British comic book promotions in 1983, and a look at some Frank Langford ads

2000 AD Weekly Order newsagent form. 1983. UK.

Hope you’re staying healthy and well, vintage mates, as we continue on through the 2020 pandemic, into glorious May, and a new monthly edition for TVTA #110!


Today’s post is a surefire blast from the past which will take anyone who was around in Britain in the 1980s on a most pleasant stroll down memory lane.

From a lot of 1983 British comics which I ordered weeks ago – but which was only delivered this week – due to the pandemic – TVTA is pleased to present a range of comic book free gifts and promotions, plus some superb advert goodies from British artist Frank Langford.

Frank Langford (1926-1996)

Frank Cyril Langford was born Cyril J. Eidlestein in Stepney, London, on 2 June 1926. His earliest work in comics was in Roxy in the late 1950s. His highest-profile work in British comics was “The Angry Planet” (1963) in Boy’s World, some pages of which are signed “Eidlestein”, and the title strip in Lady Penelope (1966-69). From 1969 to 1973 he drew romance comics for DC in the US, in titles such as Secret HeartsYoung LoveYoung Romance and Falling in Love.

Angry Planet

“The Angry Planet” Boy’s World 1963

Langford also drew “Doctor Who” for Countdown (1971) TV Action (1973) and the Doctor Who Holiday Special (1973), “The Persuaders” (1973) for TV Action, and the daily strip Jack and Jill for the Herald and Sun (early ’70s).

Print adverts

He had a long-standing sideline in advertising strips, from ads for the W.R.A.C., Lyons Maid Ice Cream, Corgi Toys, KP Outer Spacers, and Philips Video Games Club – to name a few. Info adapted from UKComics.Fandom

Frank Langford – Philips Video Games Club

Philips Video Games Club with Terrahawks game. 1983. UK. Art Frank Langford.

Frank Langford – Corgi toys

No typical, big and bold signature to be seen here… but is it possible this is another one of Frank Langford’s artworks for Corgi? Charlie’s Angels van. 1978.

I featured the below Frank Langford Top Trumps ad last week – little realising I would be showcasing some of Frank’s work the week after. It’s such a cool ad, I wouldn’t mind showing it every week 🙂

Waddingtons Top Trumps. 1983. UK.

… and now, moving on …

It’s FREE!

British comics freebies!

As if it wasn’t fun enough to read British comics back when you were a child… many times a free gift would be included on the cover, especially if there was some kind of promotion or a relaunch.

The Eagle Spud Gun below… wow, I remember a friend and I having this exact cool freebie; we didn’t even wait to read our comics first, we set straight about making target practice! We thought the pistols looked like German WWII era Lugers, and this impressed us somewhat. It was impossible not to miss the many references to the German army in comics and toys back then.

Eagle comic free Spud Gun. 1983. UK.

Eagle comic free Space Spinner. UK. 1983.

Buster comic free Buster Boomerang. 1983. UK.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 2000 AD stickers and album promotion. 1983. UK.

Shoot League Ladders. 1983. UK.

Roy of the Rovers Soccer Wallchart. 1983. UK.

1983 product adverts… 

The Weetabix Gang – School Fuel. 1983. UK.

Pritt Stick prize promotion. 1983. UK.

Waddingtons Diamond Hunt board game. 1983. UK.

All Sport Magazine. 1983. UK.

Grandstand table top electronic games. 1983. UK.

Firefox F-7 electronic tabletop game by Grandstand. 1983. UK.

That’s all, vintage mates, thanks for looking 🙂

We end with allowing the aliens to have the last word… 

2000 AD promotion for KP Alien Spacers. 1983. UK.

16 thoughts on “British comic book promotions in 1983, and a look at some Frank Langford ads

  1. Hello TVTA, I remember seeing the Corgi Cops adverts in a few comics I used to read back when I was a youngster but I never knew who drew them. And I remember the Spud Gun toy pistols were great. A couple of my mates had them but they bought them – if I recall they were metal but painted bright red, probably as a safety measure. I never had one but I did in the late 80’s, get a James Bond Living Daylights Walther PPK cap pistol and shoulder holster set. Funny thing was that Timothy Dalton used a Beretta pistol in that movie not a Walther.
    One final thing, I also had the Grandstand Scramble tabletop game but had to buy numerous power adaptors to play it. We didn’t have the original and had to buy those cheap variable output adaptors from Poundstretchers (sort of like an “Everything’s a pound” store).
    Thanks for the trip back to the 80’s, they were fun years, stay safe and keep scanning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi FT. Those cap guns were brillliant with the paper roll you inserted that popped on each trigger click. Then you had the plastic discs which were a bit louder I think. I had the die cast cowboy pistols and a really cool Winchester toy rifle.
      Re: the tabletop games. Yes, I seem to remember we had to get a multi-adaptor from somewhere like Tandy to keep all the electronic toys going!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello again, yes those were the type of pistol I had. Even better though with the “Daylights” James Bond pistol was that you inserted the cap roll into a magazine that dropped out the bottom of the handgrip. When the roll ran out you pressed a button and the magazine slid out – you then put a fresh roll in and then re-inserted the magazine just like a real pistol. I had a few pistols that used the plastic caps – both strips and the circular revolver types.
        And wow! You remember Tandy…I bet you were a member of their Monthly Battery Club!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The ‘Daylights’ gun sounds very impressive!
        Tandy – yes! Not a member, but got accessories there and a RC car once… plus my first ever CB handheld radio – a Tandy Realistic model. Citizens’ Band radio was a huge hit for a while in our neighbourhood and school, and many of us had one. Pretty cool looking back how we had all these wonderful things!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow you just keep the surprises coming….I too was a CB Radio operator. 1-9, 1-9 a copy! Is anybody out there? I was the Sierra Mike 75. I had a Harrier Mobile (in car unit), the Harrier Homebase radio and the Harrier handheld. I used to make the aerials for CBs for my dad’s mates. I was on air for the famous waveband switchover conversation when AM bands became illegal and we had to swap to FM equipped radios!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So many cool adverts, remember a lot of these. I had one of those Scramble games,, its was fun to play as you flew the ship around! Love the Top Trump advert as well, I can see the little picture of the Horror deck I had with Dracula on in the row at the bottom! Had so much fan playing those, I’ve still got that and the 2nd horror pack they did as well – think that had the grim reaper on the front or something? I’ll have to check.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers Paul. Always a treat to see these old British ads. I’m sure they re-released the horror decks… will have to check as I’d love to own one. I remember some of the original packs online were pretty expensive as they’re rare now, especially full decks.
      The tabletop electronic games were good fun, as were the many handhelds that were available then. The 80s was such a good time for gaming tech like that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes, those Horror Top Trumps were such fun. They had great art for each monster as well, it was fun comparing all the horror ratings, fear factor ratings ext! Glad I’ve still got them. Table top games were loads of fun, especially Scramble. I had Electronic Detective as well, where you had to as suspects questions on their cards. The 80’s were a brilliant time for all these new things 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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