BIG TRAK (US) or Bigtrak (Europe) was a computerised toy vehicle created by Milton Bradley in 1979. This six-wheeled tank-like monster came with attractive decals, a front-mounted blue photon beam headlamp, and an integrated programmable keypad that remembered up to 16 commands which it then executed in sequence.
Two big screen adieus and a small screen hello, as TVTA learns that movie director George A. Romero has died aged 77. Romero is famous for bringing zombies to cinema. His celebrated budget zombie films like Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are classics of their genre. I like Romero’s films for their simplicity, comedy, humanity and social commentary. RIP George A. Romero.
Martin Landau – one of my childhood heroes in his lead role as Commander Koenig in Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s Space 1999 TV series, has died aged 89. Landau received due recognition with a best supprting actor Oscar for his role as horror legend Bela Lugosi in the 1994 Tim Burton film Ed Wood. RIP Martin Landau.
And welcome to British actress Jodie Whittaker who has just received the key to the Tardis in her new role as the 13th Doctor in Doctor Who. Whittaker shined in the acclaimed BBC series Broadchurch. I can’t wait to see what she will offer as the latest incarnation of the Doctor. Welcome Jodie Whittaker.
Wooof just came flying into the scanning room in a state of panic.
“What’s the trouble?” I said.
“I accidently messed up the settings on our new time machine,” replied the cat. “We have less than six minutes before time splits into two, erases our recent posts, and the bailiffs come to take our scanner! In addition to this, we’ll be talking in spoonerisms and nonsense.”
“Bloody hell Wooof,” I said. “We already talk enough nonsense at The Vintage Toy Advertiser as it is. And may I remind you, the last time this happened we ended up crashing into the darkside of Planet Jupiter!”
“Stop moaning,” said the cat. “And post up the ads!”
INSERT TIME TRAVEL NOISE HERE: Whooooooooshhhhhhhh…
(six minutes later)
Wooof just came skying into the flanning room in a plate of static.
“Trots the wubble?” I said.
“I maccidently assed up the settings on our new wine machine,” replied the cat. “We have less than six biscuits before time tits into sploo, erases our decent roasts, and the bailiffs come to bake our spanner! In addition to this, we’ll be talking in noonerisms and sponsense.”
“Hoody bell Wooof!” I said. “We already talk enough nonsense at The Toasted Sandwich Advertiser as it is. And ray I me-mind you, the last time this happened we ended up crashing into the backside of Janet Plutiter!”
“Mop stoning,” said the cat. “And toast up the pads!”
TVTA is proud to present a tantalising mixed-up time treat of inflatable bunnies, scarecrows, rollerskates, kangaRoos, monsters and spooks, and more inflatables!
And how about those ‘buns’?
I’m certain the answer to my question is a big royal no.
But while scanning newspaper ads from a 1973 UK royal wedding special, the moment I saw Princess Anne in her wedding dress my immediate thought was…
… that look … it’s just so Princess Leia!
Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips were married on November 14, 1973, at Westminster Abbey, England. Anne’s wedding dress was created by designer Maureen Baker. Made in Suffolk, England from a speciality silk, it featured a high neckline (Anne’s idea), military-inspired epaulettes picked out in seed pearls, a tiny waist, and long medieval oversleeves with short swelling undersleeves.
Anne’s hair, though not made up in buns like Leia’s, gives a similar effect with its swept back sides, backcombing and a centre parting.
Princess Leia’s simple white hooded gown was designed by John Mollo who had the outfit made at Bermans & Nathan’s, a London costume shop. For me, this costume and the similar one worn at the medal ceremony in 1977’s Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope, defines the ‘Princess Leia look’. I think it’s a tribute to great costume-making and the talents of actress the late Carrie Fisher who played the role.
Certainly there are some similarities between these two famous 1970s Princess costumes. And one final similarity… both Princesses have been made into dolls – Anne as a Peggy Nisbet doll and Leia as a Kenner doll.
Princess Anne images taken from Daily Mail, Thursday, November 15, 1973.
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia photos property of Lucasfilm / Disney.
Peggy Nisbet doll image taken from Bidorbuy.
Kenner doll image taken from imperialgunnery.
Beautiful Crissy was first marketed by Ideal Toys in 1969. The doll has a unique feature whereby her hair can be ‘grown’ by adjusting a switch on her back to make it longer or shorter. Crissy measures just over 17 inches in height (approx 43 cm) and comes with fashion outfits and accessories, as well as a range of ‘family and friends’ dolls to keep her company.
Scans taken from the Ideal Toy company dealer catalogue, 1972.