Would that we could hop into our time machines, go back to 1965 and pick up a few multiples of this stuff, huh?
Ben Cooper Halloween costumes. Whitman books.
Aurora model kits!
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.
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.
Holy moly, I poured over every ad in my comic books in the 1960s but I’m not sure even I would have the patience for this.
This Johnson Smith Co. ad, from an unknown period of comics, boasts that the company offered 7,000 novelties in its 500-page catalogue, which sold for 10 cents.
Heck, I think they had all 7,000 novelties on this single page.
A midget race car, a miniature camera, guns of all types … a fencing set! An accordion!
The Johnson Smith Co. – established in Chicago in 1914 – apparently still exists.
I bet they sell fewer fencing sets than back in the day, though.