Today’s classic comic ad comes from the early 90’s where a big new trend was hitting the world of advertising… Calling a hotline. Sure, the sex hotlines had been around for years and in the 80’s they had hotlines for Santa Claus and Freddy Krueger, but this was different. It was a game! Marvel Comics had hoped to swindle you out of your money by playing a game over the phone.

And look how easy it is too! All you need to do is look to the side of Spider-man where 90% of this ad is filled with contest rules and regulations. I never actually called one of these Marvel hotline games (I did call Santa once in the 80’s) but I’ve heard stories about how they sucked. Anyone ever do this?

Before the internet, people actually did stuff like this.

8 Responses to Classic Comic Ad: Spider-Man Hotline

  • Tom Joad says:

    I tried the 976-EVIL phone game, it seemed pretty cool actually (well atmospheric at least) but i didn't play for long as the fear of what my parents would do upon receipt of a hugely inflated 'phone bill was far stronger than what a barely interactive audio-drama could produce.

  • Engineernerd says:

    I tried to call a Superman line once in the '70s. I was very young, don't remember if it was something special or just a DC subscription ad. I remember my picking up the other line and nothing about what happened next.

  • - Beth, the GF says:

    I can't quite remember, but wasn't there something where like at one of the holidays you could get like a star/character to call and wake you up or something? That's what this reminds me of – sorta. Did we do that? Haha. Now I totally can't remember, I mean it would have been years ago at the apartment, but I can't remember if we did or didn't.

  • Newt says:

    That was Target. Ice T and like Darth Vader would call and wake you up on black Friday.

  • glanka389 says:

    I remember this! Yeah 976 hotline and they're were some other ones toy-related that I can't seem to remember right now. This was all before the internet so any type of direct interaction with comic and toy companies' lines in consumer homes was really a big thing.

  • De Baisch says:

    I called the hotline and played the game. The trivia questions were tough as friggin' nails but I did end up winning the game eventually. Unfortunately, the 10 volumes of the Official Marvel Handbook weren't the trade paperbacks but the lame loose-leaf versions from the 90s.

  • Bummer about the prize. Good to know that somebody had some fun with it.

  • Yeah definitely.

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