"Star Trek Mission 271" — "Space Energy Comes From Sugar Smacks"
A very straightforward cereal promotion, featuring six different sheets of transfers. The advert implies there was only one "Background Scene", at least if we assume that the one shown in the advert is actually just a variant of the one printed on the packet backs; the ad shows a desert planet with a canyon, but all the packets we've seen show an ice planet with caverns. The sky is the same for both.
There were two packet sizes (by weight), so logically one might expect two different scenes, & normally reliable sources insist both existed — but I've yet to see hard evidence. However, I'm fond of evidence, so bring it on!
However, since we've seen packet backs in two sizes, each depicting the ice planet… I can't see Kellogg's printing four packet backs when two would do.
The front of the Sugar Smacks packet featured the same design of "Mr. Spock" for quite a long time, through several different promotions, with just the panel at the bottom right of the packets adapting to illustrate the change from one to the next.
The previous Sugar Smacks Star Trek promotion, for five Star Trek badges, was being advertised over a year earlier — for example, in a full-page colour ad on the back cover of "Smash!" for 27th September 1969.
(I'm covering the Star Trek Badges promotion as an addendum below, so if you're interested — read on!)
It looks as if this "Klingon Invasion" promotion didn't last very long.
The ads ran in a few comics on the 13th & 20th February 1971; after extensive searching of over two dozen different comics titles, we could only find it in these issues:
Sally, 13th February 1971 (full back page, in colour)
Buster, 13th February 1971 (full back page, in colour)
Tiger & Jag, 13th February 1971 (full back page, in colour)
The Victor No.522, 20th February 1971 (full page, in black-&-white)
The Hornet No.389, 20th February 1971 (full page, in black-&-white)
So not only was it short-lived, but also not very heavily publicised. It's interesting that one of the comics chosen for the promotion was "Sally" — but of course girls not only have brothers, but also are perfectly capable of enjoying Star Trek (even back in the barbarous wastelands of 1971).
The copy of "Sally" we have in the SPLAT Scan Archives is slightly creased, so for the ad shown above I've used a scan very kindly provided by Matt of BusterComic.com.
As you can see, the black-&-white version is identical to the colour.
We don't have any of these cereal packets in the Archives, but Peter Rice — sadly now deceased — of peterice.com (who traded on eBay under the ID "heatedseats" — hence the labels) generously allowed us to use his scans of a pair of packet backs (with their fronts) which he was selling. The white squares are the envelopes containing the transfers. Clearly the right-hand packet is a larger size than the left-hand, since although the background panel artwork is identical, it reveals a few more stars at the top & boulders at the bottom.
This is bad news for those who adhere to the "there was also a desert canyon background scene" hypothesis.
Peter also kindly flipped the panels over so that you can see what the inside of a cereal packet looks like! I know how much you all enjoy viewing this kind of thing…
Since first putting together this page, we've been given kind permission by retrotoyrevivals, who sells high-quality reproduction boxes on eBay, to display the photos which he sent me of one of his 7oz. (smaller) size boxes.
(These repro boxes are also available at retrotoyrevivals.com.)
I expect you'd like to see what was actually in the packets, so here's a close-up of one of our paper envelopes, followed by five transfer sheets which have been extracted from their respective sachets.
Although in the SPLAT Scan Archives we only have five of the six sheets, we've been sent many images by various members over the years, so you can get a good idea of the remaining sheet. Many thanks in particular to Nick Symes (as so often), to Lisa Herrera — & to Ros Badcoe, who very kindly provided photos which we no longer need… since she then sold us the sheet she had photographed!
No sooner had Ros sold us her sheet, than five more appeared all at once. It was ruinously expensive, but I managed to obtain this lot so that I could add two more transfers to the three we already had.
(This means I now have three spare sets, in case anyone has the last one & would like to part-exchange it!)
It seems the original owner of this collection (which must originally have included at least six sheets, since one transfer of Captain Kirk has been applied to the packet) was Stephen Knight. Stephen, if you're reading this, get in touch! Or if you're not Stephen but you think you might know him, let him know what's happened to his collection.
I'm sure he realises by now that the Captain is not the First Officer, logical though that may have seemed. And to eat at least six packets in the short time the promotion ran was quite a feat… although perhaps he had friends to help collect & swap with.
Anyway, here is a stop-gap composite image of the last, elusive, transfer, which bizarrely features three orange twin-seater "Anastasia"-style rocket ships. Lisa's scanned sheet had two rockets missing, but I've added them from Nick's photo:
Source images courtesy of Nick Symes & Lisa Herrera
…Be sure to let us know if you have a copy of that sheet available for scanning — or a better photo — or a part-exchange!
As mentioned above, the Sugar Smacks promotion previous to the Letraset transfers was for badges.
The badges offer seems to have lasted a considerable time before being replaced by the transfers; this advert is from 'TV21 and Joe 90' for September 13th, 1969. It's a big jump from September 1969 to February 1971! Presumably there was an extended fallow period between promotions.
(Co-incidentally, this issue also contains an advert for Letraset Action Transfers!)
Don't ask me why the saucer section is upside-down; I'm sure plenty of people have commented on it. The following three images come courtesy of Nick Symes, whose cerealoffers.com website is everyone's first stop for breakfast cereal info:
Above: the badges. Below: the front & left-hand panel of the packet. The left-hand panel contains some thrilling misinformation, including "the Transicator" — which seems to be the result of a simple translation error. (— Arf!)
(By the way, Nick, it looks as if the items shown are for info only — not mail-away offers.)
The right-hand panel appears here on the left, naturally:
Honestly, to think that some people enjoy reading the backs of cereal packets… however, there is one useful piece of advice:
"Try to be the first to collect all five badges. If you find you've already got the one inside this packet, do a swap with one of your friends."
There was another Sugar Smacks Star Trek promotion featuring Spock on the packet, for "Space Mission Badges". I haven't established a date for this promotion, but perhaps it was in-between the above two?
The plain blue background does indicate this promotion was after the badges.
I had to show this panel in close-up; it almost had me believing in Transicators. But Google says 'no'.
And then later in 1971, Kellogg's had another Star Trek promotion — in Corn Flakes rather than Sugar Smacks — featuring six Star Trek masks. This one was different in that you could see which one you were going to get, since the masks were printed on the packet backs!
The ad for this appeared on the back page of my copy of "Valiant and Smash!" for 24th April 1971:
If I have my timeline straight, by then Spock had been replaced by Doctor Who on the Sugar Smacks packets.
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — Matt of bustercomic.co.uk — Peter Rice — retrotoyrevivals — Ros Badcoe — Nick Symes — Lisa Herrera
© Tom Vinelott 2023