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  • ISSUE 10: Vintage Kenner Indiana Jones (Wave 1)

What good is a collection you can’t share?



Welcome back to another glimpse into my toy closet. I hope you all enjoyed last week’s look at the evolution of modern Ahsoka Tano action figures. This week, we turn back to the vintage stuff.

After Star Wars, most 80’s babies would tell you that Indiana Jones was their next favorite trilogy and I am definitely one of those. In the wake of buying Star Wars toys, Transformers and G.I. Joe, I initially missed the Kenner waves of “The Adventures of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark” action figures (that’s the last time I’ll use the full title). However, in an amazing twist of fate, I can remember going to a close-out store in Connecticut called Odd-Lot with my Mom a year later and finding all of them there for $1 each. I can remember asking her, “Can I have more than one?” and her saying, “For a dollar, you can have one of each.” I about passed out. That is the dream-come-true sentence from your Mom in the toy aisle. Those toys became some of my all-time favorites.

Of course, like most kids during that era, I sold all of my toys at family tag sales and the Indy toys were victims of those sales. I have recollected them over time during my adulthood, but I’ll never forget that original Odd-Lot day. Among the figures I absolutely bought that day was the famed carded Belloq in ceremonial robes. It was a mail away figure at first, but remainders were carded and sent to close-out stores. It was thought that carded examples were only salesman samples or Toy Fair examples, but I am here to tell you from personal experience that that is not true. Carded examples are so rare that they sell for $10,000 or more (when they come up for sale, there is usually a frenzy). There are less than 10 carded examples known to exist. Of course, I opened mine and threw the card out. Oh well. If we had all known then what would be rare now, we’d all be rich.  


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[Example of an Indiana Jones Kenner 4-Back]


Today, I will be covering the first wave of these 3.75” figures. Next week, I will cover the remainder. This first wave consisted of 6 figures and were the 4 general carded figures which were initially carded on “4-Back” cards (so named due to them showing 4 figures on the back of the card), the unique Indiana Jones from the Map Room playset and the mail away ceremonial Belloq (which was eventually carded) as well as 2 playsets.

They break down as follows:



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Aptly, this was the best figure in the line and had 7 points of articulation (which was a lot for toys in the 80’s) and came with a whip, revolver and had a quick draw action arm (also pretty cool and ahead of its time for this era). Carded examples are rather pricey and will cost you $300-$400.



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Perhaps a strange choice to make in the first wave as this guy gets like 10 seconds of screen time. However, the figure is quite well done and has 7 points of articulation like Indy. He came with a wrap-around soft goods robe, a sword and a knife (the same knife that came with the Monkey Man in the Streets of Cairo playset). This is a common figure and only commands about $100 carded.



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A little better than a common figure, Toht get about $150 in the aftermarket when carded. Again, a very good figure with a vinyl trenchcoat, a pistol (which is NOT the same as the one issued with Indy), 7 points of articulation and really excellent detail including the headpiece to the staff of Ra burned into his hand.



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The most expensive figure to find carded as she was short-printed, this one will cost over $500. An excellent figure that came with the monkey (“What is this, where did this animal come from?”), a cloth lace dress, a clear stand (since she has trouble standing on her own) and had 5 points of articulation (no knee joints since her legs were very thin and covered by the dress. Note that the dress discolors over time.



CARDED Belloq in Ceremonial Robe


See description in the introduction for the carded version of this figure that began its life as a white-boxed mail-away. He came with a jeweled chest plate, a ceremonial robe (it wasn’t just a fancy name) and a staff.  He has the normal 7 points of articulation. Be mindful that the carded examples are so rare, you’ll probably never actually see one. Collectors who want packaged figures will want to look for this in a sealed polybag and with its white mailer box. In a baggie, this figure is a $50 figure.


Poly-bagged Belloq in Ceremonial Robe

[Bagged example with white mailer box]


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[Proof card for Belloq Ceremonial]



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This was an amazing playset and came with a ton of extra stuff including the base, 2-piece break-away wall, 2 arches with 4 legs, 3-piece Ark of the Covenant, 2 torches, a hook with a rope, a mummy (non-articulated or what my brother and I call an inaction figure), 2 Ark carrying poles, crypt cover and 14 assorted snakes in various sizes both grey and black. Boxed and complete, this is a $600-$700 playset. It is very hard to find it complete.



The Map Room


Another fantastic playset that came with really cool accessories including a 6th action figure. The playset consisted of the floor base, Transit and tripod, staff of Ra, medallion headpiece to the staff of Ra, a handbag, a notebook, a rock pick, a hook with a rope and a revolver and robe for Indiana Jones figure. The Indiana Jones figure was unique and different from the carded version in that he had the “Arab Disguise.” This is not nearly as pricey as the Well of Souls playset, but is tough to find complete. If complete and in the box, expect to pay $150-$200.


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[Showing the unique Indiana Jones figure]




That does it for another look into my collection. I hope you enjoyed it. Next week, we will take a look at the remainder of these Kenner Indiana Jones figures and playsets. Until then, be well, thanks for reading, play hard, but play nice.



NOTE: All products, pictures, names, descriptions and logos are property of their respective copyright and trademark holders. No items are listed for sale. All information is for educational purposes, only.


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