This book belongs to…

Various annuals from '90s and 2000s.

The annual, a UK tradition

Each Christmas, my younger brother and I would look forward to receiving our annuals. We never knew exactly which titles we’d receive, but it was a certainty we’d get at least one each, sometimes two. Annuals are hardback comic books released at the end of each year in time for Christmas. They typically feature new and sometimes previously published stories taken from their soft cover counterparts. The covers are made from hard boards and feature a full-page colour image of one or more of the main characters. Inside you will find comic strip stories alongside puzzle and colouring pages, biographies, fact-files, competitions, photos and maybe even a poster or two.


1980s annuals.


The annual is a reasonably cheap and popular gift to give to children, providing hours of reading fun, and is strong and durable thanks to its hard covers. Inside, the first page will usually contain a This book belongs to printed panel in which to write your name. A removable price clip is added to the corner of the next page. This is sometimes removed by parents who wish to keep the cost of the annual a secret. Shhhh!


This 1969 edition of Rupert has not been inscribed or dedicated, nor has the price clip been removed - making this copy attracive to collectors.

This 1969 edition of Rupert has not been inscribed or dedicated, nor has the price clip been removed – making this copy attractive to collectors.


This 1959 edition of Rupert has been inscribed and dedicated. However, The price clip has not been removed.

This 1959 edition of Rupert has been inscribed and dedicated. However, The price clip has not been removed.


This 1977 edition of Rupert has been inscribed, dedicated and had its price clip removed. In addition, the child owner has added his own writing to the page. In 1977 this book would have cost around £1.

This 1977 edition of Rupert has been inscribed, dedicated and had its price clip removed. In addition, the child owner has added his own writing to the page. In 1977 this book would have cost around £1.


A Rupert annual has been released every year since 1936

My Rupert annuals are by far the largest group in my collection which has steadily grown into more than fifty editions. A Rupert annual has been released every year since 1936, including the war years – when hard covers were replaced by soft covers and the inside papers were printed on special ‘war economy’ paper in aid of the war effort.


A few of my Rupert annuals.

Rupert annuals.


Rupert annuals. 1978 left, 1972 right.

Rupert annuals. 1978 left, 1972 right.


 

Collecting annuals

For most collectors an annual is more prized if it’s not had its This book belongs to completed, the price clip reamins intact, and there are no personalised dedications written by family members. For me, I don’t mind a few annuals with these traits, as it adds some extra charm to the book. Other factors that will increase the collectable value of an annual will be colouring and puzzle pages remaining in an uncompleted state, as well as the overall condition of the book such as cover, spine, binding, edgeware, page foxing, etc.


These 1980s Judge Dredd annuals are in excellent condition and have not had their price clips removed.

1980s Judge Dredd annuals.


Thinking back to those past Christmas mornings, it was impossible for my brother and me to mistake those heavy, oblong-shaped presents concealed beneath their wrapping paper as anything other than annuals. Typical annuals given as gifts in our houshold would include popular UK comic titles such as the Beano, Dandy, Topper, Rupert Bear, and Spider-Man. Not forgetting hit TV series titles like Doctor Who, Starsky and Hutch, Space 1999, The Muppet Show, and many others. Annuals based on films, such as Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica were also popular choices.


Spider-Man annuals.


Star Wars annuals: childhood and editions found later.

Star Wars annuals.


1975. Planet of the Apes.

1975. Planet of the Apes.


1981. Raiders of the Lost Ark.

1981. Raiders of the Lost Ark.


 

2 thoughts on “This book belongs to…

  1. Pingback: Never mind the adverts… here are the toys ! (Pt5) | The Vintage Toy Advertiser

  2. Pingback: 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special: posters, features and adverts | The Vintage Toy Advertiser

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