From Fantastic Four #29 (August 1964)
Here's what was going on in the world of 1964. Political events, cultural fears of the Red Menace and the escalation of events in Vietnam and China are very likely the the reason the advertisement featured what is clearly a Caucasian G.I. attacking an Asian soldier in what looks like the American Heartland. The ad is offensive in that it uses the often successful tactic of demonizing an entire group into being an enemy.
In using heroic and scare imagery to target kids who would have been exposed to the massive media and parental opinions of Communist China testing a nuclear bomb and escalation of hostilities in Vietnam the advertiser was shrewd. Being presumably less critical in their thinking than adults are supposed to be and because of their age usually do not assign a depth to their play scenarios beyond Good Guy vs. Bad Guy, children could be excused from responding favorably to the advertisement.
However, as this 2005 testosterone-soaked ad featuring an assault helicopter hovering over a Mosque reveals, advertising tactics have not appreciably evolved. The only things that have changed is the price of the toy and that the little boys playing soldier in 1964 are now the demographic in charge of this country.
Tags: Comic Book Ad Propaganda