Patterson Blick only ever made two transfer products this large, both by Peter Archer; the earlier Batman Instant Pictures (Panorama), & this one.
Although Peter was definitely better pleased with his later works, & although in particular the red & yellow series of Action Transfers & Super Action Transfers are more popular with collectors, I'm inclined to view this Panorama as his masterpiece.
Sometimes having to strive against technical limitations brings out the best in an artist, & I believe that's the case here, where Peter had to separate the colours of the transfer sheets by hand — an unbelievably tricky process (I know — I've tried it myself!) but one that was aided by his previous experience in performing the same task for the Batman Instant Pictures panorama.
First we'll look at the Tarzan Panorama, then we'll tear it apart & throw away the pieces, & finally we can go on to review the Shredded Wheat promotions that accompanied it.
Please pardon the crease down the middle of this cover; people found it convenient to store finished Panoramas by folding them in half, so this is very common.
Notice that according to the righthand panel, the Panorama is divided into six areas, each telling its own story. Whether you find this helpful or limiting will depend on your outlook.
Although Patrick Tilley had long since given up designing for Letraset, his son Bruno is still shown here holding open the panorama background: a role he would continue to perform on Panoramas right up until the last of them in 1981.
On the left-hand panel, eight transfer panels are depicted; this probably implies the standard two sheets of four panels. Since we've never had an unused Tarzan Panorama to show you, we can't display the transfers on their sheets: however, this rough sketch may give you at least some idea of the probable layout (based on various clues mostly found elsewhere):
Give me a year or two, & I might have a go at recreating the sheets properly — assuming we don't find the real thing by then!
But here are three used backgrounds to show you what the transfers actually looked like after being rubbed-down. If you have an unused Tarzan Panorama or its transfers, please get in touch via the Facebook Action Transfers Page.
This third background appears by courtesy of Mike Cosford. An interesting detail taken from it appears later, on the Shredded Wheat page…
The transfers, like the Batman transfers, have been silkscreen printed in four spot colours. Whereas the Batman colours were Red, Blue, Black & White, here they are Red, Yellow, Black & White; in other words, Yellow is substituting for Blue.
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives (with thanks to Mike Cosford)
© Tom Vinelott 2023