Monday, November 7, 2011

Nerfuls

Just about the first thing I started buying when I signed up for ebay in around 1998 was Nerfuls, a little kid's toy line that I had a few of growing up.

There was so little information about that toy line to be had online at the time that it intrigued me, and it still does. Just about every 6 months a new Nerfuls item I'd never seen before would show up online somewhere, and my collection grew.

In its prime my collection was about the most comprehensive that I knew of. In 2012, partially due to the increasing number of requests I was receiving for parts of my collection, partially because my active collecting interests had shifted somewhat, I began selling of certain items. In a way it was sad to see a collection I worked so hard to build get pulled back apart, but it was also nice to see new collectors get a chance to own some very rare toys and truly enjoy them.

Plus, financially, it didn't make sense to keep them in face of the offers I was receiving.

My attraction to these is a mixture of nostalgia and discovery. I love that there is always something new out there that I had no idea existed. Though I no longer own all of what's below I will keep the photos up, as this site has become one of use to newer collectors just in terms of knowing what's out there.



Series One 3-Piece figures (loose)

Fetch, Scratch

Captain Nerfuls, Budd Ball

Officer Bob, Bitsy Ball

Bart Ball, Betty Ball

Series One 3-Piece Figures (in box)





Series One 4-Piece Figures (loose)

Frankie, Stewie

Katie, Speedy

Series One 4-Piece Figures (in box)





Series One Vehicles (loose)


Windy in Soft Convertible, Sparky in Soft Firetruck


Series One Vehicles (in box)


Series One Playsets (loose)

Nerfuls Round Town Village

Nerfuls Round Town Camper

Pack-In Nerfuls Campy (from camper), Neighbor Ned (from village).

Series One Playsets (in box)





Series One Nerfuls Accessories

Spinner, Bopper



Promotional Figures

Burger King

Burger King held a Nerfuls promotion just about the time that Parker Bros. had decided not to make Nerfuls anymore. There were four Kid's Meal boxes and four Nerfuls released (Bitsy, Fetch, Scratch, Officer Bob). The figures are identical to the store-bought figures except for a Burger King stamp on their bottom and an adjusted year stamp.

The figures came in little plastic bags along with a black & white ad for the other 3 figures and a coupon for a Nerf fanny pack. I do have one of each Burger King Nerful, but only two in sealed baggies.




Cheerios

The Cheerios promotion had been a mystery for several years. The figure you got is unnamed, and on the baggie he was shipped in is printed "13th Character". He therefore goes by two unofficial names in collectors circles (as much as there are such things), and those are "13th Character" and "Visor Guy" for his blue visor.

This figure is only slightly more rare than the store bought figures, however there was no evidence of where the figure actually came from for a while, aside from a few people thinking the remembered sending away for it trough a cereal box.

I sent a few emails to the major cereal companies looking to find out which had the promotion, including the parent company of Cheerios. All of them, including Cheerios, denied having any knowledge of a Nerfuls promotion. Then I found a Cheerios box on ebay with the offer on it. Mystery solved.


The Cheerios Box

Back of box, White Mailer used to ship figures, Bagged figure and loose figure.


Tumbles The Gymnast

The secrets of this figure were learned pretty early in my collecting of these, and it's pretty damn lucky. I purchased a huge lot of Nerfuls from a guy off of ebay. In the collection I received was a ring binder. The original owner can saved all of the pamphlets that came with the figures, as well as the card backs an box art. They also had the mail-away page for Tumbles the Gymnast.

Collectors up to this point had taken to calling him "Olympic Guy", as nobody had any record of his name. The offer appears to have been either a magazine page, or a newspaper coupon insert. Very thin paper. I doubt, if I had to find another copy of this offer, that I'd have any luck at all.Again, not knowing really where it came fom I wouldn't even know where to begin looking.

I'd love to see what Tumbles was shipped in, however he's pretty rare (probably because of the somwhat obscure offer page), and so even finding a loose one is infrequent.





Series Two

Series two of Nerfuls was planned, and designed, and showcased at toy shows, and then all but scrapped. I've been able to get many of the figures that were to be in series two through the child of a former Parker Brothers employee. One was also offered in the UK as a mail-away exclusive, but I will discuss that later.


Karate Chip loose and carded


Honey Bear loose with card


Back of Series Two card


Road Hog, the only 3-piece series two figure I have


Honey Bear, Tina Too Too

Karate Chip and Road Hog

Series One European Cards

So Nerfuls released in Europe were sold on blister cards instead of in boxes, and some of the characters were renamed. Below are my carded Euro Nerfuls






After Parker Bros. had decided to scrap series two, Honey Bear was offered as a mail-away exclusive in Europe. The blister cards of at least the 3-piece figures were altered to advertise this offer.





The vehicles were repackaged for Euro release, creating a plain square box without background design or hanging flap. The "convertible" was also changed to "buggy".



Series One was also released in Argentina. These figure were made somewhat shoddily of a slightly less flexible plastic, with almost no paint application and often with incorrect pieces. I have found only the Budd Ball figure on a blister card, however most often they are found in small boxes.

Also note that Barty has been given Scratch the dog's face for some reason.






Plush Nerfuls

Two plush Nerfuls were released, Bitsy and Budd. Mine are loose, and Bitsy does not have the original Ribbons in her hair.


Plush Budd and Bitsy

Other Nerfuls Items

Like most 80's toy lines a number of related items were manufactured with the Nerfuls name. Below are the ones I have collected.




Nerfuls Puzzles

Argentinian Nerfuls Card Game

Nerfuls Coloring and Activity Book

Nerfuls Magic Slate

I was lucky enough to find a person selling off some of the pieces used at Golden to design their magic slates. Below is the color guide used in producing the Nerfuls slate.



PLEASE READ:

If you plan on emailing me about Nerfuls, please read THIS POST first as it may answer your question.

8 comments:

  1. Would you be willing to part with Karate Chip? Let me know

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  2. You have an amazing collection! Thank you for such an informative blog. It's good to finally know the mysterious origins of 13th Character, Tumbles the Gymnast and the elusive Honey Bear. I shall persist in collecting.

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  3. Thank you so much for all your Nerfuls information!! Most informative page on the internet!

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  4. Great collection, but have you ever heard of the bushy bunch nerfuls? I worked at Parker Brothers in the model shop for 17 years and made many masters and prototypes including the nerfuls. I may own the only bushy bunch nerful collection. These were documented in the buyers trade magazine that I also have. I have many stories to tell you if you want.

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  5. Hi I put my collection of nerfuls on ebay but a kind person from netherlands has informed me to remove and relish as I have 2 rare honey bears, could you help me out with how much these are worth if I figure out who I have x

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  6. I received one for Christmas. I had forgotten all about them. I've added a checklist to my free iOS checklist app: Toy Collector (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toy-collector-checklist-3/id1084166048?mt=8) - If any of you have pictures to share I would definitely appreciate it! Zack

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