Free Gift Transfers with Confectionery

Page Thirty-four of Thirty-four pages

Duplo / Hanuta: Astérix — PR259 [1976-1978]

(includes surprise update at the bottom of the page)


"Das lustige Asterix Würfelspiel" — the Game Board:

"The fun Asterix dice game". Ferrero released this simple board-game twice; first in 1978, & then, with minor variations but the same set of forty-two transfers, again in 1981.

"In jedem duplo ein tolles Rubbelbild zum Sammeln + Einrubbeln in dieses Spiel" — In every Duplo there is a great transfer to collect and rub down onto this game board.

You buy your Duplo chocolate wafer biscuits, collect the free transfers inside the packets, & rub them down in the right place on the board (which is just a nice piece of glossy folded paper).

Previously, thanks to funcity32 & django8620, we were able to see what it looks like; since then, we've acquired a board for ourselves, so their photos have been upgraded to our own scans.

Acquiring our board was quite complicated, but luckily Kevin Williamson was able to step in & save us from what would otherwise have been ridiculous International postage & customs duties, had it been posted from the US. The seller, amidstmystuff, was very keen to help — but what can you do when government policies try to stifle International trade? Kevin brought it over in a plane, as hand luggage.

— Customs Officials N.B.: this is a small piece of card. It is NOT contraband!

Wes (amidstmystuff) says:

"Your site is an incredible rabbit hole and a testament to the history of the transfers. I commend you and all involved! …The Asterix sheet has a great place in my history, it deserves a good home. …Stay awesome!"

— Thanks, Wes!

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As you can see, Wes has rubbed down some of the transfers.

There were forty-two transfers to collect, but in the 1981 re-issue you had to collect doubles of sixteen transfers in order to apply them on the back as well as the front — which of course would take you slightly longer. The other difference in 1981 was that the transfers were also available in Hanuta, as well as Duplo. This is the 1978 version.

Here's the back of the board:

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By the way, note the circular hole in the middle of the card, which makes it much easier to fold!


The Transfers

Ferrero had released two sets of Asterix-Tattoo transfers earlier, in 1976 & 1977; it's been stated that the designs for the three sets of transfers were the same, but you can easily see that's not true by a quick glance at these examples from 1976 & 1977:

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…But that's all you're going to see here of those years! I have no idea who printed them, but skin tattooze are easy to print & there's no reason to suppose it would have been Letraset.

The instructions on the back of the 1978 Letraset Asterix Rubbel-Bild are still copyright dated 1977, & I haven't found a counter-example image from the year before, so most likely the 1977 & 1978 image sets ARE identical. But definitely not the 1976 set!

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For fun, here's a section of my uncut sheet — showing just the backs. Because I know how interested you are in these things.

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Three examples with their backing papers on:

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…And three examples without their backing papers:

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And for the grand finale, the full uncut sheet:

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This sheet has been framed on the wall in my youngest's bedroom for years & years. It's a parent's duty to traumatise their kids.

Okay; I know what you're thinking: how does this sheet square with the paranoid conspiracy theories which claim that certain Free Gifts in a collection are extremely rare, or its antithesis which claims that all Free Gifts are equally common?

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You'll be pleased to hear I've done the maths for you, & the answer is — "C: none of the above".

Which adds up to 121 transfers (it's an eleven-by-eleven grid). So nine transfers are only half as common as the most popular four, but there's no outrageous chicanery going on.


Unexpected Bonus

These much larger transfers (six times the size!) are on the same "Asterix Rubbel-Bild" backing papers, which leads me to believe they are somehow the same promotion — but I haven't been able to find out how they fit in. Obviously you're not going to rub them down on the board game! Perhaps they were mail-away prizes, or something; no doubt we'll find out for sure eventually, as we always do.

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As you can see, there are eight different figures. I acquired several badly cut-up sheets, & from all the evidence I was able to recreate the original uncut sheet:

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Oh, alright, if you really must know: each of the figures appears three times, apart from the druid — four times.

And along the right-hand side, the serial number: PR259.


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Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — funcity32 — django8620 — Wes amidstmystuff — Kevin Williamson