Saturday, December 12, 2009

A "Team Mirage" set of toys? Not quite...

I was poking around in the storage space under my old studio today (looking for stocking stuffers, if you must know), and came across these two curiosities. I remember finding both of these sets in the mid-1990's at a local Toys 'R' Us (the Mirage dudes and I used to go to toy stores a lot back in those days), and being amused by the fact that this toy company had taken a photo of our Team Mirage-sponsored AMA Superbike roadracer, Dale Quarterley, and used it prominently on the packaging of these sets of "racing" toys. I'm not sure where they got the photo, although I know for certain that we didn't supply it to them. Here's a photo of the large set...



... and one of the small set...



... and a close-up of the photo of Dale (at speed on his Kawasaki race bike) which they used on both packages.



We never had any contact with the company which did this, and I have often wondered how they chose Dale, out of all the possible motorcycle racers around at the time, to decorate their packaging. Although it isn't terribly easy to see in this photo, Dale's bike DOES have the Team Mirage logo on its bodywork, as well as the abstract TMNT face design, and during those days of Team Mirage we made no secret of the TMNT connection. I wonder if the people behind this packaging saw that and thought they might get some mileage for their toys out of that connection.

I suspect not, mostly because it's not THAT obvious. I would guess that they just thought the image of Dale on his bike was cool and colorful (right on both counts) and would help to catch a kid's eye in the toy aisles. I have no idea how well these sets sold, or if the photo of Dale was used on any other packaging. -- PL

7 comments:

  1. How can I contact you about a previous 'Blast from the Past' post you made featuring a piece of artwork you did with Donatello and Varcel From The Aniverse? I would do anything to contact you and tell you my story of the importance that piece of artwork is to me and I am very interested in purchasing it if you would sell it. I am sorry to make a post like this in a comments section, but I see not direct e-mail to contact you.

    http://plairdblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/donatello-with-pinup.html

    Thanks so much for even possibly considering this.

    Best,
    Jason Moore

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  2. dale?uh,i think his names godman...
    haha.i had to mention PR somehow!

    i dont know if it was intentional but even if its not its cool his colors match the mirage turtles.

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  3. This post is particularly interesting to me for a few reasons. I guess the first being that I'm fairly sure I owned this at some point in my childhood.

    Although I'm not certain, the reason I believe I did was because I remember wanting to have another Hot Wheels ice cream truck for some reason, and the one in the set (third from the bottom on the left side) is identical to an authentic HW car form the '80s, the "Good Humor Ice Cream Truck" you can see a pic here:

    http://cdn1.ioffer.com/img/item/459/036/26/car_41_(492_x_395).jpg

    The thing that's interesting about that though, is this is clearly not an official Mattel product, so they were obviously reusing molds (presumably) without permission form Mattel, much in the same way they used the photo of Dale Quarterley without Mirage's permission.

    I've found over my years of toy collecting Toys R Us sold a large variety of bootleg or knock-off toys throughout the 80s and 90s, but remarkably never seemed to have any legal trouble as a result, despite being the largest US retailer of the authentic brands they were also selling at the time.

    Really interesting post, thanks for sharing!

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  4. " Tyrgermanic said...
    dale?uh,i think his names godman...
    haha.i had to mention PR somehow!

    i dont know if it was intentional but even if its not its cool his colors match the mirage turtles."

    It was definitely intentional. It was also convenient that the Kawasakis Dale raced were at that time painted in "Kawasaki green", a signature color of the Kawasaki brand which was pretty darn close to what I would consider "TMNT green". -- PL

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  5. in other countries where us copywrite laws hold no meaning they will basically take a toy they imported and create a mold for production in their country rather than pay people to make original molds. This creates confusion in the market where someone might think they are actually selling originals. sometimes these knock offs actually make it back into the US, but toys r us is really not to blame as they are just trusting their vendors. here's a link to an informative humorous short animated gif cartoon I made on the subject of the quality of Chinese goods:
    http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n203/StiggieVandell/BABYEPISODETWO.gif

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  6. PL said...
    " It was also convenient that the Kawasakis Dale raced were at that time painted in "Kawasaki green", a signature color of the Kawasaki brand which was pretty darn close to what I would consider "TMNT green"."

    i didnt notice that,but i just held leonardo #1 (from 86 i believe)and the greens are pretty damn close!cool.
    too bad thats not a bike anymore,that wouldve been awesome to see the tmnt racer race in real life.

    ReplyDelete