The Comic Book Snake Oil Ads
by Kurt Kuersteiner ©2000 (Monsterwax.com)
Some folks wonder why Monsterwax uses so many comic book parody ads. Especially since they're so "misleading" (in a playful sort of way). That's the fun of it! Anyone growing up in the 1960s remembers the gross misrepresentations found in comic book ads. I bought nearly everything they offered: money makers, dancing skeletons, sea monkeys... you name it. But it all started with my 8 year old efforts to buy a 7 foot roommate. This is the story...
I loved growing up in the 60s with all those monsters. I had monster trading cards stashed in my desk, several monster magazines hidden under my bed, and many of the Aurora monster models staring at me at night from atop the book shelf (thanks to "Frightening Lightening" glow in the dark pieces). Mommy Dearest eventually threw them all out to spare me their evil influence, but for a brief golden era, I collected anything monster I could get my paws on. The crowning achievement would no doubt be my very own 7 FOOT FRANKENSTEIN! Yes! for just $1 (plus .25 cents postage) they would send me this giant monster that was so realistic, I would probably end up talking to it. (And wouldn't I be surprised if it talked back?!) I sent my $1.25 and patiently waited. I didn't know which was more amazing to me at the time: That they could make a giant 7 foot monster out of durable polyethylene (probably some sort of super strong molded plastic) for just $1 or that they could mail such a giant heavy package for just .25 cents. WHAT A DEAL!
The days turned to weeks, and still, no 7 foot crate arrived with my monster. Then, a disaster! My parents took us on a trip to Europe! It was bad enough that I was going to miss summer reruns of Lost In Space and Outer Limits, but who would sign for my 7 foot monster? Reluctantly, I was dragged abroad. (I had no choice.) We saw all sorts of boring stuff: Leaning towers, empty castles, stale museums. The only interesting moment for me was watching for the Loch Ness monster... and even that was a no-show. I couldn't wait to get home and unpack my monster.
Finally, the stupid tour was over. My parents had assured me the mail was being saved and my package would be there when we returned. But alas! Once home, there was NO CRATE! I looked everywhere. We had a ton of mail, but there weren't any packages, let alone crates. My father wrote the company a letter requesting they send my monster. (How dare a company named "Honor House" not send a little kid his 7 foot monster after he paid for it with his hard earned allowance!) 6 to 8 weeks passed and we received an 8 x 10 inch manila envelope. Some sort of apology I figured, with assurances that the monster would soon be delivered. But no! Inside was a folded poster of Frankenstein.
Sure enough, it was 7 feet long, and made out of some sort of plastic, but only a few microns thick! I thought it was going to be a 3-D giant... I'd been had!
We eventually found the earlier envelope as well. Both monsters wound up on my door (one on both sides). The pasted-on glow eyes went nice with the "Frightening Lightening" models. Although clearly disappointed, I still got a chill whenever I'd wake up at night and see a large figure standing in my doorway. My door was white and so was the background to the poster, so it really scared the poop out of me on many occasions. Did I ever take it down? OF COURSE NOT! (Mom did so when she exorcised my bedroom of monsters... a sin I finally forgave her for-- but only begrudgingly after decades of stewing over it.)
I learned my lesson well. Buy everything in the Honor House catalog because even though it never was what you thought it was, the thrill of anticipation was well worth the price!
BONUS: Read about the shady past of the "Honor House" owners in their published divorce papers! Honor House Prod. Corp. owner Edwin Wegman (1925-2002)
See the Honor House ad for a rocket ship built for two! Also, their ad for a magic kit, and Honor House monster size monsters!
READ OTHER MEMORIES and LEAVE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES here!
For those wanting an entire BOOK filled with these kinds of comic book flim-flam ads, check out "Mail Order Mysteries" by Kirk Demarais. It's a fun read with loads of great photos. It's available on Amazon books at https://www.amazon.com/Mail-Order-Mysteries-Real-Stuff-Comic/dp/160887026X
You can even read the omissions that didn't make it into his book at http://secretfunspot.blogspot.com/2011/12/lost-mail-order-mysteries.html
View the most infamous Monsterwax parody ads.
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