I know we have sophisticated sexy aphrodisiacs like Häagen-Dazs these days, and there is nothing more erotic than the Girl of Steel licking a vanilla scoop or two, but weren’t ice creams and lollies more fun in the bad old days? You can’t beat a good old fashioned Lemonade Sparkle. Can you?
Growing up, ice cream was part of the sci-fi environment. Every lolly worth its weight in cold was affiliated to rockets and supercars of all shapes and sizes.
Even Doctor Who was commandeered to enhance the space age appeal of Sky Ray with a card collecting promotion. Sky Ray was a lump of raspberry and orange ice on a stick. You might notice the chap in the ad is keen to hide his face behind that recorder. I used to have the little album, Doctor Who’s Space Adventure Book, which could be used to collect the illustrated cards that came with each lolly. The booklet goes for an arm-and-a-leg on eBay these days, so I wish I knew where my copy went. The cards sported artwork by comic illustrator Patrick Williams who had drawn Fireball XL5 and The Avengers strips elsewhere. They told the story of a Doctor who looked like he wasn’t Patrick Troughton as he rallies the Space Raiders against the threat of the Daleks. The Raiders flew spaceships that had a passing resemblance to the Sky Ray lollies and the album has some handy cutaway diagrams. Fancy that!
Can you still buy a Sky Ray? I think Fab might be around still?
Probably not so pink, but still covered in hundreds and thousands.
These were the days when ads in comics invited kids to get Kinky.
Anderson did well with the lolly ads for rivals Lyons Maid and Walls and each one of his shows seemed to have a tie-in with frozen confectionery.
I always find it funny that XL5 was filmed in black and white but got a touch of colour for the Zoom advert. I presume it played in cinemas.
Stingray got in on the act with Super Sea Jet which again was molded to imply some kind of supercraft.
The sheen might have worn off by the Seventies though. Instead of cards, the wrapper became the collectible lure. OK, they had me with the Dalek’s Death Ray which sported illustrations by Frank Bellamy.
Space 1999 on the other hand seemed a bit naff.
And you have to doubt the flavour choice of The Six Million Dollar Man’s Bionic Lolly which combined lemonade with spearmint. There was a King Kong lolly that did something with banana flavoured stuff and Magic Monster Lolly had a Frankenstien face appear on the wrapper when it warmed up. Banana and toffee was the flavour of choice for Wiz, which was magic according to comedian and game show host Leslie Crowther who invited consumers to “Suck it and see!”
Mind you, this is a period that also gave us Funny Feet and Count Dracula’s Secret which combined black ice with a ghoulish blood red jelly.
Better than a poncy Cornetto any day!