Monday, 25 October 2021

VWORP VWORP! #4 - DON'T FORGET TO BUY YOUR COPY...



Most Doctor Who fans will likely already know about the latest ish of this great publication, but it won't hurt to remind some of you who may've forgotten.  Mine arrived today, along with a combined reprint issue of #s 1 & 2, and assorted freebies that come with #4.  I've already got #3 (which came out quite a while ago), so that's me now got the complete set so far as contents go.

So if you haven't yet bought your copy/ies, jump over to the following link now:  https://vworpvworp.co.uk and part with some dosh.

PART TWENTY-ONE OF COMIC COVERS 'SNAP'...


Copyright MARVEL COMICS & CONAN PROPERTIES

Yet another entry in our occasional series of Comic Covers 'Snap', this time Conan The Barbarian #25 paying 'homage' (a nice word for 'ripping off') to Amazing Fantasy #15.  Good looking covers, eh?  I wonder if the Conan one will ever be worth as much as the Spidey one?  Yeah, I know - unlikely.

BABE OF THE DAY - PAIGE SPIRANAC...



Cor, Paige Spiranac is a real beauty and no mistake.  I wish I had a girlfriend that looked just like her.  In fact, I wish I had a girlfriend.  Thing is, 'cos I'm so handsome, most women fear not being able to hang onto me 'cos of all the attention they think I'd get from other women.  See the problems we good-looking guys have to put up with?  And all you ugly blokes thought we had it easy.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

CREEPY WORLDS #133...


Copyright MARVEL COMICS

Just arrived at Castel Crivens this morning is a comic which I'm not quite sure if I ever owned previously or not.  I am of course familiar with the lead story (Avengers #6) from various reprints over the years (the first I read being in Terrific #s 1 & 2 when it was split into two parts), and I may've read The Wasp tale in an issue of Marvel Collectors' Item Classics (or another issue of Terrific), but I don't think I've seen Meet Mr. Meek! before.  That said, the splash page of No Human Can Beat Me! does ring a bell in the cavernous confines (if that's not a contradiction in terms) of my memory, so either I did have this issue at one time or I've seen the tale reprinted elsewhere.

The interesting thing about this particular ish is that it has a folded and stapled spine, not being square-bound and glued like most Alan Class periodicals.  I assume that the original '60s AC printing (priced a shilling) would've been square-bound, but for some reason unknown to me, this '70s new pence version wasn't.  I only have two stapled AC comics in my collection, so either this was an experiment, or maybe there was a malfunction with their usual process, which required a temporary resort to staples.  Or perhaps they switched because staples were cheaper (?), but it was soon realised that the square-bound issues gave the impression of containing more content (on account of appearing thicker due to the flat spine), hence the return to the square-bound format.  Anyone know for sure? 

Anyway, enjoy the cover and splash pages from this number - it's my thoughtful way of sharing something with you that you might not own yourself.  There was also a two-page text story (The Wish), but its one illustration was so tiny that I thought you'd be able to live without it.    




Sunday, 17 October 2021

THE COMING (AGAIN) OF CONAN...


Copyright MARVEL COMICS & CONAN PROPERTIES

Hey, lookee here, Crivvies.  A facsimile edition of Conan The Barbarian #1 is due out in December, and you can order your copy now from various ebay comics dealers.  Unlike the True Believers version, this one will have all the original ads, so even if (like me) you own the original '70s edition, this'll make a handy reading copy.  Get your advance orders in now, 'cos I suspect this one will fly.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

BUDGIE UNCAGED...


Back in 1965 I owned a second-hand Budgie Toys Supercar for around half-an-hour.  I'd swapped a red yacht and a red water pistol for it with a guy around the corner from me.  However, when the base suddenly fell off, I insisted that the swap was null and void and I got my two items back.  1965 is 56 years ago, and it's taken me this long to finally acquire a replacement for the temporary toy from my childhood, as a Budgie Supercar arrived at Castel Crivens today.

I had the choice between a red base Supercar with silver upper, or a silver base one with a red upper.  The first had a broken and repaired canopy, and the second was missing its tiny rear aerial.  I could've replaced the canopy as I have a repro spare, but the decals were better on the second version and the canopy was in nicer condition.  As I also had a 'repro' spare aerial (which I got along with the canopy when I purchased a white metal recast of the toy a few years back) so I judged it better to buy the one which only needed the aerial.

In actual fact, the aerial is slightly different from the original, but it does the job and is a lesser compromise of the model's 'integrity' so I can live with it.  Another factor is that the Supercar I bought was quite a bit cheaper as, apparently, it's the more common of the two versions, the red base one been deemed rarer and therefore commanding a higher asking price.  However, under the paint the metal is the same, so if I ever wanted to, I could simply strip the paint off my car and repaint it, as I also have a spare set of decals.

This model is very similar to the Cecil Coleman Supercar, though I've no idea which one came first.  The Coleman one is plastic and very slightly longer, a result of the rear of the car extending further than it should (but not by much) in relation to the back of the canopy.  (If you'd like to see it, click here.)  I coveted the Coleman incarnation on two separate occasions as a boy, but my parents declined to buy it for me, inexpensive as it was.  I purchased one a good many years ago though, and now the Budgie version has finally joined it.  I feel like I'm a kid again, even if it is only a temporary sensation.

Anyway, as if you couldn't tell, that's my new acquisition at the top and bottom of the post.  Now all I have to do is dig out my replica box for it (purchased years ago in anticipation of netting the toy) and it'll look great on display.  If you had a Budgie (or any other make) Supercar when you were a boy, let's hear all about it.  (And don't worry - I've got yet another spare, slightly different aerial should I ever decide to build and paint the white metal recast.)


Friday, 15 October 2021

WHATEVER BECAME OF KEVIN AND JANINE? THE ANSWER (UPDATED)...


There's actually a good reason for republishing the following post from 2015, which will become evident once you've read the following comment submitted to the blog earlier.

Hi Gordon, Marc Jung here, I do trust you're well these days.  Not sure if you knew, but just a note to say Kevin Brighton died on 5th (actually the 8th) September, 2021, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, sadly.  I hadn't seen him in twenty years, but was in contact with his wife on Facebook.  Hoping you are not so bad these days.  Best wishes, Marc.

I've no way of confirming whether this comment is genuine or not, but I'll assume it is (in which case, thanks Marc) as it would be a pretty sick thing to say if it isn't.  That's Kevin on the left in the above photo, with his pal Derek Pierson, who sadly died in 2016.  I took the photo around the mid-'80s in the IPC canteen.  Condolences to Kevin's family and friends.

Update: I managed to track down Kevin's obituary and can now sadly confirm that he has indeed passed away.

As for Janine Andrews, she's now around 60 and was being treated for ovarian cancer last year, having battled (and beaten I believe) breast cancer in 2014.  Not sure what her current situation is, but let's hope she made a full recovery. 

******

Hopefully, a side-on view of a bit of nip won't shock anyone too much, but there's a reason for me publishing this particular pic.  I think it's Page 3 model JANINE ANDREWS, and the original glossy photo from which I photocopied this image used to adorn the wall under the window ledge beside the desk of IPC art assistant KEVIN BRIGHTON, who worked on the same floor (26th) as myself in KING'S REACH TOWER in Stamford Street, London, circa 1985-'87.

His desk was situated right in front of mine, and as I visited the Capital every week (sometimes twice), I got so used to seeing the lovely Janine that Kevin let me photostat the picture so that I could have my very own copy to take back home with me.  For nearly 30 years it's graced the side of a filing cabinet in my room, and whenever my eyes fall upon it, I can't help but be reminded of King's Reach Tower, the view from the window of the 26th floor, and, of course, Kevin himself.

The last time I saw Kev was in December '87, when I visited London, not for the purposes of work, but for a two day stay in the city just for the hell of it.  In fact, I haven't been back to London since, and although I spoke to Kevin a couple of times on the 'phone shortly after, I don't know what became of him once the IPC Youth Group began to disintegrate following pension-pincher ROBERT MAXWELL's acquisition of it a few years before his ill-fated swim in 1991.

Kevin was quite a talented cartoonist in his own right, so maybe he fulfilled his artistic ambitions, met and married Janine Andrews, ditched the pic, and lived happily ever after.  Whatever happened to him, I have fond memories of my visits down south in the '80s, and one glance at the above perky pin-up brings it all back to me.  Ah, happy days indeed.

******

Update: It's strange to think that Kevin has passed away, because in my mind's eye he's alive as he ever was.  I usually only saw him once a week when I was down in London (except when I'd visit twice in the week as sometimes happened), but each time it was as if the intervening week hadn't existed, and each new day in London followed the day after my previous visit - almost like an alternate timeline, as it were.

I feel that if I got on a coach and went down to London right now, I'd find King's Reach Tower and Irwin House the same as I remember them, and there would be Kevin, Marc and Derek just as they were back in the day, not changed at all.  It's a fanciful illusion of course, but that world of the '80s is as real to me today as it was back then - and I hope it always will be.    

Thursday, 14 October 2021

POST FROM THE PAST: THE TRUE STORY OF BATMAN & ROBIN - (OR: DO YOU STILL BELIEVE IN FAIRY TALES?)


From TRUE FACT COMICS #5, 1946.  Art by WIN MORTIMER, script by JACK SCHIFF,
MORT WEISINGER & BERNIE BRESLAUER.  (Images copyright DC COMICS)

You'd think that BOB KANE, as the 'creator' of BATMAN, would be a revered figure in the world of comics, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Going by accounts I've read of people who met him, he was egotistical, self-centred, and many fans found him to be an immense disappointment.  It gives me no joy to impart any of this information to anyone who isn't already aware of it, because it would be nice if he was held in the same high regard as STAN LEE is by his fans, but it's hard to escape the facts.

In BILL SCHELLY's excellent book, SENSE Of WONDER: A LIFE In COMIC FANDOM, he has this to say about hearing Bob Kane speak (as one of the Guests of Honour) at the 1973 New York Comic Art Convention.

******

                     "The first major event of the comicon was a talk by Bob Kane.
                     While some knew that others had contributed much to make
                     Batman a great success, Kane was held in high esteem.  When
                     he was introduced and strode up to the front of the room, a tall,
                     good-looking man with a dark tan, he received a thunderous
                     standing ovation.

                     When he left the room after completing his talk, the applause
                     was a mere polite smattering.  Bob Kane had gone from hero to
                     heel in a mere half-hour.  That was no mean accomplishment,
                     given his place in the comic book firmament.

                     How did he do it?

                     Humility was not a trait that could be found in Bob Kane.
                     There was little room to admire him when he was so busy ad-
                     miring himself.  All his stories about his time in the industry, the
                     awards he'd received, the celebrities he'd met, and the movie
                     projects he'd masterminded, had one thing in common: they
                     were to reinforce how great, how brilliant, and how famous
                     Bob Kane was.

                     It was nauseating.

                     Having enjoyed the adventures of Batman and Robin for
                     so many years, I was disappointed to discover that the man
                     behind the Dynamic Duo was such a jerk.  It wasn't that Kane
                     was having a bad day, either; I heard later that stories about
                     the man's ego were legion."

******

I once read an interview with Kane in which he related the tale of someone at a convention asking him to autograph an issue of either DETECTIVE COMICS #27 or BATMAN #1.  Kane offered the fan a page (or two) of original artwork in exchange for the comic and was apparently astounded when his offer was politely declined.  "Why would anyone prefer a printed comic over original art by the guy who drew it?" he mused.  (And the pages he was offering were not from the comic he was trying to swap them for.)  No great surprise really, as, at the time, the comic was worth many thousands of dollars (which Kane must surely have known), whereas there wasn't really much demand for original Bob Kane art - especially as it was suspected that he routinely back-dated his artwork decades earlier than it had actually been produced.

I remember reading another interview (or perhaps it was the same one) in which he says he just couldn't understand the scene in FRANK MILLER's The DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, where an emaciated SUPERMAN's costume 'fills out' as he flies closer to the sun, the source of his power.  Was Kane really ignorant of this long-established piece of Superman folklore?  If so, it tends to suggest a lack of interest in any comic that wasn't by him.  (Although not many actually were, according to some.)

Having read his autobiography, BATMAN And ME, some years ago, I was struck by how unsophisticated Kane appeared to be.  There's an account of when, as a youth, he encounters a neighbourhood gang, and the comicbook dialogue he attributes to them as he dashingly and daringly (as he tells it) evades their clutches reads like pure invention.  As does his tale of meeting a young (and as yet unknown) MARYLIN MONROE and going to the beach with her for a swim; it has all the hallmarks of fiction by a fantasist who just can't see that his stories are unbelievable.

In the 1989 BATMAN movie, a newspaper cartoonist hands a sketch of a bat-like creature to one of the reporters.  It's prominently signed 'Bob Kane'; the reporter takes one look at the sketch and mutters "What a d*ck!"  Were the movie-makers delivering their verdict on Bob Kane, the creator (or co-creator) of one of the most popular icons of 20th century mythology?  Sadly, it very much seems like it.

However, this isn't meant to be a 'hatchet job' on Bob Kane. I write this post in sorrow rather than in anger, and certainly no malice is intended on my part.  I merely want to point out that it's just a shame that Batman's creator isn't held in the same high esteem as his creation - even if it does seem to be largely his own fault.  At least Bob wasn't (as far as the credits go anyway) responsible for the following 'highly imaginative' account of how the daring Dynamic Duo first came to be.  Cue Jackanory theme music...





Monday, 11 October 2021

MORE MERRY MERCHANDISE FEATURING THAT BRILLIANT BOLD BRUIN, YOGI BEAR (UPDATED)...



Still on the theme of Yogi Bear, here's a bunch of stuff I've acquired only recently on ebay.  I already have two of the above Yogi and one Boo Boo, but I had to buy the above set of three in order to obtain Ranger Smith.  However, I got the trio for far less than it can cost for any one of them on its own so it was an absolute 'steal' for me.

Below is a toy I've been wanting to own for a while; I think it's from the '60s, but might be a '70s toy.  I've got a monkey version, bought new from an open-air stall circa the early or mid-'90s in my local town centre before it was roofed over.  (It was either there or Woolworths.)  Unlike others in this range, Yogi's arms don't turn at the shoulders, but it doesn't seem to hinder his acrobatics. 


As you can see, his face and eyes weren't painted too well, so I tarted them up a bit with some acrylic paint and then varnished over them with a mix of matt and gloss (resulting in something close to satin), so Yogi looks a lot better now as you can see in the pic below.  I didn't go overboard as I wanted the toy to retain a bit of the 'rough' look that many 'Made In Hong Kong' products had back then.  Had I made it too precise, it would've been too obviously a 'touch-up' job.


Below is yet another duplicate of a toy I've already got, but this one has its packaging, which has been partially opened though remains undamaged.  So I've got a pair of smoking Yogis and a smoking monkey - haven't lit any of them up so far, though might give them a try at some stage.


At last - a Yogi Bear mug, adorned with the legend 'Smarter than the average bear'.  It arrived today and I'll be having a cup of tea from it after I've published this post.  What every clever, handsome person should have, so none of you lot deserve one then.  It's for me and me alone!


Just in case you didn't believe what it said, below is another shot from a different angle.  Aren't you jealous?  No?  Well, you should be.  As well as grateful for all the time and trouble I've gone to in photographing these treasures just for you.


Finally (also arrived today), a Yogi badge from the '60s.  I have a pair of similar badges with Yogi facing front, so this makes a nice variation.  One can never have enough Yogi Bear badges - and I don't even wear badges (and never have).  Right, that's your lot, get on with your chores.  (Whaddya mean, reading my blog is the biggest chore going?  After all I've done for you.)

ARE YOGI AND BOO MORE THAN JUST FRIENDS? WHEN WILL IT ALL STOP?


Copyright relevant owner

Regular readers will know that I'm a Yogi Bear fan.  Probably due to the fact that he's the earliest cartoon character I remember from childhood and because I had quite a few Yogi items of merchandise at the time.  Anyway, I still buy old Yogi stuff on occasion and the above cardboard covered comic is a recent acquisition (for a song) via the auspices of ebay.


It's dated January on the cover and 1963 in the indicia, which probably means it went on sale around October 1962.  Nice little collectable item, but imagine my shock when one story appeared to suggest that Boo Boo 'played for the other team'.  In one panel he refers to Yogi as his boyfriend (well, boy-friend to be precise, in case the apostrophe makes a difference), which nearly made me choke on my cornflakes.  (Or would've done had I been eating any.)

I mulled it over then decided he meant it in the same way women refer to their platonic female friends as 'girl-friends' - no romantic relationship implied.  Then, two pages on, he ruins it by saying he'll make up for his duff Christmas gift to Yogi on Valentine's Day.  Swoon!  Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised - after all, they share a bed in a cave, but I'd always assumed it was on the same basis as Laurel & Hardy and, later, Morecambe & Wise did.  (As in nothing dodgy.)

So what's going on?  Was the writer unfamiliar with the characters and perhaps thought Boo Boo was a girl?  Or was he having a subversive dig at the nature of both bruins' relationship while hoping his editor wouldn't notice?  Are dodgy doings going on at Jellystone Park, or could there be a simple, more innocent explanation?  Quick - rescue Yogi & Boo Boo's reputation with a reason as to why things aren't as they seem.  Apply brains now!

Sunday, 10 October 2021

ARE SOME EBAY SELLERS FAR TOO GREEDY, OR ARE THEY SIMPLY A BUNCH OF CHANCERS? WHAT'S YOUR VIEW...?


Copyright DC COMICS

Here's a couple of images I've borrowed from ebay of the very first Batman card from the '60s.  This one card has an asking price of $199, plus p&p $17.23, and import charges of $50.28.  That translates as £146.65, £12.63, and £36.93 respectively.  However, another one has an asking price of - wait for it - $1,995, which is approximately £1,462.88.  Postage is $57.75, which equals £42.35.  Import cost isn't specified, as it says that international postage may be subject to... additional charges.

Now as we all know, an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and nobody's twisting their arm to buy it.  However, do you think that some sellers are opportunistically exploiting the compulsive desire of those who are desperate to reunite with an aspect of their past; in short, out-and-out crooks who have no shame in asking for ridiculously high prices for items of nostalgic interest - or are they only ordinary businessmen trying to earn an honest buck?

Here's another question for you.  Even if you could afford to, would you ever be prepared to spend an extravagantly-inflated amount like those above for something that you desperately wanted to own, or would you be able to resist the siren call to part with your money for something that originally cost mere pennies or shillings?  Would you even be tempted?  Feel free to make your views known in the comments section if you'd be so good.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

THE MASK OF THE MONSTER (UPDATED)...



There used to be - and maybe still is for all I know - a regularly issued practical jokes & tricks catalogue from a company called Ellisdons, from which (if memory serves) I got my first over-head Frankenstein mask sometime around the mid-'70s.  I think I later bought another one which had 'real hair' (it was certainly real something, but it definitely wasn't hair), and though it was based on Jack Pierce's original make-up design, its likeness wasn't that of Boris Karloff or Glenn Strange, but a slight amalgam of both of them.

One night myself, a friend, and the mask, visited another friend, who took a couple of photos of us clowning around that were developed as slides.  He later gave me copies, which I cut up and installed in one of those toy TV-type viewers that, when you clicked a switch, revolved the pics past the viewfinder.  I made a little sign saying 'The Curse Of Frankenstein' and attached it to the viewer, and when I showed it to yet another pal (Moonmando), he remarked "More like the curse of Adam Cowie(name changed to protect the guilty), the friend that I, as the Monster, was 'attacking' in the pics.

Ah, such fun - the joys of youth!  (I was yet a teenager.)  Anyway, today, all the way from America (actually saved a tenner by not buying it in Britain), the official Universal Studios full over-head mask of Boris Karloff as the Monster arrived at Castel Crivens.  When I tried it on, the smell of latex whisked me 45-odd years into the past, because it smelt exactly the same as the masks obtained from Ellisdons.  True, the Universal version is much better made, more fully detailed, and of far superior quality, but the smell was the same.

Anyway, it's such a brilliant mask I thought I'd let you see it, so that's it above among some other goodies in one of my rooms, and below are a few close-ups of Frankie's fearsome fizzog to astound and amaze you.  Brilliant, innit?!  Who else remembers Ellisdons, and did any of you ever have a Frankenstein Monster mask when you were a youth?  Or any other kind, come to that. 


The mask is draped over a globe light, which I switched on
for this photo.  If you look closely, you can see a hint of the
lit-up eyes.  Click to enlarge, then click again



Photo used in ebay listing

Saturday, 2 October 2021

THE ENIGMA FILES (UPDATED)...


Copyright relevant owner

Hard to believe it's been 40-plus years since I bought a paperback called The Enigma Files by Christine Sparks, based on the BBC TV series of the same name.  It had a similar concept to the much later show, New Tricks, and starred Tom Adams (purportedly once considered as a possible James Bond) and comedian Duggie Brown.  It was a great wee show, so when I saw the paperback on sale in the shops I promptly bought it.  Still got it too.

It's not exactly pristine and I had to re-attach the cover at some point.  I couldn't now say whether it just wasn't very-well bound or I'd lent it to someone to read (from before I adopted a 'non-lending' policy) and got it back in its 'worse-for-wear' condition, but I tarted it up a little and decided to keep my eye out for a better condition copy to take its place.  I even contacted BBC Books, but received a card saying the book was now unavailable.  (I'm pretty sure I've still got that card somewhere, so when I find it I'll add it the post.)

Anyway, never saw one until relatively recently on ebay (whatever would we do without the Internet, eh?) and was surprised to learn there'd also been a hardback edition, which I bought a few days ago via AbeBooks for not much more than it originally cost in 1980.

It arrived today and is in excellent condition, but I'll still keep its 41 year old predecessor as it'd be cruel to dispense with it after all this time.  I'm surprised to see from the cover photograph that Tom Adams looks like a friend I had around 1979 to '86 or '87, but I no longer recall whether I was aware of the resemblance then or not.  It's possible I was, though I couldn't swear to it, but I noticed the similarity right away today.  If you're a long-term reader you've seen him referred to as Bob Billens, though that isn't his real name, just a close approximation.

These days my memory comes and goes, so it's always possible I might yet remember being previously aware of the likeness and having remarked upon it to Bob - which actually sounds familiar now that I've typed it.  Not that it's important to anything, but I just thought I'd mention it.

I seem to recall there being a discrepancy in the book about the age of the main protagonist's (Nick Lewis) daughter, so if true, when I get around to re-reading it (I've re-read my original paperback at least once over the decades, possibly even twice), it will be good to see that some parts of my memory still hold up.  Any Crivvies ever read this book or watch the TV series, and if so, what did you think of it/them?  As ever, the comments section awaits.  

Anyway, I know I enjoyed it as a mere teenage youth (not that it's a book aimed at a younger readership), so it's a book you may enjoy reading as well if you haven't already done so (and even if you have).

******

Update: I've now found the card (below) mentioned in the second paragraph.  Although it's a postcard, it came in an envelope so unfortunately there's no date on the card to say which year I received it.  Not sure why I don't still have the envelope as I usually keep such things, but there's no guarantee the postmark would've been legible anyway.

Did I make my enquiry before moving to the abode I stayed in between May 1983 and August '87, or had I returned to my current home when I contacted the BBC about a replacement?  Or was I in that other house when I made my enquiries?  Can't recall, alas, so the info is lost to history.  I suspect, though, that it was either while I still lived here (pre-flitting) or the other place.

The 01 dialling code for London was changed in May 1990, so I obviously must've received the card  sometime before then. 

Note that they didn't get the book's title quite right

Monday, 27 September 2021

FIREBALL XL5 ANNUALS COVER GALLERY (UPDATED)...


Copyright relevant owner

I think it's fairly safe to say I never owned a brand-new Fireball XL5 Annual when I was a kid, instead acquiring them in jumble sales up to a couple or so (or more) years after they first came out.  If I recall correctly, I remember seeing the second one (1964 for '65) on the way to school one morning with my brother and some of his friends, one of them showing it to the rest of us.  The two of us hadn't long moved to another domicile five minutes down the road in the same neighbourhood, but we'd ventured up to our old street so my brother could reunite with a few of his pals from the area for our trek to school.

That's why I associate one of the Annuals with a house and street we no longer lived in, though obviously you're not interested in such a triviality.  I mention it, however, because it later sometimes seemed that all four Annuals must've belonged to the period I was in those two houses and attended my first primary school, though I also remember them from our third house (and my next primary) because that's when I acquired second-hand copies for myself - usually from the church across the road when it had one of their Summer or Christmas Fayres.

Looking back, I'm kind of surprised to be reminded the initial Annual went on sale in 1963 when I yet lived in our first house, the second in '64 when I was in our second home, the third in '65 just before we flitted once again - and was still selling as a new book (being for the coming year - '66) when my family was freshly ensconced in our third abode.  The fourth and final Annual hit the shops after I'd been in our new home for around ten months, but due to me obtaining it second-hand a year or two after it came out, I assumed it was older than it was.  (I've absolutely no memory of seeing any of them in the shops.)

I likely had all four books in that third house (though probably not at the same time), obtained 'pre-owned' (as they say these days), so I now connect them with there, but at the time, I supposed all four predated my tenure and belonged to an earlier period.  (When you're between 7 and 10, a handful of years seems greater than it is.)  "What's all that got to do with the price of cheese?" you may be asking; nothing really, apart from the fact the fourth book was contemporary, and properly 'belonged' to the third house, being published while we lived there, though I didn't know it at the time.

The foregoing preamble is just my usual long-winded way of saying I'm surprised by that, and it also fills a space on the blog while at the same time giving you four nice images to look at.  I especially love the fourth one by Mike Noble - which is your favourite?

Incidentally, I typed all this while suffering from 'brain fog', so don't be surprised to see some revisions somewhere down the line if I can think of a clearer and more concise way to express myself. 

******

(Update:) Incidentally, some chancer is currently asking £99 for the fourth book on ebay - even though it has nearly a third of the spine missing.  I just acquired a complete second copy of the same Annual today (Saturday 2nd October) for a mere £10.99.      



Thursday, 23 September 2021

POST FROM THE PAST: ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR...


The rubberband version

1965 was the year I got my rubberband-powered STINGRAY by LONE*STAR. There was also a clockwork version which looked pretty much the same (see below), but it was the cheaper version I had.  Cheaper, but no less fun at the nearby pond just along the road from where I lived at the time.  And there was also the kitchen sink or the bath for Stingray to continue its undersea explorations when I couldn't be bothered going out or the weather was against me.

The clockwork version

I acquired a replacement for this toy a number of years back and have it proudly on display.  VIVID IMAGINATIONS produced their own, far more detailed version of this craft sometime back in the '00s, but there's something about the '60s original which is hard to beat.  The above two pictures are from the Internet - the one below is of my own toy.  For this 'update' I've also included a few of the Vivid Imaginations version from 2001/'02.

My very own toy - the camera flash has lightened the colours

The VI version works on the same principle as the LS one, though is a little more sophisticated.  The rubberband on the '60s toy is wound by rotating the propeller, whereas the '00s toy has a 'dial' on the bottom which you rotate clockwise.  Interestingly, some of the blue areas now appear green, so I assumed the colours had faded over time (it hangs on my wall), but when I checked my unopened spare which has been wrapped in a bag and kept in a cupboard for decades, it was the exact same.  However, I'm pretty sure the green was blue when I first bought them (from my local Woolworth's), so don't quite know what happened there.  Still a cracking toy though, eh?

The Vivid Imaginations version




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...