(Editor’s Note: We hope you enjoy this repost of a classic Retroland article)
If you were a regular reader of comic books in the 60s and 70s, you probably couldn’t help but notice the recurring ad that offered you your very own kid-sized Polaris nuclear submarine – all for the low price of about seven bucks. Perhaps the pictures above will bring you back in time.
Big enough to hold two kids? Real periscope? Rockets and torpedoes that actually fire? Needless to say, I begged my parents for one of these things. But $7 was a lot of money back then and, suffice to say, I never got my own personal Red October. Still, images of this mythical sub haunted me for years. Although I always had a hunch that it was too good to be true, it wasn’t until my jaded teen years that I finally put the dream on the back burner. Until recently, that is, when I decided to re-open the investigation, to seek out the truth. And although my findings are admittedly bittersweet, I can now have some closure – the sub mystery has been solved.
Over at www.cracked.com, I found an archived article called “12 Comic Book Ads That Taught Us To Be Cynical.” And smack dab at the top of the browser, was my long-lost submergible friend (which also just so happened to top the list). After reading this thoroughly entertaining article, I did a little more searching and found a picture of my own Holy Grail. The mystery had finally been solved – it’s a cardboard box.
What are your own stories of buyer’s remorse when it came to ordering from the back of a comic book? Perhaps you purchased a thing or two from the king of comic book advertisers, the Johnson-Smith Company in your day? Share your memories in our comments section about the cool things you received in the mail, and/or the disappointment of finding out that those Sea Monkeys really didn’t exhibit much of a social life, and that the Kryptonite you ordered was a really a rock that had been spray-painted green. And ESPECIALLY if you were the proud owner of a Polaris Nuclear Submarine!