These late reprints of the first twenty-four Mini-Toons suffer in comparison in a variety of ways. Firstly, they are (as the serial numbers imply) litho printed rather than gravure. Secondly, staples are used to secure the transfer sheets to the card. Next, the backgrounds have margins instead of being full-bleed, so not all the artwork is included & there are ugly white borders around what there is (there are no longer any serial numbers on the backgrounds, of course). But the worst offence is what has been done to the transfer artwork…
Above: the L61 Mini-Toons with their display box. From the Thomas Salter 1981 trade catalogue.
Below: a close view of the back cover. Note that if you collected twelve yellow stars from the transfer sheets, you could send off for a free Action Adventure Rub-On set.
Here are all the front covers, which apart from a re-design are identical to those of the original series.
Since the backgrounds are effectively the same as the originals, we don't need to see them again; but here are the transfer sheets:
Sets 1 to 12 have completely different artwork…
…Whereas sets 13 to 24 use the original artwork, but redrawn.
Here are six of the first twelve sets, to show how radically the GK originals (on the left) differ from their L61 replacements (on the right). The 'new' artwork is, in fact, redrawn from the Groovy Doodles transfer sheets. Why this should be is not clear; perhaps it was a simple mistake made when pulling the artwork from the archives, or perhaps the original artwork for some of the sets was damaged.
And here's the No.23 "Do-It-Yourself" set in both versions, to illustrate that the L61 redraws are cruder & sketchier than the originals.
Picture Credit: SPLAT Scan Archives, with thanks to Joe Robinson
© Tom Vinelott 2021