Dinky toys

Aug 1, 2020

A year or so back I made the big mistake of subscribing to the De Agostini Dinky Toys Collection partwork magazine. Along with the flimsy magazine you get a rubbish model car supposedly a copy of the 1950s original. These models are made in France and feature mostly french cars painted in garish colours and devoid of windows or any moving parts other than the wheels. How I wish I hadn’t bothered. Some models are so poor I chuck them in the bin as soon as the postman delivers them.

Recently I was disposing of a stack of 1950s Meccano magazines. I noticed that each back page had an advert for that months latest Dinky toy. These models looked far more interesting than the ones accompanying the monthly magazines. It seems the 948cc Triumph Herald saloon model was launched at the same time if not a few weeks before the full size car was (April 22nd 1959).


Aug 1, 2020

I wonder when something like this became no longer politically correct? I guess this photo must have been taken circa 1965 at Dudley Zoo. No seat belts or crash hats needed then. And only a few years earlier I would stand on the back seat of the car with my head and shoulders sticking out of the sunroof as we hurtled along. I lived to tell the tale and in hindsight I was probably safer there breathing fresh air than being inside the car breathing in cigarette smoke.

And while I’m looking through old photos I finally found this. Perhaps the late 1960s for most of a year a large bird decided to live in the tree at the bottom of the garden. For reasons unknown it was brave enough to come when you called it and would feed out of your hand.

How much?

Aug 1, 2020

£452 and not forgetting the 64p. Well you do get free postage. Personally I think a poor condition copy of Creepy Worlds 32 is worth about 64p tops. Even less when encapsulated as you can’t read it or check how many detached pages there actually are. I doubt that it has “cream to off-white pages” either.

And then scrolling further down eBay I see the same comic for sale at a staggering $29999.95. Admittedly this one comes complete with the cover printing plates. But the seller would have purchased this package for a fraction of the current asking price from 30th Century Comics just few years ago. I own a few similar comics with plates myself purchased for approx £20/£30 each at the time. There are other Class comics complete with cover printing plates still for sale and reasonably priced at 30th Century Comics (but not Creepy Worlds 32 or any other issues with FF covers) right now.

I recall a few years ago when some chancer wanted $49999.99 for a similar comic that didn’t even have the printing plates. Interesting to note looking at the back cover, that when Creepy Worlds 32 was first published (in 1964 or perhaps 1965) Alan had yet to publish the last two of his 6 main titles. Uncanny Tales and Astounding Stories began circa 1966. I recall purchasing No1 of Astounding Stories from my local newsagent as soon as it appeared on their counter. (For some odd reason I was deluded enough to collect first issues of anything and everything at the time). Not printing months or years on the covers (or inside) did give the comics a longer shelf life than all the other weeklies then available and some Class comics sat in the newsagents for months. Most of my money went on Marvel/DC/UK “Power” comics in those days.


More How much?

Aug 1, 2020

So whilst I’m browsing the Grand Comic Database to check out Alan Class Comics covers I noticed an odd thing. At some point in 1974/1975 as inflation inflated prices increased from 6p to 8p overnight. It must have happened quickly as some issues numbers are available at both prices. The 8p issues have the 6p crossed out in a very unprofessional way. Fair enough. But then the following month(s) some titles reverted to 6p. Had Alan forgotten he’d changed the prices or were comics with higher issue numbers printed before lower ones? Or were all issues available for a period of a few months at both prices? Anything is possible. The back covers say “published monthly” but I read somewhere that Alan actually published his main 6 titles 10 times per year. There are even a few issues where he forgot to number the comics altogether.

So prices went up from 6p to 8p and would continue to rise throughout the 1970s and 1980s. There are various Alan Class Comics in the Grand Comic Database showing 6p or 8p prices. Why then does my copy of Creepy Worlds 140 clearly show a 7p price??? I’ve perused the GCD once more but can’t see any other issues of his comics, whatever the title,  bearing that particular price point. How odd!

Variant covers

Aug 1, 2020

According to Wikipedia and most places on the Interweb the first comic to be printed with two completely different covers (as opposed to covers with the same artwork but different prices) was DC’s Man of Steel No1 of 1986.

Alan Class beat them to it by a decade and a half with Amazing stories of Suspense 90!

Coming around again

Aug 1, 2020

The first 4 issues of Alan Class’ Creepy Worlds and Secrets of the Unknown displayed comic code stamps in the top right corner as did the original comic covers when they were first published in the US in the late 1950s. This was probably a mistake as the 8 issues may have contained the story featured on the covers but all other contents were random often containing one or two pre-code stories as well. So from issues 5 onwards Alan invented his own code (?!?).

Approx 700 comics later across 6 titles and it seemed that Alan had exhausted his inventory and material started appearing again, but for Creepy Worlds 147 he forgot to modify the cover so for one final time a comic code stamp appeared on a Class comic, This was rectified for later reprints of reprints when the material came around again.