Thursday 25 July 2013

Planet of the Apes 50th Anniversary

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Pierre Boulle’s science-fiction classic La Planète des singes, also known in English as Planet of the Apes. The novel was published in France in 1963 by René Julliard, with the first English language version, translated by Xan Fielding, published in the United States by Vanguard Press in June 1963. The first paperback edition was published in the US in March 1964 by Signet / New American Library. The novel has inspired a media franchise comprising several films, two television series (one animated), comic books, toys, etc. The small collection gathered here is comprised of the following items:
Planet of the Apes 35th anniversary DVD - Released 2004 by 20th Century Fox. 2 DVDs. 1968/color/112 min. Anamorphic, Color, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen.
Dr. Zaius Mego figure - By 1973 a total of five Ape films had been released, and while it might have seemed like the end of the Ape dynasty, it was actually the beginning of the short-lived phenomenon referred to as Ape-Mania. In 1973, 20th Century Fox advertising challenged America to “Go Ape!” They began showing the first two Ape films on TV and all five Ape films in back to back marathons in movie theatres. As luck would have it, Mego President Marty Abrams attended a screening with his son, not even knowing what Planet of the Apes was, but saw fathers and sons enjoying the films together. The next day he was reportedly on the phone with 20th Century Fox executives securing the rights to produce figures based on the Planet of the Apes property. This figure, an early issue Dr. Zaius with the simpler black hero boot, was released in the summer of 1974.
Addar Cornelius Hobby Kit - The original Planet of the Apes model series was produced by Addar between 1973 and 1975. The kit was sold as a snap-together kit (no glue needed), so no paint or glue was included with the kits. Addar was out of business by 1976, but Cornelius, Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zira and General Ursus were reissued by Polar Lights under the Aurora logo in the 1990s.
Adventures on the Planet of the Apes #1 - Comic Book published by Marvel Comics group in 1975. Cover art is by Jim Starlin ; interior art by Ploog and Tuska. This adaptation of the movie by Doug Moench reprints material from Marvel’s Planet of the Apes magazine, but for the first time in color.
Rubber Gorilla Soldier - Copyright 1973 APJAC Productions and 20th Century Fox; Manufacturer unknown.

Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle - First US paperback edition published in March 1964 by Signet / New American Library.
Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle - Signet, 18th printing 451-Q5646, circa 1973.
Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle - Ballantine Books edition, 1st thus, May 2001.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes by Michael Avallone - Bantam Books S5674, first printing, July 1970.
Escape from the Planet of the Apes by Jerry Pournelle - Award Books, first printing, 1973.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes by John Jakes - Award Books, first printing, 1973.
Battle for the Planet of the Apes by David Gerrold - Award Books, first printing, 1973.
Assorted Topps trading cards - From a set for the short-lived Planet of the Apes TV show released in 1975.
Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes, a science-fiction classic, was the beginning of a long lasting  series of interpretations of his fantastic vision. Generations have grown up on his ideas, written books with subjects as diverse as 'Planet of the Apes and Philosophy' and 'Planet of the Apes as American Myth: Race and Politics in the Films and Television', and made their own films capturing Boulle’s vision. There have been toys, and games, movies, and books, and a myriad of other products. Truly, the last fifty years have been the Age of the Apes! In the words of the Lawgiver from Battle for the Planet of the Apes: "The promise is yours to keep. Yours to pass on to your children for them to keep." 

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