Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Proof That The Spacehopper Was Being Distributed By Mettoy In The UK In The Late 1960s...

An advertisement from the "Cambridge Evening News", England, November 1969.

Now, you already know what I think of the BBC's 1970s rewriting exercises. And particularly regarding things like the spacehopper - released in the UK around 1968, but according to the Beeb in "1971":

Space Hoppers - also known as Hoppity Hops, Hop Ball, and Kangaroo Balls - bounced into the UK during the Summer of ’71 and served absolutely no useful purpose whatsoever.

Below is pictured some details from a British Toy Fair brochure from January 1969 - and amongst other jolly things attending was the SPACEHOPPER!

The British Toy Fair At Brighton, 26-30 January 1969 - and (left) a page from the brochure. Mettoy was the original Space hopper distributor. Below the word "Mettoy" on the brochure page, to the left, you'll see that the spacehopper itself was present at the show.

Meanwhile, back in our own world of pathetic 70s hype, the BBC's lies about the spacehopper have infected the Toy Retailers Association and just about everything else.

And so we exalt in the radiant light of another (false) 70s-debuting object.

Why don't I simply tell the Beeb? I've tried. I even tried to get a researcher to come and look through my local newspaper archive at some of the evidence. But nobody can be bothered. And meanwhile our licence fee goes towards the BBC leaving false information mothballed online.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Philip Glenister - "Shut Up You 70s Hyping Twit!"

Or would Jack Regan have said "shart up!" No matter. Stood in WH Smith's in Cambridge yesterday, I had the grave misfortune to riffle through Things Ain't What They Used To Be - a book by Philip Glenister - apparently if you're going on a nostalgia trip you couldn't ask for a better guide.

Well, perhaps not if he was writing about the 1990s or something, but Mr Glenister's knowledge of the '70s and '80s is (completely in tune with the production team on Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes) somewhat muddled - and he has, you guessed it, an alarming tendency to hype the '70s. They become GASP - almost 60s! Jason King - "a dandy for the 1970s" says Mr G - but didn't he originate in the 1960s series Department S? Were we all using fancy burbling coffee machines in the UK in the 1950s? No. But Mr Glenister infers that we were.

Yes, it's good to get steamed up about Thatcher - but why don't you make your voice known in modern day politics, Mr Glenister? After all, New Labour is far from Old Labour, far from Socialist - what about the scandal of nursing and care staff forced to sign secrecy clauses? If they speak up about the HUGE cutbacks imposed by UK Government organisations like Supporting People and the Primary Care Trusts, they get the sack. What about looking into something like that, which is so typical of the sleight of hand politics happening under New Labour?

But no, Mr Glenister, that's too much like hard work, isn't it? Finding out what's going on today and going into battle? Better to sound off about the 1980s, eh? And if the governing party has "Labour" in its title, then all's well - regardless of the fact that the party bears no resemblance to Old Labour and are creating a country which make the 1980s look like happy valley?

Sadly Mr Glenister's book is a load of cobblers. He rants on politically at times like it's 1982 or 1984 and at other times doesn't know 1967 from 1973 or 1978 from 1983.

His politics are out of touch, lost in the '80s, dead and gone left wing. Completely irrelevant to the modern day. And pop culturally he seems to believe "I Love The 1970s", which hugely raided the 1960s and 1980s. And what about Life On Mars itself, set in 1973, and featuring a two-tone red trimphone which was not available until 1982? Ridiculous. More here.

Buy the book if you're a Glenister fan. But remember it's a personal view and if it's an accurate and objective view of the '70s and '80s you want, avoid.