Fifty years ago a Japanese candy company, a Tokyo cartoon studio, an American production outfit, a future biker-movie star, and TV stations across America would join forces to bring us adventures that crossed the boundaries of time and space and bent both logic and common sense. Soon these stories would vanish from television, living on only as fuzzy memories and fuzzier bootleg VHS tapes, returning only with the advent of streaming video and digital broadcast television.
Join us, won't you, as we take a look at fifty years in the life of Prince Planet.
|Space Patrol Hopper|
|Papi and Riko-chan|
|Ajababa and Strong|
|the mark of K. Fujita|
|AIP trade periodical advertisement for Prince Planet and other series|
|Yusei Shonen Papi manga in Kobunsha's Shonen|
|a few Glico Yusei Shonen Papi products|
|Riko-chan toys are for girls only|
|Strong is strong|
|Kiritobi the Ultra Ninja & Master Of Martian Mischief|
|more Papi toys|
|the evil Krag, or Golem if you prefer|
|Riko-chan in Paris|
|the "Papy Stamp"|
|those idiots on Radion|
1966– the Carol Lombard Singers perform the theme song to Prince Planet. Carol Lombard worked with legends like Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, and Elvis Presley, and her singing group also did the theme to Flipper and many AIP musicals produced by Prince Planet musical director Al Simms.
1967- Prince Planet voice actor Bobbie Byers stars as Linda, "too much woman for any one man", in the 1967 Crown International biker film Wild Rebels, directed by Florida auteur filmmaker William "Death Curse Of Tartu" Grefe, who would later direct William Shatner in Impulse.
|Wild Rebels star Bobbie Byers|
|Inoue's Thunderbirds and Thunder Seven|
|Savages From Hell|
1977– the first national Japanese fan group, the Cartoon Fantasy Organization or C/FO, begins in Los Angeles California. Eventually it will have chapters in most major American cities, including Atlanta.
1985– future Let’s Anime writer Dave Merrill helps found a C/FO chapter in Atlanta GA and assists in hosting regular screenings of old and new Japanese animation in libraries, community centers, comic book and SF conventions, and anywhere else with a TV and a VCR.
August 1986- Yusei Shonen Papi manga artist Hideoki Inoue passes away in his apartment in Japan. He had avoided payment of income tax on his Yusei Shonen Papi profits, which by now had all been squandered. Estranged from his wife and family, Inoue died alone.
|Prince Planet Foundation promotional mailing|
|cartoon by Prince Planet Foundation member Meg Evans|
1993- the print version of Let’s Anime publishes an extensive article about Prince Planet.
|Let's Anime #4, artwork by Paul Young|
|AWA director's badge|
July 2007 - Classic anime blog Let’s Anime begins online publication.
|winners of the Prince Planet Fan Art contest|
|Manga Shop 445 and 446|
May 2014 - TGG Direct, Inc announces the release of Prince Planet on DVD in North America, and the DVD set is listed on Amazon. May comes and goes with no release, and the listing is removed from Amazon. Queries to TGG go unanswered.
November 2016 - Classic anime blog Let's Anime celebrates fifty years of Prince Planet with a celebratory blog post filled with information on both Yusei Shonen Papi and Prince Planet, which you are now reading. Will there be more excitement ahead for YSP/Prince Planet fans? Will Prince Planet return from Radion, or MGM’s vaults, to battle for truth and justice again? Only time will tell!
thanks to Meg Evans, James Sternberg, the people of Radion, MGM, Rick Zerrano, AIP-TV, and "Yoshikura Shouichirou" for their YSP/Prince Planet assistance.