We’re going back to the old comic book ad well again. Don’t worry, it’s a deep well, and I can keep going back over and over again and probably will never run out of fun/cool ads to showcase and talk about. If you’re not familiar with the concept, you can get up by checking out the previous posts looking at old comic book ads here, here, here, and here. For this edition, we’re looking at ads that have a spookier vibe than normal in celebration of the Halloween season. Let’s jump into it!
Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture (1976)
We’re starting off with this beauty from the late-’70s. The Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kit seems like such a weird toy to be marketed to kids, but here you go. The ad itself gives oss suffecient spooky vibes with the shrunken head itself, and the box art featuring Vincent Price. I just looked one of these kits up on eBay, and one still in the box will set you back a few hundred dollars.
Elvira T-Shirt (1986)
Elvira always fascinated me growing up. While I wasn’t anywhere close to an area to see her original show on TV, I was still well aware of her existence. From her appearance at Wrestlemania 2 to her guest-starring role on The Fall Guy the same year, I became a big fan pretty quickly. Both of those appearances took place in the same year this shirt was offered. Had I seen this offer then, I probably would have thought about picking one up.
Tales From the Crypt (1991)
Tales From the Crypt was such a great series back in the day, and I imagine it still holds up pretty well today. Did the Cryptkeeper subplant Elvira as the favored horror-themed show host when he came along? That one is worth thinking about. This ad is really nothing special in and of itself, but the Cryptkeeper is always ready for spooky glam shots. Why oh why isn’t Tales From the Crypt streaming on HBO Max? We need it in our lives for not just Halloween, but year round.
Trading Card Treats (1991)
Whoever came up with the idea of creating packs of trading cards to give out on Halloween was a genius, and a saint. What surprises me is that the idea never caught on and became a thing. When I was young and trick-or-treating on my grandmother’s street, there was an older gentleman that would give cards out instead of candy. He would purchase plenty of packs of Topps Baseball cards for the given year, and every kid that came to his door got a whole pack! His was my favorite stop every year in those days.
These Trading Card Treats were just such an awesome thing to do. The ad doesn’t specify how many cards are in a pack, nor how many packs come in a box. It’s possible that the packs/cost ratio was such that it wasn’t feasible for a lot of folks to give these out, thus killing off the idea in general. I need to search eBay and see which bags of these are available for good prices. It would be cool to give out packs of those Universal Monsters cards or Marvel Comics cards this year.
Nabisco’s Wicked Halloween Party (1998)
So back in 1998, it looks like Nabisco was throwing the coolest party on the block, and if you were lucky enough to be one of the winners, you have a story to tell for the rest of your life. The 15 Grand Prize winners got to party with the Universal Studios classic monsters and an all day tour of Universal Studios in Florida…with no waiting in any lines. That’s pretty bad ass.
Aside from the cool prize, the ad itself is great. It’s got the colors that set the mood for the season with the purple, orange, and prominent green font. The Universal Monsters are there too just so you KNOW it’s Halloween related.
Silver Shamrock Masks
So this one doesn’t really count since it isn’t a real ad. Someone put a lot of time and effort into creating such a true looking comic book ad to advertise the Silver Shamrock masks from Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Hell, this is better looking than all of the real comic book ads in this post. I just love this one so much, especially since I just watched the movie for the first time. We need more real products advertised in this fashion these days. That may be part of whats wrong with the world today.
Thanks for taking a little time out of your busy day to read about a few spooky old comic book ads. This is the fifth installment so far, and there will be plenty more to come in time.