Hey, yeah! It's time for a word from our sponsor, which means more ads from comic books. And while you probably just ignored them, or at worst considered them a nuisance, the fact is that comic book ads were the financial engine that made the whole thing possible. Without these silly ads you wouldn't have your comic books, plain and simple. In fact, comic books quit marketing toys and snacks to kids right around the same time sales dropped dramatically, which begs the question, did kids walk away from comics, or did comics walk away from kids? Or did the advertisers walk away from everybody?
One kid who's never walked away from comics is Archie Andrews, seen here in a short drama that extols the virtues of... you'll see.
Crime stalks the mean streets of Riverdale and even bags full of Hostess Fruit Pies (tm) fall victim to its clutches! Jughead suggests a 'stomach detector test' on the bad guys, but I believe after stuffing themselves with Hostess Fruit Pies (tm), stomach contents will soon be making an appearance of their own accord. Hostess Fruit Pies (tm) are kind of nasty. But Archie isn't the only comic book character to find his life impacted by these doughy little treats!
Here in a scene Hollywood will no doubt be strip-mining for its cinematic appeal, the Hulk finds himself on the Toad World where King Torkon of the Toad Men - and you laugh, but they actually appeared in Hulk comics - has imprisoned him in a cave. Luckily another Toad Man frees the Hulk and only Hostess Cupcakes can prove his friendship. I actually think this would work on the Hulk, who has always been possessed of a childlike whimsy.
And in ANOTHER frog-related Hostess ad involving the Hulk, a giant frog menaces the city, but is only stopped by the Hulk after the threat to our Twinkies supply is made clear. If you've ever had a Twinkie then I think you will join me in rooting for the frog, which turns out to be a mad magician. Will we be seeing this in "Avengers 2"? Cross your fingers!
Meanwhile, the 1976 presidential elections might be called off and democracy destroyed forever by the actions of the red-skinned Stormbringer and his little pal Cronos. However, their evil plans to... postpone the election for a few days and perhaps give the American public more time to consider the wisdom of putting a peanut farmer into the Executive Office are halted by Captain America and the seductive power of Hostess Fruit Pies (tm) with their delicious real fruit filling and their tender, light crust and their waxy, preservative-filled taste after sitting on the shelf at the 7-11 for two or three weeks. Mmmm!
But delicious snack treats aren't the only things advertised in comic books, oh no. Why, just about anything could be sold to children using this wondrous medium!
For instance, now YOU TOO can at last make your own greeting cards! I dunno about you but I am sick and tired of paying a dollar, dollar fifty for some professionally-printed greeting card illustrated by top commercial artists! I'd rather send Bob something I made myself so that he realizes the deep, throbbing love I bear for him secretly. Also with this offer you get "Make-A-Face-Clown", which sounds like the monster from a mid 1990s horror movie about a evil clown that steals faces. With a hacksaw. Such a deal!
And if you're the kind of kid that wants to be really annoying, check this out!
Yes, it's the Super Siren, that vital safety tool for your bike that will keep you safe by warning motorists and pedestrians of your approach. It will also drive your parents, your friends, bystanders, and pets ABSOLUTEL CRAZY with the constant WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO as you aimlessly circle around your neighborhood. WOO WOO WOO WOO. Get some for your friends and you'll make a shrieking, headachey hurricane of unstoppable noise throughout your home town. Of course, in THIS neighborhood EVERYBODY talks in a WEIRD fashion by EMPHASIZING words seemingly at RANDOM so I bet a little NOISE won't BOTHER them AT all.
HANG LOOSE IT'S THE JUICE! COMIN' AT YOU! Yes, spouse abuser, murderer, and three-time loser OJ Simpson was, at one time, a beloved celebrity, whose sudden appearance sprinting towards you full-speed wouldn't be cause for alarm and hurried 911 calls, but rather excitement and product endorsement fun. Get some Juicemobiles (tm) - not the famous white Bronco used in that ridiculous low-speed chase, but Spot-Bilt Multi-Purpose Shoes - and maybe YOU can stretch a double (murder) into a triple or maybe even a quadruple homicide! These shoes are designed like the shoes OJ wears, which now I believe are prison-issued slippers. So maybe these wouldn't be much good on the field.
Other comic book ads would take valuable commercial space to warn us of rampaging epidemics.
Here's how the gang caught Spiromania! Somebody down at the water department was asleep at the switch and the city's drinking water was contaminated, and then... no wait, look at Billy, he's using the little plastic gears and the colored pens to make amazing op-art designs with Spirograph! You'll have up to fifteen minutes of fun with Spirograph before you start throwing the rings and wheels at each other across the playroom and Mom takes the pen to use for telephone notes. But that weird thing with your eyes, you're going to be stuck like that for the rest of your life.
Spiromania can strike at any age. Please give generously.
Just as the mechanical designs of Spirograph have been supplanted by the high-tech computer-aided drawing programs of the 21st century, so have many other toy concepts been rendered totally useless by the march of progress.
Okay so first off you can tell this is fiction because that one kid is watching the Six Million Dollar Man and saying "Man, this is an exciting scene", which is something NOBODY EVER SAID about the Six Million Dollar Man, a show for which excitement meant slowing the film down and adding annoying sound effects. But let's just say that you were a particularly slow or possibly autistic child and you wanted to repeat that exciting scene over and over again because the familiarity of repetition is comforting to you on a deep emotional level. Well now with the Six Million Dollar Man Movie Viewer you can! These were actually pretty cool, there was a little film-strip cartridge and you'd plug it into the viewer and hold it up to the light and turn the crank and through the miracle of persistence of vision you'd see Lee Majors break through that pasteboard wall over and over again. And don't forget these other exciting bionic action toys from Kenner!
Your giant 13 inch Bionic Man figure battles to the bionic death against John Saxon as Maskatron, who is almost invincible except when his head pops off, which is how you can tell it's a bionic duplicate and not the real John Saxon. Lift plastic engine blocks, look through Steve Austin's skull, peel back his skin to reveal bionic modules, dress him for test piloting or outer space or the local singles bar ("special mission outfit") for thrilling bionic adventures! And those are all great features, except for when you lose the bionic modules in the sandbox and your Steve Austin is permanently de-powered and sad. But what about the girls? After all, there's a "Bionic Woman" TV series, aren't they entitled to bionic adventures?
Yes they are! Enjoy your Bionic Beauty Salon, girls! You can brush and comb her beautiful hair and put her in designer collector fashions, and if that isn't bionic adventure I don't know what is!
YES, YES I DID REALLY SCULPT AND PAINT ALL THESE STATUES. No need to shout! You know, on the one hand this seems like a really pathetic craft toy, fake pre-made sculptures that only require you to knock away the exterior. But never underestimate the desire of children to whack things with hammers. Because they will whack things with hammers, and you can either get them Chip Away, or let them go to work on your Buick or the side of the garage. It's your choice!
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