So when you think of the first toy tie in with a story series what do you think of? Star Wars? Maybe James Bond? Well actually it was a little different to either of those. it was actually Buck Rogers and not in the modern age either, we’re talking pre war!
The first Buck Rogers toys appeared in 1933, four years after the newspaper strip debuted and a year after the radio show first aired. Some observers mark this as the beginning of modern character based product licensing. The radio show was around for quite some time. It broadcast four times a week from 1932 until 1947. Four different actors provided the voice for Buck in that time.
So what was the tie in then and what did I learn that I never knew before? It was actually an offer from a cereal manufacturer in the US with a tie in to the radio show. The consumer had to save tokens from the cereal packet and send them off, in return they received a cardboard space helmet. Bear in mind this was during the great depression and it was still oversubscribed! I haven’t been able to find a picture of that elusive helmet (Hey that’d be a great name for a band wouldn’t it? Elusive Helmet). If any of you out there have a picture feel free to send it.
I needed an excuse to show the new advert for the new Volkswagen Passat and as it features another famous science fiction character, this time from Star Wars I thought I would. Enjoy!