Glasslite (pronounced Glass-Leet) was the Brazilian company that acquired the licensing rights to manufacture and distribute Star Wars figures and vehicles in Brazil from 1988.
However, before we discuss Glasslite, let’s rewind a little….
During the early 1980s as the Star Wars craze was spreading across the world, Kenner and its licenses had started to establish what would become a very successful product range of Star Wars toys in North America and Europe.
Brazil was one of a number of countries where no company had acquired the Star Wars license, resulting in no licensed products being available in stores. To satisfy the needs of Brazilian parents and children, Model Trem (a company previously known for making model train parts) began to produce a line of bootleg Star Wars figures for the home market under the title of “Aventura na Galáxia”.
Model Trem managed to produce over thirty different figures – mainly made of lead – and released these in generic boxes with a simple label on the front to identify the contents.
According to Brazilian sources, the Glasslite company secured the Brazilian license from Lucasfilm in 1987. Shortly after this, Glasslite threatened Model Trem with legal action and Model Trem was forced to cease production of their line of bootleg Star Wars figures. Model Trem, not wishing to lose out of any sales revenue, reacted by producing a new range of bootlegs called “Nova Aventuras nas Galaxias”. This new range utilised several common parts from the previous bootleg Star Wars range with Model Trem cleverly altering them just enough to avoid any further legal action.
Meanwhile, Glasslite, who already had several successful product lines as part of their “TV TOYS” range such as The A-Team, Masters of the Universe and Thundercats, was able to officially add Star Wars to their range. In 1988 Glasslite simultaneously released their latest two product lines, “STAR WARS – O PODER DA FORÇA” and “STAR WARS DROIDS”.
“STAR WARS – O PODER DA FORÇA” or “POWER OF THE FORCE” consisted of eight figures and three vehicles, although the rear of the cards did show a ninth figure along with two alternatives to those released. Kenner was known to have had extensive contact with Glasslite during the development stage and sent them both reference material and production toys, which would account for the non-Glasslite produced figures and vehicles appearing on the reverse of the cards and in sales catalogues.
Like other foreign licensees, Glasslite variants can be identified due to their unique materials, packaging and paint applications. This guide aims to document these differences and allow variant collectors a single point reference guide to aid their collecting.
Glasslite use the same generic card artwork for all their figures, this method was echoed with their Droids product line. The name plate label above the figure bubble was added during the final stages of production – judging from the random placement of these labels this process appears to have been manual rather then automated.
The name plates contained three pieces of information: the Character Name, Description and a Unique Reference Number. While most people have noticed the name plate stickers which came in a multitude of bright colours, how many people noticed that the unique reference number sequence is incomplete? If you examine the translated list of name plates below, for some reason Glasslite did not release an action figure using the number 5167.15.
5161.15 C-3PO – Com pernas e bracos desmontáveis (With detachable arms and legs)
5162.15 R2-D2 – Companheiro de C-3PO (Companion of C-3PO)
5163.15 Luke Skywalker – O Cavalheiro Jedi (The Jedi Knight)
5164.15 Princesa Léia – Lider Da Rebelião (Leader Of The Rebellion)
5165.15 Chewbacca – Co-piloto De Solo (Co-pilot of Solo)
5166.15 Han Solo – Mercenário Estelar (Space Mercenary)
5168.15 Darth Vader – A espada da Forca cresce em suã mão (The force “sword” extends in his hand)
5169.15 Guerreiro Imperial (Imperial Warrior) – Soldado de Elite do Império (Elite Soldier of the Empire)
wbobafett for the coo images
Marvinroboter for several MOC photos
Lee_M, JaviSW & Kenneth_B for help documenting the 2nd Chewbacca rifle
M4K3R1 for sending me a DV Kenner figure for the comaprison photos