Free Gift Transfers in Comics

Page 2 of 20

Michelino: Nos.1, 2 & 3 from 1971-1972 (PR130)

Michelino must have been a HUGE job for Letraset, stretching to dozens & dozens of transfer sheets.

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Michelino's 1969 makeover

"Michelino" is Italian for "Mickey", & the name of a popular comic (apparently not mouse-related) aimed at younger children:

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Image courtesy of danubioblu; note Michelino's pre-makeover appearance!

Originally started in 1961, it had a run of over three hundred issues before ending in October 1967. Accompanying the weekly was a monthly title, "Il Mensile di Michelino".

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In 1969 the title was re-launched in a new format as "L'Album di Michelino", & this ran for at least forty-seven issues (that is: I've seen No.47, & no-one has reported a later issue).

The albums are more what we would call "activity books". Here are Nos. 33 & 46 from year one, which as you can see both contain "figurine magiche" — no prizes for guessing what those are!

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Images courtesy of carapelle80

Since it appears that the title & layout were designed to include "figurine magiche" in every issue, & followed the Patterson Blick Instant Picture Books format, it seems more than likely that Letraset were involved at the planning stages. With a transfer sheet in each of forty-seven issues, this would have been a hugely lucrative job for Letraset; in fact, I can't help thinking of John Chudley's mysterious Italian cheese for kids, & wondering if this job was at least partly what he was thinking of:

"We received from Italy the largest order for our toys (to be used as premiums with a specially prepared cheese for children) that we had ever taken and it proved to be so successful that it was reordered several times before it was eventually dropped."

It's a shame we can no longer ask him what on Earth he did actually mean.


Three of the albums were then released in the UK; I doubt there was a fourth.

The Italian albums are subtitled:

"Realizzato da Federico Santin — Fratelli Fabbri Editori."

The English albums are subtitled:

"By Federico Santin. Fabbri & Partners Limited. 1971. 20p."

The partly-used sheet for No.17:

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Image courtesy of danubioblu

And the sheets for Nos. 7 & 19.

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The twist in the tale is that the sheet originally for album No.7 came in the English No.1, & the sheet for No.19 came with No.2. So the English albums were a kind of 'best of' selection from the Italian versions.


Michelino 1

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Front Cover

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pp2-3

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pp4-5

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pp6-7

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Centre Pages — see above for corresponding Transfer Sheet

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pp10-11

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pp12-13

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pp14-15

"Michelino regrets that he cannot accept responsibility for returning any drawings sent to him, nor can he reply to all your letters."

You will notice that to increase your chances of having a drawing published, you should live in Milan.

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Back Cover


Michelino 2

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Front Cover

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pp2-3

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pp4-5

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pp6-7

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Centre Pages — see above for corresponding Transfer Sheet

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pp10-11

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pp12-13

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pp14-15

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Back Cover


Michelino 3

Tom McIntosh got in touch in 2016 & kindly sent us his photos of each page of his album.

You will see that the transfer sheet (with the serial number PR130) was stapled to the inside back page, & is marked in Italian notation as intended for rubbing down on pages 8 & 9 — the centre pages.

So co-incidence or not, this third English album is equivalent to the Italian No.3.

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Front Cover

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pp2-3

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pp4-5

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pp6-7

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Centre Pages

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pp10-11

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pp12-13

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pp14-15 (transfer sheet lifted away)

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p15 (transfer sheet in place); Back Cover

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Transfer Sheet PR130


• Next Page: Look-In No.8 (of volume 7) week ending 19th February 1977 — Action Transfers (SAT Carnival) →

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Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — Tom McIntosh — danubioblu — carapelle80