ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

From Sea Monkeys to Xray Specs: those (less than) amazing comic book ads

Updated on November 2, 2015

Back in the day, when they were not buying fake dog waste, whoopee cushions or joy buzzers at the local joke shop, a favorite retail outlet for adolescent boys (mostly) were those comic book ad pages.

Sea monkeys: they wear little hats, sit in chairs and can likely be trained to do all kinds of amusing tricks just like the ads say, right? Well, not quite. "Sea monkeys" are actually tiny 1/4-1/2 inch brine shrimp. Their eggs can stay dry and dormant for long stretches of time. Just add saltwater and presto- you have sea monkeys. You can still buy these as "sea monkeys" at some retail outlets, or you can save yourself a bunch of dough by purchasing live brine shrimp, used as fish food, at your local pet shop. You could order live sea horses as well- more substantial, but the ad neglected to mention the complex and costly equipment needed to insure their survival.

Xray specs: Leering teen peers at the bones in his hand just as a curvaceous blonde walks by. What these specs REALLY do is make you see a dark silhouette with a brighter outline. Otherwise, doctors everywhere could save on expensive Xray equipment.

Color TV: back in the olden days; before cable or digital or even regular color TV, you could still make your black and white TV color, sort of. All you needed to do was attach this "magical" plastic sheet across your screen with its see through shades of blue, red and green. This worked fine if the scene was a red fire truck under a blue sky with grass in the foreground - other times, not so much.

Monstrous: A life sized Frankenstein monster that stands on its own and can lean forward to frighten people was one a friend of mine actually bought way back in the day when we were kids. Unfortunately, Franky was merely a printed version on a flimsy plastic sheet. It could do all that stuff with a little help, or would have made a fine Halloween table cloth.

Hey, hey they're the monkeys: You could even buy live squirrel monkeys through comic book ads, dressed up in adorable kids' clothing. The ads pretty much glossed over the intricate care demands needed, never mind the fact that monkeys make terrible, destructive pets. Now in most parts of the USA you'll need a permit for a pet monkey ownership where it is not downright illegal. Baby raccoons and incubatable quail eggs were similarly marketed.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)