OBSOLETE TECHNOLOGY: Book and Record sets

A comic book that you read along with a vinyl record. Vinyl may be coming back, but this particular bizarre pairing probably isn’t. Oh, to be young again when there was actually some imagination required to enjoy life. The book-and-record set was a staple of 1970s life for kids, coming as it did when record players were affordable enough to give to children. Book-and-record sets, especially those created by the Peter Pan corporation, gave kids a vinyl record that literally read a comic book to them. Some of the best-remembered today licensed TV shows and movies that still had cult followings, such as Star Trek and Planet of the Apes. (imagine, at one time these were thought of as worthless properties.) Check out this cover art from a particularly well-remembered book from this author’s childhood:

In this spectacularly unoriginal tale, a species of extremely noisy aliens drive everyone but the ship’s resident feline officer mad. One can only guess the state of mind of the author, as it’s very likely that he struggled to find a story idea as his own kitty wailed.

Book-and-record sets were cheap entertainment for those folks without VCRs, which in those days cost as much as a decent used car, although they faded quickly from memory as home video games took center stage in the late 1970s. Some of them are collector’s items now, but that doesn’t mean the stories are really that good. It’s probably best this “art form” is mostly lost to history.