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22 February 2020

The third Robin birthday book

A while ago (here) I looked at spin-off merchandise associated with Robin comic from the 1950s. One of the items I covered was this postcard...

...with a nice 'Swift' advert in the top left the time I thought this was just something that you got from the Robin club...

...however a recent addition of another copy of the postcard (reverse shown below - note the Robin advert in the top left corner - Swift hadn't been launched at this point in 1954)...made me think that the card would accompany the Robin birthday book that had been produced for the year... 

...thus all the postcards like the one above should be date stamped 1954. Why do I now think this? Well the postcard came with a copy of the 3rd Robin birthday book and another postcard (to the same child) - which was stamped for 1955.

But onto the Robin birthday book itself...'s soft cover, slightly larger than a paperback and is 12 pages long. My initial thought was that this is the 3rd book they've produced (rather than being a book for a 3 year old to have on their birthday) but this theory is ruined by the fact that Robin was only launched in 1953 and the postcard was sent in 1954 so no parent coud have paid for 3 years of membership of the Robin club by 1954 so therefore I think that the book WAS sent to a child for their 3rd birthday. As a result there probably isn't a first or second Robin birthday book and maybe the sixth Robin birthday book is the last one (as they'd probably try and get them on to Swift or Girl after that).

Indeed the message (inside) from the editor (Marcus Morris) says "...Here is the third ROBIN Birthday Book, which comes to you as a present from ROBIN Club. I hope that you have a lovely birthday, with lots of other presents"  

Inside it's a mixture of poems, puzzles, (very) short stories and a couple of comic strips - in this case Andy Pandy and Richard Lion. All of which is perhaps indicative of a book for a three year-old. 

This is a book which would not last long in the hands of the average 3 year-old, it's so delicate. This perhaps explains why so few seem to have survived. 

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