Occasionally childhood memories come to mind and make you wallow in nostalgia. For me as a primary school student in the 1970s, the most desirable weekly magazine was YPS with gimmick. This children’s magazine differed from all the others at the time in that each time a more worthless than valuable toy – the gimmick – was included.
This had to be assembled first, if it was anything made of plastic. Sometimes it was a powder or simply a plastic sheet, which were then imaginatively advertised as “primeval crabs” or “adventure tents”. Often they were scientific gimmicks, like a hygrometer – a moisture meter, which failed with me because I couldn’t find a hair long enough, and which would contract or expand with changes in humidity and would control it that way – or because other parts were missing, like the zeppelin, to which I had no helium. Or simply that the parents didn’t play along, like with the square eggs.
While the gimmicks were usually quickly broken again, the comics still remained in the booklet. And they were of different quality. There were some original comics that only appeared in the Yps, like Yinnie+Yan, a TV crew that had their wild adventures. Or Yps, which was also the name of a striped kangaroo.
Other comics came from the Franco-Belgian comic space, which had been translated into German and included everything from Robin Ausdemwald, Pif, Gespenster Gmbh, Davy Crockett and Captain York von Trappern, science fiction and funny comics.
The original magazine was published between 1975 and 2000, and a new edition was published between 2012 and 12017, but it was aimed less at children than at children from 1975 onwards, who had now become adults. It is therefore not surprising that this magazine, which appears six times a year, was primarily nostalgic reminiscences of TV series, video games, cars and other gadgets from that time. Also the reader’s corner with pictures gimmicks in use and readers in front of their Yps booklet were not to be missed. This was already a fixed point in the original series.
Unfortunately, the new edition did not bring the success that the publisher recovered from, and so Yps 2017 was discontinued with the 1282 edition and the Boombox as a gimmick. With me, the issues I was able to get hold of live on the bookshelf, in the original wrapping.
Today, Yps would be nothing special on the children’s magazine market. Now everyone always has gimmicks enclosed. Conversely, it is even unusual for a children’s magazine not to include toys or cardboard boxes. Toy manufacturers like Playmobil or Lego even publish their own magazines, and partnerships with comics, video games or film studios that include characters from these brands are common.
For us kids in the 1970s, however, Yps was the first and only magazine that Gimmick had included. No matter if they worked or if the comics were good, we loved the magazine and couldn’t wait for the new release date.