Faux Gold…

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Flash Gordon’s (Sam J. Jones) Mongo Military Jacket, FLASH GORDON (1980)

Flash Gordon (played by Sam J. Jones) is the eponymous hero of Mike Hodges’ science fiction adventure. The film is remembered for its style, which includes the spectacular costumes. This particular item is the very distinctive red jacket that Flash wore when he was attempting to escape from the planet Mongo with Princess Aura. The jacket is a custom made piece in red leather with epaulettes and a wealth of beaded embellishments and gold braiding.

Auction Estimates: £5,000 – £7,000

Going under the gavel on September 27th as part of their latest Entertainment Memorabilia Auction taking place at the ODEON BFI IMAX in London’s Waterloo, this superb lot offered by Propstore is as stunning as it is unique.

Described as Flash Gordon’s ‘Mongo Military Jacket’ this splendid, intricate piece of design by Danilo Donati has somehow survived the test of time in pristine state and is easily the most significant item of costume offered from the film in some years.

Though Ming’s army is shown en masse wearing similar tunics brandishing similar bead applique’s, none are leather like the jacket liberated by Princess Aura to disguise Flash to aid his escape from Mongo.  Its appearance in the film may have been limited to a few scenes but it was used extensively for promo shots such as this –

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Interestingly, the inscription in the collar reads ‘double’ so it is this was a backup jacket for Sam rather than a stuntman as scenes featuring this costume were light on action.  Regardless, between its iconic status and Propstore’s stellar reputation there will no doubt be plenty of interest in this lot so it will likely go beyond estimate…

UPDATE – ITEM SOLD FOR £8,500!

Now The Tributes…From SDCC…

Of course, representation doesn’t get much better than having the leading man show up for the event (take a bow, Mr. Jones) but at this years typically frenzied San Diego Comic-Con, our hero was supported by an impressive range of upcoming collectables –Screenshot_20160724-155809Screenshot_20160724-155755First and foremost Sam was the guest of honour at artist extraordinaire Alex Ross booth, where the newly unveiled very limited-edition print above should already be familiar to anyone lucky enough to attend the 35th anniversary celebrations.  Though handsomely presented in a frame, those who already own the much larger poster signed by many of the cast besides Ross himself should be feeling especially pleased with themselves.  Meanwhile, over at the ever expanding Chronicle Collectables stand – Sam BobScreenshot_20160724-160606KlytusAn ever-in-demand Sam Jones once again teams up with ultra-Flashfan and friend of Gordon’s Alive Bob Lindenmeyer to shake hands on a job extremely well-done as the gleaming finished prototype War Rocket Ajax shines its way to an upcoming pre-order accompanied by the flawless replica of the Klytus mask/hood.  In the interview above Sam makes more than one mention of action figures –  however none so far have been unveiled at the show and the last series from Bif Bang Pow is a couple of years old now –

Which leads us to believe, alongside Chronicles talk on Facebook of Flash Gordon ‘Signature Editions’ that an all-new 1/6 line is a possibility?  Was it fresh on Sam’s mind as he’d just cut the deal?  Time will tell.

Speaking of figures, nobody saw this SDCC exclusive coming – FG DorbzBut Funko have done it again with this charming double-pack of vinyl ‘Dorbz’ available only at their booth – chances are they’ve gone already and while we’re on the subject of rarities they don’t get much better than these – Flash JacketHawkman HelmWith Propstore’s astonishing acquisitions of original costume pieces on display at their booth in advance of upcoming auctions.  The breathtaking Flash Gordon Mongo Officer Jacket in red leather with gold beading has not been seen since its sale at online auction some years ago so its appearance here alone is a rare sight and with a guide price of £5 – 7K its sure to be snapped up and disappear into obscurity again.

The Hawkman helmet is another splendidly preserved artefact as most surviving examples are missing the fragile ‘barrel’ moulding on the top.  Another modest estimate is sure to make this the centre of another Flashfan’s collection.

So all in all, not a bad show for the Flash enthusiast with the potential of more to come…!!

Als Comic..!

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Faithfully adapted by Bruce Jones and supported by amazing art by award-winning Al Williamson, the Flash Gordon comic of the movie would appear in various guises all over the world.  Arguably most common Stateside was the softcover album by Western Publishing on newsstands as the film hit theatres – Hardcovers were to follow as the release travelled across the pond to the UK and beyond.  The adaptation would last be seen across three issues of the Whitman comic book.

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While most of these publications would feature a cluttered cover of movie stills combined with splash panels, the German release (above) utilised the poster artwork by Renato Casaro to much greater effect.  Beneath it lay a black & white filmreel of stills to introduce the characters before launching into the standard reprint.  The quality of these could never be described as great (with many pages misprinted to the point of illegibility) but the artwork still shines.  Williamson would later say about drawing Flash  “I was paying homage to Alex [Raymond], you know. I tried to treat his creation with respect and dignity and tried to do it to the best of my ability. I find that other artists who have done Flash Gordon just don’t seem to get the feeling of the strip, you know. Flash is a noble guy and it’s kind of nice to have that kind of a hero…”

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Bob the Curator…

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Gordon’s Alive! returns with another spectacular exclusive interview, this time with no less than arguably the world’s No.1 Flash Gordon fan.  It was my pleasure to finally meet Bob ‘The Curator’ Lindenmeyer in the flesh at the 35th anniversary last year – you can read part 2 of this conversation at the all-new celebration page right here but in the meantime, enjoy this one on one before seeing two of two..!

Bob – Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to Gordon’s Alive

Your name has been synonymous with Flash Gordon for some years now but to the uninitiated, how would you describe yourself, your background and your association with the film?

I guess I would try to describe myself as trying as hard as I can to hold on to that little boy who was 11 years old and has his mind blown by Flash Gordon. I have always been an artist and creative type, even back then, I spent my time building models or drawing spaceships. Luckily for me that is now what I do for living.

As for my association with the film, it has come in part, because of my tenacity and not fearing to ask. If I hear about anything go on Flash related I just start calling around and ask if I can be involved somehow. That has worked really well for me, that and the fact of being a super-fan means I will usually do this stuff for free.

What are your earliest memories of the movie and when/where was the first time you saw it?  Was the impact instant and what was it specifically that prompted you to start collecting?  What was your first item?

Back in 1980 I was 11 and my friend and I rode our bikes to the theatre on a Saturday afternoon. I was, as all kids were back then a huge Star Wars fan and desperately consumed anything that had a spaceship in it. Battle Beyond the Stars, Star Crash? I was there!

I was already watching The Flash Gordon cartoon and was a huge fan, so the film was a must see for me from the get go.  So there I was, me and Marc Beagle, parked in the second to the front row of an almost empty matinee. And then… FLASH! Ahh! blisteringly loud, I mean volume 11 loud. The way the film should always be played.

The thing that really struck me about the film, like others have said, was the color.  Space wasn’t black, skies weren’t blue, ships weren’t white. It was unlike anything I had seen up to that point.

Collecting props was a revelation for me, this was before big budget auctions, and when Ebay was still friendly. I was making good money at a videogame company and every week, me and my fellow nerdy co-workers would go to the local toy store and by an action figure or two. There are documentaries on how adult collectors are trying to re-capture the thrill of finding that particular Jawa figure they got as a kid. I am no different.

Buried in a pile of cool action figures, one day I realized…If I didn’t by action figures from the movies I love for two months, I could afford to get something that was actually in the film. I then sold all of my action figures (not my Jawa) and started saving and searching for props.

My first Flash prop and maybe my first non-replica prop, was the sword. I bought it on Ebay from a guy in Scotland. Something that took some getting used to about collecting props is how trashed or simply made most of them are. My sword looks more like something Boba Fett would have than Flash…but soon you get to appreciate the roughness, these items have been used and there a charm and character about that.

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Let’s talk about Chronicle Collectables.  You previewed a prototype of a scale model of War Rocket Ajax at the Flash 35thAnniversary last November.  What is your involvement with this and what has been used as the source of the replica?

I work for Chronicle, I do most of their marketing and packaging materials. It’s a great place to work, so many cool projects and opportunities. I asked if I could work there when I heard they had the FG license. Again…always ask!

The Ajax, obviously if you’re going to make FG replicas, you have to make the Ajax. I am lucky enough to own the only known Ajax in the world. It is not from the film (Ajax was destroyed during filming) but a replica build by the original modeller who built her for the film-the next best thing, in my mind.

I have tons of archival photos from the production, with these- and my Ajax as reference an all new Ajax model was created. Chronicle are big Flash fans too, so with our combined efforts pouring over the details, I think we have made the most screen accurate Jax possible. I am personally doing final assembly and paint master for the production run…literally right now. I’m so excited about it.

And what of future plans with Chronicle?  Besides Ajax and the fantastic replica of General Klytus mask are there more Flash prop replicas or costumes on the horizon?  What would be your dream recreation?

We hope to do a bunch of Flash stuff, some items are already in development. I’m not trying to be cheeky when I say I cant talk about them, that’s not my department. Maybe you can interview Chronicle? They would love that, I think.

I can say since it was teased at the 35th…Klytus’s mask, and the signature sword are coming.

Finally, you have alluded to working on a Flash Gordon book – can you confirm this and is there a publishing deal in place?  If so can you reveal some of the content and will you be applying your considerable design skills to it in similar fashion to the Flash 35thcampaign?

My Flash book-geez I really want to finish it! There has been some unofficial chats with folks about getting this published. I honestly am not sure it can be published. Finding all the rights to the hundreds of photographs and info I have in my collection is the challenge. Any licensed book should have the proper “okays” to use the content. A book will be made. It may end up being a limited run for family and friends. I have “top men” working on it.

The book will be designed entirely by me and hopefully be even cooler than the 30 page program I did for the 35th. The collectors program was a good test run from start to finish for a full blown book.

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Bob – Thanks so much..!

Ah Haaa!

GORDON’S ALIVE! Welcomes you to 2016!

This year is certain to be huge for Flashfans due to the aftershocks of the 35th anniversary and growing readership of this site, with all-new content and vintage treasures from across the globe (starting below)

Look out for contributions from and interviews with fellow Flash collectors, all dedicated to making this the ultimate resource for the saviour of the universe!

FG_German_Flyer1Pictures20FG_German_Flyer2FG_German_Flyer3Roughly translated as ‘The superstar in the realm of the stars’ this rare fold-out promo flyer would adorn many a German cinema lobby in the run up to release.

Beyond the odd rare photo and primitive cut and paste (note Kala’s decapitated head) the credits as shown may be the only instance of Jones and Muti headlining, with Von Sydow’s Ming dropping down to fourth place…

Dispatch!

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Fast establishing itself as a company where ‘Shut up and take my money’ should follow its name, Chronicle Collectables is well on the way to producing arguably the most significant replica from Flash Gordon ever offered to collectors.

War Rocket Ajax (as originally built by Martin Bower) is easily the most iconic spaceship from the film and has been lovingly recreated by John Eaves, Richard Long and good friend of Gordon’s Alive! Bob Lindenmayer.  Up for pre-order soon, this 24″ long display will feature clear windows and detailed interior and is sure to be a huge hit with fans.  Look for the tab on the right hand side of the page when it becomes available..!

Superheroes In Action!

DSC_3374Flash_Doll1-001Flash_Doll4-001Flash_Doll2-001Flash_Doll3-001DSC_3526A genuine piece of vintage collectable kitsch worthy of its source material, this European paper doll (released only in Spain) has cult status all its own.

A curiously non-superhero addition to the Super-Heroes en Accion range (comprising of Spider-Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Conan), the 8-piece cardboard kit (marketed by Producciones Internationales) was the only direct adaptation from the big-screen version of the character (featuring a Sam Jones likeness and wielding his iconic sword ) rather than its comic-book counterpart.

Sold boarded in a flimsy plastic bag with accompanying header card (top pic), this fragile kit was held together with small plastic plugs when assembled (bottom pic) and would maybe have survived 10 minutes of play by its intended audience, making this scarce mint example recently added to the collection of Gordon’s Alive all the more desirable over thirty years later.

For those fans feeling cheated by not having the opportunity of this awesomeness being part of their childhood, please go here for hi-res scans to print and build Flash for yourself…

Back In Bal Tog’s!

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Released in the UK in a matter of days, the eagerly anticipated Ted2 promises to thrust Flash Gordon into the pop culture mainstream once more with another cameo appearance by Sam J. Jones in character.

An instant cult classic, the original Ted (2012) was the feature debut of Family Guy’s Seth McFarlane, who, having referenced Flash multiple times in animation finally got to bring his particular brand of humour to live action and consequently, a resurgence of nostalgic interest in the 1980 film.

Indeed, the appearance of Jones back in costume (and on his Rocket Cycle) over thirty years later was received so well by fans that his appearance in a sequel would not only be guaranteed but would also prompt discussion of a long-touted follow up to the original.

And so now, on offer (on a popular auction site) is this fresh from the set costume worn by Jones himself in the sequel.  Most interestingly in this lot is the still on the label (third pic) which clearly shows Sam against a backdrop of the Rocket Cycle prop in what looks suspiciously like a Comic-Con environment or similar.  One can only hope his part is expanded and he gets to see more action this time.

In terms of the costume itself, I have it on good authority that the current owner of the original 1980 tank supplied many reference pics for the wardrobe department to copy so quite why the final outfit for both the Ted films has such a cosplay edge to it is a mystery (considering all the effort made to accurately reproduce the Rocket Cycle). and its a credit to Sam how good he looks in cheap Superhero boots and Bal Tog dance pants.

Below are the details for the lot – apparently more pieces will be offered in future so don’t miss your opportunity to nab yourself a piece of Flash history..!

Sam Jones’s (Sam J. Jones) Screen Worn Wardrobe Set.

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Item: Flash Gordon Costume

This Costume Includes: A Sleeveless, Round-Neck Shirt, Spandex Pants, Belt & Slip-On Boots.

Details;
SHIRT
Brand: Not Available
Size: Approx. Large
Material: Appears Polyester
Color: Red, Black & Gold
Condition: Good
Notes: 1 of 3
BELT
Brand: Not Available
Size: 33 In Long
Material: Appears Polyester & Elastane
Color: Black, Gold & Red Stone
Condition: Good

PANTS
Brand: Bal Togs
Size: X-Large
Material: Nylon & Lycra
Color: Black
Condition: Good
Notes: 1 of 2
SHOES
Brand: Fun Tasma
Size: 12-13
Material: Leather
Color: Black
Condition: Good

Undercover!

DSC_3205 (2)DSC_3189DSC_3191 (2)DSC_3188 (2)DSC_3190 (3)Always dedicated to bringing you the best and most obscure collectibles from over thirty years worth of memorabilia, Gordon’s Alive is pleased to present an ideal example of the latter –

While you could be forgiven for thinking the colourful montage above is a bootleg poster of some kind, you might be surprised to learn you’re actually looking at the official vintage Flash Gordon single duvet cover.

Featuring unique and amazing art (likeness to Melody Anderson notwithstanding) this perfectly preserved cotton bedspread was a Camden Market find and was fairly expensive – indeed, Gordon’s Alive has not seen one before or since in decades of collecting which, one suspects would qualify it as a rarity.

Should anybody out there own the matching pillowcase I would of course like to hear form you but in the meantime, enjoy the pics and night night…

From Chronicle…

Ajax2Ajax1Ajax3Ajax5Ajaz4Chronicle_KlytusAlready establishing a reputation for offering superb quality replicas sourced from no less than the original props themselves, Chronicle Collectables is becoming a serious contender in the high-end collectors market.

Thankfully one of their many current licences is noneother than Flash Gordon, where Chronicle have already produced prototypes of forthcoming projects – the first being the majestic War Rocket Ajax replica (top) referenced from one of the few surviving miniatures and looks to be perfect in every detail (right down to the Flash pilot figure!).  While no more details on the scale/price/release date are forthcoming, it is nonetheless fantastic to see the property is still regarded as a fan favourite.

And only revealed in the last few days at Wonderfest 2015 is this incredible General Klytus mask and cowl (bottom pic) , which we are assured through Chronicle’s facebook page is a 1:1 accurate wearable prop.  With more spectacular items upcoming, its a great time to be a Flash fan…