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Mail Order Mysteries

review Mail Order Mysteries

Ce Mail Order Mysteries answers this uestion revealing the amazing truths and agonizing exaggerations about the actual products marketed to kids in the ‘60s ‘70s and ‘80s Pop culture historian Kirk Demarais shares his astonishing collection including100 Toy Soldiers in a Footlocker Count Dante’s World’s Deadliest Fig If you were a kid who owned even one comic book then you likely dreamed of trying out one of the mail order gimmicks if not begged for just one from your parents The only one I was ever able to try out was joining the Archie Club simply because it didn't cost a dime However once I received my welcome packet I realized my mother just might know what she's talking about when she said those ads were a waste of money or time impatiently waiting for it arrive as in my case However that didn't stop me from buying a Sea Monkey kit the moment I saved enough of my allowance which ended up causing me to have severe anxiety towards drinking water from the tap which has lasted still to this day That's when I knew my mother was right about those ads but it didn't curb my curiosity The moment I saw this book I just had to have it and there was no one stopping me It's a must read for those of us who wondered if we missed out on a chance to fly away to Mars by way of a hot air balloon with real kryptonite in our pockets

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Rediscover your sense of wonderGenerations 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 169 to the post offi This guy actually got ahold of some of the bullshit they sold in old comics Most of which seemed to be things to see girls partially nude X Ray specs hypnotizing discs Everyone would have saved a lot of time if they'd just advertised X Ray specs and sent pornography Duh you already work in the comic publishing industry Drop in the office across the hall strike a deal make it happen What else would people look at Bones and shit Who cares about thatSome of my personal favorite itemsCHARLES ATLAS FITNESS PROGRAMThe famous ad where the nerd gets sand kicked in his face goes and gets ripped and thenI can't remember the rest but I think there's like a home invasion thing and the former nerd strangles his tormentor's father in front of him Something like thatWhat's really fucked up is that YOU CAN STILL BUY THIS SYSTEM It's 50 which is pretty damn outrageous if you ask me Orrrr with a little hunting you can find the thing onlineMy personal favorite exercises are blowing up your cheeks to exercise your face lightly karate chopping your kidneys and a neck exercise that results in a pose too explicit for my tasteHOW TO PERFORM STRONG MAN STUNTSThere wasn't a lot about this but the one tidbit I liked was that you could soak limestone in water overnight and then smash it with your hand I would like to try this Is there still a market for trickster strongmen7 FOOT MONSTER SIZE POSTERSHuge posters of skeletons or Frankenstein with glow in the dark eyes If you ever wondered if anyone ever gave ONE fuck about the people who ordered this stuff these posters came in two pieces and the glow in the dark eyes were stickers you had to punch out and stick on Best bit the instructions said about the eyes and the leftover materials The remaining small pieces of material can be used in other spots if you like Wow JackpotThere was also a hilarious Moon Monster poster also in two pieces and the lower half was differently scaled and didn't match the upper halfFLASHING EYESThis was my favorite The ad said you would get flashing eyes in the mail as used by magiciansWhat you GOT was a piece of paper and printed on it were these instructions Obtain some silver paper and cut two small triangles like tiny slices of pie Okay with you so far Thanks for explaining what triangles are in a way I can understand Stick one to each eye lid at the top the pointed end down When they eyes are open they are not seen Now by blinking the eyes with a spotlight or footlight shining on your face they appear as streaks of lightning or sparks shooting from the eyesYou sent away 50 cents and 6 8 weeks later when you were expecting to shoot lasers out of your goddamn eyes this is what came A paper that said Tape foil to your eyes kid and go FUCK yourself ehIt's these things that I wonder how we'll ever explain to children born post internet

Kirk Demarais ô 9 characters

Hting Secrets GRIT Hercules Wrist Band Hypno Coin Life Size Monsters Mystic Smoke Sea Monkeys Soil From Dracula’s Castle U Control Ghost Ventrilo Voice Throwerand many many With than 150 extraordinary peculiar and downright fraudulent collectibles Mail Order Mysteries is a must have book comic book fans everywhere Trust u What a fun book I read this in a day started and finished yesterday As a kid in the 80's I remember these ads in the back of comic books I always wanted to order something but I never had the money because I spent it on other stupid things As an adult I finally got a pair of X Ray Specs and well THEY ARE AWESOME This is a great book for anyone who didn't have the money to send away for itching powder a vampire girl mask spy camera orX RAY SPECS It tells you what the ad claimed and what you actually got Plus the book was like 12 so its cheap I will hold onto this and show my son when he's older I'm sure the rubber vampire bat toy will still be around

  • Hardcover
  • 156
  • Mail Order Mysteries
  • Kirk Demarais
  • English
  • 09 June 2017
  • 9781608870264

10 thoughts on “Mail Order Mysteries

  1. says:

    Cheesy ads promoting all sorts of uestionable items have appeared throughout the history of comic books In the lavish Mail Order Mysteries Demarais supplies a chronicle of the popular and infamous products Far than just a mere listing each item includes the original ad a picture of the actual item and exploratory text broken into three or four parts WE IMAGINED THEY SENT BEHIND THE MYSTERY and CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Demarais starts with an exploration of the classic X Ray Spex The ad promised Amazing X Ray Vision Instantly For 1 it claimed you could See through fingers through skin see yolk of egg see lead in pencil Demarais reveals every boy's belief about the product in the WE IMAGINED Glasses that enable you to see real skeletons and nudity In the THEY SENT segment he uickly debunked it informing that the Spex were really eyewear stuffed with bird feathers The feathers created the illusion of seeing skeleton or the curve of a woman's body In BEHIND THE MYSTERY Demarais tells us that creator Harold von Braunhut also created Sea Monkeys He closes the passages with CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Not X actly what we X pected but they're X alted as the uintessential mail order novelty In 150 pages Demarais covers legendary novelties and uestionable products such as the 100 pc Toy Soldier Set Grit newspapers World's Deadliest Fighting Secrets and the Polaris Nuclear Sub He often shares little known but interesting facts about the products their companies and creators The only downside to this book is the lack of an index Demarais divides the book into eight subject sections making it difficult to locate something you read previously

  2. says:

    This guy actually got ahold of some of the bullshit they sold in old comics Most of which seemed to be things to see girls partially nude X Ray specs hypnotizing discs Everyone would have saved a lot of time if they'd just advertised X Ray specs and sent pornography Duh you already work in the comic publishing industry Drop in the office across the hall strike a deal make it happen What else would people look at? Bones and shit? Who cares about that?Some of my personal favorite itemsCHARLES ATLAS FITNESS PROGRAMThe famous ad where the nerd gets sand kicked in his face goes and gets ripped and thenI can't remember the rest but I think there's like a home invasion thing and the former nerd strangles his tormentor's father in front of him Something like thatWhat's really fucked up is that YOU CAN STILL BUY THIS SYSTEM It's 50 which is pretty damn outrageous if you ask me Orrrr with a little hunting you can find the thing onlineMy personal favorite exercises are blowing up your cheeks to exercise your face lightly karate chopping your kidneys and a neck exercise that results in a pose too explicit for my tasteHOW TO PERFORM STRONG MAN STUNTSThere wasn't a lot about this but the one tidbit I liked was that you could soak limestone in water overnight and then smash it with your hand I would like to try this Is there still a market for trickster strongmen?7 FOOT MONSTER SIZE POSTERSHuge posters of skeletons or Frankenstein with glow in the dark eyes If you ever wondered if anyone ever gave ONE fuck about the people who ordered this stuff these posters came in two pieces and the glow in the dark eyes were stickers you had to punch out and stick on Best bit the instructions said about the eyes and the leftover materials The remaining small pieces of material can be used in other spots if you like Wow JackpotThere was also a hilarious Moon Monster poster also in two pieces and the lower half was differently scaled and didn't match the upper halfFLASHING EYESThis was my favorite The ad said you would get flashing eyes in the mail as used by magiciansWhat you GOT was a piece of paper and printed on it were these instructions Obtain some silver paper and cut two small triangles like tiny slices of pie Okay with you so far Thanks for explaining what triangles are in a way I can understand Stick one to each eye lid at the top the pointed end down When they eyes are open they are not seen Now by blinking the eyes with a spotlight or footlight shining on your face they appear as streaks of lightning or sparks shooting from the eyesYou sent away 50 cents and 6 8 weeks later when you were expecting to shoot lasers out of your goddamn eyes this is what came A paper that said Tape foil to your eyes kid and go FUCK yourself eh?It's these things that I wonder how we'll ever explain to children born post internet

  3. says:

    A fun and informative read with lots of photos that bring back memories As a child of the late 70's and 80's I recognized nearly all of the products mentioned in this book I never bought them but I read many a comic book ad Not true I did try to sell Olympic greeting cards one summer 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 product testimonials and childhood memories

  4. says:

    This is a well conceived and well executed book about the cheap novelties that were ubiuitously advertised in comic books and other kid oriented publications up through the 1980s I remember seeing these ads freuently as a kid The book shows the advertisement for each item and a photo of what the item actually looked like and then describes what actually works and what doesn't The author also provides a sometimes cryptic bottom line assessment of whether the item delivered on the ad's promise or not Looking at this collection of items through my modern perspective as an advertising law professor two things really stood out First the ads' line drawings freuently and presumably deliberately omitted a lot of important detail that would affect the purchasing decision Second the ads targeted kids In theory today we would do a lot to protect kids from such predatory advertising Of course even as a kid in the 1970s I knew that many of these claims probably weren't true though I often wished they would be In our modern ad saturated society I'd like to think that kids today are growing up to be even savvier evaluators of ad claims In my household we've freuently discussed how to be skeptical of advertiser claims and I hope that similar conversations are taking place in other householdsBecause so many of the ads were grossly misleading the ads apparently didn't contemplate many repeat purchases a tough business model where you're constantly needing to recruit a new crop of kid buyers Of course there were probably some kids for whom hope springs eternal Even after a failed purchase they probably couldn't resist thinking that the next time would be different Ultimately the business relied on information scarcity ie the inability of kid buyers to independently research if the items actually worked The Internet effectively destroys an advertising model like this There's no way the advertiser could get away with vague and inadeuately detailed line drawings in an Instagram era and now there would be dozens of YouTube videos showing how the item worked or didn't Better living through technologyThis book is terrific for any kid who grew up in a middle class household in the 1970s or earlier I and many of my peers didn't have the money to satisfy our curiosity about whether these items worked as advertised For a little than the combined price of a hovercraft and spy camera we can now satisfy that curiosity albeit a few decades later I don't mean to spoil the fun but the bottom line most items were a bust but not all of them which makes for even interesting reading to discover the items that weren't total scams

  5. says:

    If you were a kid who owned even one comic book then you likely dreamed of trying out one of the mail order gimmicks if not begged for just one from your parents The only one I was ever able to try out was joining the Archie Club simply because it didn't cost a dime However once I received my welcome packet I realized my mother just might know what she's talking about when she said those ads were a waste of money or time impatiently waiting for it arrive as in my case However that didn't stop me from buying a Sea Monkey kit the moment I saved enough of my allowance which ended up causing me to have severe anxiety towards drinking water from the tap which has lasted still to this day That's when I knew my mother was right about those ads but it didn't curb my curiosity The moment I saw this book I just had to have it and there was no one stopping me It's a must read for those of us who wondered if we missed out on a chance to fly away to Mars by way of a hot air balloon with real kryptonite in our pockets

  6. says:

    If you’ve spent any time at all in your life with comics get ready for some nostalgia Mail Order Mysteries presents original comic book ads alongside photos of what actually arrived in the mail accompanied by some clever descriptions of what the purchaser imagined and what the manufacturers sentThe opening and closing essays are insightful about why kids and grown ups were motivated to buy this stuff and how and why times have changedI clearly remember various relatives with subscriptions to Grit and I’m pretty sure I was once the proud owner of a brood of “Sea Monkeys” Mail Order Mysteries made me think about these oddities and others that hadn’t crossed my mind in a long time

  7. says:

    A guy tracked down all that weird cool stuff advertised in the back of comic books x ray specs hypno coins free one million in cash so we can all finally see how badly we would have been ripped off Fun to read fantastic photos of the less than impressive treasures and explanations of how the 'magic' you hoped was real actually worked when it DID workBut the best part for me was the afterword where writer Jesse Thorn distills the sweet and sour sorrow of growing up Growing up is in large part about adjusting to a narrowing of possibility With each year we surrender what could have been Dead on

  8. says:

    Do any of you remember the mail order novelty ads in comic books from the 70's and later? Especially the big ones from Johnson Smith or Fun Factory? Did you ever wonder what the x ray specs really were? Or sea monkeys? Demarais did and with the advent of Ebay he began tracking down as many of the things he coveted as a youth as he could Eventually he wrote this book Each page has a picture of the original ad a picture of what you got and a paragraph or two explaining the trick if there was one A really enjoyable book Recommended to all those who remember the sense of mystery that we lost growing up

  9. says:

    What a fun book I read this in a day started and finished yesterday As a kid in the 80's I remember these ads in the back of comic books I always wanted to order something but I never had the money because I spent it on other stupid things As an adult I finally got a pair of X Ray Specs and well THEY ARE AWESOME This is a great book for anyone who didn't have the money to send away for itching powder a vampire girl mask spy camera orX RAY SPECS It tells you what the ad claimed and what you actually got Plus the book was like 12 so its cheap I will hold onto this and show my son when he's older I'm sure the rubber vampire bat toy will still be around

  10. says:

    I'm not sure this will have the same kick for anyone who didn't grow up reading comics when the back page ads offered X ray spectacles martial arts handbooks Polaris submarines and a throw your voice gadget for instant ventrilouism Demarais went out and ordered dozens of these items on ebay and details the history the ads and how the products actually worked surprisingly some of them did A real hoot

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