Packets & Tattooze — Page Four of Eight


Letraset Super Heroes Tattooze

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The above scan is taken from the Thomas Salter 1981 trade catalogue. Although the transfers are dated 1977, they probably didn't appear until the following year. The text claims there are 100 different designs, but this includes the various small bits & pieces which appear in addition to the "two designs per sheet", & even then is slightly rounding-up…

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We don't know which came first — the packets of eight Tattooze, or the packets of ten! Since there are two Tattooze on each sheet, that means either four or five sheets per packet.

Quite often Letraset would do a job for a client, & then nick the idea. Perhaps that happened here. We only know of a few instances of Letraset printing temporary tattoos (although they did also print some iron-on transfers), & on this occasion they've kept the unusual spelling "Tattooze".

This was a big year for Letraset promoting DC comic characters; having purchased the licenses, they also produced Action Transfer sets & even toys (such as Rotadraw). The same applied to Marvel & Disney characters.

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Below, you can see what the Tattooze look like both with their protective covers on (upper row), & without (lower row).

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Hank Landry has been exceptionally helpful in establishing the full range of cut sheets, & estimating the relative rarity of some sheets.

His son Pete provided a sample of 675 sheets (168 packets; 4 sheets/packet), & they arranged them roughly in order of scarcity (least common first).

The sample is large enough to suggest that these 45 are all the sheets in the range.

The sheets themselves are un-numbered, of course, but if we call the top left sheet in this image "No.1", then here is a table of how many instances he found of each sheet:

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Sheet No.1:8 copies
Sheet No.2:9 copies
Sheet No.3:10 copies
Sheet No.4:09 copies
Sheet No.5:09 copies
Sheet No.6:12 copies
Sheet No.7:11 copies
Sheet No.8:12 copies
Sheet No.9:12 copies
Sheet No.10:12 copies
Sheet No.11:12 copies
Sheet No.12:13 copies
Sheet No.13:13 copies
Sheet No.14:13 copies
Sheet No.15:13 copies
Sheet No.16:14 copies
Sheet No.17:13 copies
Sheet No.18:13 copies
Sheet No.19:13 copies
Sheet No.20:13 copies
Sheet No.21:14 copies
Sheet No.22:14 copies
Sheet No.23:14 copies
Sheet No.24:14 copies
Sheet No.25:15 copies
Sheet No.26:16 copies
Sheet No.27:16 copies
Sheet No.28:16 copies
Sheet No.29:17 copies
Sheet No.30:17 copies
Sheet No.31:18 copies
Sheet No.32:18 copies
Sheet No.33:19 copies
Sheet No.34:18 copies
Sheet No.35:18 copies
Sheet No.36:18 copies
Sheet No.37:18 copies
Sheet No.38:18 copies
Sheet No.39:19 copies
Sheet No.40:19 copies
Sheet No.41:19 copies
Sheet No.42:20 copies
Sheet No.43:21 copies
Sheet No.44:21 copies
Sheet No.45:22 copies

You're welcome to perform your own statistical analysis, but it seems likely that some sheets were two to three times more common than others.

To speculate further, if 15 sheets appeared three times, 15 sheets twice, & 15 once — the simplest arrangement — that would make the full uncut artwork sheet equivalent to 90 cut sheets.

Each cut sheet is 4cm x 5cm, so that would mean the artwork would fit onto a sheet of Crown (15" x 20") with exactly enough bleed… looking something like this:

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Who says maths isn't useful in everyday life?

(You may also be interested in our page "How to apply Temporary Tattoos" for further reading…)


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Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — Pete Landry