Saturday, 20 August 2011


Youngsters do like to get their grubby mitts on free stuff.
Here's how us school kids got some of ours back in the 60's & 70's - as gifts in comics.
I'm sure you'll remember some of the ones shown above.
The Super Skimmer and the Wiz Whizz were the same thing, only different names, but they were plastic rotor blade wheels that used either lollipop sticks or elastic bands to get them spinning off into the air.
Toys that made noises were popular.
The Red Racketty was on a length of line and spun around over your head, the toy emitting a rasping buzzing noise in the process.
Thunder Bangs were great - just a swift downwards swipe to set off the loud bang.
I remember we made Thunder Bangs as part of crafts in Primary.
Then there was the Pop Gun of course, with its plastic plug to get the popping noise.
Balloons were also used for their sounds, coming in all shapes & sizes & names, fitted with plastic valves that made the balloons rasp when let fly around in the air.
As well as the Beezers Flying Fizzer above, the Beano also had the Flying Snorter and the Screamin' Demon.
There were whistles too - the Whoopee Whistle and the Happy Howler that made siren noises.
An annoying one was a toy called the Clicketty Clicker which was a hollow metal object with the image of Dennis The Menace on it, and when pressed in & out, made the clicking sound. Not a fave with parents!
The Whizzer & Chips was already 2 comics for the price of 1, but they also gave away free stuff, the one above being for a Flick Book.
Again, we used to do our own versions of flick books by drawing wee animations on the corners of our jotters.
Many of the gifts that were specifically for girls were adornment based items, while the boys were catered for in other comics with football related freebies.
So there's just a small selection of stuff we got for free when we were kids, generating lots of mucking about in the playground and at home.


  1. I remember the metal clicky things being made to look like frogs (i think) :)

  2. I think these freebies were recycled on a regular basis as I remember a lot of them from the '50s. I'd forgotten about the D-Day frog clickers though....

  3. oh my goodness ;) that was where they originated , cheers G

  4. My favourite was in The Beezer about 1969. It was a collection of square celluloid type pieces which had eyes,mouths,hair styles etc... The idea was to compile a cartoon type face with the features on the pieces.

  5. I think D.C. Thomson's had a warehouse full of these free gifts and would just dip in every few years to boost sales on a particular title.

  6. The sad thing is, that nowadays these comics (or which ever ones remain) are sold almost completely on the strength of the free gift sellotaped all over the cover, every single week. The gifts are pretty sophisticated -- the comic is secondary.

  7. Remember "Ginger" an English Oor Wullie wi' a red affro wig

  8. yip, there was a guy @ our school a ringer for him, he wasn't too happy with his new nickname :)

  9. Ah D.C. Thomson's free gifts that would take your pals eye out

  10. Anyone remember the Humming Birdie gift?

  11. These toys would fall apart before you got bored with them, so they didn't clutter up the cupboard or bedroom floor.

    There were some poor kids who'd have been glad to get these for Christmas, your parents would say if you were being ungrateful, and they were struggling to get to next payday.

  12. was there such a comic as "Cor" ????

  13. Absolutely! An IPC title, it had "Gus the Gorilla" on it's cover, I believe.

  14. Cheers Maurice, it was when i saw the whizzer & chips it reminded me that i got that comic and one i "thought" was The Cor , superb :)