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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Childhood stuff #11 - the original youtube

When I say to people "Do you remember poster art?" they say "but art on posters is around now, silly!" Then they look at me.
When I say "Do you remember poster tubes?" they say "what, the things you get from the post office to send posters in?" Then they look at me.
When I say "Do you remember poster art tubes?" they just look at me.

Short version - no one ever remembers poster art tubes except me. But they were rife during the 80s and 90s, a winning combination of art, colouring in, and, erm, tube.  After a while, even I started to think I might have imagined the whole thing, UNTIL LAST WEEK! Because I found this in a charity shop -

As you can see, or maybe not, this one is "from Katy Nelson", not that that really matters. 

Recognise these? Or are you more like my idiot friends? I do hope not, because I hate most of my friends.

Poster art tubes were a very simple idea - a cardboard tube containing a few rolled up colouring pages, and some wax crayons. Normally only three or four wax crayons, and never in the colours you need. For example, there was never a black one or a purple one, which meant you could never colour in someone who had a bruise. If you ever needed to.

But every kid I knew loved them, and any trip to the market/shops/seaside/anywhere resulted in acquiring a new one. They were generally themed around the film, TV and music fads of the day, so when I used to get them they were things like Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and Thundercats. Nowadays they would probably be things like Justin Bieber and stabbing.

This Barbie tube is surprisingly good quality which made me suspicious, so I checked the year and it's from 2002. I had no idea they were making these that recently, but it does explain the marginally better quality of the contents. I'm surprised it doesn't have a rolled up laptop in it.

Speaking of the contents, first we have the colouring pages -

Please excuse the corners being held down with whatever I had to hand

I'm only showing one of the four because let's face it, they're all pictures of Barbie. A3 size, with lots of little details for you to get to work on with your wax crayons. Speaking of which -

SIX CRAYONS! Holy hell I've hit the jackpot! Still no black or purple, but not a bad choice of colours. And at least there's a pink one, which is kind of necessary for Barbie colouring.

Now I've got my hands on a poster tube again, I'm not exactly sure what to do with it. I could colour in the pages and stick them on my wall like you're supposed to, but I'm running out of wall space thanks to the cardboard Halloween decorations I won in an arcade in Scarborough. Do not judge me.

Also - I wonder if the makers of Pringles got the idea from poster art tubes? I wonder if they were pioneering enough to realise that everything is more fun when it comes in a tube? They probably were.

1 comment:

  1. HOLY SHIT I forgot about these
    Its sad that if someone, before I read this, had asked me about poster art tubes I would've had the same reaction as the people you described, and then I would've looked at you like you were insane and walked away.
    When I grow up I want a separate room filled with crap like this. You are basically living my dream.