Tuesday, 17 November 2015



I have very fond memories of this as it was the first sticker album I attempted (and failed) to fill way-back-when.

This coincided with the Topps STAR WARS (blue border only, for some reason) and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA gum card sets (our local "dealer" was a guy at the Saturday market who sold assorted battered tins, cans and other food items presumably cast off as unsellable by proper shops) and overlapped with the similar FLASH GORDON and BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY albums and stickers.

All of the above were essential playground currency for the kids that had no interest in kicking a football around.

This 225 sticker set was pretty unsophisticated. There were no chase cards (a declaration in the album made it quite clear that all stickers were printed and distributed equally... Although some were always suspiciously more - or less - plentiful than others), no foil cards, no holograms. Just a succession of sticky stills from the movie and a few pieces of concept art by Ralph McQuarrie (who, in retrospect, was the first artist I could name and who's work I could recognise).

But that was the point. In today's multimedia age its hard to appreciate quite how important those stills were. They were a vital photographic reference to a film that, as far as we knew, might never appear on TV. The idea of actually owning a copy seemed unbelievable. Moving pictures, like theatre, were transient and (unless you went again) one-time-only encounters with other worlds.

They were also a great way of studying briefly glimpsed locations and characters. Along with the Kenner/ Palitoy action figures, these were actually vital reference tools... Before we knew it.

I never completed my album and dumped it decades ago. More fool me. But I found this album (for a £1!) recently and I had to have it. I guess the original owner wasn't a fan (or their parents had tighter control of the purse strings) as there are only a few stickers inside. But, nevertheless, it's a nostalgic blast from the past.

Interestingly, this album was also my first brush with classroom crime... And detection. My stash of vital swaps (safely secured by an elastic band) was swiped from my desk (my school still had the old-fashioned desks with storage under a lid... Soon to be replaced by new tables and plastic (!) chairs delivered by the council) by a classmate. He, of course, claimed his new set of swaps were his own. But he overlooked one vital clue.. One of my cards had a one-off printing flaw. And his set had the sane card with the same flaw. I had him bang to rights. He denied it of course... But I knew better. To his credit, he did the decent thing and quietly returned them. Nothing more was said by either of us on the matter.

A few years later someone swiped my Twiki action figure (from my teacher's desk drawer no less). I never got that back. Bidi Bidi Bummer. 


  1. Great nostalgia! Sticker number 1 was hard to come by if remember correctly.

  2. ah nostalgia ! some great memories and stories there slow. I have a few of my own including the time when a chap passing our school yard convinced us all that he had played a storm trooper in the original star wars, even signing autographs. But to this day, I still don't know if he was just talking cobblers !

    I remember the card sets for STAR WARS and SUPERMAN THE MOVIE being very popular in the classroom. More recently, I've managed to acquire almost full albums for RETURN OF THE JEDI and DUNE.

    Btw thanks for that recent shout out for the hardback comic of JEDI as it made me go back for a closer look. The supplementary material is fascinating and I can only assume the pages for the EMPIRE and JEDI editions were taken from the original issues. There is a gallery of covers for the uk EMPIRE weekly which clearly shows an unused cover ( its the one with chewie and 3po ) and the JEDI edition includes a series of panels which prefaced each issue depicting hands holding a weapon. These were never published in the uk reprints except for the first panel in the last issues of JEDI WEEKLY.

    speaking of comic adaptations , where the hell is the one for THE FORCE AWAKENS ? Maybe they are holding it back so as not to spoil the plot for fans. Even the novelisation has been delayed.

    Maybe they are holding it back

    1. Are MARVEL planning a movie adaptation? Judging from the release dates for the tie-in books on Amazon (I have the Art Of book on pre-order) nothing which contains the plot or revelations will ship until the film is released. Quite right too. I don't want any spoilers (other than the trailers) for this one.

      Funnily enough, I picked up a hefty (including the price) tome dedicated to the work of Ralph McQuarrie yesterday. It's an extensive body of work from one of the true heroes of the Star Age. BATTLESTAR is included, including some work I've not seen before.

      Other goodies now out included this year's STAR WARS bookazine from Titan. No sign of the TREK one yet.

      The SCI-FI NOW YEARBOOK is out (although only in certain branches of WHS) and includes a retrospective on BATTLESTAR. However, whoever did the image research (all lifted, with credit, from the VAULT book) has muddled art from the original and the remake.

      The new MARVEL RED BOOK is devoted to the Wasp but actually reprints the AVENGERS UNDER SIEGE storyline. A nice way to get a classic for a tenner.

      The new regular SCI-FI NOW, STARBURST and TOTAL FILM are all, predictably, STAR WARS centric.

      Those three MARVEL STAR WARS movie hardbacks do indeed utilise bonus pages published in the "floppy" editions (as opposed to the Super Special magazines) which were originally commissioned to bulk out each issue because the adaptations themselves, when chopped into episodic versions, didn't run the requisite page counts. Good spot about the "lost" cover. As production had shifted to London by 1980 it suggests that Jadwin House sent file copies back to the States that didn't match the published versions.

      The Stormtrooper guy would, today, be subject to a police hunt and alarmist media headlines.

      The SUPERMAN THE MOVIE trading cards were collected in my school. The DUNE sticker album made zero impact, despite the fact that copies were given away with the IPC weeklies.

  3. a minor update ; although the chewie - 3po art wasn't used for the main cover, it does appear in the small ' inbox ' of issue 131 but vader is the main star.:


    This art has been oft used since, even appearing recently on a greetings card which I found in Tesco.

    Not craxzy about the re-colouring in those hardbacks but still invaluable.

  4. did the super special version of RETURN OF THE JEDI not have bonus material ?

    ha, your comment on the storm trooper chap is quite similar to that in EMPIRE.

    Back in 2006, they asked for readers memories of star wars and when I related this incident, they re-wrote the last line and said :

    " that sounds dodgy now "

  5. Secret Wars was the only sticker album I attempted to complete (I think there was only one sticker I didn't succeed in finding), but I do have a complete Return of the Jedi sticker album which was given to me by a school classmate.


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