Those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s can appreciate the power of comic book ads. It was a time before the internet and days of online shopping. Much simpler days when you simply saved your money, copied down an address and sent your order and after many weeks of waiting your order would arrive. I was guilty of this act numerous times during my youth. I ordered comic book subscriptions, Army Men, Sea Monkeys, and TSR catalogues. However it was purchase of my Alien Eye that forever changed my view of the wonderful world of Comic Book Advertisements.
The “Scary Giant Alien Eye obeys your commands”!! Yes finally I could harness the power of my Alien Eye to do my bidding. Bullies beware I was ready to unleash the unmitigated fury of my Alien upon you! The ad looked amazing to the untrained eye. It not only would somehow listen you your commands but could “Rise and dart”. It could “float in the air” and could be controlled up to 50 feet away!! It also had tentacles that would “amaze” my friends with its other worldly Alien skills. Yes I was certain that for only $2.00 (A hefty price back in the day!) I would have the one thing that would make me stand out amongst my peers. If I had any problems my Alien Eye would deal with it through my commands!
After several weeks finally a package arrived at my doorstep. It was a surprisingly small envelope that couldn’t possibly be my Alien. A package that small could not have contained the fury of my new Alien beast. It must be something related to my comic subscriptions or even a new TSR catalog. Nope . Inside the envelope was a little plastic bag with a cardboard topper stapled over the top that said “Alien Eye”. The magnificent intelligent Alien species was nothing more than an over-sized balloon with a eye in the middle of it. Its tentacles were actually white party streamers which came with adhesive tape to attach them to the bottom of the inflated balloon. Plus it had a 50 foot string that I could use to “Control” my Alien. It mentioned that I had to fill my Eye with helium so it would float.
I was horrified. Not by the scary Alien creature that took over my home but by the fact that I had been duped. Looking back at the ad it certainly could do everything it said. It could follow your commands if that meant dragging it across the room with your string. It could take commands up to 50 feet away because my string was well..50 feet long! It could rise (Due to the helium) and dart (If you dragged it fast enough with your string.) I still have a love for vintage comic book ads but a warning to all. Read what you are buying carefully.