WEAR-EM SCARE-EMS - Tudor Crisps
Tales from the Haunted Toy Box
Tudor Crisps - 'The only crisp worth its salt'. That's what the advert said. Maybe at the time it was true. Tudor Crisps are legendary. Kids in the 70s loved 'em. Tudor Crisps were radically rebellious and challenged and shocked conventional trends and taste buds alike.
Like a potato chip Pied Piper, Tudor lured the kids away from the boring and the predictable. They teased and tempted with ever anarchic flavours. It was an era when ready salted was the name of the game for the starchy competition.
Maybe you remember those cold winter Friday fright nights? Staying up late. Sitting by a cosy glowing fire. Watching an old Vampire movie on telly... and sinking your nashers into a packet of Tudor's hot dog and mustard, or fried tomato and bacon crisps.
For those with a heightened taste for stomach churning horror, Tudor offered fried onion flavour, kipper flavour, and toe-curling chocolate flavour crisps.
Today the spectre of those Witching Hour snacks still haunt us like glutinous ghosts and leave us with a bad taste in our mouths. We may well purse our tame, middle-aged lips, in mock horror and pretend they weren't to our taste.
But remember back in then, we were wild and unstoppable. Ready to try anything new. Especially if it was advertised on telly and could be found in the corner shop, with the potential of a free gift.
Fearsome flavours aside. Tudor are also remembered for their multitude of medallions, badges, and even a colourful flutter of Flutter-Byes. Trinkets which were offered as rewards to loyal young customers and hungry collectors throughout the 70s.
Possibly the most memorable of these uber cool sets, then and now, are the eight WEAR-EM SCARE-EMS monster medallions. This set which was released in 1974 included, the Aztec Mask, Gorgon's Head, Scaredevil, Shrunken Head, Skull & Crossbones, Naxia Sphinx, Voodoo Mask, and my own favourite, the Werewolf.
These quality metal medallions came with a small card, telling the lucky recipient all about his badge and the legend behind it. All it took for the aspiring werewolf pup to get his young paws on a medallion was an SAE and six different empty packets of Tudor Crisps, sent off to their Teeside PO box number.
A key marketing point for WEAR-EM SCARE-EMS... was 'TRADE EM'. Tudor knew that trading was the key to kiddie commerce. It was encouraged and nurtured. It's how I obtained my treasured Werewolf medallion.
I was a small 11 year old, apprehensively starting at a big secondary school. I swapped a handful of dog-eared footballer bubble gum cards for the little metal gem.
It secretly lived in my school blazer pocket. It was a sacred totem of protection. It would ward off aggressors and transform my pure heart into a wolf when the wolf bane bloomed and the autumn moon was bright.
Now in my 50s, I sometimes glimpse blood shot red eyes peering back at me from the bathroom mirror?
My level headed wife assures me it's simply because I squint to read small print.
But, if like me, you possessed, or were possessed by, any of the wonderful WEAR-EM SCARE-EMS medallions as a kid, then you'll know where I'm coming from.
Bad moon rising...