Cigarettes for kids – and 12 wild Star Trek cards

The Primrose Confectionary Co. of Slough, Bucks (Buckinghamshire), England used to sell candy cigarettes to kids, back when that was not considered wildly inappropriate. The company packaged cards with those sweet treats, including a 1971 set of 12 based on Star Trek. I love these because the text on the back of these “stamps” has only the loosest connection to the actual show.

The company also produced cards based on Superman, Dad’s Army, Joe 90, The Beatles, Bugs Bunny, Laurel and Hardy, Popeye (its most famous line), and a bunch of others.

Here are all 12 of the Primrose Star Trek cards. (Click the photos for a larger view.)

The funniest bit about the text on the back is that you would expect it to either be accurate or completely made up, yet all are a hybrid, with most pairing an actual episode name and maybe a planet with some nonsense about the plot. Also, none of the episode names are capitalized. My favourite stories are:

  • operation annihilate, in which Dr. McCoy is for some reason drifting in space around the planet Deneva
  • man trap, when a derelict ship in orbit around M-113 almost killed Captain Kirk
  • the meteor storm near Omicron Ceti III (plucked from This Side of Paradise) that knocked out the Enterprise for “3 sibons of time.”

It’s also amusing that the rewording of Kirk’s opening narration on card 11 corrected the famous split infinitive.

An A&BC card

The cards were printed on thin paper and measure 6.4 x 3.4 cm. Sets are fairly rare but, at time of writing, the London Cigarette Card Company has all 12 for a very reasonable £12. That same seller wants £720 for the A&BC set from 1969, which is good news for me and one other collector I know, as we both own that set.

2 responses to “Cigarettes for kids – and 12 wild Star Trek cards”

    • I caught one error (I had “My favourites stories are…”) before I saw the email about your comment.
      I would be *really* interested to hear your other grammatical or construction corrections. I am always open to constructive insights.


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