Ninja Turtle Karate
Believe it or not, as the Ninja Turtles began to gain popularity in the late 80’s and early 90’s, a company called Solson Publications teamed up with Mirage to put out official karate training manuals, featuring the turtles. What made these manuals unique, was that not only were they officially authorized, but they had legitimate karate instructions inside. Defeat the Shredder (or at least the neighborhood bully) with the skills you learned in the TMNT Karate Manual!

TMNT Karate
There was no attempt to sugarcoat these manuals or to make them into comics that “sort of” taught you karate moves. Instead, this manual (and the other 6 books in the series) played it straight and showed you legit karate manuevers and styles with Ninja Turtle art. It’s literally no different than if the artwork were regular humans, as all the other martial arts manuals out there are. Continue reading

With Halloween just right around the corner, it’s fun to look back at costumes of old. While we’ve covered this in the past, today I have a treat from the mid 1960’s that’s sure to interest you. These classic costumes were available for kids and were sold more like toys than Halloween costumes, although they were definitely marketed for kids to use at Halloween as well.

Old Batman Costume
I really like the details here in the Batman costume (which had a separate utility belt to purchase) and the fact that we see some oddball characters featured, like Captain America and Zorro. This really gives a glimpse into what was popular during this period. A “Daniel Boone” style frontier man and an astronaut are a given. These are far superior to the Ben Cooper Halloween costumes of the period and if you wore one of these outfits on October 31st, you were probably the coolest kid in town!

How do you get a wrestler in the mailbox? Apparently you have to mail away for these old LJN figures. Today’s Classic Comic Ad is from the early 80’s and the start of LJN’s World Wrestling Federation line. These first LJN figures were pretty rough, but it gives you an inside peek into who WWF was marketing at the time. One of the neatest parts of this ad is that it shows off the complete first series of guys, who would then go on to be bootlegged for decades later.

hasbro wwf
This Classic Comic Ad comes from the days when Hasbro ruled the world of wrestling. Hasbro’s WWF line was in some ways a step backwards for wrestling toys and yet at the same time, it also represented a great step forward. With tons of intricate detail, cool accessories and one of the most colorful roster assortments of all time. Hasbro’s WWF line just about had it all and some awesome commercials featuring WWF superstars like Macho Man, Roddy Piper and the Ultimate Warrior didn’t hurt.

This advertisement is for Toys R Us, which was your go to place for Hasbro WWF. I recall once going into Toys R Us and they had a whole wall of WWF Hasbro figures. Just a ridiculously huge section, not unlike something you’d see in a commercial. These days Toys R Us still has a decent selection of Mattel’s WWE figures, but it’s just not the same. I can’t believe the old ring was only $12.99 either! I had to build myself a ring out of various junk around the house.

There’s a great assortment of figures here, with classics like the Big Bossman and Brutus Beefcake along with the staples like Andre, Hogan, Macho and the Warrior. I’m not entirely sure how Akeem got in there, but maybe someone was a fan of the Twin Towers. Those old caricature figures from Hasbro just had a lot of charm. Also fun to note that TRU is making sure you know they take credit cards, which is an absolutely antiquated idea these days.

The last time I did one of these Classic Comic Ads, it was for our old pal Big Jim from Mattel. Now we’re taking a look at a muscle man of another sort entirely… It’s former Governor and Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger! This was very early in his career as he appeared in many vintage comic books hocking some of Joe Weider’s workout secrets.

Apparently in only 30 days you can be quite buff and eventually, Arnold size! At least that’s what the advertisement seems to indicate. You’ll also have women falling all over themselves to get at your muscular body. Only real “manly” and “virile” men can do that. These vintage ads seem really predatory (no pun intended) to me. Clearly most of the people reading the comics wouldn’t look anything like this, so Weider and the advertisers prey upon the insecurity of nerds by telling them to put down the funny books and start pumping up.

I’ll never have a body like Arnold’s, but at least I can buy the NECA Predator Dutch figure. Take that 30 year old ad meant to emasculate me!