go straight to the pictures

With Jon Pertwee now settled into the role of the Doctor, 1971 proved to be a much better year for collectors of Doctor Who merchandise. Most notably, two significant promotions began featuring Doctor Who – one for breakfast cereal and a second for confectionery.

1971_Sugar Smacks - all 3 boxes.jpg

Kellogg’s had introduced cereal box prizes at the beginning of the 20th century, so by the 1970s, in-pack promotions were common across breakfast cereal manufacturers and brands. In 1971, Kellogg’s launched a Doctor Who promotion on their Sugar Smacks brand. The initial promotion featured an illustration of Jon Pertwee on the front of the box and included one of six collectible badges in the pack. Subsequent promotions maintained the Pertwee image on the box, but replaced the badges with 3-D animal picture cards and then plastic historic car models. A fourth Doctor Who Sugar Smacks promotion comprised a cut-out model of Bessie on the back of the box, but no in-pack premium. National advertising, especially in children’s comics, accompanied the promotion, which extended into 1972. The Doctor Who promotion had been replaced by Star Trek on Sugar Smacks boxes by June 1972. Variety pack, 7 oz., and 10 ½ oz. box sizes featuring the promotion are available to collectors.

1971_Nestle Window Sticker.jpg

The Nestlé Company had a Doctor Who Cartoon Collection promotion on milk chocolate bars starting in 1971. This promotion comprised a wrapper on each bar with an illustration of Jon Pertwee on the front and a 15-part story, “Doctor Who Fights Masterplan Q” on the back of the wrapper. The promotion extended into 1972, and at some point the wrappers were reprinted without a price, to replace the earlier wrappers that were marked at 3p. This promotion was supported with in-store advertising. A poster, shop window sticker, and shop counter standee exist. A second counter standee was reportedly produced that features full-height images of the Doctor and the Master, but a copy of this is not in the Space Museum. The chocolate bars were sold from an illustrated display box. An early version of the point-of-sale box was withdrawn after complaints over the likeness of Jon Pertwee, and was replaced by the version in the Space Museum. A picture of the extremely rare original version is included in the Gallery courtesy of collector, Phil Bhullar.

The Doctor Who strip concluded its run in TV Comic with issue 999, 6 February 1971, but reappeared in Polystyle Publications’ new comic, Countdown issue 1, 20 February 1971. Aimed at an older audience, the early issues of Countdown featured a Doctor Who strip alongside a number of Gerry Anderson properties and features on space and new technology, and as such felt very similar to TV Century 21 from the 1960s. Doctor Who featured regularly on the cover of Countdown and its successors. Both the Countdown Holiday Special and the Countdown Annual featured Doctor Who and included insert photos of Jon Pertwee on the covers. (On a personal note, Countdown was the first item of Doctor Who-related merchandise that I remember consciously collecting. The Space Museum has grown from that decision in February 1971!)

1971_RT_0102_Jan 2-8 1971_cover.jpg

Doctor Who continued to receive good coverage in the Radio Times. The issue dated 2-8 January 1971 had a Doctor Who cover that introduced Katy Manning as Jo Grant and Roger Delgado as the Master. The Radio Times’ Doctor Who coverage also featured artwork by Frank Bellamy, including a three-page strip at the beginning of The Colony in Space, which makes the issue dated 10-16 April 1971 especially collectible. Details of Doctor Who content in the Radio Times can be found HERE. Katy Manning and Roger Delgado’s addition to the cast also resulted in new BBC TV cast cards, together with a new cast card featuring Jon Pertwee.

Additionally, there was a small amount of merchandise produced specifically for Doctor Who. Michael Stanfield Holdings Ltd. produced two Doctor Who jigsaws; one with the Doctor in Bessie and the second with the Doctor in his lab. Dodo Iron-Ons produced a yellow Dalek t-shirt transfer.

Finally, Doctor Who-related content appeared in other books, magazines, and newspapers during 1971. A sample of items can be found in the Gallery.

Go to the Photo Gallery

Next Year

Previous Year

Return to the