There were twelve different series in the Action Replay family, including a couple of black sheep. The principle was simple; small Action Transfer sets featuring actual sports events. Most were retail items (available in newsagents, toy shops, etc.), but a couple were in the form of cereal Free Gifts.
Three of these series were titled "Soccer Action Replay", so you'll have to glance at the serial numbers to tell them easily apart. The third of these also had a German edition, & there were two more soccer-related series after that — just to keep you on your toes.
John Hunt says:
"Hi Tom, I remember the series as it was one I produced but cannot remember if there was more than one series. What I do remember is that the launch was supported by a seven second TV ad. The product was produced after the success of Mini Toons of which there were several series.
"The Canadian series was a promotional insert for Post cereals and there was one for Topps Chewing Gum which I think was on baseball. This again was a retail product."
To clarify: there was no 'Topps Baseball Action Replay' as such; John is referring to the Topps 1969 Baseball Magic Rub-Offs which feature on their own page. Because Topps' association with Baseball transfers is interesting in itself, there's a separate article on the subject.
Life is messy, & commerce more than averagely so; I think this is as simple as I can make it!
Just a few random images to give you some idea as to what sort of thing to expect in this article:
Here are a couple of images from the first series, to demonstrate how Letraset used a pair of angled slots cut out of their cards, to hold the transfer sheets in place & prevent them from falling out.
This technique was used for many of the Action Replay series. Apart from damaging the card slightly with cuts, it also led to a rather strange appearance of the backs, with little 'ears' of transfer sheet poking out.
The cards were simple folded sheets, but you will notice their pairs of "L" shaped notches, one on each side:
I won't say it's an elegant solution, but it's practical. If it's not clear how it all works yet, you'll get the idea once you start looking at the individual sets.
Why not get started with this very series?
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives
© Tom Vinelott 2023