1972 - TIH #152 - Pranks, novelties, and... blowguns???

Novelties. Nothing else comes to mind quicker when one thinks of ads in comic books. I have a feeling the first thing I ever sent away for was a 5-dollar pack of miscellaneous pranks and novelties from an ad in Boy's Life magazine (okay, not a comic book, but close enough). There was a whoopee cushion, and several flavors of putrid candy (the super-hot candy just turned out to be cinnamon-flavored).

This small ad, specifically to send away for a catalog, is conservative by most prank and novelty comic book ad standards, and the company itself is no-name (though I'm sure no less legitimate than its gaudier competitors). In fact, it has most of what you'd expect in a novelty catalog:

  • Tricks (Yup)
  • Emblems (patches, I suppose)
  • Jokes (Redundant, but yup)
  • Decals (uh, rendunant department of redundancy alert)
  • Racing (I dunno what this means exactly, probably more emblems and decals)
  • Monsters (probably more haunting records)
  • Pranks (Come on, now, you coulda saved money with a smaller ad instead of repeating)
  • Magic (Back to normal)
  • Ecology (uh... maybe more live animals?)
  • Camping (good for game wardens)
  • Zodiac (people were really into signs in the 1970's)
  • Hot Rods (Now they're repeating racing...)
  • Bullwhips...
Wait, bullwhips? Okay, from that point on it goes from mundane to just WEIRD.
  • Blow guns (Jesus Christ, that ain't no prankin')
  • Witchcraft (Clearly these people just assume that kids who are into pranks are actually sociopaths)
  • Hunting Knives (okay, maybe psychopaths. Like those game wardens)
  • Psychedelic (well, this is gonna end badly...)
  • Hippy items (yup, very badly)
  • Science fiction (AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!)
Well, yup, I'm freaked out. But still an interested buyer.

This Flint/Target ad for their novelty catalog was printed in The Incredible Hulk #152, June 1972.


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