Now most people would not associate WILD WILD WEST with being a sci-fi show, but in actuality in some ways it is more sci-fi fantasy than anything else and just set inside a world of a western T.V. show. More a take on James Bond on a horse and it’s gadgets set during the 1870’s. The concept was two special secret service agents working under the president of the time Ulysses S. Grant. Their mission was simple to protect the President and the United States from menacing and treacherous villains such as Dr. Miguelito Quixote Loveless & Voltaire
The agents James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) main base of operations was a luxury train that was called the Wanderer which they traveled on through the American West. On board the Train and other elements of the show you can clearly see how this show enveloped an early Style of “STREAMPUNK”, that has flourished today in sci-fi. The locomotive was equipped with all sorts of train cars like a stable car and laboratory to name a couple. The writers on the show would first come up with a sci-fi invention first that they wanted a particular villain to use and then wrote the script around that stylized concept.
Initially the show was filmed in black & white and had a much darker-grittier tone to the show, later episodes would be shot in color, with that change the episodes seemed to become a lot more campier.
The sci-fi gadgets were galore and plenty in the show, I will highlight just some. Most of the gadgets were concealed in West’s garments such as: a sleeve Gun, a breakaway Remington Derringer, a blowtorch in his boot, varied explosives like smoke bombs & tear gas, a grappling hook, a glass cutter, a climbing spike, bulletproof vest and more. Aboard the Train there was remote controls to reveal and hide certain aspects like various arsenal, a mobile telegraph hidden in a book, A Victorian record player which had not been invented yet, and many others. The villains not to be out done had their own secret sci-fi toys: A device to create earthquakes, brainwashing techniques, a cyborg in one episode, an early version of a flamethrower, a tank called Juggernaut, LSD & potions to name just a few.
As far as early tie-ins & promotion we got some pretty cool things you can hunt for online. Marx released a cool James West action figure you can find a used one for about $50. A mini Argentina pinball cereal premium for only $15. A board game selling for over $600. An original lunchbox / thermos will set you back about $200. Depending on condition vintage comic books go for $6 – $500. You can find some vintage press stills posters, and some early ads. The 1990’s we would see a release of some updated tie-ins. Premiere dolls, another comic book series, and trading cards with autographs from the T.V. series original stars and guest stars price ranged $10 – $150 a piece depending who they are.