Over at the nothingbutafan blog, Col is looking at the dummy version of Cheeky Weekly that was produced prior to the comic going on general sale. As I understand it, IPC would often produce early versions of their new comics as publicity material to be distributed to newsagents. It would seem that the publishers felt that a tangible copy of the proposed comic would be more likely to convince shop owners that the new publication was going to appeal to kids, thereby encouraging healthy orders, than some sort of flyer. I think the dummy issues were included in a pack containing information about the comic, and examples of the free gifts if I'm not mistaken. In later years, of course, preview copies were given directly to the readers of existing comics - I'm thinking of Oink! and others that I can't quite remember (Nipper, I think).
Col's posted an interesting examination of the differences between the dummy version of Cheeky Weekly number 1 and the issue that actually hit the newsagents shelves.
The dummy first issue was presented to newsagents in a cardboard sleeve containing details of the forthcoming comic, and including the first two free gifts (not sure whether the Friend of Cheeky badge was also included). Here are a few photos of such a pack which appeared on ebay some years ago (I didn't bid for the item so I don't have it myself!).
|First issue was actually dated 22 October,|
not 15 October as per the pack cover
|Note reference to TV campaign|
|SOR = sale or return|
See also downthetubes.