The GeeksverseReused Toy Molds Part 1

Reused Toy Molds Part 1
Published on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 by

Toy companies have been reusing toy molds to create new toys for years. If it wasn’t for this cost cutting practice, Masters of the Universe would have been a much smaller toy line, the first year of GI Joe would have only had 11 figures instead of 17 and the Secret Wars would have been fought by a small handful of figures. Even today, you see many toy lines featuring repainted figures and toys sharing duplicate parts. Transformers, MOTUC, GI Joe & Marvel Universe being the biggest users of this practice.

Toy molds weren’t always reused in the toy line they were originally designed for. Sometimes an accessory would cross over to another toy line while other times a whole figure would make that journey.
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Back in 1983 Mattel reused an eagle mold from their 1973 Big Jim toy line. Masters of the Universe’s Zoar & Screech were a straight reuse of the eagle mold from the Big Josh Eagle Set with some new paint and removable accessories.

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In 1987 Mattel retooled a couple of guns from the 1984 Wheeled Warriors line to be added to the Power Base playset in the Captain Power toy line. As you can see in the second picture, the mold had the injection points changed and the hole in the back of the gun was filled during the Wheeled Warriors run. This mold then had the connector peg shortened for the Captain Power toy line.

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Kenner’s Peter Venkman from the Ghostbusters Screaming Heroes subset came with a laser light accessory in 1989. Six years later, that accessory showed up in a galaxy far, far away as half of Chewbacca’s rifle in the Star Wars Power of the Force II toy line. The laser light was turned upside down, the barrel was extended, the handle was removed and parts were added to give it a rifle appearance.

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One of the most well known examples of mold reuse would be evident in the original Transformers toy line. The first two year’s worth of Transformers were reused molds from other toy lines, some produced by different toy companies. Within the first three years, many of the Transformers used the same or a slightly altered mold. Many of those same molds were reused years later in the 1993 Generation 2 toy line and even more years later as commemorative reissues.

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