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  • ParusMajor

    Is this an old list? Some of the comments are from 2009? Funny, though.

    • I always wonder if anyone reads the opening paragraph, or does everyone just look at the pretty pictures. I’m guessing you are a pretty pictures type of guy. I added an editor’s note in the beginning explaining why I am reposting an older list.

      Basically we had a SNAFU with the list scheduled and I picked one of my favorites from back in 2009. Hope you liked it. Glad you thought it was funny, ’cause I wrote it.

      • ParusMajor

        I did like it, I was just wondering. And yes, I’m probably the pretty pictures type of guy. Sorry about that. 🙂

  • Johnny Canuck

    Yes some of these items were scams but many were simple things that children of that day and age had imagination and simplicity and could play with cardboard and simple plastic toys. Today kids need to have a 3d gameboy or PS3 or Xbox. I can remember playing with cardboard boxes as forts and wooden spoons and sticks for guns. Me and my friends played for hours. On another note, millions were made for the inventors of Pet Rocks and Chia Pets….

    • Douglas

      Absolutely Johnny. Same here. We would get a wooden spoon or a bent stick and use it as a gun or rifle. We enjoyed ourselves outside and our muscles didn’t atrophy and eyesight didn’t go bad sitting at a computer screen filling our heads with evil because parents don’t care to screen or filter the internet in their houses.

      And about the Charles Atlas ad. Yes, they were selling a cheap rubber exercise thingy but it wasn’t a scam. Of course, to look like Charles, you would have to do many more exercises and lift weights but it wasn’t exactly a scam. It’s the fault of lazy people that wanted the non-existent shortcut way to he man status if they didn’t get beefed up like they wanted. And as for dealing with bullies, yes the way to take care of a bully is to sock him in the nose. One of two things would happen. They would leave you alone after that or you would become friends and he would learn not to be a bully. More often than not, it would be the former. This sissifying of American boys is a mistake. We don’t need cops to take care of most disputes. Just deal with them like a man and move on.

  • Annie

    Great list. I had fun reading it, though I never got nor read any of the ads. I live outside the U.S. so I couldn’t order any of products. When I was younger, i always thought that these crazy ads were some sort of joke. Anyway, i had fun reading them.

  • Dennis

    Moby is correct. At some point in the 70’s the Air Force announced, with great fanfare, that they had developed a NEW way to exercise they called “isometrics”. Those of us raised in the 1950’s knew it was NOT new. It was the same thing Charles Atlas called “Dynamic Tension” which is muscle contraction or working one musle against another or a stationary object and it was very effective if the exercise directions were followed. What’s the old adage? “There’s really nothing new under the sun.”

  • KKK

    i found this list in a different site(or was it here). Lol..still makes me laugh.

    • Well, if you found it anywhere else but here, it was stolen and without permission. I wrote this list myself.

  • DougK

    Wow, what a nostalgia trip! This really takes me back! I never did get those weird Sea Monkeys, but I always wondered about them. Gotta stick up for the lunar module–when we first walked on the moon, I had the greatest time putting that cardboard gem together and playing with it.

    And does anyone remember the Nixon “I’m not a crook” wristwatch? The face showed a cartoon-pic of old Dick scowling, and underneath it the caption “Nixon says ‘I’M NOT A CROOK.’ The cool part was that his eyes shifted back and forth as the watch ticked. Did anybody ever get one of those? Or was that a scam, too?

    Oh, the outrageous ads. I miss those days!!!

  • Mike

    Ha ha, I was a kid who bought lots of comics back in the ’60s and I remember most of these ads very well. My brother and I even bought a couple of things via mail order. He bought the sea-monkeys, which were actually little shrimp-like sea creatures that lived in brine. A neighbor kid bought the “unbreakable” toy soldiers, and they were thin, flat figures that were short compared to “real” plastic toy soldiers, and the mail-order soldiers broke so easily. I also remember asking my dad about the “real” tank until he assured me it was just made of cardboard. Oh, I also bought the Apollo lunar lander mini-diorama and, yes, I got it for just a dime. But I knew it was a plastic model that you assembled and painted. It was well-made and I actually still have it packed away in a box. That book company occasionally offered other space models too, i.e. Mercury and Gemini capsules, and I bought those also for only a dime each. What I would do is mail in my cancellation of the science books right after I got the model, and would then sign up again a year or so later when they had a new model. They never complained about my multiple subscriptions and cancellations, ha ha. The one thing our dad never let us order was the live monkey in a teacup for $19.95, the ad for which I don’t see here. They were little marmoset monkeys and, yes, they were real. My dad said, “that thing will poop all over the place and make a mess. I don’t want that thing in our house, inside or out!” He was right, because we ran into a family once that had one, and it was a lot of work taking care of that little creature.

  • louisvuittonshoulderba

    Wow! This is a great post and this is so true

  • LoLo

    I would add the tapeworm pill for weight loss.

  • Calvin

    Does anyone but me remember an ad in the comic books and adventure mags
    of the 50`s about an underground civilization in Anarctica? If so could you
    e-mail me info or a picture of the ad. It would be great if any one could.

  • Calvin

    A post script to my previous comment,if you have any info
    or picture of the ad e-mail me at

  • Carole Saylor

    This might be the place to ask this question. Does anyone remember seeing an ad in the back of a comic book, sorry I can’t remember which one as I read a lot, that had a picture of the Vitruvian Man, the man standing with multiple arms and legs, and it was an advertisement for the Illuminati. I wanted to answer the ad but there was something about it that felt somewhat weird. I remember that so distinctly but don’t know anyone else to ask as most of my friends didn’t read comics. Those poor unfortunate children. 🙂
    Thanks so much, Carole

  • Michael

    Oh, do I remember these! My friend and I were especially anxious to get our “fully functional” submarine… we could just imagine the fun of taking it out in the pool, then graduating to lakes, then launching it into the ocean right from the beach! We just KNEW we’d be the “envy of the neighborhood” cruising around in this beauty! And we sure couldn’t understand why our parents just laughed when we asked them for the $6.98 (plus a whopping 75 cents for shipping). Funny (considering all the comic books I read) I don’t ever recall seeing the “giant tank” ad — since as a kid I always loved tanks best, I would have been salivating for THAT one!

  • DyNama, Ohio

    I never fell for any of these, I bought the “throw your voice” gadget. if at summer camp, you ever put a leaf in your mouth and made squawking noises by blowing thru it, that’s what the “throw your voice” gadget was like. I probably never bothered to read the instructions, if any. Disappointment kept me from buying the x-ray specs.

  • Nathan Forester

    I recall that Jay Leno has a story about monkey in a teacup, I remember him saying that he owned one as a kid and it was this little naked hairless creature running around.