Hasslein Blog: Long-Forgotten Larami Star Trek Strip Surfaces


Hasslein Blog

Monday, January 5, 2015

Long-Forgotten Larami Star Trek Strip Surfaces

By Rich Handley

If you're like me (and I think it's safe to say that you wouldn't be reading this blog if you weren't), you revel in the hunt of finding new items for your collection that you could never find or didn't even know existed. For me, that usually involves comic books or strips based on Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica or Planet of the Apes, which are my main collecting passions (particularly Trek, as you can see here).

In recent years, I helped IDW's Library of American Comics imprint put out a pair of books collecting the long hard-to-find L.A. Times Star Trek newspaper strips of the early 1980s, and wrote introductory materials for each volume. I then wrote an essay about this project for a Sequart book covering the history of Star Trek comics, and there's more to come that hasn't yet been announced.

I'd foolishly let myself think I had every licensed Star Trek comic book or strip ever produced. So you can imagine my surprise last night when my friend Mark Martinez, the proprietor of the Star Trek Comics Checklist website, alerted me to an eBay auction that featured a number of vintage Star Trek collectibles... including a comic strip of which neither he nor I had any knowledge.

The hunt was on once more!

Some judicious research conducted by me, Mark and fellow collector Eric Cone turned up the identity of the strip in question: the Star Trek Space Viewer, an inexpensive rack toy produced by a company called Larami back in 1979. Larami's Trek line, which included a wide variety of items (some of which are pictured below), generally sold on store racks for 39 to 99 cents apiece.

As the PlaidStallions site explains, "these low-cost toys were produced mainly by companies that never did any sort of TV advertising and their items seemed to be more commonly found at drug and grocery stores. (A recent episode of Family Guy has Peter ranting against 'Those terrible pharmacy toys.') Licensing everything from obscure cartoon characters to major players such as Batman or the Planet of the Apes, rack toys are the forgotten collectible."

Amazingly, this comic strip remained off my radar until Mark discovered the eBay auction (being sold by sports memorabilia dealer kysophie). I've since been in touch with the seller, and he's a helpful, friendly person who sent me a scan of the complete story (at left). Therefore, I thought I'd spread the word about his eBay page and let Trek comics fans know that this comic strip existed (even if it is as pointless as the McDonald's Happy Meal Video Communicator strips).

If any of you have any additional information about a similar one based on Battlestar Galactica (which also surfaced during our research.... arrrrgh!), please let us know at info@hassleinbooks.com. Thanks!

Labels: ,


At April 30, 2016 at 1:53 AM , Blogger The Putrid Ferret said...

That's awesome! Can I be in your will for all these?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home