Ideal gift

Apr 1, 2021

Are you wondering what to get for your grandson’s fast approaching first birthday?

This looks interesting but would have to wait until he was a year older.

Codeg Dalek

Apr 1, 2021

In 1965 Marx toys produced a battery operated toy Dalek standing 5 inches tall and costing 10 Shillings. These days they sell for £££s. The British (???) firm Cowan de Groot also known as Codeg released tinplate clockwork Daleks in 1965. Slightly larger at 6 inches tall in my opinion they were superior to the Marx Daleks. Available in blue or black, the black ones sell for twice the price of the blue ones today.

I received a Codeg Dalek (costing the princely sum of 16s 5d) amongst other things like Annuals and selection boxes, for Xmas 1965. Alas the cardboard box it was packed in most likely wouldn’t have survived until 1966. We lived in the moment when young and couldn’t imagine I would be talking about a toy 55 years later. I’m talking about the toy because I still own it 55 years later!!! There wasn’t an awful lot you could do with it once you’d wound it up a few times and watched it spin round on the table (it wasn’t great on carpets).

So by the new year the Dalek was in a cupboard. Circa 1970 I rescued it from my brother’s clutches and stood it on a shelf. It has stood on various shelves in various houses for the last 50 years.

It seems that the original key was mislaid at some point and there is a Triang key sticking out the side which does fit and winds the clockwork up. If the Dalek was boxed and still complete with all protrusions then according to the Interweb it could sell for £800. So mine, with bits missing, would probably fetch £20 if I was very lucky. But it’s been on that shelf this far. It can stay right where it is alongside the Aurora Frankenstein’s monster and Corgi Batmobile which (not counting the Merit Magic Robot board game !?!) are possibly the only toys still in my posession after 50 years of ownership.

Superman on Trial

Apr 1, 2021

In 1988 the Radio Times still only covered BBC programming. If you wanted to know what was on ITV you needed the TV Times as well. Personally I got by looking at the TV listings in the newspaper. Admittedly if you wanted to know the names of actors in BBC radio plays then you did need the Radio Times. On Sunday 5th June 1988 at 4pm a 45 minute BBC Radio4 play was broadcast. It was immediately followed at 4.50pm on BBC1 TV by a programme celebrating Superman’s 50th birthday. The radio play was repeated on Tuesday 7th June at 8.30pm.

I listened to/watched both programmes at the time. Only today did I realise that the radio play was released on CD in 2010 and is still available today. Amazon describes it thus:

This exclusive special edition of the BBC Radio full-cast drama with never-before-heard scenes features Adam West, Jenette Kahn (President, DC Comics) and Dave Gibbons (Co-creator, “Watchmen”). This long-awaited release features Stuart Milligan as Superman, Shelley Thompson as Lois Lane, William Hootkins as Lex Luthor and Bob Sessions as The Batman and was written to celebrate Superman’s 50th birthday. Accused of crimes against humanity, the Last Son of Krypton stands powerless before a court dominated by Lex Luthor – criminal genius turned Prosecutor. Has Superman really corrupted our children? Can he justify his continued interference in world affairs? Do we know the truth about his powers? Can Lois Lane defend ’50 years of the Man of Steel’? Packed with spectacular sound effects and a thrilling orchestral score, mixed in cinematic Dolby Surround, this specially-extended and unedited recording can now be heard as writer/producer Dirk Maggs originally intended, remastered and with a new background sleeve note. Guest appearances include Adam West (TV’s Batman), Jenette Kahn (President, DC Comics) and Dave Gibbons (DC Comics artist/Co-creator, “Watchmen”).

This particular Radio Times is interesting as it contains a 2 page comic strip as a teaser for the plot of the upcoming play. Drawn by Dave Gibbons I don’t think they have ever been published anywhere else.

PS: It seems there were a few more Superman (and Batman) BBC Radio4 plays.

Unusual

Apr 1, 2021

Blimey, that was unusual.