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Old January 30 2013, 10:27 AM   #1
Miss Chicken
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Location: Howrah, Hobart, Tasmania
Things you wanted as a child

BUT NEVER GOT.

I have been looking through a book I recently bought Mail-Order Mysteries: Real Stuff from Old Comic Book Ads.

When I was a child I used to peruse the ads in comic books wishing I could send away for some of these marvelleous products. However my mother informed me that because I didn't live in America I couldn't send away for them .

The book shows the orginal ad and then has the headings

WE IMAGINED (what children thought they would get)
THEY SENT (a genuine description of the product)
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION (usually not good, but some products were actually good)


Things I missed out on included

X-Ray Specs
Ventrilo Voice Thrower
Kryptonite Rock
6-Foot monster size monsters
Greedy fingers bank
Sea-monkeys
Sneezing Powder
Secret Spy Scope

After reading this book I guess I can say, that I was actually lucky to live in Tasmania and unable to buy any of this crap.

Did you ever what anything you saw advertise in old comics? Did your parent let you send for anything?

What about other things that you really wanted but your parents wouldn't let you have?
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Old January 30 2013, 12:09 PM   #2
teacock
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

I deeply wanted an air rifle and a racing car set. There was no way I was ever going to get either of those.

I also spent a gazillion hours lusting over the ads in the back of comic books. When I eventually saw most of that crap in a joke store I was a little taken aback at how craptastic it was.
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Old January 30 2013, 12:38 PM   #3
macghoul
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

Oh, how I wanted those sea monkeys. I know now that not getting them spared me from bitter disappointment, but I coveted those happy looking little creatures on the back of the Archie comics.
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Old January 30 2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

I got the sea monkeys.

I was one of those kids who loves nature, stare at pond water for hours and study the soil in the forest floor, mapping the pond and woods by the neighborhood.

But I thought the sea monkeys were boring after a couple of days
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Old January 30 2013, 01:17 PM   #5
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

I remember seeing a nuclear submarine mockup in the back of some US comic book that the 9-year old me thought looked pretty cool. However, I was pretty good at creating such things myself from cardboard, stick backed plastic, and other odds and ends, and filling in the gaps with my imagination (whatever happened to that, I wonder).
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Old January 30 2013, 01:52 PM   #6
lurok
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

Parents (*way to kill the party, eh? )

Nuclear sub sounds pretty cool. I really wanted a train set but never got one. And guns.
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Old January 30 2013, 02:33 PM   #7
TheOneWhoKnocks
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

The one mail order thing I ever wanted I got. A giant SDF-1 from Robotech.
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Old January 30 2013, 02:36 PM   #8
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

Lego blocks. My friends had a set and we built awesome stuff. But I didn't have my own, so couldn't play at home
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Old January 30 2013, 03:10 PM   #9
Robert D. Robot
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I remember seeing a nuclear submarine mockup in the back of some US comic book that the 9-year old me thought looked pretty cool. However, I was pretty good at creating such things myself from cardboard, stick backed plastic, and other odds and ends, and filling in the gaps with my imagination (whatever happened to that, I wonder).
This is the one thing that I wanted! It fired "real" missiles and torpedos. I can still see that boy sitting in there at the periscope (I was so envious!).My Dad pointed out that for $5.99 (I think that was the price), I would not be getting what I expected. Looking back, I suspect that he was right!
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Old January 30 2013, 03:24 PM   #10
macghoul
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

Finn wrote: View Post
I got the sea monkeys.

I was one of those kids who loves nature, stare at pond water for hours and study the soil in the forest floor, mapping the pond and woods by the neighborhood.

But I thought the sea monkeys were boring after a couple of days
Thank you for confirming my suspicions.
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Old January 30 2013, 07:06 PM   #11
antichristhill
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

lurok wrote: View Post
Parents (*way to kill the party, eh? )

Nuclear sub sounds pretty cool. I really wanted a train set but never got one. And guns.

I really wanted an electric train set. The father of one of my friends had a HUGE set up in his basement---mountain tunnels,little trees and houses, the works. I SO wanted that.

All I got was a cheap little plastic one with grey plastic tracks that made a figure 8. No batteries, no tunnels, nothing.
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Old January 30 2013, 07:36 PM   #12
lurok
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

Luxury.
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Old January 30 2013, 07:58 PM   #13
Redfern
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

My father wouldn't let me mail order the Sea-Monkeys, but one time during a road trip, we stopped at a gas station/rshort order cafe/gift shop and I saw one of the "deluxe" kits. Seeing that the thing actually existed, my father allowed the purchase. It came with the "Ocean View" aquarium with the custom "night viewing" lamp. That turned out to be pretty cool in its own kitchy way. The "aquarium" was a cleverly molded single piece container that held maybe 12 ounces. Six convex "lenses" were molded into the clear material that would magnify whatever was caught in the fields of view. The bottom was shaped like a shallow volcano and kinda' dipped at the other end. (Originally, the undeside was painted to make the "sea bottom" opaque. Newer versions of the "tank" appear to be separate pieces, a "tank" and a "base" that are glued together. But in the 70s, it was single piece construction and, to me, a superior design.) The "lamp" was a firm fitting cover with a compartment for 2 AA batteries and an incandescent lamp and a switch. (I wonder if they've switched to a solid state LED now?)

The booklet was the coolest part. Printed in an insanely small font, I think it took me nearly an hour to read it cover to cover. Of course, it gave you the basics for priming the water, a packet that neutralized the harsh chemicals and introduce the proper salt balance. A second that contained the "suspended animation" eggs, a third that sealed the food and a fourth that contained "vitamins" and other nutritional additives. Anyway, the booklet actually discussed the "monkeys" from a legit scientific view, giving their Latin name and providing details about their method of "suspended animation", allowing the eggs to survive years if properly dry.

Of course, the critters themselves were NOTHING like the anthromorphized illustrations. That didn't bother me as much as their miniscule size! No wonder the "tank" had lenses; you needed them just to catch a glimpse at the wee buggers. Plus, they were so ghostly pale. That was one of the purposes of the food "additive". It supposedly introduced something that would, when used properly, turn their shells slightly pink.

I think I kept mine alive for nearly half a year. But we went on a trip during the warmer months and too much water evaporated, consentrating the salt levels too much. According to the booklet, if I were to let all the water evaporate, I could then add fresh water and new "monkies" could have hatched, provided the first generation laid eggs. I don't think mine answered the "call of nature" since I didn't see what appeared to be eggs when I let the "tank" dry out.

I see the guy who marketed "sea monkeys" went on to package a new "instant pet", Triops, a critter similar in form to a horseshoe crab, small but several times larger than the "sea monkeys" and possessing a natural colorization that allows one to see the crustaceans without a bloody microscope. They grow to be the size of your thumbnail.

I'm sure most kids felt conned by "sea monkeys", but I found them fascinating. I kept the "tank" for years after they died.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old January 30 2013, 09:18 PM   #14
Candlefright
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

I was mad on Transformers but my parents wouldn't let me own certain Decepticons because of what they transformed into, namely weapons.

So Megatron, Galvatron and Shockwave were all out.

I managed to sneak in Sixshot before I lost interest in them though
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Old January 30 2013, 10:41 PM   #15
marillion
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Re: Things you wanted as a child

Parachute pants... There, I've said it..
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