Comic book ads: Zombie mask and former NYC magic shop

zombiemaskcomicadRegular readers of this blog know I love old comic book ads. I grew up perusing them right along with the Marvel and DC comics stories wrapped around them.

So I’m somewhat surprised that I don’t remember – and haven’t run across before – the ad above that I found online.

Almost certainly from a comic book, this ad for “The Zombie Mask” did a nice job of selling its product.

“This fiendish, evil mask is terrifyingly lifelike in appearance,” the ad’s breathless copy maintains. “Made of top quality sanitary rubber … if your friends have bad hearts, don’t wear it.”

The mask includes a wig of “finely spun hair.”

All for $2.98. Or, for the same price, you could get a Frankenstein mask.

Hopefully some reader can fill in some details on these masks, including the manufacturer. A Google image search didn’t turn up much in the way of who made it.

There are a few interesting details to be had, however, in the company that was selling these masks.

The Magic Center – which billed itself as “the world’s largest magic store” – was a frequent advertiser in magazines like Popular Science and Google searches find their ads as far back as 1949.

magic center ape man mask

These ads were usually for magic tricks, although a 1953 issue of Popular Mechanics found the Magic Center – still located at 741 Eighth Avenue in NYC – offering a “terrifying” ape man mask.

What happened to the Magic Center? I wish I knew. Google searches turn up, in recent years, a “dive bar” at the location. And it looks like the bar itself has closed.

I’m afraid there were few zombie or ape man masks to be found there in the past couple of decades.


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