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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You’ll Pop Your Eye Out!

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

Fun fact: Did you know that the original Donkey Kong was actually supposed to be a Popeye game? Yep! But Nintendo couldn’t get the rights to the characters in time, so they ended up changing Popeye, Brutus, and Olive Oyl to Mario (or “Jumpman”), Donkey Kong, and Pauline (or “Lady”)!

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And another fun fact: In Japan there was actually a sequel to this game… that was made to help teach kids English. I don’t know about you, but when I think about proper use of the English language, Popeye isn’t exactly in my list of good examples!

Score a Hit with Hostess!

August 1979

Shogun Warriors #7

Well, this ad isn’t nearly as entertaining as Captain America & Nick Fury or The Penguin extolling the excellence of Hostess products, but that doesn’t make the snacks any less tasty!

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Since I know pretty much nothing about sports, I wasn’t familiar with these, but apparently they were a pretty big deal back in the day! Some avid collectors would check back at the store whenever Hostess snacks were restocked, and go through all the boxes to find the ones they needed – good thing the cards were printed on the outside of the boxes, so you could see what you were getting!

No-Frills Comics Subscriptions

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

This has got to be the most bland subscription ad I’ve ever seen! No characters, no fancy graphics, not even an interesting font! Come on, Marvel – you can do so much better than this!

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However, one thing that caught my eye on this page was “Blip” – I’d never heard of that title before. Upon looking it up, apparently since kids at this time were spending more of their money on video games and less on comic books, Marvel decided to try cashing in on the video game craze by publishing a magazine about it! It only lasted 7 issues, but it looks amazingly geeky, and I’d love to get my hands on it!

Free Cash? Sign Me Up!

August 1979

Shogun Warriors #7

It’s another grab bag of classifieds! This time it’s mostly for comics retailers, with a few others mixed in.

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I like how understated the ones for conventions are – these days conventions are so overblown and crazy that it’s kind of refreshing to see something so simple. Though I have to admit that I was a bit surprised by the location of the “Southwest Comic Show” – I assumed it would be somewhere like Phoenix, Las Vegas, or maybe Albuquerque, but definitely did not expect Tulsa! I’ve never thought of Oklahoma as part of the Southwest – how about you?

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack(s)!

December 1983

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi #3

You know, all my life, right up until I started preparing this post, I’ve thought of this snack as “Cracker Jacks,” not the singular “Cracker Jack” – I’ve been wrong for all these years and never had any idea!

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Most of us remember Cracker Jack for its “Toy Surprise” – when I was a kid, it was usually some kind of small plastic trinket. I haven’t had Cracker Jack in many, many years, but the last few times I did, I remember being particularly disappointed in the quality of the “toys” – usually just stickers. Well, as it turns out, that’s not so bad! Apparently in 2017 they replaced the toy with a QR code that allows you to download a game – lame! I feel like that takes away all of the specialness that Cracker Jack used to have.

Mighty Marvel Money Saver!

August 1979

Shogun Warriors #7

In honor of the release of Captain Marvel (I know, I’m a week late – but go see it! It’s awesome!), here’s another classic Marvel captain: Captain America! Here he’s offering you a Mighty Marvel Flying Shield (aka, a frisbee) for free when you subscribe to at least three titles!

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Am I the only one who finds Cap’s use of “hip lingo” a little out of character? If they really felt the need to use that dialog, I think it would’ve gone better with Spider-Man.