Sunday, February 19, 2006

Comic Book Ad: 2 for 1 Dollar

Here is an advertisment for a potentially disastrous toy from EC's classic M.D. #3 (Aug-Sept 1955).

The Americans of the 50's and 60's were such an ignorant, stupid crowd of boneheads innocent and trusting society. This ad proudly declares the tent is made of HEAVY PLASTIC and is LARGE ENOUGH FOR TWO! I imagine when the unlucky parent found their kids unconscious after being smothered by the flimsy toy they rushed them to the hospital without bothering to wear a seatbelt.

As a youngster I used to have a city and airport playset made by a popular children's toy company. It had wooden cars and planes and differently-shaped blocks to build homes and buildings. The landscape you played on was a very thick vinyl mat printed with roads and vacant lots. I played with the toy set for hours and hours. It was lots of fun and the plastic fumes from the mat made you dizzy when you unfolded it. I usually ended my playing by pulling the mat out from under the blocks, causing an earthquake that flattened the city.

Okay, it was last week. But those were good times.


  1. In 1955, not only wouldn't they have bothered, they probably didn't even have the (seatbelt) option.

  2. That's true. In the Fifties, seat belts in cars were practically unheard of. In 1956, Ford tried marketing an optional "Lifeguard Design" safety package that included a recessed steering wheel hub, padded dash and sun visors, a break-away rearview mirror and seatbelts. The lukewarm consumer response was considered proof that "safety doesn't sell."

    Regarding that "Giant Circus Tent Playhouse": It looks suspiciously similar to another item I've seen advertised in comic books of that era (and probably made by the same company): a frontier-style log cabin of identical dimensions and overall shape. The plastic was indeed flimsy, but it was merely a facade meant to be draped over a (relatively) sturdy card table (supplied by the customer, natch).

    A ripoff? Of course. But no danger of suffocation, unless a child held his breath 'til he turned blue when he realized he'd been conned into spending his allowance money on this crap.


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