Thursday, December 07, 2006

shop by mail via strange tales

Vintage Ad #102 - Darling Pet Monkeys on Space Probes with He-Man Voices Sell Comic Books
A fine array of products available to Marvel Comics readers in 1967. Things were going well for Merry Marvel that year: sales were rising and Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four debuted on Saturday morning TV.

Multiple-advertiser pages such as these remained a staple until the early 80s. Compared to National/DC, who carried ads from reputable companies like Tootsie Roll, Marvel's resembled a flea market, the junior version of similar layouts from their men's magazine line.

Isn't that pet monkey adorable? Who wouldn't want a shirt-wearing, lollipop-munching primate around the house? We're not going to ask if owners had any other uses for the cage and leather goods included with the monkey. Note emphasis on "young" monkey - we'll never know if older monkeys in the stable sued on the grounds of age discrimination. Note Orwellian name of the advertiser.

This little monkey got around, as we'll see in a future vintage ad...

Based on Perfect Voice's website, you can still buy the secrets of the Feuchtinger method of improving one's voice, even if the term "he-man" is nowhere to be found. Alas, a perfect voice does not mean perfect spelling of the company name.

The Ed Sale Music Company still exists - the "secret system" appears to have seen few changes in 40 years, other than dropping ten songs and two pages and cost adjustments (from $2.98 to $9.98).

Oh, the horrors of blackheads, the terrifying foe of pimply adolescents! I'm betting this particular zit-popper was medical surplus. Searching the web, Vacutex has been trademarked, as a "wound dressing".

Watch the small print when buying a California Gold Piece! Based on the address, my guess is that Metropolitan Coin Exchange was based in the Penobscot Building, for nearly 50 years the tallest building in Detroit (from the completion of its tower in 1928 until the opening of the Renaissance Center in 1977). Wikipedia entry.

As for "Poems Wanted"...everything you wanted to know about song poems but were afraid to ask.

The most expensive item on the page is the Fox Mini-Bike, "small enough to fit in a car trunk"...which I could believe for the boat-like vehicles of 1967, but not so sure for a modern compact. Out on the web: the 1968 Fox Catalog.

Aspire to be a magician? Got a quarter? House of 1,000 Mysteries to the rescue! A brief bio of the magician behind this catalogue, Vick Lawston.

Insert your own jokes about the Space Probe, though it's nice to know that if your placed the Incredible Shrinking Man into the rocket as a passenger, he would have an easy, parachute-assisted landing. I recall shooting off a rocket once at a friend's house as a kid, only to watch it land on the roof of their house, hence my total lack of interest in model rocketry. Centuri sold its rocket kits from the early 60s through the early 80s (history page).

Finally, Howard Rogofsky was one of the first back issue comic dealers. He was also one of the first to charge high prices for back issues, regardless of their condition. According to Steve Duin and Mike Richardson's book Comics Between The Panels,

When you ordered from the king of Queens, you never knew if the mail would bring a book that was pristine mint or buried in tape..."Carefully applied Magic Tape," Rogofsky said in 1967, "does not constitute a defect." (375)
Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons would shudder.

Source: Strange Tales #158, July 1967

No comments: