CHEW & COLOUR VIEW "YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE" (Somportex)
In 1965 and through 1966 Britain was the place to be for the music, with the Beatles being the worlds number one pop group, fashion was riding high with the introduction of the mini skirt and the world was waiting for the return of Sean Connery as secret agent 007 in “You Only Live Twice”, the fifth James Bond movie from EON Productions. Up until now, bubble gum cards were manufactured in black and white with or without text information. As a tie-in with the new James Bond movie, Somportex Ltd, manufactured something new, instead of bubble gum cards they came up with colour film slides. This new collectable was titled “Chew & Colour View James Bond Bubblegum 007 You Only Live Twice”. It was the first time in the UK that James Bond film stills where to be reproduced in full colour. Each pack contained a strip holding three different 35mm. slides and a small piece of dusty chewing gum. The intention was to cut the strip into three different parts and glue them into a card frame for 35mm slides. A complete set was 26 strips each holding three different 35mm slides, for a total of 78 slides. Most of the young school kids followed the guidance of Somportex to cut out the slides and glue them into a slide frame. The combination of this cut and glue is pushing the value sky high and makes it for a collector extremely hard to purchase a complete set of the original three slide strips in mint condition. To view all those wonderful slides, Somportex Ltd. offered the possibility to purchase a mini handheld slide viewer.
The small viewer wasn't issued with anykind of a 007 logo. The viewers were small boxes that looked like a TV made from thick plastic, the screen being a sheet of clear magnifying glass or plastic. The viewer came either in red or in blue accompanied by a small booklet. The booklet measured 3" x 2 1/8 ( 7,62 cm x 5,4 cm) and contained eighteen pages with instructions how to mount the slides into the frames and the movie story. Some more expensive models were battery operated and had there own internal light, on the whole most had to get there light from outside using a lamp or the sun. To view the slide you placed it into the back and looked through the screen at the magnified image. Slide projector toys had been big sellers in the UK that Christmas with TV shows such as Dr. Who and Thunderbirds releasing there own slide and view projector toys, this was bigger than the viewer and could magnify the image with a lens on to the wall.
The counter display box was finished with beautiful artwork displaying “Little Nellie”, the miniature gyrocopter used by James Bond for aerial reconnoitre in Japan. A “toy helicopter” according to the words of Tiger Tanaka. The gyrocopter “Little Nellie” was owned, built and flown in the movie by Wing Commander Ken Wallis.
design was very simple, the well known split movie title and some artwork
depicting Sean Connery and a helicopter. The wrappers came in different
colours and on the reverse there was a description on how to order
the slide viewer.
"Mini Instruction Booklet"
(Special thanks to Michael Scharff for providing the above booklet pictures.)