1980s Space Fings, Crazy Fings, and some very British comic ads

If you were around in Britain in the 1980s you might well remember some of the following adverts for comics, sweets, bubble gum, Hot Wheels, MOTU, Weetabix, Grange Hill, and, erm… Understanding Electricity. Actually, if anyone recognises the artist from the Understanding Electricity ad at the end of the post, please let me know. The style is familiar, but so far I can’t find any info.

Enjoy this blast from the past 🙂

Trebor Space Fings. 1981. UK.

Trebor Crazy Fings free stickers. 1981. UK.

‘5 for Fun’. Comics. 1981. UK.

Western Magazine. 1980. UK.

Hot Wheels. 1981. UK.

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Tiswas

Tiswas is a British children’s television show which aired on Saturday mornings from 1974 to 1982. “Tiswas” stands for “Today Is Saturday: Watch And Smile. Presenters included Chris Tarrant, Sally James, Lenny Henry, John Gorman, and others – including returning special guests and famous personalities. One of the most popular characters was the masked Phantom Flan Flinger – the arch villain of the show who would think nothing twice of chucking a custard pie in your face.

The show was all about fun, mayhem, riotous and slapstick humour, jokes, custard pies, puppets, impersonations, music, and famous faces. Popular slots included ‘Flanorama’, ‘Compost Corner’, and ‘Flan Your Folks’. The show spawned a hit single called ‘The Bucket of Water Song’, performed by members of the cast as ‘The Four Bucketeers’.

My Saturday morning TV childhood memories are full to bursting with excellent programmes, but Tiswas will always have a special place for its sheer mayhem and fun.

Recently I received a little bit of Tiswas in my life again – namely an armful of 1981 issues of the Tiswas Family Fun Book (later Tiswas Magazine). Flantastic! Here are the covers, ads, and selected content – all wiped clean of custard pies, and dried out from their buckets of water soaking.

Enjoy! I’m off to practice my Dying Fly movements 🙂

Tiswas Family Fun Book Vol 1 N°9 1981.

Tiswas Book of Silly Superstitions 1981.

Tiswas official money box and digital watch. 1981.

Tiswas. Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog.


Thank you for flinging flans with us 🙂

The Doctor Who Quiz Book of Dinosaurs, 1982

Cover illustration by Geoff Hunt.

We promised you dinosaurs! And here are some – with added Doctor Who time travel stamp of approval!

Presenting, the Doctor Who Quiz Book of Dinosaurs, written by Michael Holt, published by Magnet Books, 1982.

This paperback was aimed at children, and took readers on a journey with the 5th Doctor and his companions – Nyssa and Tegan, as they travelled back and forth through time exploring prehistory. The reader is asked to solve puzzles and answer questions after each adventure is told, aided with black and white illustrations by Rowan Barnes-Murphy.

Big bad bird…

According to the Doctor, the terrifying creature pictured below is a kind of hybrid lizard-vulture-woodpecker called Archaeopteryx (say it ‘Arky-op-terricks).

It couldn’t yet fly, and instead ‘glided’ down from the tops of trees to capture its ground prey, whereupon it would “tear him to shreds with its razor-sharp toothed bill.” The creature was too heavy for flight due to having weak wing muscles and solid, heavy bones – as opposed to modern birds who have hollow bones. Its feathers were used as insulation to protect against the cold climate it inhabited.

TVTA theory: Dinosaurs became extinct not because of an asteroid or disease, but because the Archaeopteryx friggin’ ate them all!

Artisit impression of Archaeopteryx. Image: SPL/BBC.

Koringa, the crocodile-wrestling circus lady! 

In the book, according to Nyssa she once saw a video of a lady croc-wrestler called Koringa, who worked with Bertram Mills’ Circus. The Doctor disputes that Koringa wrestled with crocodiles as they are far too deadly, and rather that it was alligators she wrestled. There follows the theory on how Koringa managed to wrestle such a beast, then a quiz about the differences between alligators and crocodiles. Regarding Koringa, I checked – and she really existed; so Nyssa was right.

Rear cover:

Doctor Who bonus book advert:

Doctor Who Best Sellers. 1984.


That’s all for now…

Thank you for avoiding Archaeopteryx with us 🙂 

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.

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Office Cat Tales: the new furniture arrives!

TVTA’s brand new state of the art entertainment/conference suite rocks! Modern Homes and Office Style Rating: 10/10.

A TVTA short story special.

Wooof could hardly contain himself this morning when our new furniture arrived to freshen up the dusty, old TVTA offices. Of course, like most cats, he spent the first hour sitting inside one of the empty packaging cartons, while I was busy unpacking and assembling.

“Are you going to sit inside that cardboard box all day?” I said. “Or are you going to give me a hand building this furniture?”

“After I’ve finished playing with the polystyrene packing peanuts,” replied the cat, “I’ll give you a hand, so long as it doesn’t interfere with my mid-morning nap.”

“Look,” I said, “You should be pleased we have all this nice, new, modern 1980s and 1990s furniture to replace the 1940s set we inherited from Mrs Coldkettle’s grandmother who worked for MI5.”

TVTA’s old office furniture. The cold war had never been colder. Modern Homes and Office Style Rating: 2/10.

“Ah,” sighed the cat. “I shan’t be sorry to see that old typewriter go. And those razor sharp filing cabinet doors. And those brass drawer handles the size of Olympic hurdling fences… and always a hard-boiled sweet immortally stuck to the back leg of a chair. You’re right, I am pleased we have new furniture!”

“Glad to hear it. We have new kitchen appliances too!”

“Did you get me an ice cream maker?”

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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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