Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!


Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!
Cheeky Weekly ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED was a British children's comic with cover dates spanning 22 October 1977 to 02 February 1980.

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Thursday, 1 July 2010

Red Jet Rattler


So what did those kids who had been whipped into a frenzy by IPC's ad campaign (which may have included a short ad shown on teatime TV) get as they flung 8p of their pocket money across the newsagent's counter?

Well, the first thing most kids would look for is the free gift. In those days there would usually be a gift in each of the first 3 issues of any new comic. How many of us bought the comic just to get the flimsy cardboard/plastic tat lurking within the pages? The publishers obviously hoped that by the third issue those readers lovingly fondling their collection consisting of a plastic spud gun, brown paper banger thing and rude-noise-making balloon would have been sufficiently entranced by the printed comic contents to become readers for life.

In Cheeky Weekly's first issue, the item tumbling from its pages was The Red Jet Rattler, a flimsy, cardboard self-assembly aeroplane that didn't so much fly as whirl from a piece of string. The string, as far as I recall, was not supplied, neither was the penny which was crucial to effective operation. The number of pennies lost as plane separated from string and disappeared into the neighbouring garden would probably make a substantial contribution towards the national debt.

So what was the link between aeroplanes and the contents of the comic? Er, none. At least an attempt was made to link the gift and the comic's contents by having Cheeky grinning daftly from the Red Jet Rattler's cockpit. Surprisingly, the underside of the Rattler reveals it was patented in Britain and the US! Possibly the stealth bomber was a further development of the same design (but without the cardboard Cheeky banner on the tailplane, which would presumably have lessened the stealth effect somewhat).

2 comments:

  1. As I recall it, the "short ad shown on teatime TV" featured Cheeky as an animated cartoon, walking into middle frame and extoling the virtues of the comic in the form of a limerick. As a passionate fan of Krazy comic, seeing Cheeky 'come to life' like this was quite possibly the most exciting thing I'd ever experienced (although I was only six years old at the time).

    I remember him being given quite a strident, squeaky voice, which didn't quite fit with how I'd imagined him speaking (I'd always heard him as far more dry and sarcastic).

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  2. Thanks for cofirming the existence of the TV ad. A contributor at http://forums.doyouremember.co.uk/threads/1247-British-Comic-Characters/page3 suggests Kenny Everett did the voiceover, but then again he says the Cheeky gifts were a squirting ring and a plate wobbler, so maybe his memory is playing tricks.

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