The Rise of Skywalker – cinema swag and promotions

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Pathé Gaumont Les Mag. France. 2019.

Last night I went to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This post is not a review, it’s more a showpiece for some of the advertising and promotions concerning the movie. I will say, however, that I thoroughly enjoyed this final instalment of a film franchise that’s been there with me since I was a child. In many ways TROS serves as a fine tribute to the ‘best of Star Wars’. It’s been quite a journey!

So, onto the few promotions I’ve gathered for the film here in France. Besides print adverts, there is the Premiere film magazine cover, a Nestlé cereal competition, cinema exclusive plastic soda cups and a cool metal popcorn bucket, Actimel yoghurt pots, and I’ve included my Japanese chirashi posters.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Cover of Premiere. Dec 2019. France.

The Rise of Skywalker. Japanese chirashi.

The Rise of Skywalker. Japanese chirashi.

The Rise of Skywalker. Double page ad. Premiere. Dec 2019. France.

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Happy Midwinter!

Happy Midwinter to all my northern hemisphere friends!

Today is the December winter solstice – the shortest day and longest night. This morning I took these photos of a spider web that hangs between the railings on my terrace. The web has been there since summer, and has survived 38° heat, storms, horizontal rain, and the razor sharp teeth of the Mistral wind… yet despite being a bit battered and worn around the edges (a little like me) it’s still there.

As for the spider who guards the web? I saw her the other day scurrying down to investigate a potential meal, but unlucky for her it was just a fragment of leaf blown in by the breeze, and she scurried back up to her sheltered spot in an alcove.

The spider web on my terrace is a good image for me to hold up this midwinter time; it’s about bracing yourself against the elements, gathering nourishment and storing it for the cold months ahead. It’s about durability and strength. You could think of the life of a spider as solitary and predatory, a quite violent existence? Yet when you marvel at the intricacy of its web, iridescent against a wintry sun’s rays, you can’t help but seeing beauty.

The Spider. From The Celtic Animal Oracle. Anna Franklin. Illustrated by Paul Mason. 2003, Vega.

A TVTA toy spider.

A TVTA spider napkin art.


Happy December solstice 🙂

Your carriage awaits – Brumm’s delightful miniatures from 1983

Following our recent post showing the 1980 catalogue for Italian model maker Brumm, TVTA is very pleased to present some more horse and carriage examples, this time from a 1983 catalogue. These die cast and plastic miniatures are simply delightful, and with an incredible amount of detail. Dear readers, your carriage awaits…

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GoBots, Robo Machines and Machine Men – Bandai’s family of transforming robots

Robo Machines. UK. 1983.

GoBots. Model kits by Monogram. US. 1985.

I name thee…

GoBots, Machine Men and Robo Machine(s) are some of the international names given to Japanese toy company Bandai’s transforming vehicle/robot toy line first sold in 1982.

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Lights in the sky – a special report

Seven falling lights formation seen on 10th December 2019 at 05.25.

December 10th. Tuesday. 2019. 05:25. Near the city of Toulon, Var, France.

Diary, I woke up at 05:05 ready to begin a 13 hour shift at work. At 05:25, I went out onto my terrace to fetch my bicycle, where I paused briefly to look up at the sky. It was dark, cold, with patches of stars visible against heavy rain clouds moving in from the north, and with a brisk, north-easterly wind snapping at my face, I steeled myself for what I suspected would be a daunting ride ahead.

Then something caught my attention: in the lower part of the south-eastern sky, I saw seven bright stars in a perfect vertical line aiming down at the horizon. At first I believed it was Orion’s Belt – but the constellation of Orion is not visible in this part of the sky at this hour in December, and normally appears around 22.00 in the evening, plus, there are only three stars that form Orion’s Belt, and I was witnessing seven. What could they be? All at once, the seven stars began moving, descending, and I had to quickly reassess that what I was witnessing were not stars at all… they were moving lights in the sky.

The lights were considerably bigger and brighter than the usual stars you see. I was able to judge this by comparing them to the few stars in the surrounding area – though these were becoming fast swallowed by the clouds sweeping in from the north. What struck me most, however, is that the seven lights in their vertical trajectory were each descending to the horizon in perfect unison and at the same speed. Each light was of equal distance to the next and of the same size – with exception to the highest light which was smaller and at a slightly longer distance to the others.

The meteor addition

I watched those seven lights in their perfect line fall slowly to the horizon, somewhat mesmerised yet with a cool and analytical head. Then, in a moment of added spectacle, a meteor flashed through the centre of the formation and I was filled with wonder. The meteor came and went in a second, a white streak dashing across the sky, and in the next second I found myself making my ‘shooting star wish’ while at the same watching the inexplicable line of lights disappearing below the horizon. Seven lights became six, six became five, four, three… then the clouds passed across the trajectory and obstructed the final three lights, and I was met by darkness.

I could have easily raced back inside, grabbed my phone, raced back out, and made an attempt to video what I was seeing… but… if I had, I would have missed most of the spectacle (which only lasted about a minute, if that). Also, I would have been sure to miss that shooting star! In a way, I’m happy I got to see the spectacle with the naked eye, in real time, and didn’t miss a blink of it. In the absence of photo or video evidence, please accept my humble, hand-drawn effort at the top of the post.

What to do next? 

Maybe I should have called Spaceline? Problem is, I don’t think they’ve existed since the late 1980s. I did go to the trouble to making some online research to see if there had been any reported sightings of ‘seven falling lights’ at 05:25 on the tenth of December 2019, Var, France – but found nothing.

This is not the first time I have witnessed lights in the sky, nor do I presume it will be the last. I’ll not declare the various objects I’ve seen to be space craft, saucers, extra-terrestrial observers, military craft, drones, Chinese lanterns, or anything else other than simply ‘lights in the sky’, but my senses are open enough to believe and feel that we, as humans, are not the only intelligent lifeforms to occupy and travel about space.

Dear readers, have you ever witnessed strange lights in the sky? It’s not something I usually talk about, least of all post about, but I thought in this case it would be good to document in words and illustrate what I saw.

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Barbie bags and stationery – the 1998 Mattel France Maroquinerie et Papeterie catalogue

Front cover. Mattel 1998 Maroquinerie et Papeterie catalogue.

The Mattel France 1998 Maroquinerie et Papeterie catalogue (leather goods and stationery) was aimed at school kids and featured carrying bags suitable for the school term as well as stationery items such as exercise books, folders, pens, pencils, and erasers. In addition, Mattel France offered a range of leisure bags suitable for the weekend when school was out.

TVTA is pleased to present the scans showing the Barbie range. The catalogue also features accessories for the characters Batman & Robin, Superman, Babar, Polly Pocket, Noddy, and Extreme Dinosaurs – the scans of which will be coming soon to TVTA!

In the meantime, here’s 1998’s Barbie school accessories…

Mattel 1998 Maroquinerie et Papeterie catalogue. Barbie.

Mattel 1998 Maroquinerie et Papeterie catalogue. Barbie.

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The drinks are on TVTA!

Orangina 60s and 70s promotional bottles.

The ultimate in liquid container refreshment satisfaction! Are you prepared for the greatest drinking sensation of the decade? Let TVTA take you on a trip to tackle your thirst. Bottoms up! Santé! Tchin Tchin! Cheers!

Once more TVTA hits the spot as we feature a cool cache of collectable beverage bottles guaranteed to make you thirsty!

That’s collectable!

Many of the bottles and glasses you are about to see are promotional or limited edition designs and have become, or will become, collectable.

Take these Orangina ‘decades’ bottles, which kick off our post… an ideal fit for TVTA as they span the decades we regularly blog about.

Glug, glug, glug! Perfect!

Orangina 80s, 90s and 2000s promotional bottles. France.

Thirst!

Coca-Cola

French Coca-Cola promotional bottles. Disneyland Paris 25 years and Coca-Cola 125 years.

UK. 1979.

Thirst!

It’s a pelican thing!

Pelforth promotional bottles with art by Kylab.

TVTA’s new, favourite beer is Pelforth Pelican beer – a northern French beverage with a most agreeable taste and a pleasant kick. The limited edition label designs for these 2019 bottles are a celebration of northern French culture by Lillois artist and designer Kylab

There are eight different label designs to collect, and it only took us five cases to complete the run (being the completist collectors that we are… and -hic- a most pleasant way to enjoy archiving 🙂 )

Pelforth Pelican limited edition bottle labels by Kylab. 2019. France.

Thirsty!

TVTA alternative reality editor and alternative reality office cat Wooof indulge in last moment glass bottle of Dubonnet. Hurrah! Cheers vintage mates!

Quinquina Dubonnet par Cheret 1896

Thirsty thirst!

Star Wars Promotions

A selection of mineral water bottles, soft drinks, and mustard glasses featuring Star Wars characters.

Star Wars Volvic mineral water bottles. France.

Star Wars Volvic mineral water bottles. France.

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Smurfs Kinder Suprise ‘En Ville’ collection

Les Schtroumpfs En Ville Kinder Surprise.

I recently finished another Kinder Surprise Chocolate Egg Smurfs collection, having grabbed the final two figures I needed from a well known online auction site. The collection is called En Ville (in the city) and features our favourite blue friends in city character costumes. The collection premiered in the summer of 2018 and is a nice addition to the other Kinder Smurfs I have.

Les Schtroumpfs En Ville Kinder Surprise.

Les Schtroumpfs En Ville Kinder Surprise.

Les Schtroumpfs En Ville Kinder Surprise.

Bonus Smurfs!

These aren’t from Kinder, they’re from McDonald’s fast food promotions, but they’re still pretty cool – especially the last set which came with little Smurf cottages!

The Smurfs McDonald’s figurines.

The Smurfs McDonald’s figurines.

The Smurfs. McDonald’s figurines and cottages.

The Smurfs. McDonald’s figurines and cottages.

Thank you for Smurfing along with us 🙂

I couldn’t leave without showing a handful of German catalogue pages for the original line of 1960s and onwards Smurfs figurines as made by Peyo. These were so cute, and I remember one of my younger brothers having a big collection of them.

Personalities with a Plus! Fabulous superstars of the 1980s

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury as featured in the 1983 Eagle Annual Personalities With a Plus!

In the early 1980s, British comic publication Eagle published a regular section in its comics and annuals called Personalities With A Plus! also known as Personality Plus. The section feratured profiles on popular sports, music, TV and film stars of the day, along with competitions and freebies to snag pop culture items such as cameras, bags, sports equipment, mugs, music, books, posters and more.

TVTA is pleased to present a selection of these personality profiles as found in Eagle publications dated between 1982 and 1983.

Olivia Newton-John as featured in Personalities With A Plus! Eagle Annual. 1983.

Christopher Reeve in Superman III as featured in Personality Plus. Eagle Comics. 1983.

Leonard Nimoy as Spock. Personality Plus. Eagle Comics. 1982.

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