Free Gifts & Adverts in Comics

UK & France, 1966 to 1985

"…Subsequent events showed that the mistake we had made was the very basic one of not properly identifying our market. We had called our product a toy and looked to the toy industry when, in fact, its later success came in the child's novelty market alongside chewing gum and comic papers."

Letraset, a Lesson in Growth. pp26-27
By John A Chudley
Published by Business Books Limited, London. 1974.

We've found remarkably few free gift transfers in comics, with the only ones from before the publication of John Chudley's book being those given away with "Cor!!" No.2 (13th June 1970). His statement seems to suggest that there should be loads of transfers in comics, but perhaps by the term "alongside", he doesn't mean to imply "included as a Free Gift in…". Perhaps he means "alongside" literally, & is thinking of Mini-Toons & their ilk, which were enormously successful from 1970 on.

So although free gift transfers in comics seem like a natural idea, in fact there are remarkably few before Letraset stopped producing Action Transfers. In fact, there only seem to have been eight different promotions by then (although it's possible we may still come across one or two more, despite the thoroughness of our current research).

There are plenty of waterslide, tattoo, or iron-on transfers from this period, & plenty of dry rub-down transfers afterwards, but apparently Letraset just didn't push their product in this field at the time.

Adverts for transfers, or for other products or promotions featuring transfers, are another matter. There are plenty of those, & we have by no means chronicled them all — although we are working on it!

(We only look as late as 1985, for reasons explained elsewhere.)

The following list includes all the adverts we've found so far, & all the free gift transfers from UK comics. Plus some other items of related interest.

KEY to colours:
Magazine Title
Magazine Title
  • Number
  • Date
  • Ad: Adverts related to Letraset products appear here in yellow text (Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Magazine Title
  • Number
  • Date
  • Ad: Adverts unrelated to Letraset products appear in green text (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •

• Note 1: because of the association between Bata Wayfinder shoes & Letraset transfers, adverts for Bata are included in this list.

• Note 2: links to images of these free gifts & adverts will be added as each becomes available.

• Note 3: links to ads that may seem to be different, will very frequently take you to the same page. ALL of the Wayfinders ads, for example, link to the Wayfinders page.

— Please be aware of this to avoid possible confusion or frustration!


1966
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
1967
Look and Learn
  • No.265
  • 11th February 1967
  • Ad: Wayfinders Tracking Competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 391
  • 20th April 1967
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "Astérix" (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
  • No.293
  • 26th August 1967
  • Ad: Wayfinders Shoes "K.O. Kim" / Bata Power-points (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
  • No.295
  • 9th September 1967
  • Ad: Bata Power-points Football Boots (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
  • No.307
  • 2nd December 1967
  • Ad: Waddingtons Magazine (featuring Panoramas)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
  • No.308
  • 9th December 1967
  • Ad: Slimline Wayfinders (Compass, spare, badge) (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
  • No.309
  • 16th December 1967
  • Ad: Slimline Wayfinders (Compass, spare, badge) (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.98
  • 16th December 1967
  • Ad: Slimline Wayfinders (Compass, spare, badge) (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
1968
Pow! And Wham!
  • No.54
  • 27th January 1968
  • Tattoo Transfers (not Letraset)
Tintin (Belge)
Tintin (Belge)
  • No.17
  • 23rd April 1968
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "Mexicorama" (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Tintin (Belge)
Tintin (Belge)
  • No.19
  • 7th May 1968
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "Mexicorama" (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Tintin (Belge)
  • No.21
  • 21st May 1968
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "Mexicorama" (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Tintin (Belge)
Tintin (Belge)
  • No.43
  • 22nd October 1968
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "Mexicorama" (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 460
  • 29th August 1968
  • Ad: Finas — "Conquête de l'Espace" (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
  • No.346
  • 31st August 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 2 (10 New Coloured Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.135
  • 31st August 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 3 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 463
  • 19th September 1968
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "Mexico 1968" (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Smash!
  • No.138
  • 21st September 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 3 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
  • No.350
  • 28th September 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 3 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.139
  • 28th September 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 1 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.140
  • 5th October 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 1 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 466
  • 10th October 1968
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "Mexico 1968" (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
  • No.352
  • 12th October 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 1 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.143
  • 26th October 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 2 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
  • No.355
  • 2nd November 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 2 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.145
  • 9th November 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 3 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.146
  • 16th November 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 3 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.147
  • 23rd November 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 3 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.149
  • 7th December 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 1 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.150
  • 14th December 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 3 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
  • No.363
  • 28th December 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 3 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
  • No.152
  • 28th December 1968
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 1 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
1969
Smash!
  • No.153
  • 4th January 1969
  • Ad: Wayfinders Animal Tracks (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
  • No.365
  • 11th January 1969
  • Ad: Famous Wayfinders 1 (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
Smash!
Look and Learn
Smash!
Smash!
Smash!
Look and Learn
  • No.396
  • 16th August 1969
  • Ad: Wayfinders Animal Tracks (10 New Coloured Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 507
  • 24th July 1969
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "A la Conquête de l'Espace"
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 508
  • 31st July 1969
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "A la Conquête de l'Espace"
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 509
  • 6th August 1969
  • Ad: La Vache Qui Rit — "A la Conquête de l'Espace"
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Smash!
  • nn
  • 16th August 1969
  • Ad: Wayfinders Animal Tracks (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
Smash!
Look and Learn
Smash!
  • nn
  • 30th August 1969
  • Ad: Wayfinders Moonshot (2-page spread) & Animal Tracks
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
  • No.399
  • 6th September 1969
  • Ad: Wayfinders Animal Tracks (10 New Coloured Animal Transfers)
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
TV21 & TV Tornado
  • No.242
  • 6th September 1969
  • Ad: Action Transfers (Follow link for list of comics running this Ad → )
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
TV21 (New Series)
Look and Learn
Smash!
Treasure
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
The Rover
The Victor
Treasure
Smash!
Lion & Eagle
Lion & Eagle
Look and Learn
Smash!
The Hornet
1970
Look and Learn
  • No.425
  • 7th March 1970
  • Ad: Wayfinders Moonshot & Animal Tracks Rotadraw Competition
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
Look and Learn
  • No.430
  • 11th April 1970
  • Ad: Wayfinders Moonshot & Animal Tracks Rotadraw Competition
  • • Wayfinders •
Smash!
TV21 & Joe 90
Lion
  • nn
  • 23rd May 1970
  • Ad: PBIPBs promotional offer with cereals (No doubt in many other comics besides!)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Smash!
  • nn
  • 6th June 1970
  • Ad: Supplement advertising "Cor!!" & its transfers (4pp)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Cor!!
Cor!!
  • No.2
  • 13th June 1970
  • Thrilling Letraset Transfers ('Combat' Bubble Gum transfers repurposed)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
Smash!
Cor!!
Lion
Look and Learn
Smash!
1971
Sally
  • nn
  • 13th February 1971
  • Ad: Kellogg's Sugar Smacks Star Trek transfers (Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Buster
  • nn
  • 13th February 1971
  • Ad: Kellogg's Sugar Smacks Star Trek transfers (Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Tiger
  • nn
  • 13th February 1971
  • Ad: Kellogg's Sugar Smacks Star Trek transfers (Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
The Victor
  • No.522
  • 20th February 1971
  • Ad: Kellogg's Sugar Smacks Star Trek transfers (Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
The Hornet
  • No.389
  • 20th February 1971
  • Ad: Kellogg's Sugar Smacks Star Trek transfers (Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Smash!
  • nn
  • 13th March 1971
  • Ad: A&BC Footballer (also appearing in many other issues)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Smash!
The Hornet
  • No.396
  • 10th April 1971 p.28
  • Ad: Heinz Tomato Ketchup offer for Red ATs
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
  • No.484
  • 24th April 1971
  • Ad: Lyons Maid Summer Fun Competition (Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
Look and Learn
Valiant & Smash
Look and Learn
Valiant & Smash
Valiant & Smash
Look and Learn
  • No.495
  • 10th July 1971
  • Ad: Lyons Maid Summer Fun Competition (Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Valiant & Smash
Valiant & Smash
  • nn
  • 14th August 1971
  • Ad: Walls Jumbo Wildlife Zoo (Letraset Animal Transfers)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Valiant & Smash
Valiant & Smash
  • nn
  • 21st August 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Valiant & Smash
  • nn
  • 28th August 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Look and Learn
Valiant & Smash
  • nn
  • 4th September 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Valiant & Smash
  • nn
  • 11th September 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Valiant & Smash
  • nn
  • 18th September 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Valiant & Smash
  • nn
  • 25th September 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 2nd October 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 9th October 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 16th October 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 23rd October 1971
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos 'Commando's badge transfers'
Look and Learn
  • No.511
  • 30th October 1971
  • Ad: Sutherlands Spreads Historic Car Transfers
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Valiant & TV21
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 633
  • 23rd December 1971
  • Ad: Décotransfert
1972
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 5th February 1972
  • Ad: Clarks Commandos (no longer mentions transfers)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 642
  • 24th February 1972
  • Ad: Décotransfert
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 26th February 1972
  • Ad: Kellogg's Frosties hovercraft model (mentions transfers; probably not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Pilote (Dargaud)
  • 644
  • 9th March 1972
  • Ad: Décotransfert
Look and Learn
  • 532
  • 25th March 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 22nd April 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
  • 537
  • 29th April 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 20th May 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Look and Learn
  • 541
  • 27th May 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 10th June 1972
  • Ad: Brown & Polson giant Rupert transfer (Letraset Iron-On)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look-In
  • No.24
  • 10th June 1972
  • Ad: Brown & Polson giant Rupert transfer (Letraset Iron-On)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Teddy Bear
  • nn
  • 10th June 1972
  • Ad: Brown & Polson giant Rupert transfer (Letraset Iron-On)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look and Learn
  • 544
  • 17th June 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 17th June 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 17th June 1972
  • Ad: Brown & Polson giant Rupert transfer (Letraset Iron-On)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Valiant & TV21
Valiant & TV21
Look and Learn
  • 548
  • 15th July 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
Valiant & TV21
  • nn
  • 22nd July 1972
  • Ad: Wayfinders Big Game photographic competition (not Letraset)
  • • Wayfinders •
1972-1973 — Marvel UK New Title Launches
Mighty World of Marvel
  • Nos.1 & 2
  • October 1972
  • No.1 Iron-on Hulk Transfer; No.2 Iron-on Spider-man Transfer (not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Marvel UK Avengers
  • No.1
  • 22nd September 1973
  • Superhero Transfers (N.B.: believed to be tattoos. Not Letraset)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
1976
Action
1977
Look-In
  • No.8
  • 19th February 1977
  • 'Letraset Action Transfers' (GK8 Carnival Red SAT transfers)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
Look-In
  • No.47
  • 19th November 1977
  • Ad: 'Wildlife in Danger', 'Birds', Letraset Toys Club
2000 AD
  • Prog 40
  • 26th November 1977
  • Ad: Super Action Heroes
2000 AD
  • Prog 41
  • 3rd December 1977
  • Ad: Super Action Heroes
Look-In
  • No.49
  • 3rd December 1977
  • Ad: 'Wildlife in Danger', 'Birds', Letraset Toys Club
2000 AD
  • Prog 42
  • 10th December 1977
  • Ad: Super Action Heroes
2000 AD
  • Prog 43
  • 17th December 1977
  • Ad: Super Action Heroes
1978
Look-In
  • No.11
  • 11th March 1978
  • 'Star Wars Letraset Transfers' — Wall's [No S/N]
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Star Wars Weekly
TV Comic
  • No.1377
  • 5th May 1978
  • Wild Wheels Iron-On "Action Transfer" (Letraset?)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
TV Comic
  • No.1378
  • 12th May 1978
  • Downhill Flyer Iron-On "Action Transfer" (Letraset?)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.16
  • 24th May 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
Tiger & Scorcher
  • nn
  • 27th May 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
2000 AD
  • Prog 66
  • 27th May 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.18
  • 7th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
Tiger & Scorcher
  • nn
  • 10th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
2000 AD
  • Prog 68
  • 10th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
The Hotspur
  • No.973
  • 10th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
The Hotspur
  • No.974
  • 17th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
Tiger & Scorcher
  • nn
  • 17th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
Starlord
  • No.3
  • 17th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
Starlord
  • No.4
  • 24th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
2000 AD
  • Prog 70
  • 24th June 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Shreddies Star Wars
Look-In
  • No.34
  • 19th August 1978
  • Super Heroes Posters / Ad: Letraset Super Heroes Rotadraw Competition
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.34
  • 27th September 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Kalkitos 'New'
Look-In
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.36
  • 11th October 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Kalkitos 'New'
Marvel UK Spider-Man
  • nn
  • 3rd December 1978
  • Ad: 28 new Kalkitos available
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.46
  • 20th December 1978
  • Ad: Half-page Kalkitos 'New'
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.47
  • 27th December 1978
  • Ad: Full-page Back Cover (Colour) Kalkitos 'New'
1979
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.51
  • 24th January 1979
  • Ad: Full-page Back Cover (Colour) Kalkitos 'New'
MUK Marvel Comic
Misty
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.54
  • 14th February 1979
  • Ad: Full-page Back Cover Kalkitos "28 in the Range / 5p Off"
1979-1980 — 'Big Offensive No.1':
TV Comic
TV Comic
Whizzer & Chips
  • 10th Birthday
  • 13th October 1979
  • "Free Gift Kalkitos Rub-Down Transfers Inside!" "Which Set will YOU Get?"
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.86
  • 17th October 1979
  • Ad: for Dr Who Weekly with transfers
TV Comic
MUK Doctor Who Weekly
  • No.1
  • 17th October 1979
  • LP105/1 "Free Transfers! (bis) Plus Two Full Colour Dr Who Panoramas Inside!"
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.87
  • 24th October 1979
  • Ad: for Dr Who Weekly with transfers
MUK Doctor Who Weekly
MUK Doctor Who Weekly
  • No.3
  • 31st October 1979
  • LP105/3 "Free Inside Another Set of Full Colour Action Transfers"
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Doctor Who Weekly
MUK Star Wars Weekly
  • No.117
  • 21st May 1980
  • Ad: Full-page Inside Back Cover Dairylea TESB transfers
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Doctor Who Weekly
MUK TESB Weekly
  • No.118
  • 29th May 1980
  • LP123 "Free Inside! Kraft/Marvel Action Transfers!!!"
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK TESB Weekly
1981
TV Comic
TV Comic
Marvel Super Adventure
TV Comic
TV Comic
1983
Spike
1984-1985 — 'Big Offensive No.2':
MUK Transformers
MUK Transformers
MUK Transformers
MUK Spider-Man Comic
  • No.607
  • 27th October 1984
  • LP??? Action Rub-Down Transfers (with background)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Marvel Super
Heroes Secret Wars
  • No.1
  • 27th April 1985
  • [No S/N] "Free Secret Wars Rub Down Transfers"
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Return of the Jedi
MUK Return of the Jedi
MUK Spider-Man Comic
MUK Spider-Man Comic
  • No.635
  • 11th May 1985
  • LP232 "Free! Action Rub-Down Transfers!" (w/o background)
  • • VIEW ITEM •
MUK Return of the Jedi
• View Illustrated Article: "All Free Gift Transfers in Comics" →
• View Illustrated Article: "Bata & Wayfinders Shoes" →