Gulliver Toys

‘Gulliver’ is the brand name for the most famous of all Brazilian toys and figure lines.

Gulliver/Gulliver SA Toy Manufacturing was founded by Mariano Lavin Ortiz in Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil 1969. Mariano named the company Gulliver in tribute to Johnathan Swifts Gullivers Travels. Sadly Mariano passed in 1973 at the age of 59, leaving his children and grandchildren to take over the business.

The company’s first success was the production of the Chess game, Mequinho which sold 150,000 units in the first year. In 1975, the plush characters ‘Família Peposo’ and ‘Agarradinhos’ sold more than 8 million units in 4 years, reaching the highest record sales in the toy sector. The golden age of Gulliver was the production of wooden, plastic figures and playsets titled ‘Fort Apache’ and the ‘Superhero Herois’ lines in 1973 and 1978.

Gulliver manufactured several sets with the theme of the Wild West, and comic adventure classics. Some of the most sought after playsets were the ‘Mysterious Africa Series’ (the Phantom, Tarzan, Safari), ‘Fort Apache’, ‘The Apaches’, ‘Chaparral’, ‘The Conquest of the West’, ‘Wild Plain’, ‘The Bugs 1’ and ‘Kung Fu’. Gulliver continued the theme of the Wild West into the 80’s with molds of characters from ‘Atlantic’ (Italy) and the ‘Fort Apaches’. For decades Gulliver has produced a plethora of toys and figures. Still in production today are the ‘Fort Apache’ sets, including numerous lines of Batman, Spiderman, Disney, Action Forces, SOS Commandos and Far West Story, Total Football, Football Club and The Farm.

The most valuable of all Gulliver toy and figure lines are the ‘Super Herois’ series produced between 1973 and 1980. The Gulliver ‘Super Herois’ series is divided into three groups: Marvel Heroes, DC Heroes & Jungle Heroes. During this period, 5 individual series of ‘Super Herois’ figures were produced with a total of 32 different figures.

The Phantom toy and figure lines were only produced in Series 1/1973 and Series 2/1978. Several variations were manufactured which were marketed in multiple ways. The 2nd Phantom series continued sales from 1978 to1980.


Series 1

1st Issue – Phantom/Hero/Devil in Super Herois Box – 1973

Phantom/Hero/Devil (box measures 5” x 3.5” x 1.75”).

1) 3.5” Phantom Raised Arm, rigid plastic, hand painted; with an affixed plastic peg that could be inserted into the Horse/Hero’s saddle, for stability.

2) 5.5” Horse/Hero & base, rigid plastic, hand painted (without the base attached the horse could still stand independently).

3) 2” Tall Devil came in 2 body styles.

Note: The Phantom came in two color variations, Red & the very scarce, most desired Purple.

Horses were produced in White or Black plastic, the black plastic versions were often painted White to resemble the color scheme of “Hero”.

The 2” tall Devil came in 2 body styles.

1st Issue – Fantasma Jungle Set from the ‘Mysterious Africa’ Series – 1973

Phantom/Fantasma Jungle Set from the ‘Mysterious Africa’ series (box measures 11.5” x 7.5” x 1.5”).

1) 3.5” Phantom Raised Arm, rigid plastic, hand painted, with an affixed plastic peg that could be inserted into the Horse/Hero’s saddle, for stability.

2) 5.5” Horse/Hero & base, rigid plastic, hand painted (without the base attached the horse could still stand independently).

3) 2” Tall Devil came in 2 body styles.

4) 7” Tall Coconut Tree.

5) 8 x 3.5” Natives/Pygmy’s in various poses.

Or – 6 Natives, Coconut Tree & a 3” Red Phantom figure in shooting position with removable base, hand painted rigid plastic.

Note: 6 different Native figures were sold on blister packed cards. Of the 17 different Native/Pygmy’s produced, each Fantasma boxed playset often contained different native characters.

1st Issue – Phantom with Pistol & Removable Base – 1973

3” Red Phantom figure in shooting position with removable base, hand painted rigid plastic (sold in the Fantasma Jungle Set and blister packed Super Herois Twin & 4-Packs, with header card).


Series 2

The 2nd series of Gulliver ‘Super Herois’ were released in 1978. These were made of a more malleable plastic/vinyl, hand painted which all came affixed/non detachable bases. The word Gulliver was embossed in heavy relief, not on the underside of the base, but the rear side. As these figures were hand painted, there were often color variations from figure to figure; as well as varying detail to each painted figure.

The 2nd series produced 2 Phantom figures; one painted and one in its original solid Green plastic color. Both figures were in the shooting position. Similar in design as the 1st series but the right foot was no longer in a raised position. The painted figure was sold in blister card twin packs, along with Tarzan. It is the understanding of avid Gulliver collectors that the unpainted solid Green Phantom figure was sold loose in select stores, with other assorted ‘Super Herois’ figures.

In April, 1980, ‘Editora Abril’ promoted the ‘Super Herois’ figures by giving one figure as a free gift with the purchase of comic book, Heroes da TV No10. These figures were not painted but monochromatic colored plastic figures. It is believed the Phantom figure was not part of this free offer.

2nd Issue – Phantom with Pistol & Affixed Base – 1978

2nd Issue – ‘Green’ Phantom with Pistol & Affixed Base – 1978


Thank you Christopher Smith for assisting with images and information.