Tuesday 31 May 2022


Armed and ready for action

There he stands (above), Scott Tracy, pilot of TB1 from Thunderbirds, as manufactured by Matchbox Toys in the early '90s.  There was a lot of Thunderbirds merchandise around then (and I think I bought an example of most, if not all of it), due to the show then enjoying its first national (as in simultaneous) broadcast across the country by the BBC since its original independent regional airings on different days at different times (depending on where you lived) back in the '60s.

And now a slightly embarrassing admission.  I'm sometimes in the habit of taking a small toy with me whenever I go for a walk around a former neighbourhood with which I associate the item.  It might be a replacement for an original toy I had when I lived there (it's my way of 'reconnecting' the item with the place), or it might be a contemporary retro toy that didn't exist until years after I flitted, but is based on and represents a TV show from the period of when I yet resided in the area.  Thunderbirds obviously fits those criteria.

Which is why, one pleasant evening in or around the mid '90s, Scott accompanied me and my dog Zara along to where I'd lived between 1965 and '72.  I wandered around the deserted playground of my 2nd primary school in order to relive the time when I frequented said playground in the innocent, carefree days of my childhood.  At 4 or 5 points around the school grounds there had once been wire mesh litter bins which detached from the metal frames they clipped on to; now only the frames remained, though they were eventually removed a relatively few short years later.

Taking the Scott figure from my pocket, I carefully placed him atop one of the frames so I could drink in the surrounding sights and imagine the figure as belonging to the era and area of my boyhood.  However, a slight gust of wind blew Scott from atop his perch and he landed head first on the tarmacadamed ground, leaving a very slight, practically imperceptible mark on the trim of the rear point of his hat.

Normally such a thing would have appalled me, and prompted me to attempt applying some remedial administrations to disguise any 'damage' (or buy a pristine replacement), and I certainly considered it.  However, as stated, the faint scuff was almost invisible unless examined under a loupe and was therefore scarcely worth the effort of any restoration by me.  I could always do it later, I thought, if it ever began to irk me.

I'm glad now that I didn't, for the following reasons.  The school was demolished in 2014 and houses and bungalows built on the site.  (A new educational edifice was first erected on nearby football pitches within the rather expansive grounds.)  Nowadays, whenever I look at my Scott Tracy toy (and the scuff on his hat), I'm reminded of a vanished era when my old primary was still standing, and also just about everything else from that particular period of my childhood.  (One memory leads to another, you see.)

Isn't it amazing that, as an adult, simply standing a toy figure on top of a frame for a litter bin which existed when I was a boy, can connect me to an earlier point in time when my former neighbourhood was still as it had been and not what it has since become?  Well, I think so anyway.  If you can relate to that in any way, feel free to comment.

In this old photo from around 1984, the bin can be
seen in the bottom left-hand side of the picture

Monday 30 May 2022


One of my favourite presenters from
the various TV antique shows is Caroline
Hawley, so here she is as Babe of the Day.
Wotta darlin' she is, and notice - she's wearing
tartan - she must have a little bit of Scots in
her.  (No, I'm not going where you think
 I'm going with that one, so behave.)

Sunday 29 May 2022


Being a collector who buys toys but doesn't play with them is, I suspect, a bit like having a harem and not availing oneself of the 'goods'.  That's how it seems to me anyway.  However, one can still derive pleasure from looking as opposed to 'touching', so I suppose both pastimes are not quite as pointless as they might seem.  Anyway, you didn't drop by for snippets of philosophical wisdom, so let's forge ahead.

I've always wanted a model of the K1 Robot from a 1974 Doctor Who storyline, but I didn't buy the Denys Fisher version when it was first issued in, I think, the late '70s (might've been earlier, but that was when I first became aware of it).  However, I saw the above figures (by Character Options Ltd) in my local B&M store a few days back and snapped them up.  (Mainly for the Robot it has to be said.)

Just goes to show that if you wait long enough, things will come around again.  Okay, I've waited 44  years, but it only seems like a fart from The Flash away.  Let's be honest, aside from The Daleks, most Doctor Who monsters were rubbish back during the show's original run, but I always felt the BBC hit the bullseye with the Robot's design.  What say the rest of you Crivvies, if anything?  Go on - leave a comment.

Friday 27 May 2022


I have a recurring dream in which myself and my family have just moved back to the house where we lived between 1965 and '72.  At first I'm overjoyed to be back in such familiar surroundings, but then the realisation that I'm no longer in my current house fills me with panic and an overwhelming sense of loss, and I appeal to my parents (both of whom are alive in this dream) to sign the place over to my name before the tenancy expires - as even though we've already moved out, it still has a little while yet to run.  (As has actually happened in real life before.)

Then, in my dream, it either turns out to be a dream, from which I awaken and am relieved to find it hasn't actually happened, or, in real life, I awaken before the dream has run its course.  I suppose this represents two things in my subconscious; firstly, my hankering to return to an earlier time in my life and, secondly, a deep-rooted fear that I might one day no longer be able to remain where I presently live, and thus be deprived of the comforting feeling of familiarity that I derive from being here.

The sense of relief I experience to find myself yet residing in the abode I've inhabited for most of my life is a welcome one, but the fear of one day not being able to lurks at the back of my mind, like a crouching demon waiting to spring.  My theory is that we tend to miss certain things we once had but no longer have, and if we re-acquire them, we then miss something else.  A new longing arises when an old one is fulfilled, and often it can be the thing we gave up in order to reclaim a past possession which we then yearn for, in a weird turnaround of events.

So I was wondering if any of you Crivvies have ever had (or still have) dreams similar to my own, whether it concerns houses, items, streets, shops, situations - or even people - that your somnambulistic selves revisit in the realms of Morpheus?  And when you awaken, are you relieved or disappointed to discover that what you dreamt isn't actually so (or perhaps even is)?  Reveal all in the comments section if you'd be so good, and may all your future dreams never turn out to be nightmares.  (Or should I just say 'pleasant dreams'?)         

Thursday 26 May 2022


Copyright DC COMICS

In an earlier post on Lois Lane covers I said that I had around half a dozen yet to show, but was waiting for a trio of better condition copies to arrive first.  Well, not only have they now arrived, but I also took the opportunity of buying another dozen issues which I never previously owned (that I recall) before.

Lois Lane's mag lasted to #137, and then - along with Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl, became part of Superman Family, at first a bi-monthly then monthly mag, which continued the numbering from Jimmy Olsen's title.  Anyway, I promised you I'd let you see some more LL covers so here they are.

Incidentally, regarding issue #54, I bought my first copy of this sometime in the '60s and obtained a replacement - h'mm, when exactly?  In the '80s I think, but could've been the '90s.  Trouble was, it had a bookseller's stamp on the cover and splash page, hence me requiring a better copy.  That's it above.

Below, the final 7 issues of Lois's own mag.  She had a far longer run than any of Jack Kirby's DC titles (combined), so she has nothing to complain about.  Of course, being a woman, that won't stop her.  (Sexist?  Me?)

So in exactly which issue do we first meet Melba?  Is it this one...

...or this one?  H'mm, looks like someone might've slipped up, eh?

Below, a 2 part mid-'80s Lois adventure, which I thought you might like to see for the sake of completeness.  Got a favourite cover from the ones on show here?  Then feel free to share it with your fellow Crivvies, effendis.

Monday 23 May 2022


Behold - Superman and Spider-Man together.  Supes I've already shown you (he's a 2016 reissue), but I received the genuine 1970s Mego Spidey only today - a gift from a generous benefactor.  I now have about 15 or 16 8 inch action figures, so it's probably time to call it a day.  (At least until another one comes along that I really must have.)  Yes, I'm scraping the barrel with this post, but I thought it was better to give you something rather than nothing, given my lack of blogging activity recently.

No reason why we shouldn't have a caption.

Spidey: "It's all right you saying 'jump', Superman, but I'm fresh out of web-fluid and you can fly, ya big buggah!"

Saturday 14 May 2022


I love Mego figures, of which I now have a baker's dozen.  However, one thing I've noticed is that there's always at least one joint - either elbow, wrist, knee or ankle - which is a bit slack and won't hold its position.  (Sometimes there can even be two.)  When Mego first started producing their action line, the joints were secured with aluminium rivets, but before too long, they were replaced by plastic pegs to hold the limbs together.  I've found that by disrobing the imperfect part and gently (and carefully) pouring boiling water over it, it becomes more malleable; pressure can then be applied to effect a tighter fit, whereupon a stream of cold water will secure it, resulting in a better grip where one part of a limb's 'hinge' meets the other.

Anyway, thought you might like to see two recent acquisitions - Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from Star Trek.  The first was bought for a mere fiver from a local B&M store, the second was purchased via eBay for just a tad over twice that (not including p&p), so they didn't break the bank.  Feel free to try and think of a humorous caption for the intrepid pair - no prizes other than the satisfaction that comes from making your fellow Crivvies smile.  Well, what are you waiting for?  Be funny!

I'll start things off.

Kirk: "Is that a shoulder bag you're wearing, Spock?  I hope you're not 'on the turn'!

Spock: "See the gap between my fingers, Captain?  That's the size of your penis - fully erect!"

Kirk: "And it's been swollen like that all week!"

Update: Uhura has now joined her colleagues bringing my collection of Mego items up to 14.  Looks nothing like Nichelle Nichols in face or figure, but, were she real, I'd still have a go at chatting her up.  If you want to suggest a caption for this pic, feel free.  Here's mine...

Kirk: "Actually, Spock, your date has turned up.  She's a shape-shifter from the planet Plastox and she's taken the form of your tricorder.  C'mon, Uhura - let's boogie!"

Friday 13 May 2022


Copyright DC COMICS

With the arrival today of two comics, I've now completed my collection of 25 issues of Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane, which contained Rose And The Thorn from #105 to 130.  (Number 113 was a Giant-Size reprint issue of earlier tales.)  I had only a dozen different issues (some in sequence), which I've owned for decades, but over the last couple of weeks or so I acquired the 13 mags I was missing and can now catch up on the stories I should've read around 50 years ago.  I also took the opportunity to upgrade certain issues, so though you've seen a few of the following covers on Crivens before, some of the presentations in this post are superior.

It's a strange but rewarding feeling to complete something begun almost half a century ago, like finally fulfilling 'unfinished business'.  To be able to go back, even if only in my mind, nearly 50 years to the early '70s is like time travel of a sort, and that's exactly what it feels like to me.  I can imagine, almost to the point of remembering, buying the issues I never actually had from long-gone shops where I purchased the ones I did own.  It's like rewriting part of the past to make it not how it was, but how it should've been.  Can any other Crivvies relate to that? 

Anyway, I've got just over a handful of LL mags still to show, some earlier, some later, but I'm currently waiting for three upgrade issues to arrive to replace a trio that are a little the worse for wear (should get them within the next week I hope), and when they're in my possession I'll show them on the blog for all to see.  Meanwhile, without any further ado, here are all 25 issues of LL (plus a Giant reprint issue not featuring R&T), behind which compelling covers (and even on some) is displayed the beautiful Thorn, alias Rose Forrest, perhaps the only character in comics (excepting possibly Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel) who was unaware she had another identity.

Any covers in particular that stand out for you?  Then let your fellow Crivs know by registering your thoughts in our scintillating comments section.  At least, it will be once it receives your contributions.

Incidentally, aside from the first and last covers, the rest should be two per tier.  If that's not how they appear on your screen, let me know - though it might be a problem connected with your browser and not something I can do anything about.  Also, the layout may be totally different to how it was published if you're viewing it on your 'phone. 

(Click on images to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.)

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