This 1980 French catalogue features some well-known toys that were sold around the world during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Click on the images for expanded view.
Cartoon cat and mouse double act Tom and Jerry has featured in plenty of advertising for products such as toys, games and food products. Here is a 1983 French ad for Lansay electronic games and a 1975 UK ad for Quosh Jokers soft drinks.
I’m not in Paris but I am in France, and right now I’m so sad. As the day breaks on the morning following the horrors of the night, there is hope of a brighter day.
My blog is supposed to be about vintage toys. Yet like my post earlier in the year about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, I once again write with heavy heart at the brutal loss of life here in France. Last night, Friday 13th, on ‘International Kindness Day’, at least 120 citizens going about their weekend business of eating, drinking, attending a rock concert and a football match were massacred. As I write, more than two-hundred have been reported injured by bullets and explosives – some seriously.
My thoughts and love go out to the victims, their friends and families. The boyfriend of my wife’s friend was in the Bataclan venue last night watching the Eagles of Death Metal play. As the news broke of what was happening he remained un-contactable for almost an hour. Luckily he managed to escape and let his girlfriend know he was safe. We also have three young family members living and studying in central Paris. As news of their safety reached us we breathed a huge sigh of relief at these scraps of good news.
How pathetic that this post must directly follow the Shelley Lost Poem post I made lamenting the futility of war and the suffering of innocents. I don’t think I have words to describe how I feel about the gunmen and whatever their idealogical reasons are for what they did – other than they must be inhuman. To kill so many citizens simply out enjoying their Friday night is taking it to a whole new level. It’s as pointless as walking along a beach shooting sun-bathing tourists (Sousse, Tunisia 2015), or detonating yourself in the middle of a peace rally (Ankara, Turkey 2015).
Must we as citizens always look over our shoulders now at the billowing fury of religious fanatacism as we go simply about our business watching rock bands?
The Bodleian Library has just acquired its 12 millionth book. Wriiten by the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and printed in 1811 under the alias of “a gentleman of the University of Oxford”, the Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things is a 172-line poem written in support of the Irish journalist Peter Finnerty who was jailed for libelling a politician. The ‘lost’ poem was discovered in 2006 and has now been acquired by the Bodleian library which has created a full digital copy available free to the public to read. See the link above.
What may strike you when you read this poem is how little things have changed since the time of Shelley’s sentiments. The pointlessness and brutality of war, the oppression of the poor at the hands of the rich and priviliged, issues surrounding freedom of the press – themes as relevant today as they were back in the 19th century to Shelley.
I would just like to say cheers Shelley! Thank you for speaking up back then. You did not have to do this, but you found somewhere inside your spirit the voice to call out injustice and inhumanity. It is a depressing realisation that not much has changed. But I do draw some comfort that there will always be others like Shelley – not necessarily poets or artists or actors or musicians – who will continue to call out the corrupt politicians and rulers who consistantly try to prove to us that humanity must always come second to greed. Ruling class, with palms greasy from money or bloody from arms, many of us will always see through your lies.
Note to poets, artists, actors and musicians and anyone with an amplified voice: please continue to speak out against social injustice. You are placed in unique positions and people will listen.
I found my childhood Stanley Gibbons stamp album today and thought I’d share a few images of some Ajman, Romanian and Czechoslavakian space exploration stamps.
These Ajman stamps feature artwork depicting some of the US Apollo missions.
These Romanian stamps feature US astronauts and Russian cosmonauts such as John Glenn and Yuri Gagarin.
I can’t find the date of this stamp but “člověk na měsíci” translates to “man on the moon” and the 1969 date would seem to celebrate the beginning of the Apollo moon missions. The letter ‘C’ on the astronaut’s chest could relate to Eugene Cernan, an Apollo astronaut of Czech origin.