Sunday 29 May 2016

Rock Lords Plan-O-Gram

Sometimes something comes along that makes my mind explode (and not the man from Scanners!). This is one of them. Plan-o-grams were used by companies to correctly stack displays, ensuring consistency and the best position for the product. This is a plan-o-gram discovered by the owner of the site 'Random Toy Reviews' who has given me permission to show it here (but go visit his site!)

The Rock Lords Plan-o-gram is a glorious thing! The photo of the display showcasing pretty much the entire line is awe-inspiring. This is how Tonka hoped Rock Lords would be taken up by retailers and pushed to the public. For the record, along the top are vehicles, then the carded figures are series 1-3, Jewel Lords, Fossil Lords (!), Narlies and Shock Rocks. The boxes on the shelf below are Fossil Puzzler (!) and Snarlie Narlie. The bottom shelf has the Rockasaurs and vehicles again.

Above you can see the technical labels for the display. From this you can tell that whoever set out the photo did it wrong, putting Brimstone in the Jewel Lord section and Solitaire in the normal Rock Lord section. Yes it's minor but if you make a plan for other people to follow you'd better follow it yourself (I'm petty like that).

Along with the novelties of seeing so many carded and boxed Rock Lords in one place, there are some really really interesting things to take note of that havn't really popped up anywhere before:

1 - Spearhead prototype
Spearhead was apparently going to be light blue, not dark blue! All other pictures of prototypes I've found have looked like the mass release version, but the appearance of a carded (or at least a mock-up carded one) shows it was close to production.

2 - Carded Fossil Lords
The Fossil Lords were originally going to be sold on cards, but it isn't something that really sinks in until you see them laid out like this. Interestingly, Hipbone isn't present. He's the largest of the Fossil Lords, and it is difficult to see how he'd have fit on a card. Could this have been one of the reasons the plan was abandoned? Or just the general idea of selling a single toy that turns into a torso or a crotch? They're also in their prototype colours, though bigger images exist of these.

3 - Fossil Puzzler box
It exists! 'Fossilsaurus' may have been released as such in Europe, but the Tonka release was going to be called 'Fossil Puzzler' (matching the other Gobot combiner 'Puzzler' releases). This picture is incredible - box art had been produced, and work had been done on the box. Just how close were the Fossil Lords to being released? Are there actual samples of the figures in prototype colours floating about, or were these mock-ups? Does someone still have the Fossil Puzzler artwork? All these questions and more are raised!

Thanks again to Random Toy Reviews for letting me use these images, and if you have any exciting Rock Lords historical items that can be showcased, let me know!


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