~ WELCOME ~
PLEASE MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME AND SCROLL THROUGH MY
ECLECTIC MIX OF MYSTERY AND WESTERN FICTION, PULPS,
FILM NOIR, SIXTIES SPY SHOWS AND OTHER COOLNESS ~ PLUS
THE REQUIRED BOOK NEWS, ARTICLES, AND PROMOTION


Thursday, November 28, 2019

THE COLLECTION FROM U.N.C.L.E.


THE COLLECTION FROM U.N.C.L.E.
In 1964, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. premiered on NBC and began a worldwide phenomenon. I was ten years old and as swept up in the fervor as anyone else—maybe more than most as there is a direct link between the show and my thirty five year career with the LAPD. Watching the show, I didn’t see myself becoming a spy, but I did feel becoming a police detective was possible. I told my parents then that I was going to become a cop and I never grew out of the notion. 

Many years later, I noticed David McCallum sitting with his wife in a small British tea room in Santa Monica where I was having lunch. For the uninitiated, McCallum played Illya Kuryakin—one of the two U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) agents who saved the world each week from the threat of the evil organization called T.H.R.U.S.H. (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity). 

As McCallum and his wife were paying their check, I approached respectfully and told McCallum how much he (through his character) had influenced my life and choice of law enforcement as a career. McCallum gave me a shy smile and told me it was something he was often told and was honored his character had been such a positive role model.

Now over fifty years since U.N.C.L.E.’s debut, my collection of the many U.N.C.L.E. novels, magazines, and comics still hold a special place in my library. The show had also spawned an avalanche of tie-in merchandising—everything from multiple guns, to attaché cases filled with spy gear, to board games, puzzles, toy cars, pinball games, action figures, plastic Aurora models, lunch boxes, and uncountable mother items with the uncle logo slapped on them. 

It is estimated, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. produced far more tie-in products during the sixties than any other television show of its day. At one time or another, I was in possession of many of those items, but eventually the only things I retained were the related publications I mentioned above as still being in my library.

When I saw the pre-order information on Amazon for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Collectibles by John Buss, I instantly clicked the buy button and sat back in anticipation of its actual publication. I’m definitely the target audience for this type of reference work, but I did have a few reservations. These weren’t enough to stop me from buying the book, but I’d been disappointed before by similar publications. 

Many of these types of publishing efforts suffer from poor production values, poor editing, and poor research. When The publication date for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Collectibles came and went without the book appearing, and then continued to be delayed, my hopes for the quality of the publication flagged.When the publication finally did arrive in my mailbox, my initial impression was not helped by the unspectacular cover art chosen by the publisher. However, I was soon to reassess my knee jerk reaction and rapidly became delighted with the book and its content.
 
The book itself is tightly bound and produced on heavy quality paper giving a pleasant heft to the books 96 pages. The quality paper is also a bright enough white to make the sharply focused photographs of the tie-in products pop off the page. While the book does not hold itself out as the complete collection of U.N.C.L.E. tie-in merchandising, it goes well beyond the traditional items to provide a satisfying array.

The book is well edited with nary a stray typo on display (a prodigious feat) and the writing itself is tight and professional. I found the presented information interesting, informative, and well researched. Author John Buss clearly knows and loves what he is writing about and this is clearly conveyed to the reader.

I read straight through from start to finish in two happy sessions, able to immerse myself in the nostalgia without being distracted by the flaws of so many similar publications. This is a top notch product, which will be enjoyed by any U.N.C.L.E. fan, and an important historical reference preserving the history of one of the most influential television shows of our time.
  
The best kudo I can bestow on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Collectibles is my immediate desire to read a sequel, and another sequel, and another...

 
THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. COLLECTIBLES
JOHN BUSS 
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was American television at its best. In the sixties, spy series just didn't come any cooler than this. Almost a direct result of the success of Bond in the cinemas, this series spawned a whole wave of copycat TV shows and its influence is still being felt today. The recent Kingsman films/comics owe more than a passing nod to the show for inspiration. A remarkable array of different products were issued in connection with this series – everything from bubble gum to wristwatches. Few other shows at this time came close to the range of products issued. There were quite possibly more U.N.C.L.E. products issued in America alone, during the sixties, than for any other TV series being produced at that time. In this book you will find a vast array of those items.











No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be reviewed by the administrator before being posted...