Land of Black Gold

The stance that Tintin takes to shoot down the play in the movie adaptation of “The Secret of the Unicorn” with Tintin’s elbow used to steady his aim is taken from Land of Black Gold, where Tintin uses this same stance.

Land of Black Gold, Trivia

In “Land of Black Gold,”  the letter sent to inform Ben Kalish Ezab of Abdullah’s kidnapping literally says:  “To Mohammad Ibm Khalil. If you want to see your son alive, you should sign the contract with the company Skoil. Signed: Bab El Ameer.”

Albums, Cigars of the Pharaoh, Destination Moon, Editorial, Explorers on the Moon, Flight 714, King Ottokar's Sceptre, Land of Black Gold, Prisoners of the Sun, Red Rackham's Treasure, The Black Island, The Blue Lotus, The Broken Ear, The Calculus Affair, The Castafiore Emerald, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Red Sea Sharks, The Secret of the Unicorn, The Seven Crystal Balls, The Shooting Star, Tintin and the Picaros, Tintin in America, Tintin in the Congo, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in Tibet, Tintin Merchandise, Tintin Movie News

By popular demand, the highly praised Travels of a Boy Reporter has returned. This map tracks the journey of Tintin in his 23 adventures across the world.

Download & Print

The map is available as a download for just £10. Once you’ve downloaded it you are free to use it how you wish (non-commercially only). Print it out, have t-shirts made, use it as your computer’s desktop. You are free to use it however you want.

It comes in a variety of sizes ranging from the small 480×320 pixels, suitable for an iPhone, to the huge 6679×4722 pixels, suitable for an A1 poster.

Find out more about the map or skip to chase and buy it now.

High resolution graphics with license to print and use the map for any non-commercial purpose.

Land of Black Gold, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin Merchandise

Finally we have the first images of Tintin Movie merchandise. For months now we’ve wondered about possible toys and figures. This is our first glance.

Although you won’t find this on their site anymore, Toys News put up a post on their website with the following picture. The following is cut and pasted from the post. Take a GOOD look at this photo.

Meccano will create model replicas of three of the vehicles from the Tintin movie, due for release in the UK on October 26th 2011. The licence has been agreed for the UK, France and Benelux countries.

The famous comic book hero is about to come to life again in the first of a trilogy, ‘The Adventures of Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn’. Directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, the film uses synthetic imaging and motion capture to replicate the look of the original artwork.

The film depicts Tintin’s (Jamie Bell) first encounter with Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) and the discovery of a clue to the treasure of his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock. Daniel Craig plays Red Rackham, the pirate who attacks the Unicorn.

Meccano has paid close attention to the detail of the replica vehicles from the film, creating three models from its traditional metal nuts and bolts construction.

The models include a 4×4 vehicle (290 pieces); a Seaplane (340 pieces) and the Unicorn sailing ship (630 pieces). The models are due for release in the UK in September.

The replicas are suitable for children from eight years-old, but will equally appeal to older Tintin enthusiasts.

At first I could hardly believe these were real. Something about the whole thing just seemed wrong. All the images on the box are the same images shown in Empire magazine. Does Meccano really only have those images to go on? However it’s possible they will come up with a more complete cover later. But these may really be the finished products. I think we should consider that the picture of Tintin on the cover of Empire magazine months back was not a slightly unfinished picture just made for a magazine,but actually a one hundred percent finished product that will appear on a myriad of merchandise from now on. I don’t see them all using the same picture,but if Meccano stays with that cover,you can bet the official movie based toy line will use something like it.

And now to the question we are all wondering: what in the name of Khemed is the Thompson’s red jeep doing in this picture?  Just in case any of you out there don’t know all of the Tintin album’s vehicles by heart, the red jeep recreated by Meccano appeared in Tintin in The Land of Black Gold…and has NOTHING so far as we can tell to do with any of the stories revealed so far to be in the film. Remember when Thompson and Thomson drive into the city fast asleep with their hair growing in all different colors? Either yet another album is going to be mixed into the story somehow with The Crab with the Golden Claws, or only the jeep itself will be.

A third possibility would be that Meccano just wanted to create a third vehicle for it’s toy line and borrowed one from a different Tintin book. As much as I would love to see something like that happen in the future with other merchandise rather than companies limiting themselves to only what is seen in the film,I don’t find that likely here because the jeep really doesn’t have that prominent of a role. The moon rocket or the jet from flight 714 would make more sense. The red jeep must be somewhere in the film. Why? How? Only time will tell. Due to the similarities between Khemed and Morocco,and the picture on the box in the Sahara, I do think that for now we can assume it will show towards the beginning of the movie.

It surprises me that Meccano would include the jeep at all,even if I had already known it was in the film. Granted,it’s cool to see ANY Tintin vehicle taken to the toy shelves,but the red jeep from Tintin? I have a hard time seeing little kids begging and crying to their grandmothers to buy them ”Tintin’s jeep”.  If I were a kid it wouldn’t have me jumping off the walls in excitement if I saw it in a catalog.

Having said that,what kid WOULDN’T want a toy Unicorn to play with or a model of it to build after seeing the movie?  I see that selling very well.  The seaplane is also very nice. All three models look very much like the book’s drawings. I like the looks of all three. I may even buy them. If I don’t it will only be because I’m buying something else made off the movie I like better. And I believe there will be a lot of options to choose from. Out of all the Multimodels Meccano has for sale, NONE of them are versions of something out of a movie. Meccano could have picked to copy something from a racing movie or something like that,but they chose Tintin. This is significant. If the companies that rarely or never base their toys of movies are getting the rights to Tintin,what can we expect from those that almost stay in business solely making toys off of new movies? I am seriously hoping a Lego Tintin will come out. They have already done Indiana Jones,Star Wars,etc If Meccano can do Tintin,Lego could easily do their own version. I would just love to build a Lego Marlinspike Hall or Unicorn ship. Hey! If any of you readers have contacts at Lego,I’m telling you it would be a great idea! Seriously! It would sell!

This was not what I expected to find as our first photo of Tintin merchandise,but I guarantee it won’t be the last. I anxiously look forward to seeing what else comes out. It’s only a matter of time before you will be able to find your own pullback Unicorn in a Happy Meal.

Special thanks to Britto for this info! Keep up the great work you guys!


and the now empty from which the above was pasted.

Destination Moon, Explorers on the Moon, Land of Black Gold, The Black Island

Via the Comic Bits web site, Welsh language publisher Dalen Books reports:

“We’ve just also published Tintin the Black Island in Welsh, with Land of Black Gold to follow in Welsh in September We’ll be doing the 2 Tintin moonshot stories next year (plus also a possible Irish edition TBC).

I’ll send you our current Tintin titles for evaluation; I imagine they could be of interest to aficianados of the genre. It’s surprising how many orders we’ve received for these from collectors on the continent. ALSO, fans can also get free A2 Tintin posters from our website (they just pay for p&p), the kind they’d get charged £15 for an unframed French version – and we’re currently hosting an online Tintin competition with a rare and collectable running sheet of 8/8 pages as a prize. The only thing is, the question is based on the Welsh Black Island which entrants will have to get before they’re able to answer!”

More on Welsh Comics and Books: Dalen Books

Captain Haddock, Land of Black Gold, Prisoners of the Sun, The Black Island, The Red Sea Sharks, The Seven Crystal Balls

Herge liked to mix real and fictional geography in his story-telling, sometimes explicitly and sometimes implicitly.

Machu Picchu - Temple of the Sun

Machu Picchu doesn’t appear directly in the books but it can be assumed as the basis for the temple in The Seven Crystal Balls / Prisoners of the Sun. Located high in mountains, in a remote part of Peru, it was the last strong hold of the Incas. A sacred site, one of the main buildings is called the Temple of the Sun. The site was ‘discovered’ and made famous in 1911 by the American explorer and historian Hiram Bingham.


This facade appears in The Red Sea Shark though you may be more familiar with it from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. In reality it is in Petra, an ancient city in modern-day Jordan and is one of the true wonders of the world. At its peak, around 200AD, it was a city of over 20,000 people with a sophisticated water management system that allowed the city to thrive in the middle of a desert.

Loch Lomond Photo

Loch Lomond itself never appears in the books but it is a name familiar to all Tintin fans as Captain Haddocks favourite tipple. It is particularly prominent in The Black Island as Tintin visits Scotand but it crops up regularly in a number of books. There is a real world Loch Lomond Distillery who do tours. So, if you are ever in Scotland, call in, see how they make the whisky and have a wee dram for Captain Haddock.

Flight 714, Herge, Land of Black Gold, Ligne Claire (Clear Line), The Calculus Affair, The Castafiore Emerald, Tintin

Last Sunday, an auction of Tintin and Herge memorabilia smashed national and international records. The highlights of the auction were a handful of original pages drawn by the man himself. All the pages are reproduced below, taken from the auction catalog. If you are interested in Tintin memrobilia then I advise you to have a look through the catalog but these drawings are the real gems.

My favourite are the pages from Flight 714, particularly the sketch pages. In the image of Tintin with his hands behind his back we can see how fine an artist Herge was. Also, the strange figure in the bottom left hand corner. It is an odd mix of styles, half realistic, half modern art. The pages from The Castafiore Emerald are great examples of how Herge refined the story as he drew. Look how the sequence and point of view of the images changes between the original and the inked work.

Land of Black Gold Original DrawingThe Calculus Affair Original Drawing Page 38Castfiore Emerald Original Drawing Page 3Flight 714 to Syndey Original Drawing

Many thanks to MetaBunker for finding these.