Sunday, January 24, 2016

At Flashbak: Mandala's Star Trek Fotonovels

As part of my ongoing 2016 Star Trek 50th Anniversary celebration, I posted at Flashbak this week about a favorite franchise collectible: Mandala's "Fotonovels."

“If you grew up in the mid-1970s, you’ll remember that photonovels represented an essential part of fandom during that epoch. The photonovel was essentially a visual re-telling of a movie or TV episode  The book featured hundreds of frames or still from that production, as well as “balloon” dialogue from the script or teleplay.

The Star Trek fotonovels, for instance, were advertised as featuring “300 full-color authentic scenes” from each of the episodes featured.

In 1977 and 1978, an outfit called Mandala Productions, working for Bantam, released a handful of episodes of Star Trek in their “fotonovel format...”


  1. Donald G1:12 PM

    Loved my Fotonovels, especially since I lived in a media market where no station would buy into showing syndicated reruns from 1976-79. And from 1973-76, they showed the reruns Saturday mornings at 5 and 7 AM, which was a little too early for me.

    Still, to this day, I don't know quite what to make of the Fotonovel adaptation of "The Trouble With Tribbles" which rewrote the dialogue to add more jokes. ("Mr. Spock, would you care for a cup of Tribble?")

  2. The Fotonovels were the best. As a boy in the '70s, I collected Star Trek and others.


  3. John,
    I had all of these! The pages would fall out of them pretty easily, and I managed to find replacement copies in used bookstores. I agree with you that the Fotonovel for "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was the best. I just stared at that matte painting of the lithium cracking station on Delta Vega, absorbing every detail. Brings back memories.