Friday, December 30, 2011

Ecologini


Ecologini

Ecologini
Credit Stunner76.

Name of Toy Line: Ecologini
Production Company: Unknown
Distributor: Unknown
Years of Production: 1993
Countries/Regions Available: Italy
Size/Scale: Unknown
Figure Trade Markings: Unknown
Approximate # of Figures: 10

Details: As you can see, I have very little information about these figures. I first saw them at the LRG forums when member Stunner76 posted images of them there. He and Toypedia contributor nanoFotato, both Italian collectors, identified them as Ecologini. Unfortunately, a search using Google Italy turns up no information about these figures. Were they pieces for a board game, premiums of some type, or were they simply a minifigure line sold at retail stores? I'm not an expert in the Italian language, so I'm not sure what, if any, clues can be garnered from the name. However, I did find information about a product called Ecologino, which is apparently a tiny ashtray for use at the beach. It's interesting that the names are so close.

I'm uncertain of their scale as well. I'd guess they are 2-3" in height. I'd also guess that they are made of hard plastic. However, I can't be certain of either of those things.

Update: nanoFatato has gotten his hands on an exquisite Ecologini advertisment made by the Italian company Amico Gio (see scan above). nanoFatato also provides a translation which reads as follows:

ECOLOGINI 

The nature-saviours little geniuses.

Children, run to Amico Giò (an italian brand). There are the ECOLOGINI for free. Make friendship with each one, learn their strange names and you'll see how fun they are! Flip the page and you'll find your Amico Giò. 

Much more information and pictures will be coming soon!

In any case, after close inspection of these figures, one can quickly see that they are related to a very fun and cool, but obscure, toy line called GERMS. Check out the GERMS Toy Tribute over at Dork Dimension, and a nice little GERMS entry featuring Ecologini at the website Bogleech.

GERMS

GERMS
Credit Dork Dimension

Note the character Yoggayoggyitus above and the Ecologini figure in the top right corner of the images above. GERMS were produced by World of Wonder in 1988. How and why these two toy lines are connected is currently a mystery. As the author of the Bogleech entry notes, the Ecologini, while clearly related to the GERMS characters, are also different in many ways. Thus, they don't appear to be simple bootlegs. Not only that, but the sculpts, as you can see, are nicely detailed, high quality.

If any of you minifigure enthusiasts have additional information or pictures of this toy line, please let us know here at Toypedia!

Related Websites:

GERMS @ Dork Dimension

GERMS & Ecologini @ Bogleech

8 comments:

nanoFatato said...

These little guys are driving me crazy...
I used to own some of them when I was a kid but I can't remember much more, I'm pretty sure that they weren't sold like toys but like some sort of gifts.

Ericnilla said...

Very cool figures... i know a few have been dying to find these guys. Could they be Game tokens?

Soupie said...

I just noticed that the word ending "gini" is there in the toy line Exogini too. Does "gini" mean figure are something in Italian? If we could figure out what "ecolo" stands for, that might help.

Soupie said...

Oh, and nano, were your childhood figures green as well, or were they other colors?

nanoFatato said...

*adjust his glasses and clears throat*

The structure "-ini" is a simple diminutive in italian, and the word "Ecologini" is derived by "Ecologia" (ecology) so the meaning is "little ecological guys/things".

"Exogini" is an italianization of "Exoghinoi" (extra-terrestrials), the original greek toy name.

I bet that they were trying to capitalize on another succesful toyline, helped by the similarities between the two names.

And for the "-ini" thing there were other examples, like "Kombattini" (Army Ants) or "Paciocchini" (Lil Babies).

I remember my figures were all green, I think that was the only color, to stay true to their name.

*nods to the crowd, turns and stumble upon his shoes*

Soupie said...

Haha, great info, Professor Nano. Thanks for sharing. :)

Aiace said...

You could not buy them, they were given as a prize in a particular chain of toy stores once u spent a certain amount of money

Soupie said...

Great info! Thanks so much for sharing. No wonder they are so hard to find. Any idea of the name of the store? Was it in Italy only?

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