FUNTASTIC LORD OF THE RINGS
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Welcome to the Australian releases
Funtastic Limited was responsible for distributing the Toy Biz Lord of the Rings line to local toy and department stores within the Australian market. With the release of the first wave of the Fellowship of the Rings toys in 2001, Funtastic would apply a distributor sticker with an Australian address on the back of each package.
This sticker is always found placed next to the Toy Biz logo and covers the "Toy Biz Toll Free Customer Service Number and Marvel Logo" at the back of each package. Use of the distributor sticker is believed to have only occurred for a short period of time. It has only ever been found on the early assortments of the FOTR Green Half Moon series figures that have a Factory Date Stamp in 2001. It can also be found on collector series dolls as well. It is not known why the use of this sticker ceased after this initial period but may have had to do with added cost and the speed in which product was required to be released.
Further unique features of the Australian releases are the warning labels that were affixed to any of the figures that had bow firing features. The use of this warning label can be found throughout the entire LOTR line.
During the release of the Red Half Moon Two Towers assortment figures with bow firing accessories would later be released with their bows de-strung limiting their functionality while also minimizing the potential risk of injury caused by the firing feature. As a result, both versions with and without bow string can be obtained for these figures within the Australian market.
The most significant figures to be released by Funtastic however would be the Red Half Moon FOTR Boromir, and Red Half Moon TTT Helm’s Deep Gimli. Both figures were distributed exclusively to the Australian market although Boromir did see limited release through the online retailer Amazon. Other notable inclusions to the Australian market are the United Kingdom exclusive Blue Twin packs, and Blue Three packs which also saw limited release in Australia. These of course differ from the United Kingdom release due to the warning labels affixed on the back of the packaging, while this line also used unique UPC stickers that are specific only to these and the region.