Ephemera of the Bronze and Copper Ages

Holy awkward title, Batman! And yet, its awkwardness makes me chuckle. So, "Ephemera of the Bronze and Copper Ages" it is. Huzzah!

I'm going to try and keep my remarks to a minimum for this post and let the images do the talking. There are, I've discovered, loads of sites that showcase this sort of thing. Rather than attempt any kind of comprehensive overview, I'm just going to put ones that triggered this sort of reaction in me, personally.  If you read comics during this period, chances are many if not all of the following will trigger the same "temporal anomaly" feeling I've written about at length. If not, I hope you enjoy this collection of Marvel Comics accoutrements from yesteryear. 


Okay, not technically a subscription offer. Always good to start off with a misdirection, I say.
Oh yeah? Tell it to Frehley's Comet, Hobgoblin.

If you  still have yours, I do believe 2015 will have the same calendar year breakdown as 1981. So, save yourself the cash, True Believers, and let your Marvel flag fly again!
"By Grabthar's hammer... what a savings." (Good lord... I don't think I ever caught the pun in that (from Galaxy Quest) until right this moment. How embarrassing.)


In case you're unfamiliar, here's an amusing overview.

I never knew anyone who had this game, but I used to stare at this ad and make up my own stories for it on long car rides.
Raise your hand if you had any of these. (I loved these things.)
Technically included just for the D and D game advertised, but that Coleco and those Amazing Sea Monkeys sure are jumping out at me. Probably more familiar in this:


There were dozens of varieties of these things. (I never got any.)
This one looks pretty cool to me now.
While this one undoubtedly came with a made-to-scale thermonuclear weapon.


This is referencing John Byrne (not John Romita, Jr., i.e. the "hunk of the month" aforementioned)


I had no idea these things had so much internet representation until I googled them. Here is just a small sampling. I get a kick out of these things.

Nowadays, of course, everyone's all up in arms about selling diabetes to children. Bah! I think we may have prematurely dismissed the deterrent factor of stockpiling Hostess Fruit Pies. If I was John Kerry, I'd have landed in the Crimea with a briefcase full of these things and started tossing them out to Russian soldiers. Who could resist!

The artists responsible for these ads include John Byrne, Bill Sienkiewicz, John Romita, Sr., Bob Layton, Ron Frenz, Walt Simonson, Frank Miller, Mike Zeck, Luke McDonnell, Vince Coletta, Sal Buscema, Bill Willingham, Jack Davis, and Steve Leialoha. If I'm missing anyone obvious, please take me to task in the comments.


  1. Love love the Dungeons and Dragons advertisements. I used to play that all the time up until about a year ago. Really neat that you found all these!

    1. I haven't played DnD in a number of years, but with the right group of folks, it's a hell of a lot of fun. (With the wrong group, alas, decidedly less so! But I suppose that's true of many things.)

  2. Well, I knew this post was going to be gold as soon as I saw that faux-Thor holding the "we buy and sell comics" banner. I must have seen that ad a jillion times when I was a kid, and I don't think I ever put together 2 and 2 and made it equal that guy NOT being Thor. I guess the "B" stands for "BUY"...?

    More genius thoughts like that one await:

    (1) Nice job on the Ace Frehley link.

    (2) The subscription ads, in particular, sent me back. I used to positively obsess over the idea of getting comics subscriptions, but my parents never did sign me up for a single one of them. Looking back on it, I'm sure this means we just didn't have the money for it. I was quite bummed out when I got to be an adult and discovered that there was no such thing as subscribing to comics anymore. Not in the direct-from-publisher sense, at least. I'm a little butthurt about it, to be honest.

    (3) Is that Sasquatch in the Alpha Flight ad?!? Whatever that dude's name is (I think it's Sasquatch), he was in an issue of the Official Marvel Universe Handbook I had. Dammit, I only had a couple of issues of that series; I might have to see if a complete collection can be easily obtained, as that would be a bad-ass addition to my nostalgia locker.

    (4) It's lame of me to say, but nevertheless true: if somebody put together an oversized coffee-table book of those '80s video game ads, I'd buy the hell out of it. From Parker Brothers! (I especially like the MegaForce ad, too.)

    (5) Why has nobody made a documentary about the "sea-monkey" thing? There's GOT to be a documentary in that.

    (6) The ad pitching young ladies on the idea of GAINING weight might be the most anachronistic thing in the entire collection you've presented here. Such an ad is more or less unthinkable today. Which is sad, but true.

    (7) The ads for Spalding, the toy soldiers, and -- especially -- the Hostess fruit pies especially drew my eye. Sadly, of the three, it seems to be the fruit-pie ones that had the biggest actual impact. And it didn't give ME diabetes! (Yet.) Mmm...fruit pies...

    My takeaway from this is that I/we grew up in an exceptionally tacky era. Lovably tacky, though, which counts for a lot.

    Thanks for the nostalgia rush!

    1. My pleasure. (It was a pleasure for both of us.)

      That is indeed Sasquatch, though he wasn't the Alpha Flight member to die in that issue/ story advertised. Alpha Flight has its moments. I have the whole run in the closet and have meant to get through it start to finish for years. In the someday pile. I'm not as much of a fan of Bill Mantlo as I am of John Byrne, and I think Mantlo wrote the bulk of the series. That's my main hurdle to clear.

      I had about 15 or 16 Hostess ads screencapped, but googling about, I found so many sites to showcase them (and what a hoot they are) I just did a quick sampling. I loved (and still love) those things, though. Like subscriptions, I wish comics still did that kind of stuff.

    2. p.s. with regard to subscriptions, sometimes I look at the prices/ titles advertised and do some comparative-price-shopping, and it just blows my mind. For a meager investment of less than $25, one could have accrued about $1000 worth of X-Men comics alone.