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When I was a kid, my brother collected comic books. I was never really a fan of the stories (except Superman and Richie Rich), but for some reason I loved the advertisements. The more sensational the better – I wanted it all.

Here are a 10 crazy vintage comic book ads I recently stumbled across. Many of these I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I actually bought (or at least tried to).

Cheap land for sale

Texas Ranch Land for Sale

Who wouldn’t want some prime Texas real estate? I was about six when I saw a similar advertisement and tried convince my parents to advance me four weeks allowance so I could be a rancher.

I had dreams of cows and wealth (Dallas was my second favorite TV show, primarily because it aired right after Knight Rider), but obviously no concept of measurement. Via comicvine

Comic book weapons (click either pic for full-sized ad)

Tripod swivel machine gun from comic book

Something tells me a kid couldn’t buy this nowadays. Actually, I’ll bet an adult couldn’t either, at least without being added to a terrorist watch list. Via comic coverage

Polaris Nuclear Sub Toy

The holy grail of kids’ toys back in the Sixties. The Polaris Nuclear Sub fired rockets/torpedoes, had working controls, and dove deep to help you search for pirate’s treasure. Fun for girls and boys, wow!

The only problem was that the sub was made from cardboard and rubber bands. Thank goodness they were discontinued well before I was born, the disappointment would have been devastating.

Has anyone ever seen one of these? If so, I’d love to hear about it. I’ll even pay for a picture of the actual sub – my curiosity is driving me crazy. Via psubs

The Superman Phenomenon

Superman vs. Muhammed Ali

In the mid-seventies, celebrities started popping up in superhero comics. Superman vs. Muhammed Ali was my favorite. It was quite possibly the silliest comic book ever (a boxer giving Superman a black eye?), but I loved it.

Kryptonite Rocks

This one never made sense to me. Be a friend to superman by buying Kryptnotastic rocks? Kids were supposed to buy them to keep the rocks out of the hands of villains. Makes a tiny bit of sense, but why wouldn’t the government just destroy them all or send them into space?

I convinced a couple kids on the school bus to buy them for protection in case Superman was exposed to red Kryptonite and came after them. They felt this was a logical reason, and received this upon ordering:

Kryptonite Rocks

Painted green rocks – they lost 3 weeks allowance, I got a great laugh. Then they went back to arguing whether or not Superman would come out of retirement to raise the Titanic.

Pics via x-entertainment

Hypnotize your friends

Hypnotize with a coin

My parents were psychologists, so I was always trying to convince them to teach me hypnotism. The hypno-coin was supposed to be my shortcut to fame and fortune. Another waste of two weeks allowance. I tried to hypnotize my brother into trading some of his garbage pail kid cards for my hypno-coin, but even that wouldn’t work.

X-Ray glasses

X-Ray glasses

After I bought these glasses, my older friends tried to convince me I just didn’t know how to use them right, and would “ooh” and “ah” when wearing them and looking towards neighbors houses. I never saw anything terribly revealing, but did give myself quite a few headaches.

Free Cash

Comic Book One Million Cash

Yes, I fell for this too. I probably spent around $3 to get a worthless catalogue and $1 Million in cheap cutout $10,000 bills. Fun.

This and next ad via Tom Heroes

Quail Eggs

Hatch your own Quail eggs

Why Quail eggs? Why not Chickens or even Turkeys? Did these actually work? I remember seeing Live Miniature Dogs (a “no way!” from mom and dad) and Sea Monkeys (another waste of three weeks allowance), but never incubators for Quail. I would love to hear from anyone who tried to hatch a mail order Quail as a kid.

Bizarre Adult Products

Irritated Eyelids

If you read comic books, you probably noticed lots of products that were certainly not marketed towards kids. How many kids had irritated eyelids? Or jock itch? And would women really peruse comic books to buy slimming bras?

If you were a comic book fan, what were your favorite advertisements?

106 Responses to “The Strange World of Comic Book Ads”

  1. on 01 Apr 2010 at 1:38 pm umer


  2. on 21 Jul 2010 at 8:24 am mbt on sale

    that is very kind to see this, thank you very much to do this for us.

  3. on 27 Jul 2010 at 12:00 am sheenashirley

    There is nice detailed informations about comic books are available in this post…Its very enjoyable….Thank you for sharing…..


  4. on 14 Sep 2010 at 3:13 pm Dre

    Wow to go back for just one day – looking back what I remember most fondly was running home from the school bus every day to see if my Hovercar had arrived.

    Somehow I thought i was going to fly inside the thing around town LOL imaging the disappointment when I saw a plate sized piece of plastic that needed two D batteries to hover three inches off the ground via the controls which were attached with a four-foot wire.

    Thanks for taking me back all those years.

  5. on 03 Dec 2010 at 8:19 pm guasilas

    And look how influential these ads were, they practically explain all of Bush junior.: Own a small ranch, Machine guns to go to war (well, he did stay in Texas for Viet Nam, but sending others to Iraq is ok), Superman versus Muhammad(Ali), Airport security now a teenage fantasy of strip tease machines, and if you are the right banker, M. Bernanke will give you a million, or even a hundred million for nothing.

  6. on 24 Dec 2010 at 11:54 pm inlarry

    I remember ordering one of the GQF incubators out of my Boy’s Life as a kid for around $10. I got my little plastic incubator, with the wire screen and a little piece of foil (a reflector), and my 6 eggs. Followed the directions, and I guess I got lucky and managed to hatch 4 chicks if I remember correctly. The down side, they didn’t give you all the stuff to care for them post-hatching. But with a cardboard box, old pie tin and another bulb we made a little home, and I think 2 of them survived from there. Eventually set the grown birds free on a teacher’s farm.

    And, like another response, did the Olympia Sales club thing, went for the (I think) $2/item at the time. Made about $50 I think, products seemed on par with school fundraiser crap. Did it a couple times before the neighbor’s got tired of buying shit.

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