Patterson Blick Tarzan Panorama & Shredded Wheat Promotion

Nabisco Shredded Wheat Promotion

Nabisco's Welgar Shredded Wheat promotion (Welgar stands for 'Welwyn Garden City') involved three different panels onto which transfers could be rubbed. One panel was printed on the backs of boxes of Cubs (shown here), one on Shredded Wheat '12 biscuit' size, & one on Shredded Wheat '18 biscuit' size.

The Shredded Wheat cereal packet panel shown below is by courtesy of eBay Seller murraycards51; the Cubs cereal packet is by courtesy of Nick Symes.

pic pic
    "Collect all 12 adventures of Tarzan and…"
  1. 1. The Leopard Man [sic]
  2. 2. The Slave Rescue
  3. 3. The Rhino Rampage
  4. 4. The Gorilla Rescue
  5. 5. The Rogue Elephants
  6. 6. The Winged Utusi
  7. 7. The Lost Plateau
  8. 8. The Man Eaters
  9. 9. The Giant Gorilla
  10. 10. The Animal Hunt
  11. 11. The Crocodile Worshippers
  12. 12. The Witch Doctor Warriors

As you can easily see, the box artwork is again by Peter Archer. Here's a reasonable mock-up guess as to how his twelve Free Gift transfers might have appeared on their uncut sheet:


By the way: a big thank-you to those members of SPLAT who so generously contributed to obtaining this complete set of transfers; it's entirely due to their kindness that I've been able to scan them, & I could never have put this online without their help.

The Tarzan & Batman Shredded Wheat transfers are both the same size: approximately 5" by 2½". However, the big difference is in the colour printing, & therefore in the press used to produce them.

Whereas Batman was silkscreen printed in four spot colours, the Tarzan Free Gift transfers are full colour CMYK (but with White as well — let's call it CMYKW). You can see the Cyan Yellow blacK & White registration marks immediately above; on the left edge of the "Witch Doctor Warriors" transfer the Magenta mark would be visible if it hadn't been cropped off. (I've seen it on another copy of this sheet!)

Since Letraset had to build a factory in Ashford to house their full-colour Rotary Gravure Press, & the factory opened in late 1968, you can see we have a slight dating problem…

The press was probably being used either ahead of opening at Waterloo Road or at the unfinished factory, & the copyright date of 1966 which appears on the transfers (& also on the Panorama) clearly refers to the Tarzan TV programme & doesn't mean the transfers were printed that year.

Therefore the probable date of these products is late 1967 or early 1968 (although we would love to hear of any other dating evidence).

Here's an interesting detail taken from Mike Cosford's used Panorama background (shown in full on the previous page); like a very convenient conjuring trick, it shows the "two Janes" of Peter Archer's two different interpretations rubbed down side-by-side.

For Mike to have applied the Shredded Wheat transfer to his Panorama strongly implies that the two products must have been available at similar times, but it also neatly illustrates the divergences which suggest that they weren't as closely associated as the earlier Batman Panorama & Shredded Wheat products had been.

Apart from the artistic dissimilarities, the fact that the two Tarzan transfer sheets were printed on different presses by different processes suggests that they were… distinct.


The Shredded Wheat figures were larger than those for the Panorama — which makes sense, since there were fewer figures per packet; approximately 20 figures per sheet (x8 sheets) for the Panorama, & approximately 10 figures per sheet (x12 sheets) for the Free Gifts.

In the Panorama, Tarzan has solid black hair, & Jane has long blonde hair with a torn red mini-dress. In the Free Gifts, Tarzan's hair is very much lighter, while Jane's is shorter & she is wearing a Safari outfit. Boy does not appear in the Panorama, & Cheetah only a couple of times (if indeed that is him — which is doubtful), whereas they both crop up frequently in the Free Gifts.

Perhaps Peter saw the TV show after the Panorama & before the Free Gifts! Or, of course, the brief for each job may simply have been different.

However, in support of the alternative hypothesis, Peter's son Ben says he remembers the two jobs as being pretty close together.

Generally, though, the Panorama transfers live in the silkscreen World of the early Letraset Panoramas with its policy of 'lots of small figures', albeit in better-applied colour than the Batman Panorama. The Free Gifts, on the other hand, represent the new World of Gravure seen in the early Patterson Blick Instant Picture Books (even though, perversely, of these two Tarzan products, it's the Panorama which is Patterson Blick).

Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives (with thanks to Nick Symes & Mike Cosford) — murraycards51