My mother insists that this is a false memory but I have a distinct recollection of her returning from her night-shift job in aircraft catering at Heathrow Airport and dumping a rather battered cereal box – the cereal brand has been long forgotten – out of which spilled a pile of plastic spacemen, complete with their bubble helmets, in heaps like Trojan Horse invaders of the breakfast table.
Too young to browse the shelves of local shops or the new supermarket in the High St and pick out the cereals that contained the most promising free gift – usually a toy, often with a space theme, though luminous “glow-in-the-dark” items with a spooky theme figured equally highly in my cereal obsession – I was left to rely on (a) chance, depending upon what my mother would select, or (b) pestering her incessantly as a result of seeing a TV commercial advertising the latest free gift, or”premium”, inside a box of some cereal until she caved in.
“Returning to the brightly coloured spacemen that lay before me, each sporting a clear plastic “bubble helmet”, where did they come from ?…Outer Space of course, but more than likely Hong Kong or some other S.E Asian factory…”
Returning to the brightly coloured spacemen that lay before me, each sporting a clear plastic “bubble helmet”, where did they come from ?…Outer Space of course, but more than likely Hong Kong or some other S.E Asian factory …my guess is that during the preparation of hundreds of economy class breakfasts, countless boxes of breakfast cereal with the free plastic spacemen inside had been emptied, and since the toys were unwanted, they were simply thrown way or given to staff to take home – the odd thing is that my mum took them back shortly afterwards for reasons that will remain a mystery.
I’ve always wondered where they came from – I was an avid collector of cereal free-gifts, or “cereal premiums” as they are termed in the U.S, in fact anything cereal free-gift related, but these have stuck with me since then, and the fascination for all things space and science fiction-related continues to the present – it would be great to have a set of them.