33 stickers that take you back to Star Trek collecting in the ’70s

You have likely never seen this licensed Star Trek kids’ booklet. It was made in Canada and the only one I have ever seen in person is the one I own. I’ve added a PDF download link below so you can have your own copy.

The cover of the Star Trek sticker book, depicting the Enterprise and Kirk and Spock.

The booklet was published in 1975 by Morris National Sales of Montreal, Quebec. It told an original story and came with numbered stickers to place in numbered spots. The images are from different episodes, plus there are a couple of illustrations.

A photo of the extra Star Trek stickers I own from this set.

Morris produced 33 stickers on sheets with three or four stickers each. The sheets were sold glued to a cover. Each cover was a puzzle piece; assembled, they formed the image of the Enterprise seen on page 4 of the book. Once you completed the puzzle, you could send the pieces off to Morris to receive “a full color poster of that scene.”

The book opens with overviews of the main crew and the Enterprise, and this section is surprisingly well written. The author even got Kirk’s serial number right, SC 937-0176 CEC, as seen in Court Martial. However, the entry on McCoy includes this weird note: “His personality quirks are famous among the crew who think him a bit odd.”

The Siege

The story, called The Siege, has a landing party beaming down to investigate the remnants of a city. The part that goes with sticker 6 says the group is Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Chekov, but the image is actually a scene from Arena in which Chekov does not appear; the red shirt in the episode is Ensign O’Herlihy.

Part of one of the sticker books pages, showing six stickers in their numbered boxes.

The story then takes a hard turn when Kirk begins to hallucinate that he is battling a “power-mad psychotic starship commander” (using photos of Kirk and Gary Mitchell from Where No Man Has Gone Before) and then a “grotesque reptilian creature,” the gorn from Arena.

McCoy tackles Kirk, and Spock instructs him to use his belt to tie the captain, which is a strange order until you realize it matched up with Kirk’s hallucination and allowed them to use a photo from The Cloud Minders.

Back aboard the Enterprise, Kirk is sedated in sickbay and McCoy and Spock determine the crew is under attack by aliens feeding on their thoughts or emotions or memories. Spock begins hallucinating that he’s back on Vulcan, but he recovers (somehow) and then Kirk escapes sickbay (somehow).

Here again we see some cleverness: for the story, Spock needs to chase down Kirk and hold a phaser on him. Where does he find the captain? In the shuttlebay, which allows them to use the publicity photo of Spock standing in front of the Galileo.

And what does Spock do with the phaser? He “fired a lethal disrupt beam at full charge, into Jim Kirk.” Like, the actual Kirk. The captain. Spock reasoned that the alien field influencing Kirk would absorb the phaser energy. We are all fortunate that he was correct.

But the story ends on a real down note. When Spock cut the shields (in order to disrupt the alien’s hold on the Enterprise crew — or something, it’s really not clear), “The enormous amount of energy built up to counteract the deflectors was then snapped back to its source in an awesome backlash,” causing an explosion that left the alien settlement “shattered and trembling.” In other words, Spock killed an unknown number of beings on the planet and no one comments or beams down to see if anyone survived. It’s a scene reminiscent of Kirk’s casual genocide in the novel Mission to Horatius, and again it takes place in a story meant for children.

’70s collectibles were different

Here’s the thing: it’s easy to make fun of items like this, and yes, the story is entirely silly, but remember, many collectibles were created for kids, and it would have been a lot of fun to paste the stickers into the boxes, creating a picture book as you went.

And remember too that in 1975 the pictures themselves were collectibles. The first Fotonovel was still two years away, the episodes weren’t available on VHS until the ’80s, and dealers covered tables with 8x10s at conventions — because people wanted Star Trek photos.

Today we buy screen-accurate props and costumes and high-end models from Master Replicas and Eaglemoss; we expect a lot from our collectibles. In the ’70s, we were thrilled just to see an item with Star Trek on it. We were very forgiving.

The centre poster that came with the sticker book. It is a publicity shot of Spock standing in front of the Galileo shuttlecraft, holding a phaser.
One of the centre posters

These books sometimes appear on eBay, and the sellers usually want a lot for them. If you decide to add one to your collection, know that they came in four editions, all the same but with different posters in the middle: Spock, Kirk, Kirk and the Gorn, and the Robot. I only own the Spock edition, and that’s okay with me. I like this item, but one is enough.

2 Comments

  1. Great thoughts about how the nature of collectibles has evolved since the 1970s, Peter. I see that in a number of my own hobbies, too. As you know, they involve building things – but people today are much more likely to demand top-quality products that need no assembly. I call it “chequebook modelling” – and oh, boy! The whining that happens when things aren’t perfect…
    I love that last picture of Spock, too. There’s a real 3D quality about it: he jumps out of the background.

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  2. Thank you for the comment, Trevor. You make an interesting point about chequebook modelling; my version of that would be chequebook collecting. For example, one of my Star Trek heroes is Matt Jefferies, who designed the Enterprise and most of the sets, etc., and a collecting holy grail for me is anything directly connected to him, like one of his drawings. I do own one of the official signature cards, so I have Matt’s autograph, but that’s something anyone with PayPal and eBay accounts can also own. I like it, but it has less meaning to me because anyone can just buy one.

    Do train modelers appreciate vintage cars and tracks, etc., or is the quality so much better now that no one is interested in that stuff? The booklet I wrote about is just a small item that not many people own, but it does evoke a time for me, and I value it for that.

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