Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Hooptedoodle #29 - Small Ads in Comics
This is all triggered by the fact that I came across this picture - I don't know whose picture it is, so if it is yours then thank you, it is a great picture. I have never seen one of these things, and haven't thought about them for well over 50 years, but this was one of a small number of weird toys I always fancied from the small ads on the back of my mate Brian's comics when I was a kid. I wasn't allowed comics like that - I just got the Eagle, and later I got the Rover and Adventure. Brian's comics were much darker, with heavy, violent stories about US Marines fighting in the Pacific and suchlike. But the Seebackroscope was definitely on a secret wanted list, as was a device which, apparently, enabled you to throw your voice and mystify all your friends. I would have loved to mystify my friends.
The only thing Brian and I ever bought through these ads was a small box of ex-US Army ration packs. Don't ask me why. Brian arranged for them to be delivered to his grannie's house, and we opened the box like thieves. I am delighted to recall that the packs contained no morphine capsules - nothing dangerous in that sense - but they did contain foil-wrapped chocolate and fudge bars. Brian liked the chocolate, which was too strong and bitter for me, and which also had an odd grey appearance which might have served as a warning if we had been receptive to such a thing. Brian, sadly, consumed a great deal of the grey chocolate, and was unable to venture further than a few feet from the toilet for the next day or two. For some reason, his mother blamed me for the whole escapade. Most unfair.
So, as you will see, this is nothing more than me idly dreaming about things from long ago which I didn't really understand at the time anyway. I am confident that there will be a whole specialist hobby built around the toys you could buy from these old comics, and there will be experts. You may actually have a degree in this very subject.
Did anyone ever have a Seebackroscope? Was it any good?