibits a "Super Heroes" logo, instead of a "Super Powers" logo. I would assume that since Gulliver created this figure on their own, they could not properly call him a "Super Powers" figure, due to the licensing from DC and Kenner. By inspection of the pictures below, you can see the "Super Heroes" logo, and some other notable details on the back of the figure's card. You can tell that he was a serious addition to the line, since his picture is included in the figure list. However just below the picture of the figure list, you can see the copyright and trademark are not for DC or Kenner, which I suspect they were protecting themselves from a lawsuit on marketing him with the "Super Powers" brand. However, wouldn't you think they would need to keep the DC/Kenner license anyways, since they included pictures of the other figures? Nonetheless, many Super Powers collectors consider him a part of the Gulliver line, and pay top dollar for him!
I would like to thank NICKINNY for allowing me to post pictures of his Capitan Rayo on my blog! I do not have him in my collection, but it is nice to have some other collectors that are willing to provide photo examples from their collection!
There are some known variances of Rayo, such as different: chest emblems, shades of hair color, and paint jobs, which is expertly detailed at the blog entry at Action Figure Insider.
At this point, I am going to close out this blog entry and discuss what I have seen recently as far as the Gulliver line in the collectables market. Over the past year (2011-2012) or so, each carded Gulliver figure has shown up on eBay for sale, so there has been some recent buying opportunities for a collector to get their hands on all these guys. The one thing that really stands out to me though, is that in some cases. the selling price for these guys have risen, and in some cases been sold recently for 2-4 times the selling prices in 2011. Are they that rare?, is there a steep increase of Super Powers collectors?, is the economy recovering?... who knows! All that I can say is that it appears the Gulliver line has its own appeal and charm, people are paying top dollar for them, and represents noteworthy inclusion in a foreign Super Powers collection!
Thanks for reading! Chao!