Retro Fan #2 Fall 2018 (magazine review).

October 25, 2018 | By | Reply More

With Elvira on the cover, it can hardly be surprising that the second issue of ‘Retro Fan’ is a Halloween special. Not necessarily all in the USA.

A cursory look over ‘Bewitched’, ‘The Addams Family’ and ‘The Munsters’ was pretty much home territory. The UK was much later than the USA for most people to get colour TVs, so we saw everything in black and white for it to make much difference. Something I hadn’t known was Fred Gwynne had also been a children’s book writer and illustrator and a quick scan on the long river website reveals three of them are still available today.

I’m definitely less sure about the Ben Cooper Inc. Halloween costumes simply because it wasn’t something we practiced over here when young. I think I have a vague memory of some of the masks turning up at fairs or seaside resorts but was always puzzled by them having the names of the characters on the masks as if they need to be told.

Something else we never had over here was horror hosts gagging, literally, over horrors movies which probably wouldn’t reach ‘B’ level over here, although the ones would appear in our local flea pit cinema. The films, not the hosts. I had to chuckle over the name of one hostess I’ve never heard of before, Crematia Mortem, which was scant on detail but looked up on the Net. Most of the rest are covered in, for the want of a better word, loving detail.

The interview with Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira had me in fits of laughter after reading about the black cat substitute in her second film, ‘Elvira’s Haunted Hills’ (1988). I could reveal it here but I suspect Mike wants to sell copies. I’ve made my mind up to see the film. Oddly, of all the horror hosts, Elvira’s the one who’s had the world-wide exposure and what would we do without her?

Andy Mangels looks over Filmation’s ‘The Groovie Goolies’ with an added note at the end about the discovery that that once upon a time there was going to be a baby version.

On a less serious note, the ‘132pc Bay Of Pigs Invasion’ plastic soldiers set makes me wonder if editor Mike Eury is taking this magazine serious enough from his haunted castle.

Scott Shaw! goes back to his youth and a San Diego ‘Dinosaur Land’ that lasted only a couple days against the time it took to put the ten fibreglass models together.

Elizabeth & Ian Millsted look at the British Sindy doll. If memory serves, though, the main version was mostly brunette than blonde. I always felt her large forehead and a slightly too big a head made for an odd face. There was another doll from that period called ‘Tressy’ which had a key-adjustable length of hair which was more akin to Barbie face wise, although it didn’t last so long but was here from the USA earlier.

Mike Eury’s look at ‘Mood Rings’ which changed colour based on finger, albeit blood heat reminded me of a credit-card shape with a strip that was spread around in the 1980s. As I lose body heat, being an exotherm, it always thought of me as being extremely laid back and stayed blue.

Now ‘View-Masters’ sold world-wide, but reading Robert V. Conte’s article about them, I never realised there were so many different models over its 80 year history. Oddly, it was one of the toys I never bought but did but the ‘UFO’ reels with its booklet simply because its Gerry Anderson material and was available.

Baltimore’s Geppi’s Entertainment Museum closed at the beginning of June this year when its owner, Stephen A. Geppi donated his collection to the Library Of Congress. As such Michael Solaf’s article has now turned into an article of historical interest. I would pass one comment about the TV room though. I doubt if American viewers at the time would have seen Elvis gyrating his hips as it was deemed too sexual to show on TV and he was only shown from the hips up.

Finally, a look at lunch-boxes which is something which is very much American and never got picked up over here. This isn’t Terry Collins only collection but the one he delights in still looking for. Mike Eury is looking for more super-collectors who have some unique collections if you want to show it off.

Already on its second issue, ‘Retro Fan’ is already falling into an accepted pattern of a potpourri of material and taste but there’s an awful lot here to stir nostalgia and fun. Unlike many of the people who comment I had that, I think on some things I can say I still have that.

GF Willmetts

October 2018

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 80 page magazine. Price: $ 8.95. (US). ISSN: 2576-7224. Direct from them, you can get it for $ (US))

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Category: Magazines, Toys/Models, TV

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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