Instant Life? Is That for All the Losers Out There?

September 1963

X-Men #1

This ad actually turned out to be more educational for me than I was expecting! With the headline “INSTANT LIVE SEA ANIMALS” I initially assumed it was some generic knockoff of Sea-Monkeys… but then I noticed that it actually used the term “sea-monkeys” in the description. So that left me wondering – if these are genuine Sea-Monkeys, then why is the term only mentioned once in the text rather than in the headline and repeatedly throughout the ad?

1963-09_sea-animals_p

Upon doing a little research, I discovered that these creatures weren’t officially rebranded as Sea-Monkeys until 1962, and before that, they were known as “Instant Life.” Although this ad was printed in 1963, maybe it just hadn’t been updated yet – at least, that’s my best guess.

And if you’d like to learn more about the fascinating history of Sea-Monkeys, check out this article!

 

Monkey Sea, Monkey Do! (Or Not…)

April 1980 (1978)

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century #7

You knew it had to happen sooner or later, so here they are – Sea-Monkeys! (As a professional grammar nerd, I just want to state that I have no idea why that’s hyphenated, but since that’s how it is in the ad, that’s what I’m going with.) If you asked any random smattering of people to name a product advertised in classic comics, Sea-Monkeys would undoubtedly be the #1 answer! (Hey, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Comic book-themed Family Feud! Or better yet, comic book AD-themed Family Feud! Quick, someone get Richard Dawson on the phone! Wait, he did? In 2012? Oh, nevermind, I guess…)

Just look at how happy and friendly they are! But wait a minute – “Caricatures shown not intended to represent Artemia”?? I wonder just how much disappointment had to happen before they finally added that disclaimer.

1980-04_Sea-Monkeys

Even though this was published in 1980, you’ll notice that the copyright on this ad is from 1978 – I guess a classic never goes out of style!