Christmas is coming, so it’s a good excuse to fill the blog up with lots of toy adverts etc; next up, it’s a very old advert (1973!) for Lego, when it was just vanilla ‘Lego’ and not affiliated with the Star Wars / Harry Potter / Toy Story / Cars cash cow franchises. Take a look;
Taken from the back page of 200ad prog 170, dated 26 July 1980.
I do remember the ‘Black Hole’, basically an updated ‘Count Dracula’s Deadly Secret’, which was mentioned in a previous post. Both Funny Feet (which was a wodge of ice cream on a stick, and the successor to Funny Faces) and Magic Monster Lolly are memorable (Magic Monster Lolly in particular – I cannot remember all of Frankensteins friends, but there was a Dracula and Wolf man). Incredible Hulk is the only one I have no recollection of, but was obviously cashing in on the popularity of the hit TV show of the time.
The same prog is also host to a quintessentially late 70’s / early 80s phenomena as Tharg the Mighty gets the Rude Boy / 2 Tone treatment, courtesy of someone from Nuneaton, a mere few miles away from Coventry, the 2 Tone movements hub;
In prog 206 of the British science fiction weekly 2000AD (dated 4th of April, 1981) there was a curious news item that made an appearance just above an advert for ‘Tiger and Speed’ comic;
Well, I knew the following – that in 1975, Elton John released the album ‘Rock of the Westies’, and this included the track ‘Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)’. I also knew that in 1979, David Bowie referenced Dan Dare in his song ‘DJ(song)’, taken from the ‘Lodger’ album. What I didn’t have was any information on the proposed TV series and its subsequent collapse. However, all has been made clear in an excellent article at downthetubes.net;
where you get a detailed account of what happened, including fascinating trivia such as James Fox was set to play Dan Dare, and Phil Redmond was mooted as the writer of the show. It all makes perfect sense with hindsight, and would have probably been brilliant, regardless of the technical / special effects budget constraints on TV at the time (when relatively cheap CGI was still a long way off).
A series did eventually make it to television in the early noughties, and was broadcast by Five in the UK. It lasted for one series. This was a CGI re imagining, and the return of Captain Scarlet a few years later also went the same way, but lasted for 2 series. Here is the trailer for the Dan Dare series;
Anyone who used to read Marvel UK in the early 1980s would probably remember this advert, and it is just an excuse really to print it to show the Soundtrack album covers.
This is taken from 1983, from the back cover of a copy of the Uncanny X-Men reprints. Some great fantasy, action, horror and sci-fi soundtracks listed there – Mad Max 2, The Beastmaster, Xtro….
I remember, as a young lad in the 70’s, opening up packets of Weetabix while going round the Co-op with my mum, searching for these cards down the inside of the box, and once I had taken the cards, putting the box back on the shelves. Shameful!
The best british comic (apart from Action). This is the launch advert from 1977.
Thinking about Action comic reminds me of an excellent website dedicated to this groundbreaking Seventies British comic;
FYI – ‘seven penny nightmare’ was how the comic was described by The Sun newspaper when it gained notoriety for its bloody, violent stories.
A frantic wireframe arcade shoot-em-up, Tempest was released by Atari in the October of 1981, and ranks as an early arcade classic that still plays well today.
Check out how good the game still is – play it on the Atari site HERE