I still remember the day that my grandfather (who passed away in late 2002), purchased this sci-fi movie collectible for me.
It was a hot day in the late summer of 1980 (August, I think...) and my family was spending a week's vacation at the Jersey shore with my grandparents. I was sun-burned, and wanted to play inside.
We all went out to a local five-and-dime store, and my grandfather instructed me to buy anything I wanted...within reason.
Well, I wanted this:
All of these treasures -- naturally -- related to Gary Nelson's The Black Hole, the notorious and expensive 1979 Disney sci-fi bomb...which I happened to love. And which, beyond all reason, beyond all explanation, I still love. So sue me.
The Black Hole Press-Out Book was my favorite item in this collection. It was a giant over sized book constructed of heavy paper. You could perforate and punch out the various components of the unique space ships seen in the film (including the probe ship, the Palomino, and the mysterious Cygnus), and then put them together to have good-sized replicas.
You could also punch-out paper "stand-up" figures of the movie's primary characters: Captain Holland (Robert Forster), Dr. Kate McCrae (Yvette Mimieux), Joe Pizer (Joseph Bottoms), Dr. Alex Durant (Anthony Perkins), Harry Booth (Ernest Borgnine), and even the evil Dr. Reinhardt (Maximillian Schell).
The robots were also represented in the Press-Out book, and you could stand-up little card-board figures of V.I.N.cent (voiced by Roddy McDowall), Maximillian and even Old B.O.B. (Slim Pickens). Once you were finished poking out the figures, you could put all of these cut-outs against an accurately illustrated backdrop of the multi-story Cygnus command center. Reinhardt's vast command chair and console was also included.
The "Press Out" Robot Puppets were fun too. They were ostensibly "easy to assemble" and the set came with two characters. First was Maximillian, "the sinister robot," and the second was V.I.N.cent, the "lovable" robot from The Black Hole. I remember I did a particularly botched job of assembling V.I.N.cent, which disappointed me no end. He ws my favorite character.
The "Golden Poster Storybook" was this gigantic poster which told the story of the film in glorious, colorful photographs. In the days before VCRs and DVDs, this was priceless (especially as the Black Hole comic-book featured really bad art in which the characters bore no resemblance to their on-screen counterparts).
Yep, this Golden Books toy set was truly "an astronomical assortment of fun that's out of this world." Hard for me to believe I've had the bloomin' thing for about twenty-eight years now.
Jeez, I feel old; like my youth got sucked into a black hole along with that probe ship...