Monday, October 25, 2010

Comic Book Advertisements!

Time to look at another handful of comics ads!

And it's yet another ad from the June, 1970 cover-dated DCs, although I believe all of these ads ran in many, many issues of DC and Marvel comics (and probably a few other publishers' books, too). There's just so much to talk about, I'll have to ask you to click on the jump first!

So, let's start at the top, with the Monster Size Monsters from Honor House! I'm guessing this is one of those ads that for every order actually placed for them, there were probably 200 or more kids that were trying to talk their parents into ordering them! Seven feet tall, glow in the dark eyes... and for only a dollar? Sounds too good to be true, right?

And, well, it kind of was. Unless you read the complete print, in which it spells out that it's on "durable polyethelene," you would well expect that you'd get what would amount to a seven foot tall dummy of sorts... but what you really got was a poster! I don't know about Boney the Skeleton, but I've seen the Frankenstein version offered on eBay a few times.

Moving down, it's an add for an 8mm motion picture projector, and it certainly sounds like a bargain for $6.98 complete, even for 1970, doesn't it? My guess would be that it was extremely cheaply made, especially since it requires batteries. And it ran both color and black and white films! Wow, you mean I don't need to use a different lens for each?

Should I even talk about the martial arts ad? Or even the x-ray specs ad? Well, okay, x-ray specs... as it says, it's an optical illusion! The specs had a lens on each side that was a piece of cardboard with a small hole cut in the center, which had a red semi-opaque film in it. When you'd hold up your hand in front of it (with enough light behind you), the positioning of the holes made it appear that you were seeing through your hand to the bones, but in reality, your eyes were just overlapping the left and right sides enough for some dark area to appear... hmm, that wasn't a very good explanation, was it?

Final ad from the June 1970 DCs, and it's for one of the early Hot Wheels sets! It's amazing to me that this is one of the few toy lines that was advertised over 40 years ago that has managed to stay alive all this time! Hot Wheels debuted from Mattel in 1968, and were a huge success from the get-go. And if you're close to my age, you probably remember the DC "Hot Wheels" comic, as well as the all-too-shortlived "Hot Wheels" animated cartoon on Saturday mornings.

And for the last ad today, here's one from the March, 1969 cover-dated Marvel books! Wow, where to begin with this? It's kind of an opaque projector in reverse, or maybe an overhead projector in reverse, and there have been many variations on this kind of thing over the last 40+ years! I suppose for people who don't choose to develop a skill for art, this kind of gadget was a bit of a godsend. How well did it work? I'm guessing not quite as well as the art shows... there would have to be the proper arrangement of lighting to allow for the image to be projected onto the page without it being overlit on the paper itself, one would think!

Of course, once they started producing cheap lightboxes in the late 1970s and early 1970s, stuff like this would've been considered outdated, eh?

More ads coming your way Saturday!


  1. okay, okay..i know it happened outside of the US too, but why does alot of US things love having SS nazi Stormtropper helmets on things? that Purple Hotwheels car is wearing one! there is an advert for a new film that has a wolf wearing one (which is bad taste, since the payments to germany as part of the end of the war, have just ended, meaning it has completely ended now)... I see alot of stupid bikers in the US wear them too.. any idea why? does the helmet have some kinda special symbol over there?

    Oh, and that image tracer.. i think some people will agree that there are many comic book artists today that still use it ^_^;

  2. My Mother still has that Frankenstein's Monster sheet.
    I loved it as a kid.
    It'll be mine someday.

  3. I believe it's mostly the WW1-era German helmets that were popular with motorcycle gangs... the ones with the points on top. I've never quite understood why they were so popular.

    And that Hot Wheels car? That's the "Rod Baron," I believe, so the helmet and the black cross is supposed to evoke WW1 Germany...

  4. Jon, Manic Man,
    Re: "It's kind of an opaque projector in reverse"

    It's called a camera lucida. There's a piece of glass at a 45 degree angle inside, so you see a partial reflection of whatever's in front of the device at the same time as you see your drawing below. I purchased mine as part of a Jon Gnagy set back in the 50s. It's a good way to give yourself a headache.
    Hope this helps!

    1. Thanks, I could not remember what it was called, obviously!


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