Bata Shoes: Wayfinders Animal Tracks & Wayfinders Moonshot (Page 4)

Wayfinders Moonshot — "Moonprints on your Foot"

Look and Learn No.397, 23rd August 1969. With moon-fever at its height (the first moon landing was July 21st), Bata bring out a new version of their Wayfinders shoe. Note the brilliant re-use of the 1965 monochrome Lunar Base Panorama transfer sheets!

Please visit the Lunar Base Panorama page to view these transfers in more detail.

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The next week, instead of a double-page spread, a single full page ad (No.398, 30th August 1969):

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No.425, 7th March 1970: note the Rotadraw set. Rotadraw has a connection with Letraset; in 1978 Rotadraw Disney & Super Heroes sets are branded 'Letraset', since they had the rights to those licenses.

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No.452, 12th September 1970 — & both the animal & moonshot transfers are still being advertised.

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We don't have the "moon space capsule model" to show you, but WOTAN had one when young & remembers it vividly enough to have provided this Photoshop simulation to stimulate your imagination. (Many thanks to him for this; if you are interested, you can visit his Project Sword Blog.)

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He has also kept part of the box! Unfortunately not the part with the 'moonscape panorama', but very interesting nevertheless:

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Notice the tagline "Footprints on the moon". This is obviously a misprint (see what I did there) for "Moonprints on the foot".


Complications (as usual)…

We think the transfers shown on this school book (conveniently dated January 1966) must be from the Wayfinders promotion rather than the original Panorama. Transfers that were printed in black ink in the Lunar Base Panorama appear in white here. Many thanks to Nick Symes for sending this image!

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It has to be said that the original owner of the book thought that these were cereal Free Gifts, & to be fair there is a rumour that won't seem to die relating that there was a cereal promotion featuring these transfers. Some people feel it was "definitely Kellogg's", while others think it was Shredded Wheat "because it was all I was allowed for breakfast". It's incredibly easy for people to conflate their memories of different but similar events, so you can see why I wield Occam's razor & declare — these transfers must be from the Wayfinders promotion.

BUT…

I re-checked the ads; 23rd August 1969, the Lunar Base transfers are shown in the ad. By 7th March 1970, just a few months later, the transfers aren't shown but they are referred to as 'a sheet of instant "action" moonscape transfers'.

Now, ordinarily you wouldn't suppose this to mean that the original set of transfers had been abandoned in favour of another set, would you? Because that would be a lot of work & expense. However…

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Oops.

The transfers shown are re-purposed from Peter Archer's Meteoroid Menace Red Action Transfers set.

(N.B.: It looks like WOTAN's Moonshot shoes would have had the colour transfers, which explains a couple of otherwise niggling points.)

So… I reckon this means the lunar base sheets were only available for a fraction of a second — six months or less — which could explain why I've never seen any. (It also strengthens the cursed "lunar base transfers in cereal boxes" hypothesis, since it reduces the chance of my having seen them in shoes.)

Who knows what happened? Did Letraset promise lovely transfers, but they weren't ready & Bata had to settle for Lunar Base? Or did Letraset happily supply Lunar Base transfers (possibly left-over from a phantom cereal promotion), only to have Bata complain, perhaps having seen 'Meteoroid Menace' for themselves?

Whichever way you look at it, it spells TROUBLE.

Reference to "a sheet of instant "action" animal transfers" in the same 7th March ad (for Animal Tracks Wayfinders) suggests another possible transfer switch at this date as well.

The terminology switches from: "instant transfer 'Letraset' pictures" (23rd Aug 69)
 — to: "a sheet of instant transfer 'Letraset' figures" (30 Aug 69)
 — to: "a sheet of instant "action" moonscape transfers" / "a sheet of instant "action" animal transfers" (7 Mar 70)
 — to: "instant 'Action' space transfers" / "'Action' animal transfers" (12 Sep 70)

So let's keep our eyes peeled for alternative Animal Tracks transfers!


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Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — WOTAN — Nick Symes