Although there are only a few of them, collectible Canadian Exclusive toys do exist. They are scarce to find, even in Canada. However, if you are lucky, every once in a while you just might find a gem that becomes a favorite among your collection. Canada over the years has gotten distribution on most of the popular toys in the USA and rarely Canada will receive a toy that is not found anywhere else.
One of the most collectible has to be the rare and expensive Canadian Slag G1 Transformer. The Transformers toy line released this scarce variant of the Dinobot Slag back in 1984, what is now known as Canadian Slag. The regular release of the figure has an all black robot face, hands and legs while the rare Canada variant has red and white robot face, hands and legs. The accessory launcher also is red instead of black for the Canadian release. Keep in mind that the regular black release of Slag was also sold in Canada.
This particular Red Face Canadian Slag figure shown in the photos is also quite rare because it has only silver chrome parts, while the standard release has both gold and silver chrome parts.
This next piece, a G1 Dinobot Snarl figure is just as amazing, for it also only has silver chrome parts. The regular release of Transformers G1 Snarl is supposed to be all gold chrome. Both of these dinobot toys are authentic none the less with the standard Takara/Hasbro stamps. While not an actual variant release like the Canadian Slag, I still refer to the silver chrome Snarl as Canadian Snarl. These 2 Transformers were purchased from the original owner who bought them off the shelf when they were originally released here in Canada. Very little has been documented on the appearance of these silver chrome Dinobots, and very few of them have been discovered. It seems that the gold chrome was possibly sprayed on top of the the silver chrome, and this step was sometimes missed.
Monster in My Pocket
Monster In My Pocket released by Matchbox in 1990 was a toy line of small rubber mini figures about 1.5″ tall. It was quite popular and they even had their own Canadian Exclusive figures. The series 3 Figures #73-#80 were only offered in Canada with the purchases of Nabisco Shreddies. Some of the characters came in wonderful neon colors. These 2 in the photos got left behind from a larger collection I sold several years ago and I’m happy I found them.
War Monsters was a small toy line released only in Canada sometime during the late 1980’s. They are small rubber figures about 2″ tall. They have moving arms and each one came with a weapon accessory.
Due to their similarity, they are now known as Canadian Battle Beasts. They resemble Battle Beasts but are their own unique molds and characters, and also have different stickers.
Sometimes you can find a War Monster or two in a Battle Beast collection. They don’t have a manufacturers mark, and they are not made by Hasbro or Takara. There are only 6 Canadian War Monsters that have been discovered. A Bobcat, a Bat, a Crocodile, a Snake, a Bull and a Unicorn.
Two War Monsters of the same type can look very different because of the varying paint applications.
Glo Friends was a toy line created in 1986. the figures were about 4″ in size and not articulated at all. They were each fashioned after a bug. They all glow in the dark and many came with a small sleeping bag for the toy.
They were a kid favorite. While not widely collected, several of the toys are rare. Canada even had a few mail away exclusives. Glo Prayerbug and Glo Flutterbug could only be obtained by purchasing the other toys in store and mailing in the form inside the package.
Here is Nocturna with her dragon ride. She and her steed are from Dragon Flyz, a toy line released starting in 1995 by Galoob. It was based off of a T.V. show and Nocturna was one of the antagonists. The dragon acts as a launcher to send the figure into the air spinning. While the design elements for the toys lines figures are a little strange, I like the dragon figures quite a bit.
Looking into the background of this toy, it seems this figure hasn’t really been archived by anyone yet. This line is not quite 20 years old yet, so it’s kind of understandable that it could get missed. There really is no information on the Dragon Flyz toys that were released around 1996-97. No examples to look at. Nocturna is from this wave of figures. She is incredibly rare.
Apparently Canada received some of these rare toys. Having recently found this figure loose with only the dragon and no other supporting characters, I believe that they were probably originally packaged together. However, until a sealed toy surfaces I guess we will never know. It’s not exactly a Canadian exclusive toy but until some other samples show up it might as well be considered one.
Nocturna can sit on top of her Dragon and fly off into the air when you pull the tail, or she can sit on him like he’s a motorcycle.
Robot Warrior: Super Robot King
Robot Warriors were small rubber robot figures about 2.5″ tall. They were made in Taiwan and packaged on small cards directly over the art work. There is no year identifying when the release happened. Text on the package identified them as the “Robo of Canada” with a distribution address from Ontario.
The robots were called Exterminators, and 8 different ones were available. They were one color with a removable accessory that was a different color and a whole lot of fun.
This is a very nice vintage Lion figure. He is from an old toy line what is called a Tilly Toy by Viceroy a Canadian toy company from Toronto that started making toys in the 1930’s.
This one especially is like a Sofubi or Kaiju figure. Tilly Toys are about 8″ tall and are made out of a soft rubber. When you squeeze them they squeak like a dogs toy. They are hard to find even here in Canada with very little info on them available.
Many are not very nice to look at, being of baby’s or toddler figures. There is not a big following for Tilly Toys these days, and they are not worth much. I guess most people just gave them to the dog to destroy because they squeaked, and now over 50 years later they are rare. This lion is quite attractive though.
Mutant Mania is a newer toy line by a company Moose Toys. The line is made up of around 200 figures around 2″ tall. The figures come disassembled and you put them together.
The characters are robots, monsters, zombies and of course mutants. The figures can interact with a wrestling play set which is also available. Moose toys likes to put Limited Edition figures into some of the toy lines they make. Shopkins Limited Edition figures for example are very popular and demand large sums of money on the collectors market.
Mutant Mania was supposed to have 4 Limited Edition figures slipped into the series known as Astro Mutants. Mutant Mania was sold all over the world, but as it turns out, so far, the only known Limited Edition Astro Mutant figures that have been found have been in Canada. At least 3 Brain Wreckers Astro Mutants have been found in Canada with a number limited to only 5000.
This Space Cowboy Astro Mutant figure limited to 1000 is the only one of this type that has been found so far. It is not assembled and is still sealed in it’s original bag. It was found in the single figure canisters and not the multi packs. Mutant Mania is nearly sold out everywhere now, but there are still a few here and there. Are the Limited Edition Mutant Mania figures by some marketing error only truly within Canada?
Barbie is probably the longest running toy line. So it would fit that they would have a Canada Exclusive somewhere along the way.
The current belief seems to be that this Steffie faced Barbie (Blond Steffie) from the early 70’s was only released in Canada and Europe. The Steffie face is regarded as one of the most beautiful faces of the entire Barbie line, so it’s easy to see why this classic blond version is desired. The Malibu PJ version has a darker sun kissed skin tone.
The Canada and Europe exclusive Steffie faced Barbie is made of hollow plastic. She has a TNT waist and a stamp on her bum made in Korea.
Most toys released in Canada are just the same as those released in the USA. However, toys in Canada have a history of having their own Canadian style packaging. Unlike in the USA, in Canada the packaging must include both English and French text. It’s exciting finding old boxed toys in Canada, because the box often had to be a bit more inventive with their typography design than the USA version.
This Transformers Seaspray is a great example.
The back of the card shows 2 transforming diagrams on it rather than just one. They needed 1 diagram for English and 1 for French.
Girls toys were just the same, like this vintage Littlest Pet Shop.
Sometimes the result would be a packaging cluttered with words.
Most of the times they would squish the French and English together on the same side.
However, sometimes particularly with older collectibles, they put English on one side and French on the other.
Canadian Barbie collectibles has a history of having entirely differently designed packages than the USA release.
It is always interesting to see what text gets the French and English treatment and what text only gets one language. ‘Transformers’ for example does not need to be translated.
Even video games systems packaging need both languages in Canada. Interesting that the words “Challenge Set” was omitted…
Even in the 70’s Canadian Toy packaging had both English and French languages. This old Wildfire game by Parker Brothers for example, a hand held battery powered light up pinball game had extensive French/English Packaging.
The game unit itself has nice screen printed imagery on it printed with English text.
If you wanted to change yours to the french version, they gave you a decal sheet to put French stickers over top. Now 45 years later, the old French stickers were never used and are stuck to the inside of the box.
Thanks for reading, I’ll update this section if I find anything I feel should be added. Send me a message if you have any toys that I missed, or if you have any that you are looking to sell. All photos used are by Gotham Collectibles.