Tuesday, December 14, 2010
What would we suggest?
Within our The Future WAS Fantastic!™ section are some of the niftiest sci-fi collectibles for the pop-culture fan, including Space Cadet!
In the 1950s, the Tom Corbett Space Cadet tv series was to kids what Power Rangers are now; an incredibly-popular saga of teenagers banded together, using advanced technology to protect humanity from evil!
The 24th Century-set series followed heroic stalwart Tom Corbett, logical Venusian exchange student Astro, and cranky Roger Manning, during their tenure at Space Academy, before graduating to join the Solar Guard. (Is it just me, or does that sound a helluva lot like the recent Star Trek reboot flick detailing the StarFleet Academy days of Kirk, Spock & McCoy?)
Despite the fact they were students, the trio (and assorted hangers-on) constantly found themselves in the thick of danger, usually due to the classic "we're the only ship in the area" plot device. (Geez this DOES sound like Star Trek!)
The show was done live as 15-minute episodes, three days a week.
Storylines ran from a week (3 episodes) to a month (18-21 episodes).
Kids flocked home after school to watch Space Cadet, wore Space Cadet pajamas and costumes, and played with Space Cadet toys! (Now that sounds like Power Rangers, doesn't it?)
Some of the concepts are similar to the 1948 Space Cadet novel by Robert Heinlein, but the Joseph Lawrence-created series concept predates the book by several years, with an unsold radio show pilot and newspaper strip entitled "Tom Ranger and the Space Cadets" circulated for sale to licensors in the mid-1940s. Though Heinlein never officially contributed to the tv series, a number of concepts from his novel found their way to the final aired version in 1950. (Think of the way Star Wars-like elements [like cute robots and space fightercraft] were added to Buck Rogers when it was revived for tv in 1979!)
The show ran on all four tv networks during it's original run! In order: CBS (1950), ABC (51-52), NBC (52-53), DuMont (the home of Captain Video, 53-54) and back to NBC (54-55)!
The show's science advisor was Willy Ley, noted rocket scientist and author of the non-fiction book Conquest of Space (basis of a classic George Pal movie)
Space Cadet produced a dramatic radio spin-off, using the tv show actors, and adapting existing tv show scripts. (Usually, it was the other way around, with a radio show producing a tv show spin-off.)
There were also novels, comic books, a newspaper comic strip, and a couple of lp record albums featuring the show's cast in new audio stories!
And, they were one of the first live-action tv shows to have their own View-Master 3-D reel sets!
We've brought back the teen hero and his buddies in our own Space Cadet line of mugs, messenger bags, shirts and other goodies, all of which would make kool stocking stuffers or presents under the tree, especially combined with one or more of the books, dvds, or radio-show cds shown below!
Plus: we've also done some toddler-level Space Cadet stuff like bibs, onesies/creepers, infant t-shirts, and diaper bags in our G-Rated Tykes, Toddlers & Tiny Tots (and Their Mommies)!™ section!
Why should adults have all the fun?
This Christmas, let your loved ones enjoy a gift of the best of the future, produced in the past, and available now! (Wha???)