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Friday, December 07, 2007

KP Outer Spacers

As a break from our Clarks Commandos serials -- the third of which will be turning up shortly -- and helping me fill in while I'm trying to finish off the Comics Bibliography lists, Jeremy Briggs has sent over a three-part comic advert for KP Outer Spacers.

Outer Spacers were corn and wheat snacks that appeared in the 1980s. There's not a huge amount about them on the www although TV Cream reveals that they were "always "beefburger flavour" letter "A" shapes that were meant to be rockets, or pickled onion "space stations" (ie. rings). As with Farmer Brown's etc., the boldness of the design was let down by the primitive moulding technology. May still be with us, but they changed them some time in the '80s, and put a cartoon of what looked like Sigue Sigue Sputnik's Martin Degville on the packet."

The Do You Remember forum included a chat about them via which I found the above image and that they were produced in beefburger, pickled onion and chutney flavours.

An odd story I found on the web (in back issues of David Langford's Ansible from 1983) is that a fan paid a goodly sum at a Gerry Anderson convention for a packet of Outer Spacers which Gerry promptly signed.

According to Wikipedia entry on KP Snacks, KP stands for Kenyon Produce originally founded as Kenyon & Son in 1853 and have been best known for their KP Nuts peanuts which they still produce at the rate of 180 million packets a year.

Apparently, Outer Spacers were later rebranded as Alien Spacers and I believe they're still being produced under the name Space Raiders. Believe it or not, they're reviewed here.

Anyway, enough of this snack-based chit-chat... here's the advert.

More tomorrow!

4 comments:

  1. Has Frank Langford ever illustrated comics that weren't advert-connected?

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  2. Yes, indeed. I've added a little note to the third episode about Langford and some of his work outside of advertising. I was going to cram it into the first part but I'd rambled on too long about Outer Spacers. Part three will be up on Monday.

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  3. From what I remember, Alien Spacers were basically the same vaguely-shaped overprocessed corn snacks as Outer Spacers, but with garish colouring.

    I remember wanting to try them out, so they must have advertised them.

    There were three colours- yellow (which wasn't much different to the original uncoloured Outer Spacers), orange and an unnaturally bright red. Contrary to what I'd expected from the ads, each single-flavour pack contained a mixture of all three colours.

    The Sigue Sigue Sputnik lookalike you mention triggered some faint recollection- I'm sure he appeared at this time.

    (Why do I remember all this useless **** ?!!)

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  4. For some reason I can remember the advertising description verbatim for the
    three original Outer Spacer types:

    1. Hot dog flavoured interceptors.
    2. Pickled onion flavoured space stations.
    3. Chutney flavoured starships.

    (1) Were indeed an A-shaped snack. The (2)s were essentially little wheels with four spokes from a hub. And the (3)s were like Xs with the ends of the arms drooping downwards.

    This would have been circa 1979-1980.

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