It may take a little while to load the images, but they're worth the wait!
Spick was the original of the trio and was first published in December 1953 as Britain was beginning to emerge from Post-War austerity. The cover of the first issue featured Diana Dors. The content was a mixture of "men's magazine" type articles and glamour pin-up shots. At first the girls were mostly professional models, but there was always a section for amateurs and readers were encouraged to send in photographs. Gradually the homely atmosphere of badly composed pictures with 1950s style furnishings as backdrops became so popular they dominated the magazine. Perhaps it was a touch of voyeurism at seeing girls apparently unawares in their own homes. They were known as "pocket size" issues being just under seven inches by five inches or approximately A5 size. A larger size was introduced in 1970, in an attempt to compete with other popular men's magazines of the time like "Parade", but it was so unfavourably received by collectors that after just three issues the "pocket size" returned, and remained until cessation of publication.
It must be supposed that by calling the initial magazine Spick, it was always intended to follow it up with one called Span. In September 1954 the second publication was launched. From the start the format was similar to Spick, and the two magazines were to complement each other throughout their lifetimes. The rapidly growing rate of inflation is evident from the cover prices which began at one shilling (Five Pence) and ended at Thirty pence. All Toco's magazines were numbered from start to finish, which makes cataloguing easier for modern day collectors. For some reason the magazine covers vary from stylish to downright unattractive, and new collectors sometimes think that they reflect the contents. But regardless of cover, all issues contain similar photo sets which only changed with clothing fashions over the years. They make a pictorial history of ladies wear and glamour from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Beautiful Britons was the third of the group to appear on the market in November 1955. From the very first issue of Spick, there had been a monthly section devoted to amateurs who could send in their photographs, and received two guineas for each picture published; something like an original "Readers Wives". This section was called Beautiful Britons and was so popular that it warranted a publication in it's own right. From the outset Beautiful Britons was devoted almost entirely to Pin-Up sets; with no men's type articles or short stories as appeared in the other Magazines. The title was not literal, and the models featured were about the same combination of amateurs and regulars that appeared in the other two magazines.
Extras seasonal issues were produced four times a year from 1955. Initially these were Spick & Span combined extras, but in 1958 they were published separately as Spick Extra and Span Extra. Then from Winter 1961 they reverted again to Spick & Span Extra. Because of these changes the numbering of these issues is sometimes difficult to follow. Beautiful Britons Extra was published from 1957. In addition to these Extras there were Holiday Specials and Annuals issued in the early years. The Extra and Special issues were thicker (and more expensive).
Even during their lifetime Toco's magazines achieved cult status
amongst collectors, but it was a limited market. During the 1970s censorship
relaxed and newsagents began to be flooded with hardcore explicit magazines.
Toco made a half-hearted attempt to compete by introducing some topless sets,
but they were unwilling to compromise with full-frontal nudity, and by the end
of 1976 they had ceased publication.
We would like to give credit to the original owner,Please e-mail us with your info!
at loaded 18th November 2002