A hand-held slide projector produced by Louis Marx
As far as kids projectors went in the 1960's and 70's,you had a choice of 2 main products.
Either this one called "Flashy Flickers" and produced by Louis Marx.
Or the "Give a Show" alternative,originated by USA-based Kenner Toys and made under license in the UK by Chad Valley.
Both were simple battery-operated bits of kit that beamed a succession of colour stills onto any suitable surface.
Each had licensing deals to show predominantly kids tv series and movies.
And,from what I can gather,there doesn't seem to have been a lot of crossover between the two.
So,if you had a license to sell you either nailed your colours to one or the other (unless you were a major player like Disney)
The fact Gordon Murray chose this one is interesting ....
.... if only because there was a Give-a-Show BBC "Watch With Mother" boxset in 1968 that featured The Herbs,Pogles Wood,Hector's House and Joe.
And you have to assume that some form of Trumptonshire presence would have been a shoe-in .... had the deal been right. Cont ....
Flashy Flickers came out later than the Give-a-Show version,and was clearly just an attempt to cash-in on its success.
Although I've yet to establish it's exact timeline.
But it's never easy playing catch-up.
And if we sensibly assume that Chad signed up content providers on exclusive deals then the Marx version may have struggled to pick up attractive alternatives.
Which probably explains why the Give-a-Show's were always marketed as themed sets -ie.Watch With Mother,Doctor Who,Thunderbirds etc- and Flashy Flickers just came in the same standard box with a few disparate reels thrown-in.
Although you could buy additional content seperately of course.
And the display box,above,does at least show a couple of big hitters,in Trumpton and the Magic Roundabout,which you'd hardly describe as scraps from the top table.
I know there were at least 3 different Trumpton films,including "Trumpton Fete" mentioned on the display box.
And judging by that title it doesn't sound like they directly mirrored any of the episodes.Although there was a "flower and vegetable show" in Trumpton Park in episode 13 so I suppose "Trumpton Fete" could be a take on that.
Either way,we're talking about slides that featured artist illustrations rather than actual still photos lifted from the series.
The trouble with these things was that the novelty of watching the same batch of any slides wore off pretty darn quickly.
And it's not taking too big a punt to say that the Give-A-Show version was probably one of the highest-selling toys that wasn't actually used that much !
Whereas at least Flashy Flickers gave you considerably more play options by plonking a great looking space age gun in your hands.
Although I'm not sure how many girls would've appreciated that particular "bonus".
And,ironically,maybe that's ultimately where the Give-a-Show version really won out,because it's conventional projector appearance would have appealed to the parents of both girls and boys.
Either way,I know which one I would rather have got.
But I hope we all develop the wisdom and good grace to be thankful for any gift .... even if we're not at the time !
Who's the 4th character with Florence, Zebedee and Brian ?
Anyone ? Email on home page.