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
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)
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
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
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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
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?