NOTE: Blimey! is no longer being updated. Please visit for the latest updates about my comics work.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Toxic's best free gift ever?

The latest issue of Egmont's top boy's comic-mag Toxic comes bagged with a free gift that's a step above the usual plastic toy that most comics have these days. It's a hand-held electronic game!

Admittedly it's only a mono screen and graphics are limited to the sort of basic animation of a digital watch (and batteries are not included) but nevertheless this is a freebie of higher quality than has been seen in comics of late. The hand-held can be adjusted to feature several different games of the Tetris / Space Invader type, with various speeds/settings. A far cry from the days of a cardboard "Thunder Bang" or "Team Tabs" (although over-40's will no doubt have preferred the latter).

A blog on comic free gifts of the past will appear here soon.

On to the comic itself, and Toxic No.145 has more pages this issue with a bunch of comic strips. Jamie Smart's new strip Count Von Poo is back again, and also included is Rex by John Short and Alex Paterson, Robin Hoodie by John Short and Laura Howell, and two helpings of Team Toxic by me (one of which is reprint). Plus a new pull-out Team Toxic poster by Jon Rushby, and all the usual features on game cheats, new movies, as well as a host of puzzles and jokes for the holidays and an additional free gift of Ice Age stickers.
40 full colour pages. £2.99

Toxic website:


Tom said...

They're not really 'free' any more are they? If the price is bumped up and they come with every issue. Often at the expense of comic pages. Sigh...

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Man that's impressive.

Anonymous said...

For consideration in any 'free gifts of yore' post:

Oink - the best flexidisc ever! And a sticker-making kit too!

Dave Whit said...

I was in WH Smiths today and browsed the comics section to check out the Toxic comic you mentioned.

I spotted several other comics, all brandishing large 'free' gifts on their bagged covers. The three titles I can remember were
Scooby Doo (with plastic Vampire Hunter coffin), Ben 10 (with bulky plastic game) and GI Joe Adventures(with a large and chunky Ammo Box).

Like Toxic, with its hand-held computer game, it would appear that these magazine/comics have almost become secondary to the free gifts which are attached to their covers.

The newsagents must be ecstatic, because the 'gift' must surely increase the overall price of the comic, but I can't help but feel sorry for those kids out there who want to find a comic just to read. Today's kids not only have to wrestle with these giant 'gifts' but cannot even see the cover, let alone leaf through the inside the comic.

Have comics arrived at a tipping point, whereby the comic itself is not the main reason kids are buying these things?

Sorry to be so gloomy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...