The Catacombs The Merchandise Guide
Confectionery
Compiled by Martin Willey

See alsoSee also Non-confectionary cards

BUBBLE GUM (Monty Gum)

UK and Europe, artwork packet, with cards to collect inside each packet.

Cards are 7 x 5 cm, with colour photos on one side (Yr 1, almost all reversed). Two sets of 64 cards, with identical photos were issued. The "Space/Alpha" set was available in the UK and the Netherlands (where Monty Gum was based); the "Space/Cosmos" set was available in France.

  • "Space/Cosmo: 1999". (1976, France) Unnumbered, backs building into b/w photo of Ring Around The Moon astronauts.
  • "Space/Alpha: 1999". (1978, UK, Netherlands) Numbered, no picture on back.

There was a special offer for poster if 10 packets are sent.

Space Alpha box
Space Alpha box and packet

Cosmo card Alpha card
Space/Cosmo and Space/Alpha cards

Poster

The poster was 52 x 38 cm, titled "Space/Cosmo: 1999", with the same b/w photo of the RATM astronauts as on the back of the unnumbered card set.

Album

At least in the Netherlands a small album was available to hold the 64 cards. The plain white album had the black and white "Space/Alpha: 1999" logo and stylised Koenig/Helena/Bergman artwork on the cover. The cards were stored in a 2 x 4 arrangement (hence 8 pages). Pictures thanks to Remco Admiraal.


BUBBLE GUM (Donruss)

Card #1

US 1976, 10c a packet

Eighth of an ounce of bubble gum, with cards to collect inside each packet.

Cards: 9 x 6.5 cm, with colour photo (Yr 1), numbered with pithy caption. Back of cards builds into a large photo of an Eagle launching from a pad under a yellow logo. Set composed of 66 cards. Uncut sheets (ideal for showing the Eagle image on the reverse) were also available.

Reverse image (thanks to Gordon Moriguchi)

Packet: red background, with art of Koenig (blue uniform), Helena (yellow uniform) & Victor in tense pose (based on Gray Morrow's cover for Charlton bw comic 1). A small blue Eagle over the yellow logo. Banner across bottom promises "Bonus: Full Color Puzzle"

Box

Sold from display boxes of 24 packets. Box top (which would be folded upright) has yellow logo over photo of base, with Koenig, Helena & Victor looking tense on left. Box is 21.5 x 9.5 x 4 cm.

Outer box

From the collection of Robert Ruiz.


SWEET CIGARETTES (Barratt (George Bassett))

Barrat cards The scarred Mateo on card 42 (thanks to Shaqui)

UK 1975, 3p a packet, later 4p.

Yellow packets with logo 4 x 7 x 1 cm, containing 10 candy sticks and 1 card. Sweet cigarettes were sticks of sugar candy with a red tip, made to look like cigarettes but aimed at children. They were still popular but controversial in the 1970s, and have almost disappeared since.

Cards were 6.5 x 3.5 cm, with colour photo from Yr 1, and a description on reverse. The cards formed a set of 50.

Card number 42, a portrait shot of the scarred Mateo from "The Troubled Spirit", was withdrawn (understandably, considering it was fairly graphic), and is therefore very scarce. A few were issued, however (thanks to Shaqui).

Oddly there were no shots of Eagles (except on the shop display box). A picture of a Hawk on card 5 had a description of Eagles on the back.

Sold from display box of 48 packs (14 x 16 x 16 cm), with photos on side & top of Eagle and Koenig, Helena, Victor (their uniforms coloured).

click for larger image click for larger image click for larger image click for larger image
Box top, sides and front, thanks to Stefano Guizzardi

The fan club Fanderson published a book, FAB Book of Gerry Anderson Sweet Cigarette Cards, Vol 2 in June 2014, which covers the Barratt cards with high resolution scans and descriptions (as well as the Barratt cards for the Gerry Anderson series The Secret Service and UFO).

FANDERSON REPLICA CARDS

In August 2015, the fan club Fanderson created an additional card, in the same style, as part of their membership package- "No.51"/ "Commissioner Simmonds". The rear of the card still says "Series of 50", but the "Geo.Bassett & Co." credit at the bottom is replaced with a Fanderson "The Future Is Fantastic!" logo.

Fanderson no.51 Fanderson no.51 rear

For the October 2015 convention, a replica of the rare card 42 was created and added to a pack of candy sticks (no longer "sweet cigarettes"). The reverse of the card replaces the "Geo. Bassett and co" credit with Fanderson.org.uk.

Also at the convention, "The Future is Fantastic!", a new Fanderson set of 50 cards were produced, covering all the Gerry Anderson series from Supercar to Space: 1999. Cards 46 to 50 were Space: 1999. These were sold by Fanderson for £6.50


ICE LOLLY (Lyons Maid)

Cards

UK 1975

A vanilla-flavoured ice cream base, with a lime shell and strawberry jelly filled centre.

Initially each ice lolly came with a card, 7.5 x 4.5 cm, with crude art based on a photo on one side, with a description on the back. There were 25 cards in set.

Back of packet at first featured art of Koenig saying "There are 23 Amazing Full Colour Cards In The Series- Of me, Dr Helena Russell, Professor Bergman, all the Heroes & Villains For You To Collect!"

Later the backs featured one of two short & very crudely drawn comic strips (10 x 4.5 cm, titled "Child Of Evil" & "Planet Of Terror"), or one of two descriptions of Alpha life ("Transport", with Eagle, buggy & travel tube described, & "Communication", about the commlock)

This product was launched with an animated television commercial, illustrated by Frank Bellamy and shown from summer 1976.

Wrapper

The blue packet (13 x 5.5 cm) features rather crude art of an Eagle & Koenig, Helena & Victor.

Wrappers

Initial version "with free picture card" and later version "as seen on T.V.".

The backs of the wrappers. Originally they promoted the cards: "There are 25 amazing full-colour cards in the series - of me, Dr. Helena Russell, Professor Bergman, all the heroes & villains for you to collect!". Later there either text descriptions ("Transport", "Communication"), or comics strips ("Child Of Evil", "Planet Of Terror").

Transport The most vital means of transport is the Eagle, a fleet of which is always ready on the launchpad. The Eagle can take off and land like a helicopter and once in flight, the motors drive it horizontally like a plane. Four fuel pods are attached to the main platform. These also support the under-carriage sections, on the outer edge of which are vernier motors for directional control. For land travel, the electronically-powered buggy may be used. Within Alpha, all the main areas are linked by a series of "travel tubes". The "tube" is a capsule with seating for up to ten people, and their destination is electronically controlled.

Communication All moonbase personnel carry a 'magic key' known as a 'commlock'. This device carries a photograph of its processor for identification and is programmed to answer when called. One button opens doors, another contacts various departments, another activates a two-way television system. Commander Koenig possesses the only 'commlock' able to impart instructions to the computer, and if necessary to shut it down. The computer itself is responsible for the co-ordination of the complex visual and audio system within Moonbase Alpha.

The two comic strips. A curious example of old-fashioned British English is the "Child of Evil" saying "Hullo!" (rather than the standard "Hello")

Planet of Terror
A party from Alpha are exploring a new planet...
Helena: "Look at the size of those flowers!"
Helena: "Isn't it wonderful! Like Earth, only better!"
Bergman: "Look out!"
Koenig: "The flowers aren't the only things that are huge!"
Koenig: "Back to the Eagle!"
Helena:"On, no!"
Koenig: "As long as we don't touch the threads, we'll be alright!"
Bergman:"Phew! We made it!"
Helena:"What a beautiful planet!"
Koenig: "Beautiful, but deadly!"

Child of Evil
A party from Alpha are exploring a new planet when...
Child: "Hullo! I was on a rocket that crashed here.. Only I survived... My parents were killed..!"
Helena: "John, we can't leave him here alone...!"
Koenig: "No! We'll take him back to Moonbase."
Later on Moonbase...
"Aargh!!"
Helena: "What was that?"
Alphan: "It was the boy! He suddenly turned into a monster and attacked us!"
Koenig: "We've been tricked into bringing this thing to Moonbase!"
Bergman: "We're in luck! We've managed to trap it in the airlock!"
Koenig: "Now to eject it into space!"
Helena: "It's gone! But it has taught us one thing! In this strange alien environment, we must never judge by appearance!"


SUNICRUST BREAD CARD SET (Sunicrust Bread)

Sunicrust card

Australia 1975

Set of 50 cards, each 5cm x 8 cm with colour photos. One card with each loaf of Sunicrust bread (they were baked in the bread, with no protective wrapper). Some interesting and unusual photos, including a fairly high proportion of SFX shots, and some wildly inaccurate text descriptions ("Deep freeze on Moonbase Alpha, on collision course with Ultima Thule", for a shot of Space Brain foam filled Main Mission).
The card backs advertised "Alpha Shirts Plus Trip To Disneyland USA for 4 People". For a Alpha T-shirt you had to cut the bottom section from all 50 cards and send them to Sunicrust by November 14th 1975. For the Disneyland competition you had to send a drawing of a "Space: 1999 spaceman" (there were 500 runners-up prizes of Timex calendar watches.
Illustrated in The Gerry Anderson Memorabilia Guide (Dennis Nicholson) p238.

Sunicrust card

PATATINE (Patatina)

click for larger image. Thanks to Andrea Gualco.

Italy 1979?. Price 150 lira per bag (150g?).

In UK English crisps, in US English potato chips. The packet art is identical to the Panini year 2 album, and it is possible that packs contained a number of Panini stickers. Thanks to Andrea Gualco.



Copyright Martin Willey