The first time we looked at Some Old Comic Book Ads it was a hit, so it’s time to browse through some more and see what kind of nostalgia they stir up! I’ve said it before, but old comic books are like mini time capsules offering a glimpse into the past via the ads found inside. Here are five more to tickle your nostalgia bone in this four-color edition of Retro Ramblings.
Matchbox Cars Puffy Stickers (1984)
So toy cars like Matchbox and Hot Wheels have always been fun, and back in the ’80s, stickers were a huge thing. And some of the best stickers you could find to add to your collection were of the puffy variety. I put them up there neck and neck with scratch and sniff stickers. With that said, this ad really hits high for me because you could get both Matchbox cars AND puffy stickers in one fun package! That’s a lot of fun packed into one little package. I can just imagine going to Hills on the weekend and talked my folks into buying this for me. I’d have not one, but three Matchbox cars to play with, and have 25 puffy stickers to boot! That would go a long way toward making that weekend awesome.
Ski or Die Nintendo Game (1990)
Of course, you know I love all things Nintendo, and I was always fond of Ultra Games selection of titles. I had several of their offerings, but never this one. I don’t even remember this game from back in the day. But I guess stuff like that is to be expected due to there being so many games available, and my locations for purchasing games being so few back then. I really like the Skate or Die game, and this just looks to be another version of that but set in the middle of what they call a “nasty snow sport spectacular” where it’s the survival of the fastest, raddest, and baddest. That’s their spelling, not mine. The graphics shown in the ad actually look pretty good for old 8-bit Nintendo. I’ve gotta find a ROM for this game and fire it up later.
Risk Board Game (1984)
I think this ad does an incredible job of conveying its message, and that message is that you can take control of the strategies and moves that may win or lose a war. Just like the generals pictured in the ad do. Now while I’m not sure that portraying it in this way is healthy, it certainly is effective. I was first introduced to Risk at a sleepover birthday party at my friend Lance’s house. He busted that thing out later in the night, and none of us went to sleep as we just continued to play the game until daylight. I’ve been a fan of it ever since, but I sadly no longer own a copy of it. Until the last couple of years, my kids have not been old enough to understand or enjoy it, but now I might have to pick it up again and start a game with them.
Cracker Jack (1991)
Are there people still in this world that eat Cracker Jack? I don’t ask that question as a knock on it, because I still enjoy it. It just seems like you never see anyone eating the stuff. Not even at baseball games. Or at least not at the minor league games I go to. Sorry, I had to get that question out of the way. The real draw to this ad for me is the miniature Topps baseball cards that came in the boxes of Cracker Jack at this time. 1991 was right in the middle of my trading card obsession, so any time I had a chance to get my hands on some, I was in. And if that meant I got a tasty box of Cracker Jack to go along with them, even better. I no longer possess any of these miniature cards, but I had quite a few of them back then. A quick check of eBay shows that I can get 63 assorted cards from 1991 for just $10. I might have to do that.
Star Comics Subscriptions (1986)
Star Comics was a division of Marvel Comics and focused on producing licensed property comics. If you look at that listing of what was available, it’s a treasure trove of shows we loved as kids. If you could subscribe to three of these offerings, which three would you choose? My picks would be He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Ewoks, and Thundercats. That would be some quality reading time right there.
Dude.. do you remember the full page mail away ads? I’m sure you do. I remember begging my mom for a ventriloquist dummy and her scolding me for getting suckered by false advertising. she pointed out that the dummy was 13 inches, which was tiny! and that the body was made of carboard. How the heck would she know that? God how I coveted every item from the ‘invisible coat’ to the rubber ape hands. Lets not forget the X-ray specs to see through dames clothes. Woo Woo!
I certainly remember those old ads. I believe it’s out of print now, but there was a great book a few years ago called ‘Mail Order Mysteries’ that detailed all those products from the old ads and gave the details on what you actually got when you ordered. Give it a google or search on Amazon. I have a copy, but I’m not parting with it.