Mar 8, 2011

TDJ031 - Extra Terrestrials by TMAC

One of my favorite things to do that has to do with toy collecting is come across something I have absolutely no idea what it is and do research until I figure it out. Especially when the toy is as cool as these little guys.

Again, the Spice Girls make an appearance...

I was lucky enough to come across two full sets of these guys at a flea market over the summer and at first I just spotted the little blue guy but was soon pointed toward all the other figures by the person who was running the "booth". By "booth" I mean the gigantic tarp that was laid out on the ground with toys thrown all over it. I at first picked them up because of how they looked, but I could tell almost right away that these were either late 70s or early 80s just by the plastic. (and very soon after by the fact that they're date stamped 1982...) Once you've gotten to the point that you can determine a date range of a toy by the type of plastic that is used, you've got yourself a special little talent, my friend.

This one reminds me of a mix between an owl and Gizmo.

My favorite was quickly the purple guy that looks the youngest, yet has a very noble and dignified robe type thing on. I actually picked up a third purple guy from the seller and got the whole lot for two dollars. The third one I picked up didn't have the cap on the bottom that I found out the other eight figures did. I walked around the flea market for a bit more and came across another seller that had some really really nice toys. I talked to him for a bit about some of the items he had, and after a while I decided to ask him if he had any idea what I found. The only markings on them were on the cap in the bottom that apparently was the company that just made the caps/plugs themselves and "©1982 TMAC" on the butt of each figure.

The guy had never seen them, but thought they were just as cool as I did and I could tell that he wanted to do that awkward exchange of info just for some little toy info, hoping that when I found out what they were, that I'd email him to let him know what they were. So instead, I decided to give him the third purple guy that was missing the cap/plug on the bottom. I figured he'd probably be able to figure out what they were just as easily as I did and really I got that one for free, so I had no problem passing him along to someone else that would appreciate him.

After some quick searching around I was able to find that these guys were the complete set and they were released carded in 1982 and quickly discontinued, popping up on general store shelves and that random toy aisle in the major toy shops around that time. I thought I was pretty cool for picking them up and I took a picture of them and sent it to my friend Steve who also has an affinity for the weird and random when it comes to toys and vintage collectibles. Of course, he already knew what they were, grew up with them and made a point to buy them any time he came across them.

Turns out that each one was named something like TREBOR or EGROEG (normal boy names in reverse) and came with a small piece of paper inside of them which could be found by removing the cap/plug on the bottom. The paper had a secret message that had to be decoded from numbers using the key listed on the back of each figure's card. The messages would be something along the lines of "You are my best friend" or "We will never kill one another because we are friends and friends don't kill one another because if we did it would be horrible and we'd not be considered friends any more". All this was knowledge that Steve dropped on my smug ass. He has actually found carded figures and threatened to buy mine if I put them on eBay.

<"I look crazy in hats".>

Once found out about the special little papers inside I checked each one and luckily each figure still had his paper inside. Though it seems like each one would have its own special saying (all blue toys would have the same, all yellow toys would have the same and so on) I found a duplicate between colors, even though all of the other same colors had the same message.

All in all these are pretty amazing toys, definitely way ahead of their time as I could see paying upwards of $60 at vinyl toy shops for designs like these made out of the same material. They hold their own on the shelf next to newer designer figures. If you see these for under $10 a piece I'd say pick 'em up. You won't regret it. Or if you do, let me know... I'll buy them off you.

Try finding Extra Terrestrials here.


When I was a fat teenager re-making Spice Girl music videos with my cousins, I was obviously Posh Spice. You know, the Spice married to David Beckham. Arguably the most handsome man in the world. The argument? Sam Wells. Now we have come full circle...


Plastic/Material – 5/5
Poseability – 1/5
Packaging – 3/5
Design – 5/5
Playability – 3/5
Price (value) – 3/5 (only secondary market)
Overall – 4/5


darthvadersrevenge said...

I had "George", the purple one, when I was a kid. When I remembered the little guy, I searched for years to find them online, having no idea what they were called. Having finally found them in the last year or so, I've ended up with loose and carded sets. Your article about them is the first thing I've ever seen about them online, outside of eBay. Good job discovering these little mooks!

Sam Wells said...

The lack of info online about these is what made me decide to do a full review instead of just a Daily Shot for them.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Ted Poirier said...

Just scored the whole set for $13 on ebay! I also had never seen these and immediately fell in love. They reminds me of the Fantastic Planet characters a little. They where advertised as still having the plugs but will see when the get here if the secret message card is inside. Thanks for this post , there really is not anything else online, good to know Im getting all of them.
Also , looks like the pupils hold up good on these, many toys with theses type eyes start to 'bleed' after a while(like Dino-Riders)
Cant wait to put on my 'robots and aliens shelf'

Alex said...

Wow, thanks so much for this. I've had the purple one ever since I was a small kid and I always wondered what it was. It always had a special place in my heart, so I never got rid of it and I'm so happy to find out a little more about it!

Alex said...

Wow, thanks so much for this. I've had the purple one ever since I was a small kid and I always wondered what it was. It always had a special place in my heart, so I never got rid of it and I'm so happy to find out a little more about it!