Monday 16 May 2011

The Masks of Terror (or another ad I spent too much time looking at as a kid...)

Back in 1971, Kellogg's Corn Flakes packets had masks of Star Trek characters printed on the back. Through the miracle of my mother's bulk buying I managed to get all of them (except possibly the Klingon). Mother dearest threaded white elastic from her sewing box and out I went into the street to play to hand out the masks to friend/neighbours/whoever would wear them and play Trek with me. I remember I handed the Sulu mask to a boy called Gavin who was riding a bicycle - he rammed the eye-holes of the mask onto his handlebars to enlarge them so he could see better where he was cycling...oh well I guess he had a is tricky to steer with limited vision. Finally, I had handed out all the masks; saving the Kirk one for myself (natch!). We ran around like idiots for a while then I spotted a neighbour's kid that I often played with at that time ('friend would be overstating it). Let's call him 'Little Jonny' - So we all ran towards him boisterously shouting - I guess Gavin was still on the bike - and, er Little Jonny had no idea who we were and ran away in terror. I'd never seen anyone so frightened. In fact, he went to get his Dad. By this time we had raised the masks and his Dad was saying, "You see it's just, Martin and Gavin (and Ichabod or whoever). I think he was still too shaken to play with us that evening. So, it makes me think, I was probably six years old and that was in what was then just an oversize village - now a small town - yet I was playing out in the street unsupervised like an old hand. I don't let my daughter play out and she is now 9. I guess it really is a different world.

After the masks I recall cereal boxes with a diarama on the back and transfers to stick on it. Tiny Klingons for faraway and big Klingons and Enterprise crew for closeup to establish scale. I recall affixing the tiniest Klingons nearest the front giving the whole thing a weird Land of the Giants feel to it.

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