Name of Toy Line: Exogini: The Mysterious Aliens
Production Company: El Greco
Distributor: GiG (Italian); Otto Simon (Holland)
Years of Production: 1987, 1988, and 1997-98
Countries/Regions Available: Italy, Holland, and Greece
Figure Trade Markings: SR1: None; SR2: © '86 / PANOSH; SR3: Unknown
Approximate # of Figures: 127 unique sculpts, 20+ colors
Where to begin? Let's begin with the surprising fact that Exogini is actually an unlicensed, albeit high-quality, bootleg toy line comprised of sculpts taken from three legitimate toy lines. The Exogini line was distributed in Italy by GiG. The production company remains unknown as it's not listed on the various packaging, but it was most likely El Greco that produced the first two series in Greece. The packaging for the third series of Exogini, however, states that it was produced in China.
Another interesting note is the case of the Greek Battle Beasts, which were made by a company called El Greco. Some El Greco, Greek Beast packaging can be found with the Exogini logo on it; and these packages have even been found containing series one Exogini figures and no Greek Beasts.
The toy line consisted of three series released over several years; Each series consisted of sculpts taken from three different toy lines.
Series one was comprised of 40 M.U.S.C.L.E. sculpts*. That's right, GiG simply took 40 sculpts from the M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line and reproduced, marketed, and sold them in Italy as Exogini. All forty were given new names. There is a distinct difference in quality between Exogini and the original M.U.S.C.L.E. figures; Exogini figures are smaller than and lacking some of the detail of the original M.U.S.C.L.E.s. Overall, however, they are of high-quality and consistency.
(*It's interesting to note that while it's generally agreed upon that series one Exogini are bootlegs of the M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line and not the standard series of Kinkeshi, an Exogini wrestling ring was made that is a copy of the Kinkeshi wrestling ring, as seen at Naochin's Kinnikuman site, and not the M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestling ring, featured at Nathan's MUSCLE Blog!.)
They carry no trade markings. Indeed, where the normal Y/S . N. T trade markings should be, there is a blank spot on series one Exogini where they have been removed. (This was done pre-production to the original figures or molds used to make the Exogini figures of course.)
Before we go too far, check out this awesome, retro Exogini television commercial. We're not sure in which countries and regions this originally aired. Note its eerie similarity to the M.U.S.C.L.E. commercials! In fact, they appear to have even borrowed some footage.
The first series of Exogini was released in Italy, Holland, and Greece. It was released in two waves. Although all forty sculpts were used in each country, some colors are unique to each region.
In Italy, the first wave featured four colors: Translucent Magenta, Translucent Green, Translucent Orange, and solid Peach/Flesh.
Here are two group shots of the colors featured in the first wave. You can get a look at the 40 sculpts used as well. (Click on the images to make them larger.)
Translucent Orange (Credit Stunner76)
Peach/Flesh (Credit Stunner76)
Wave two consisted of the same 40 M.U.S.C.L.E. sculpts, but introduced five new colors: Black, Metallic Grey, Metallic Blue, White and a very nice Metallic Violet. Let's take a peak at a group shot two of these colors.
White (Credit Stunner76)
Metallic Grey (Credit Stunner76)
Series one was distributed in three types of packaging: Foil packs containing one figure; Cardboard cans/buckets containing 10 figures; And the unforgettable Pyramids, one containing 20 figures and a larger one containing 40 figures.
Oh, hey, look, little Filippo would like to show us some examples of the foil packs.
Grazie, Filippo! And no more sugar or your eyes are gonna pop out of your head!
Perhaps Filippo's eyes are bugging out because one of his foil packs contains a figure in one of three rare, glitter, BRILLANTINATI colors! These three exclusive colors - clear with red glitter, clear with green glitter, and dark green with green glitter - were only available in the Italian foil packs. (Filippo is actually holding Greek foil packs. Sorry Filippo!) Furthermore, only some of the 40 sculpts could be found in the three exclusive colors.
Here's a look at a 20 piece Pyramid courtesy of Fuzzbuster. The Pyramid container was covered in artwork to give it the appearance of an Exogini star ship! It was a great idea for toy packaging as it could potentially be used as an accessory vehicle by creative collectors. This particular Pyramid is from the Holland release.
It looks like this Pyramid contained Peach and Translucent Orange figures.
It also contained a pamphlet featuring some original Exogini/GiG sketches of the characters.
Series One Summary
In summary, Italian Exogini series one consists of 40 M.U.S.C.L.E. sculpts most of which were available in 12 different colors, 3 of which were exclusive to the foil packs and thus harder to find.
Over at Exogini.com, you can see all 9 of the non-exclusive colors in a handsome archive. Check it out: Exogini Series One Archive.
But wait, there's more! There were also 5 variant colors circulating about. These variant colors were not due to wear and tear, but were produced in the factory, perhaps accidentally or due to a slight change in materials. These five variant colors are:
1) Light Peach/Flesh
2) Dark Translucent Green
3) Dark Translucent Magenta
4) Light Non-Metallic Blue
5) Light Non-Metallic Violet
Figures in these variant colors are comparatively few and thus harder to find. If we include these variant colors in our count, they bring the total number of colors for series one Exogini to a whopping 17 colors!
Hold on a second, we're not done yet! As noted, Exogini also made a stop in Holland. Not only did the Holland-release figures have slightly different colors, many of the figures were cast in a plastic that has a sticky feel to it. Here is a list of the Holland colors and plastic types provided by Thagan of the Exogini.com forums:
1) Bright Translucent Magenta (sticky)
2) Bright Translucent Green (sticky)
3) Bright Translucent Orange (sticky)
4) Bright Translucent Lime (sticky)
5) Opaque Translucent Magenta
6) Opaque Translucent Green
7) Opaque Translucent Orange
8) Flesh/Peach (sticky)
9) Pink-Flesh/Peach (sticky)
10) Flesh (non sticky)
11) Pinky-Flesh/Peach (non sticky)
If we add these to the mix, that gives us an overall total of 28 gorgeous colors in which series one Exogini can be found. No wonder this is such a popular toy line with mini figure collectors!
The Greek Exogini release consisted of all the colors from the Italian and Holland releases, perhaps due to the fact that Exogini were produced in Greece. Furthermore, series one figures have been found (non-retail) in Greece in several exotic colors including opaque and translucent yellow.
Exogini series two borrowed from another, even more obscure American toy line, N.I.N.J.A. Mites. It was released in 1988. Perhaps feeling emboldened by the success of the first series, GiG went ahead and used all 48 sculpts from the N.I.N.J.A. Mites toy line! Interestingly, unlike the first wave, the original Panosh trade markings remain on the backs of the Exogini version of the sculpts. Is it possible the second series was licensed?
This series was only released in Italy and had the same five colors as wave two of series one. That is, Black, White, Metallic Grey, Metallic Blue, and Metallic Violet. However, three new colors were added as well: Red, Pink, and Translucent Pink. Thus, series two Exogini can be found in a total of 8 colors.
Let's take a look at some of the second series figures and colors. Again, credit Stunner76 for the excellent images! (Click to enlarge.)
White (Credit Stunner76)
Metallic Blue (Credit Stunner76)
Metallic Violet (Credit Stunner76)
Translucent Pink (Credit Stunner76)
Pink (Credit Stunner76)
Overall, amazingly gorgeous colors that would catch the eye of any mono-colored mini figure collector. Albertinoz of the Exogini.com forums reports that there are many color variations of series two Exogini, too many to even categorize!
Exactly like the first series, series two was distributed in foil packs, cardboard cans, and Pyramids.
Series Two Summary
In summary, Exogini series two consisted of all 48 sculpts from the N.I.N.J.A. Mites toy line, and most, but not all, were available in 8 different colors.
Over at Exogini.com you can see another gorgeous archive, this one featuring the second series Exogini in all 8 available colors. Check it out: Exogini Series Two Archive.
For series three, released in 1997-98, GiG looks to have outdone itself. [/sarcasm] This time, it appears the only thing they changed about the toy line they borrowed from were the character names and story line. This seems almost too hard to believe, and we really wonder if this went on without the knowledge of the rights holder of the borrowed from toy line, which in this case was Fistful of Aliens (FOA). Briefly, Fistful of Aliens consisted of 51 figures divided into three groups of creatures: 30 Aliens, 12 Mutants, and 9 RAMMS. These figures were not mono-colored but had paint schemes consisting of several colors.
The third series of Exogini simply used all 30 sculpts from the Aliens group, 6 sculpts from the RAMMS group, and 3 from the Mutant group for a total of 39. In some cases, it appears that the paint schemes of the Exogini figures are exactly the same as the original FOA figures. Is it possible that the third series of the Exogini line consisted of FOA stock that simply had not sold in other markets? Perhaps not surprisingly, of the three Exogini series, this one did the poorest.
Here's a look at a few of these figures courtesy of Fuzzbuster:
|#09 Front||#09 Back|
|#09 (sic) Front||#09 (sic) Back|
|#13 Front||#13 Back|
|#14 Front||#14 Back|
And check out the image below. As noted above, two figures appear to be labeled #9.
Fistful of Alien accessories were also incorporated into the Exogini series with little to no changes. Also, unlike the first two series, this was distributed in foil packs only.
Series Three Summary
The third series saw the departure from the beautiful simplicity of mono-colors as well as the departure from the magic and success of the second and, especially, first wave. Each of the 39 figures was available in only one color scheme, in some cases the same color scheme as the original.
Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Truly. For a toy line that essentially consisted of high-quality bootlegs, it's pretty special and unique.
We hope you found this incredibly brief overview of the Exogini toy line informative and helpful. This is a fairly complex and deep toy line. We could not have done it without the help of Stunner76, Fuzzbuster, nanoFatato and especially the incredibly excellent Exogini resource Exogini.com. Don't be deterred by the Italian language of the site; It is so well designed that navigation is easy regardless of whether you speak Italian or not. If you'd like to learn more about Exogini and see many more amazing pictures, check it out!
If you own some Exogini figures and are having difficulty determining which colors you have, your best bet is to join the Exogini.com forums and ask the knowledgeable collectors there.
If we've made any errors, please don't hesitate to contact and correct us. And check back soon for an entry on the French version of Exogini, Cosmix!
Exogini @ Wikipedia