Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monster S-I-Z-E Monsters!

From a dog-eared pile of yellowing comic books found in an old box at the back of The Haunted Closet.., a collection of comic book ads that both tantalized and intrigued me, then and now.

This Frankenstein's monster is " lifelike, you'll probably find yourself talking to him. Won't you be surprised if he answers?" I would, as this "7 ft. tall monster" is just a poster. Also available: "Boney" the skeleton.

And some variations of the same ad...

Boney gets his own ad, too!

These ghost puppets claim to be "life-size"!

This ad cross-promotes the ghost puppet with a scary sound effects record, conveniently available to order on the same page.

But why settle for merely "controlling" a monster when you can become one?

And if you're going to be prowling around the neighborhood all night in one of those masks, you better take a flashlight!

If you're in the market for vampire blood, we've got two kinds: regular and fake.

Here's the usual assortment of classic pranks, gags and novelties..

I bet you never thought there'd be a way to make cigarettes smell and taste awful!

A sneezing party? I don't want to know.

How to wind up on the Dept. of Homeland Security's watch list...

This magic card deck claims to have been "a sensation at the World's Fair!"

I just like the image of the guy leaning up against his newly inflated 10-foot balloon, waiting for the neighbors to come by and gawk.

Half these X-ray specs ads seem to be emphasizing the possibility of seeing through a ladies dress...I guess they knew their readership.

Same goes for these secret spy scopes. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: ogle.

These hypnosis gimmicks also seem to emphasize their potential use on the fairer sex...

And now, from the animal kingdom... live worms, flesh-eating plants, and the noble sea-monkey ("head like a horse, tail like a monkey" like us.)

And if you're not up to the responsibility of caring for a real animal, how about a life-like rubber vampire bat? (Note the small print--order this blood-curdling bat and you also get a Flying Fish Monster, Chattering Skeleton, Pre-Historic Animal, Black Widow Spider, Shrunken Head, and a Magnetic slimy creature[?])

How about a giant "evil" snake? (Evil is in quotes because he's not really evil, just misunderstood.)

Why is the lady pictured so horrified by this fake chicken?

Tired of being mistaken for a girl on the telephone? There's someone you should talk to: Eugene Feuchtinger!

Now that Eugene has you talking like a man, let's do something about that puny frame of yours. Tall-up!

Now we need to do something about that baby-face of yours with some quick-change facial hair. If you're not quite sure what color "Deluxe Van-Dyke" will match your own hair, you are invited to include a hair trimming with your order form, to be matched by their "experts". I'd hate to be the janitor in that receiving department.

Now that you've got some new facial hair, you'll need to groom it. This comb looks like a switchblade to me, but the ad copy says "Pull out what looks like a hunting knife." (?) What exactly would I be hunting with a switchblade?

Perhaps you'd like to order a new customized T-shirt, like your friends Steve and Lion.

Or stay cool with this Fonzie iron-on shirt instead.

Ah, the "surprise package". Just send in your 75 cents or dollar, and trust them not to send you some cheap peice of junk that doesn't do what it promises.

A variation of the surprise gift aimed at the monster kid...

Why are you sitting around reading comic books...

...when you could be selling $285 mink coats at a mark-up to friends and family?

Or make money and earn prizes, like "shoe skates" or a pitch-back, by selling seeds to your friends and neighbors!

I love these personal endorsements from successful associates Chipper and Dan...

But if you really want to make money, there's the "money maker". I love how the first ad depicts the typical user: not as a kid, performing a feat of magic for his friends or parents, but as a slick, smirking businessman cranking his way to financial independence.

Now that you've got some money, you'll need to keep it somewhere. Here are two different versions of a great little mechanical bank, where a spooky hand reached out to snatch your coin.

Speaking of coins, coin collecting is exciting! Don't believe me? Just check out this artist's rendering. (I'm not sure if the seated adult is the boy's father, or a coin-collecting instructor, but it's all very exciting.)

Here's one for your collection. The "I Love You" penny...because nothing gets the ladies swooning like The Great Emancipator.

This next ad challenges you to imagine what it would be like owning an 88-page book of miniature repros of black-light posters.

Did you imagine yourself strolling confidently around campus, head cocked back in bemusement, draped in three adoring babes, while an idolizing underclassman cheers you on?

How about inviting the ladies back to your pad to watch a movie on your new 8 MM projector? As illustrated below, you can "stop to enjoy a particular frame..." Stag loop not included.


suzanne said...

What memories! I can recall many of those and I actually had the greedy skeleton bank. Sadly, my adventures in comic book mail order ended the day my "walkie-talkies" arrived: two metal noise-maker shaped objects and a piece of string :(

Mr. Macabre said...

This could be my favorite post of all time. I remember 95% of all these ads and always wondered why doctors didn't use the x-ray specs to see if you had a broken bone.
I had the greedy green hand bank and can remember going through all those ads coveting all the rubber bats, flying ghosts and other cheap dissappointing junk that was hyped up.
Always wanted Boney, but never got one.

Ormon Grimsby said...

I had the dollar bill changer/er illusion. Yeah man selling magazines door to door to earn cash...what was the name of that company, grit or something like that.

good stuff.

'hanging out with your pal, Lion' hahahhaa

Toon said...

Your posts get better and better all the time. I'm impressed!

Eddie said...

Hey good job in your post.
check out:
they still sell all these clasics.

Unknown said...

Great post. Well done for all the scans.This takes me back a few years.

Living in the UK we couldn't order these toys and I wished I could live in the USA so I could get some of it.

How exactly did the x-ray specs work then ?

Mike said...

Great stuff! I have about four boxes of comics saved from my childhood in the sixties and I'll bet I've seen every one of those ads. You missed my favorite, though: the giant 7-foot submarine with light-up control panel and real firing torpedoes. Oh, BTW, I have some of the magic smoke from fingertips paste. It actually works pretty well.

Brother Bill said...

Mike: Yes, unfortunately I don't have that ad in any of my comic books, HOWEVER a similar submarine was featured in an episode of CSI:NY... the excellent blog SECRET FUN BLOG has a summary of the episode, with scans of the original ad and pics of a mock-up of the actual cardboard submarine in action!

Eddie said...

Well all I can say is after ordering the Ghost and keeping it to this day in mint condition. The Frankenstein and Skeleton which I just sold a set for $1200.00. I also Just finish paying $400.00 for the Johnson Smith version of this Ghost…What all this ads up is that my children today sit on a small fortune once I start selling everything I own, the 7 feet sub being one of them. See and and you will see. We all ordered them and somehow in back of our minds disappointed or not how much would we give just to relive only a second of our past. Hey I treasure all those days of mail-order that shaped my life and Thank God that I was part of that now gone era.