With its bright colours and loud blurbs, vintage French Children’s publication Pif Gadget appears to be atypical of its time but its origins are far more interesting than most and steeped in history. While the magazine may have began as illegal Communist youth fare, several incarnations later it became a periodical most noted for its ‘free gift’ or ‘gadget’ to be assembled by the reader.
By Issue #612 the arrival of a new Flash Gordon to cinemas was so greatly anticipated that not only was it the cover story but theme for the gadget (Le Pistolflash, no less) a condensed photostory and an exclusive behind-the-scenes report from EMI Studios itself.
While Le Pistolflash sadly never made it to these shores (most likely due to the evident choking hazard) the accompanying articles (featuring and unpublished still of Max Von Sydow gleefully pointing a youngster in the general direction of the Bore Worms) are fascinating, with some nice illustrations of how the cloud effects and front-projection were achieved. A translation of the piece would be most welcome but in the meantime, feast your eyes on this rare piece of Le Flash ephemera…