Future Magazine #3 (July, 1978): New York Toy Fair, Filmation’s Flash Gordon

Future Life #3 FC

Future Life #3 IFC

Future Life #3 TOC

Future Life #3 IBC

Future Life #3 BC

Future Life #3 pg. 14

Future Life #3 pg. 15

Future Life #3 pg. 20

Future Life #3 pg. 21

Future Life #3 pg. 22

Future Life #3 pg. 23

Future Life #3 pg. 24

Future Life #3 pg. 25

Future magazine, later called Future Life, was published from 1978 to 1981 for a total of 31 issues. It featured a combination of science fiction commentary and criticism, futurism/futurology, interviews with luminaries in relevant fields, and space exploration/travel activism. I’ve got about half of the run at this point, as well as a number of other cool sci-fi mags of the era. I’ll be scanning and posting them as time allows.

Above you’ll find the front cover of Future #3, as well as the inside front cover, table of contents, inside back cover, and back cover. (Click pages to enlarge.)

After that there’s a short piece on the Annual Toy Fair in New York (1978) discussing the post-Star Wars sci-fi trend, led by the “real stars of the show,” Mego and Kenner. I find it revealing that “three buildings with grown adults playing with toys for two weeks” is referred to as a “seeming impossibility.”

On the same page there’s a blurb on Gerard K. O’Neill and the formation of his Space Studies Institute (SSI), a non-profit organization “designed to help research the subject of space habitation.” I talked about O’Neill and his initiative here.

Following that is a feature on Filmation’s Flash Gordon, originally planned as a made-for-television animated movie. NBC later decided to turn the production into an animated TV series that ran for two seasons starting in 1979. Upon cancellation of the series in 1982, NBC went back to the original material and assembled it for a prime time movie, Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All. Neither the series nor the movie is currently available on DVD. You can see the series intro here. Watch the movie (pretty sophisticated for the time, and fun) on YouTube.

Interestingly, the producers at Filmation could not secure the necessary funding from NBC for the project, so they offered producer Dino De Laurentiis “exclusive distribution in Europe as a theatrical film” in exchange for additional backing. Laurentiis promptly agreed and “injected himself into the legal maneuver of obtaining the rights to the Alex Raymond [creator of Flash Gordon] comic strips.” Filmation ended up with animated and TV rights, while Laurentiis secured feature film rights. He immediately began working on the live-action Flash Gordon (1980).

You’ll find a nice homage and issue-by-issue synopsis of Future/Future Life at Weimar World Service, John Zipperer’s website.

5 Responses to “<em>Future</em> Magazine #3 (July, 1978): New York Toy Fair, Filmation’s <em>Flash Gordon</em>”

  1. 1 leftylimbo February 26, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Wow, you’ve got half the run of Future? Awesome! What about Heavy Metal and Fangoria? =D

  2. 4 Tim May 27, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I remember seeing that cover as a kid and being embarrassed, not being mature enough to handle a little nudity. Oddly enough I think I also got it confused with Frazetta’s cover painting for the second Berkley Battlestar Galactica novel, The Cylon Death Machine, which also had figures in a (kinda) similar pose. Both were on the newsstand around the same time. Great mag, tho.

  3. 5 waynebryan December 14, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    As a 14 year old, my eyes lit up when I saw this issue on magazine stand of store I used to buy comic books. It turned me on to artistry of Boris Vallejo for first time. A year or 2 early, I previously read in Future’s sister magazine, Starlog, Filmation was doing was animated version of Flash Gordon. Both publications frequently gave updates to progress of production of movie but this was first full feature article on it. I still have the tattered pages of this article from 1978.

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