Mail-Order Mysteries: Real Stuff from Old Comic Book Ads!
Rediscover your sense of wonder!
Generations of comic book readers remember the tantalizing promises of vintage novelty advertisements that offered authentic laser-gun plans, x-ray specs, and even 7-foot-tall monsters (with glow-in-the-dark eyes!). But what would you really get if you entrusted your hard-earned $1.69 to the post office?
Mail-Order Mysteries answers this ques...more
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Each ad is reprinted along with a description of what they were promising you, what you may have been expceting and what you would actually get. Also on the page is an image or photo of an original item.
This book is so much fun just to flip through the pages! I had forgotten that I'd owned some of th...more
As you might suspect, most of these items were rip-offs. Though a few turned out to be worth the small price, these were exceptions.
Some actually pretty good items: A toy hovercraft, a miniature radio disguised as...more
The book features pictures of the original ads and the actual product advertised. I remember ordering one thing from one of those ads, a wargame that featured a plastic sheet as a board and tiny plasti...more
The opening and closing essays are insightful about why kids (and grown-ups) were motivated to buy this stuff, and how and why times have changed.
I clearly remember various relatives with subscription...more
actually it killed my sense of wonder. there are a few things in here i still have fond memories of, sea monkeys for some reason and the magnetic dogs among them.
but the thing i most wanted and still think about when i pick up 60s/70s comics is the Polaris Submarine. i still want this. from the time i was eight wanted this to explore lafayette reservoir. there is a picture of it in the book (p45), just cardboard. even as i kid i couldn't totally believe in it, b...more
Looks like maybe Kirk's dad should've let him send away for some of this stuff...then he could've learned early on a valuable lesson about the real world. :) Indeed, the whol...more
But the best part, for me, was the afterword, where writer Jesse Thorn distills the sweet and sour sorrow of growing up. "Growing up is i...more
Why I picked it up: After 30+ years I still needed to know on such a base level what all those mail order treasure were really like. What did you really get?
Why I finished it: It is a browsing book. Pick and choose what to explore based on your preference. I loved the flat plastic figures. I am so glad to see them as they existed. I never got to own a set.
I'd give it to: My brother and sister who spent hours with me discussi...more
I deducted some stars because it's such a light book. It took about 45 minutes to read through it all and would probably not have been worth my money had I bought it. It might have benefited from more prod...more
Like the products it's describing, the actual contents of the book itself maybe can't hope to quite live up to an idea so ingenious, but it gives its best shot, and in the end we're left with an indispensable guide to a particular niche of ephemera, and the answer to a...more
The life-size monster?
The smoking dog?
The x-ray glasses?
This book presents on facing pages the original ad from the comic book and what would have come in the mail for your dollar's purchasing power.
A super nostalgic look at advertising as it used to be in the books and periodicals we used to read.
I really enjoyed it.
If I had one complaint, it'd be that some of the entries that included multiple objects seem...more