Monday, July 12, 2010

Comic Book Ads 1959: Giant Flying Plastic Jet!

Or “Boeing, Boeing, -- (Your money’s) Gone!”

Yes, you read correctly…
“Giant Flying Plastic Jet – Now only $1”!

Every now and then, at TIAH Blog, we have to step back and enjoy the absurdity of advertisements that appeared in comic books. This one appeared on the back cover of Harvey Comics’ HOT STUFF THE LITTLE DEVIL # 15 (September, 1959) and, presumably other such comics of the period.

I’ll just let the ad speak for itself:

“Giant Flying Plastic Jet – Now only $1

Yes! Gleaming silver plastic twenty-one inches long! Slashes through the air at 600 scale miles per hour – every second under your complete control!

“So life-like that it even SOUNDS like a real jet! So authentic that Pan-American Airways has authorized it as an Official Model! And now it is yours complete – with nothing else to buy – FOR A PRICE SO LOW THAT UNTIL TODAY IT WAS ENTIRELY IMPOSSIBLE!

“No fuel! No danger! Yet it flies 600 scale miles an hour!

“Simply attach the U-Control Line as we show you to the left wing. Then suspend the model from this control line, and begin to slowly swing it through the air. Before your astonished eyes, you will see one of the most thrilling aerodynamic sights of your entire life!”


The ad goes on for about one-third more of the page but, let’s face it… all this is describing is a PLASTIC GLIDER on a STRING that you swing around over your head in circles… with a WHISTLE attached to (probably poorly) simulate jet engine sounds as the circles go faster and faster. See the passage below:

You can make the engines on your plane scream like fighters at bursts of [All together now] 600 scale miles an hour! You can make them purr softly at cruising speed – hear them roar again as your plane picks up altitude and speed!”

And, all this could be yours for the price of TEN of the ten-cent comic books that ran the ad.

Given a choice, care to guess what I would have done? …And, I’d probably STILL have the comics!

Finally, just what is “600 scale miles an hour”, anyway? …Readers?

1 comment:

Chris Barat said...


It's a term from the world of scale model trains. I found a pretty good explanation of the phrase at

Unfortunately, we can't apply it to the model plane unless we know the size of the plane relative to the "original."