Gimme Some Gimmicks!

August 1979

Shogun Warriors #7

It’s the Fun Factory again! We’ve seen these guys before in 1978 and 1980, and they’re (mostly) still up to their same old tricks!

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I would love to see statistics from this place – what were their biggest sellers, vs. what products were duds?

One thing that I find interesting is the fact that it says “OFFER VALID UNTIL AUGUST 1986” – that’s seven years from the time this was printed! Considering that a lot of these items went up in price by the very next year, it would be worth it to dig around for an older comic!

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Get an Actual Replica!

September 1963

X-Men #1

You can get a FREE $100,000 Confederate bill! That’s right, this “lots-of-fun actual replica” – wait a minute – “actual replica”?? They’re boasting about the authenticity of a reproduction?

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I also like the “Free China – our ally” bit – this was smack dab in the middle of the Cold War, so whether or not someone was Communist was a big deal back then!

 

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Don’t Use Your Karate Skills on the Seahorses!

February 1976

Claw The Unconquered #5

It’s another random grab bag of mini ads!

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The one that strikes me the most here is the one for live seahorses – they’ll send you two “freshly caught” mated pairs, with at least one pregnant. OK, I have two main thoughts on this:

  1. Sending live, pregnant seahorses through the mail seems like it would be prohibitively difficult/risky.
  2. Capturing seahorses from the wild and then sending them through the mail seems rather cruel… and seems like it should be illegal.

At least Sea Monkeys are in a type of suspended animation when they’re shipped, but live, conscious animals is a whole different story!

 

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Stamp of Approval

September 1963

X-Men #1

Stamp collecting must’ve been big in the ’60s – on this page of classifieds the entire first column is stamps, most of the second column is stamps, and there’s even one in the third column!

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Something I’m wondering about – “approvals” – anyone know what this refers to? It’s in most of the stamp ads – “10¢ to approval buyers,” “Write today for approvals,” “10¢ to approval applicants.” Any ideas, guys?

Anyway, the thing I find most intriguing in this ad is the personal radio – “no need for batteries or tubes – no need for electric ‘plug-in’ either – diode eliminates them all forever” – well, the diode needs to get power somehow, right? If it doesn’t use batteries and doesn’t plug in, then what is it – hand crank or something?

 

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Don’t Spend Coins – SELL Coins!

September 1963

X-Men #1

Buying and selling money seems a bit redundant to me, but with prices like this, how could you say no? $11,750 for a silver dollar? Sign me up!

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I’ve got a penny from 1911 sitting on my desk (that I just randomly got in change somewhere), so according to this ad, I could get up to $4,800 for it!

…But somehow I get the feeling that I would be very disappointed if I actually expected to get that much for it.

Paying $1 for Pennies!?

September 1963

X-Men #1

Coins! Coins!! COINS!!! This is our second installment from Centre Coin Company – in the 1972 installment, they’re only looking to buy coins, but in this one, the focus is on selling!

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However, they do have quite an offer – fill the penny album they send you, and you’ll get $150! Makes me wonder just how rare some of those pennies are and how many kids (if any) actually cashed in on this deal.

 

Classifieds – Helping You Become a Tall, Fat Accountant

December 1972

Jungle Action #2

So when I first read “Rover and men on the Moon,” I took “Rover” to be a dog’s name, and assumed that the book would be something insanely awesome and/or cheesy. Alas, I now realize that they probably mean the type of vehicle instead, which is still cool, but not nearly as odd/exciting for me.

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And I’m curious to know the secret behind “BE TALLER!” – unless they’re selling platform shoes, I kind of doubt the validity of their claim.

I also like the fact that there’s a classified ad that is advertising methods for writing classified ads – it’s so meta!