Wednesday 31 March 2021


You may recall me telling you about a former neighbour (Robert Baird) passing away from Covid-19 recently, and I've just been informed tonight that the person who told me (another former neighbour from the same street) has also passed away, though it doesn't seem to have been Covid-related.  Kenny Tierney was his name, affectionately known as 'Wee Barra', and whenever he saw me in the local shopping centre, he always took the time to stop and have a wee blether.

Ironically, Kenny used to live directly across the back from Robert's house when I lived in the area (and for a few years after I flitted in 1972, Robert's family relocating to Essex around '76), and it's sad to think that I'll never see either Kenny or Robert ever again.  Hopefully they're playing a game of football together somewhere 'up there'.

So condolences to Kenny's family, friends, and colleagues.  It sounds like a cliche, but he was liked by everyone and the world is a poorer place for his passing.  I've borrowed a photo from his Facebook page, and also included a photo of him, his dad, and his brother back in the '60s, which he himself supplied me with a few years back when I was doing a post about his dad, who wrote letters under the name of 'Goofy' to various newspapers.  Rest in peace, wee man.

And below (left to right) is me, Robert Fortune, Tony Tierney, my brother, and Kenny (crouching).  The photo was taken by Kenny's and Tony's dad in the '60s, when the neighbourhood was the best it's ever been.

Tuesday 30 March 2021

THE WADE 'MYSTERY' - 1, 2, 3 OR 3, 2, 1...?

HB characters copyright relevant owner

Perhaps I have a tendency to over-analyse things, but the numerical order of characters on the boxes of Wade's Yogi Bear And Friends porcelain figure series raises an interesting question in my mind.  As most of you will know, Yogi started life as part of the Huckleberry Hound Show before becoming so popular that he was given his own programme.  Early merchandise usually reflects his origins by having him accompanied by Huck and Mr. Jinks (also part of Huck's show), whereas later merchandise has him accompanied by Boo Boo and Cindy Bear.

The three Wade porcelain figures in numerical order

The Marx walking toy has Yogi and Huck together, and the Combex night-light has Yogi and Huck standing on either side of a TV screen featuring Mr. Jinks' face.  The Wade porcelain figures are Huck, Mr. Jinks, and Yogi, but the series is called Yogi Bear And Friends, not Huckleberry Hound And Friends, as the numerical order would indicate it should be called.  Might this have been the original intention, before Yogi's soaring star status made him a surer bet?  Or was it simply because Yogi's name fitted the space on the box lid better than Huckleberry Hound's?  (Neither reason is mutually exclusive of course - maybe it was both.)

The Marx Toys 'walker'

However, it could be that the numbers simply reflect a 'saving the best for last' approach, which is maybe why Yogi is listed as No. 3 instead of No. 1.  The box art certainly gives the impression that Yogi is meant to be the 'main man', so, like I said, perhaps I'm attaching too much significance to the numerical sequence in which the characters are listed.  However, I'd have thought Yogi would've been automatically accorded the No. 1 spot to better reflect his star status.

The Combex night-light

Any thoughts, Crivvies - apart from me being bonkers and getting too immersed in trivialities?  Could there have been a last minute change to the name of Wade's series because Yogi had eclipsed Huck by this time, or was it simply a case that no one was even bothering about such inconsequential matters?  Incidentally, the three figures are fairly easy to obtain on eBay (and other places), but it's rare to see them boxed and with their original white card 'inlays'*.  (Yet another 'first' for Crivens!)

Similar to the Combex night-light above, eh?

*Any occasional boxed ones you'll be lucky to see are usually missing the inlays, with the figures being wrapped in tissue paper.  Sellers often neglect to mention the inlays are missing, but some may be unaware they even existed, while others likely just don't want you to know that the boxes are incomplete.

Update: I'm so used to seeing the Screen Gems illo (above) that accompanied most Huck, Yogi, and Mr. Jinks merchandise (annuals, comic albums, etc.) that I ignored it on the top-side of the box.  Does the 'Huckleberry Hound And Friends' trade mark indicate the Wade series original name?  Perhaps not, as this panel also appeared in Yogi Bear books, but it's interesting to consider, eh?

Monday 29 March 2021


It must be around 26 years ago now, maybe more, when I acquired a beat-up Dinky MSV from someone.  I already had a more or less pristine one - with box - but I wanted to try my hand at restoring a slightly the worse-for-wear one.  So I completely stripped off the paint that remained, hand-painted it, applied replica Spectrum symbols and silver labels, then added some spare decals I had from an Angel Interceptor model kit.  The final act was to give it an aerial, but at that time no one (as far as I knew) was producing replica ones that matched the shape of the originals, so I made do with a curved one.  The finished restoration job looked so good that I got another set of Angel decals and added them to my first MSV.  The two were now identical except for the aerials, whose difference meant I could distinguish between the two cars at a glance and was unlikely to confuse one with the other.  And so it was for, as I said, at least 26-odd years.

However, several days back, while hanging a vehicle on a pin on the wall, it dropped onto the MSV underneath it and snapped the curved aerial.  All those years ago I'd purchased a bunch of aerials, but I only had grey/silver and black ones left, not white like the one that had adorned the toy for around a quarter of a century.  I used a grey/silver one as a temporary replacement and ordered a replica aerial which matched the original Dinky one (from eBay), as producers of such duplicate parts had come a long way over the years and were now able to supply 'bits-and-bobs' that were practically identical to the real thing.  Anyway, it arrived this morning, so I removed the temporary 'stand-in' and affixed the new permanent replacement.  When the two MSVs are placed side-by-side, from a few feet it's practically impossible to tell which one is which.

For years, the second MSV was without its crate containing radioactive isotopes, but I managed to obtain a replica a few years back, so its now complete and matches its doppelganger.  One day I'll scan my original box and make a duplicate so that both vehicles (not just one) have everything they originally came with, and I'll derive a real sense of satisfaction from having sorted one of the most pressing problems of our time - as far as Dinky MSVs go anyway (just trying to inject a sense of drama into the story).  Thing is, although I'd always have preferred a matching aerial all those years back (and I'm glad to have finally obtained one), 26 years is a long time and I'd grown used to the curved aerial over that period and now kind of miss it.  See me, never bloody happy, am I?!

Anyway, on view for your appreciation are both my MSVs.  Can you tell which one is the original Dinky paint job and which one is hand-painted by me?  Go on - have a guess!

It was a white version of this aerial that served for 26 years.  The above
one served only for a few days, but don't worry - I'll find a use for it

Saturday 27 March 2021


Be still my beating heart.  It goes without saying that all of my previous girlfriends were every bit as magnificent-looking as Paige Spiranac.  It also goes without saying that I'm lying through my teeth.  But hey, at least I've still got my teeth - though probably not for long if any of my previous girlfriends ever read this post.

Friday 26 March 2021



Could this be a sign that things are inching back to normal (or as close as we'll ever get)?  A brand-new UK Amazing Spider-Man comic, which I purchased from WHS yesterday early afternoon when I was out at the shops buying some necessities.  Whether a new Spidey mag qualifies as a necessity or a luxury, you can decide for yourselves, but hey - maybe it's both!  And look below for what's coming our way in April.

Thursday 25 March 2021


Here's the other '60s Yogi Bear collectable I mentioned a few weeks back (the first being the smoking Yogi).  This is likely to be one of the earliest pieces of Yogi merchandise, as Yogi appears to have on a waistcoat.  Some other examples of early products showed him with a bow-tie, a shirt front, or a combination of both, so I can only wonder about what reference material the manufacturers were being supplied with.  Having said that, Hanna-Barbera would've had to 'okay' the designs submitted to them, so perhaps they weren't too bothered about trivial divergences in regard to their characters, as long as they were recognisable.

This is a toy I've wanted for a long time and have now got (yes, that's my photo), as it conjures up the '60s to me at one glance.  As a toy it doesn't really do much apart from collapse like a drunken bear when you push the button at the bottom of the base, but hey, it's Yogi Bear and that's all that matters to me.

And here's a question that suddenly occurs to me: Out of all the famous bears, like Yogi, Boo BooBarney, Winnie (the Pooh), Rupert, Baloo, Paddington, Biffo, Smokey, Fozzie, Ted (from Andy Pandy), etc., which one is your favourite?  (Or used to be when you were a kid.)  Or if there's more than one, list them in order of preference.

Wednesday 24 March 2021


There's a theory that whenever you remember something for the second time, you're not recalling the actual event itself, but your first remembrance of it.  Therefore, when you remember it for the third time, you're remembering your second recollection of it, etc., etc.  It's an interesting theory, and perhaps it applies to memories we consciously decide we want to recapture in our craniums, but what about memories of events, items, people, etc., that spring unbidden into our minds, prompted by the sight, sound, or smell of something?  Doesn't that tend to suggest that the memory is embedded in our brains, and not something that we have to re-create each and every time we wish to remember it?

For example, sometimes when I'm re-reading a book I first read as a child, I find that the scenes which pop up in my brain upon reading descriptions of places in the unfolding story are exactly the same as when I first read the book.  Surely my mind can't be re-creating a previous memory of something I read 50-odd years ago?  Isn't it more realistic to conclude that the 'picture' was embedded - established - all that time ago, and that I'm retrieving it from my memory banks where it's lain previously undisturbed and unremembered for decades?

What's your take on this, fellow Crivites?  Are memories fixed and established, or do they have to be re-created each time we decide to remember something?  (Maybe both scenarios are true in the case of different memories.  For instance, some things I have absolutely no difficulty at all in recalling, other things I have to work at.)  Let your thoughts be known.  

Sunday 21 March 2021


Aside from a former neighbour from around 48 and a half years ago sadly dying, and one friend being diagnosed but having happily recovered, I've been lucky in that the Covid-19 pandemic hasn't impacted on my life too much.  Sure, there's been the inconvenience of having to wear a mask (though I've been told I should always wear one because I'm ugly) and not too many shops being open, but having lived the life of a freelancer for 15 years (which ended around 21 years ago), I'm quite used to spending large periods of time by myself.  Social isolation is therefore no big deal for me, and in no way a hardship, but I'm not being smug about that fact as it must be a bit of a grind for others who are far more sociably-minded than I've ever been (or wanted to be).

So I was wondering - in what way has the current situation affected your life?  Do you feel trapped, frightened, uncertain of what the future may hold, or have you just taken things in your stride, with a quiet confidence that things will eventually return to normal - or a close facsimile?  If you feel like sharing how the pandemic has affected you, feel free to talk about it in the comments section.  

Saturday 20 March 2021


Lovely Paige Spiranac graces
Crivens today and shows what a real
woman looks like.  (Now that I know,
I'll be taking down my old posters of
Atlanta Shore and Marina.)

Friday 19 March 2021


Well that was quick!  No sooner ordered than delivered (or so it seems), above is my new smoking monkey, along with a fortune-telling fish.  My original monkey could've been grey, brown, or green (can't remember), but this blue one was the cheapest option and the fish came with it - a two-for-one purchase.  The monkey comes with only two cigarettes, so I won't be letting him smoke them.  Packets of extra cigarettes are available, but I didn't get this toy to play with, only to look at - and remember the one I had as a kid.  Aside from forgetting the colour, it's exactly as I recollect from my youth, so it's good to have.


Images copyright relevant and respective owners

As far as I recall, none of the Power Comics had a Summer Special - apart from one.  Or maybe it was three-in-one, as the masthead contained a trio of names of the surviving PCs - Smash!, Pow!, and Fantastic.  It also has a cover blurb declaring itself as 'the best of Fantastic, Smash and Pow weekly'.  However, Fantastic's name had prominence and even if it was intended to represent three comics, it certainly seems to be the one and only Special ever released in connection with the weeklies.

If you're in the unfortunate position of not owning this great reminder of a vanished age, the next best thing is perhaps Reviews From The Floor Of 64 Special #2 (above), which takes a fairly detailed look at this almost legendary 1968 Summer Special.  It examines the content, and reproduces the cover and pin-ups, so by the time you've finished reading it, you'll think you own the comic even if you don't.

This second 64 Special was first published back in 2011, but is yet readily available from - as well as loads of other back issues and Specials.  Entertainingly and interestingly written, it's probably the best 'fanzine' I've ever read (going by the few issues I've got) and it gives some of the more 'professional' mags devoted to such subjects a good run for their money - and even wins the race I'd say.  So forget the mags you see on the shelves of WHS, buy one (or more) of this fanzine instead.

One of the more recent issues (now calling itself Past Perfect), below, covers just about everything by way of comics, TV shows, and movies - from Star Trek, Daredevil, The Time Travellers, The Silver Surfer, Timeslip, The Mighty World Of Marvel, Mister Miracle, She-Hulk, TV Century 21, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent Noman, Marvel Team-Ups, and TV Tornado, it's 80 A5 pages of sheer nostalgia heaven.  With full colour throughout (the only exception being images that were originally in b&w), it's more than worth £3 - grab it while you can!


Copyright relevant owner

I've mentioned my deteriorating memory before, so it'll come as no surprise to you that although I remember having the above 1972 Popeye Holiday Special back in the day, I can no longer recall precisely which house I was living in at the time.  We flitted halfway through June of that year, so it could've been either my old house or the new one I was in when I first bought this mag.  Not that it matters to you, but I'm somewhat irked by my inability to recollect exactly where I was living when I purchased it.

(Perhaps I bought it not too long before flitting and it came to our new house with me, which is why I can't nail it down to one over the other.)

I was fascinated by the cover when I saw it, as there was something about its pristine newness that appealed to me.  The replacement copy I received yesterday isn't quite in the same category condition-wise, but it's good enough to remind me of what it was about it that enthralled me in 1972.  So that's another item from yesteryear ticked off the list, time to move on to the next one in my search.  (I'll let you know what it is when it occurs to me.)

In the meantime I thought I'd show you a few pages from this Special, which probably wouldn't be allowed today as some humourless harpies would decry them as sexist.  And perhaps it could be argued that they are, but I see a great deal of observational truth in them.  And anyway, women make sexist comments about men all the time, but that's okay it seems, as it's only men that get pulled up for it because, as we all know, all guys are b@st@rds.

Anyway, whether you agree with me or not (it isn't mandatory), enjoy these few pages of Popeye.  Click to enlarge if necessary.  Incidentally, the disparity between the shades of grey from page-to-page is nothing to do with me - that's the way they were printed in the Special.  I assume they were originally in colour, and some have withstood the change to 'greyscale' better than others.

Thursday 18 March 2021


I'm sure most of you will already know the origins of the TV Batmobile, but the following recap is for those who don't.  It was customised by George Barris from a 1955 Lincoln Futura, only one of which was ever made and purchased by Barris for a mere dollar.  Originally it was pearlescent white, but was repainted red when it appeared in a movie called It Started With A Kiss in 1959.

Anyway, that's the bare backstory of my new Johnny Lightning diecast car (above).  This time it's painted black, but it's a faithful scale model of the Lincoln Futura which, should I ever decide to carefully remove it from the packaging, will look nice displayed alongside my Mattel Batmobile in the same scale.  (See second pic below for an idea of what that would look like.)

So what do you think, readers - was the Batmobile one of the coolest cars ever created - or not?


Copyright DC COMICS

Here's a good one to have.  It's a reprint of the very first comicbook that DC ever published - New Fun.  This was intended to appear as one of the 'Millennium Editions' mags back in 2000, but it never appeared.  (The reason why is explained inside.)  Apart from the covers, it's entirely in black and white, just as the original was in 1935.  One minor niggle is that the cover colour is rendered in basic 'flat' tones, whereas there was a subtle hint of colour gradiation in a couple or so instances on the '35 printing, which you can see at the back of the book.

It's good to see the revival of the Famous 1st Edition format, which first appeared in 1974 and was last used in 1979.  This is a hardback book with dustjacket, and though the original '70s series was cardboard covered in the main, there were actually some editions released in hardback as well.  A nice piece of history that will look good on your bookshelf, and it would be great to see more in this series in the future, including the reissue of some of the '70s editions.

Monday 15 March 2021


Smoking really does stunt your growth.  Yogi is only 2 inches tall

News reached Crivens today that popular cartoon character Yogi Bear has been 'let go' by Hanna-Barbera for unacceptable behaviour after being caught smoking during his lunch hour.  "We can't have anyone in our employ being seen to indulge in such harmful conduct and setting a bad example to children" said an irate HB spokesman.  Yogi's agent was asked to comment, but so far hasn't responded.  Meanwhile it's assumed Yogi is off sh*tting in the woods.


(This is one of the vintage Yogi Bear collectables I referred to recently - a smoking Yogi.  I used to have a smoking toy like this when I was a kid, but I think it was a monkey - not sure.  Could've been Yogi.  Regardless, I've got a smoking Yogi now.)

Sunday 14 March 2021


Lovely Paige Spiranac is
a professional golfer.  I wonder if
she'd let me play around with her?
Er, I mean play a round with her -
 of golf, you dirty-minded lot.


I've been pondering on what it was that first prompted me to start reacquiring items I'd once owned in my youth, and one of the things I realised was that it was never really a conscious decision - it just sort of happened.  Perhaps it started when a fellow I knew asked me if I'd like (for free) an unbuilt unboxed Aurora Superboy model that one of his friends had but didn't want.  Months later, with yet no sign of Superboy, he told me about an Aurora Batman kit in a Glasgow model shop for a mere £1.50, which, if I gave him the dosh, he'd get for me the next time he was in.  And so it came to pass.

Many months later, once Batman had been built and painted and after I'd flitted to another house and neighbourhood, he said to me one day "Remember that Superboy kit I mentioned?  Well, I've got it now, so I'll give you it the next time I see you."  This could well have been about a year and a half after him first telling me about it, but it eventually passed into my possession.  In the meantime, Monogram had reissued four of the Aurora 'Glow-In-The-Dark' monster kits and I bought the Frankenstein one.  I think I got Frankie before Superboy, but whatever the sequence, my collection was well under way.

The next step in my gradual and inexorable evolution into a 'toy collector' was when it was announced in the press that Palitoy was discontinuing production of Action Man as they felt children were no longer interested in 12 inch action figures.  That prompted me to buy one at the earliest opportunity, as I had never bought a brand-new Action Man as a kid, being merely the recipient of a neighbour's two unwanted AMs, though I may have paid him the exorbitant sum of 50p for them.  Point is they were second-hand, whereas the one I purchased in 1984 was brand-spanking-new (and on sale for half-price).

And that, to the best of my recollection, is how it all started.  Right at this moment I can't recall what my next toy acquisition was, though I was simultaneously also buying replacements for comics I'd once had as a kid and teenager.  I wasn't particularly searching for anything, opportunities to re-own things just seemed to present themselves completely unbidden.  I bought whatever came along of what I'd once owned and, before I knew it, I'd built up a nice little collection.  Well, around 40 years later, I'm seemingly in the grip of an overwhelming compulsion to track down just about anything I remember as once having, and my collection is so huge, I could probably do with a house twice the size of my present one.

So what I'd like to ask any fellow Crivvies who have also dedicated themselves to reacquiring certain items from their past is this:  What was it that set your foot on that path?  Was there a defining moment when you decided to 'go for it' and buy a specific toy or comic, and did that lead you to want more and more of the things that represented your childhood and teenage years to you?  Did you seek them out, or simply not think about things until something unexpectedly popped up for sale somewhere?  Share your experiences of such momentous moments in our comments section and indulge in a cathartic exorcism of any embarrassment or guilt that you may feel about being a big wean who's never quite grown up.

My 1984 Action Man is buried away somewhere, so here's
a photo of one from the '60s that I acquired much later

Friday 12 March 2021


Anyone remember this little footballer fella?  Produced in the late '60s or early '70s, I actually owned one myself even though I was never a footie fan.  It was a keyring, though the chain and ring part of this one (which I've just purchased via eBay) is missing.  Not a problem however, as nothing's broken and I've got a couple of spare ones somewhere should I decide to make it a keyring again.

Did any of you oldies ever have this keyring (which came in different colour strips) and, if so, what are your memories of it?  Do tell (if you'd be so kind).


Copyright BBC TV and the Estate of TERRY NATION

If you're of a certain vintage you'll remember the Dalek Emperor from the TV Century 21 back page comic strip in the 1960s ('65-'67).  Actually, that wasn't his first appearance as he'd been introduced in the Dalek Book the previous year ('64), but TV 21 is probably where most readers remember him from.

Anyway, it looks like he's now been immortalised as a Dalek model, as you can see from the photo above.  (I've used the seller's pic 'cos I'm too lazy to take one of my own set which arrived today.)  True, he's the same height as a 'normal' Dalek due to his waist section being higher than it should, and his head isn't as large as the comic strip version, but at least they got the number of vertical half-spheres on his 'skirt' section correct.

But I'm being picky, because although this model gives a heavy nod in the direction of the TV21 Emperor, I don't think it's actually meant to be him.  There's a magazine that comes with the set of two Daleks, but I've only just skimmed through it and don't yet know the full facts.  However, seems he's meant to be the 'Restoration' Emperor, but whether he's based on one from a Doctor Who episode or the CGI Dalek series, I don't know.

His head, aside from the size, seems heavily influenced by one of artist Ron Turner's later designs in the '60s strip, but whatever the case, it's just great to see ol' Globe 'ed recognised for the iconic character that he is.  Long live the Emperor!


It only took 54 years, but I finally managed to track down a replacement jeep

You've all read me rabbit on before about how certain items, whether they be comics or toys, can take you right back to the time and place (in your mind at least) when you first owned them.  And here's yet another example.  A while back I managed to obtain a JR21 TB2 toy, though without the little green jeep that sat in the pod.  I used a stand-in until recently succeeding in obtaining an original TB2 jeep, and whenever I look at it, I'm right back in the bedroom of my previous residence back in the '60s, so strongly do I associate the item with the house.

It's an odd sensation, because it's almost like inhabiting two different places at the same time.  Or in my case, five different places, because I have things (or replacements of things) from almost every house I've ever lived in.  One exception to this feeling, even though certain items yet survive from my time there, is the tenement apartment in Glasgow's West End, from which we moved when I was only one-and-a-half and therefore have no memory of having stayed there.

Anyway, forget that load of ol' pants, 'cos this is just an excuse to show you my TB2 again, but this time with the (out-of-scale) jeep it would've had when first manufactured back in the '60s.  Oh, happy day!  However, I feel compelled to tell you the full story.  (Don't worry, it's short.)  I actually had to buy another TB2 to obtain the jeep/land-rover, so I now have a spare JR21 TB2.  Although I'm by no means decided on whether I'd part with it, if anybody would like to make me an offer, I'd certainly consider it.

The elusive jeep (or is it a land-rover?) - mine at last

My two JR21 Thunderbird 2s.  Enough to make you green with envy, eh?

My 2nd TB2 with stand-in jeep, with TB4 looking neglected in the background.  I've got
a set of decals somewhere, so the missing 2 on the cockpit will be getting replaced soon

Update: Typical!  A couple or so weeks before I obtained my second (third if you count my original one back in the '60s) JR21 TB2, I found spare decals for another TB2 model I had.  However, when it came to finding them again so that I could replace the missing '2' decal on the nosecone, I just couldn't remember where I'd seen them.  Nothing for it then but to make one myself, so I lettered a '2' on an adhesive label, cut it out, and applied it to the nosecone.  Not too bad, eh?  (See pics below.)  It'll do 'til I find those darn decals.   

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