12 Comic Book Ads That Taught Us To Be Cynical

Kids are stupid. It's well known, and there is a whole industry that thrives on it.

This is why as kids, every so often we'd come across an ad in a comic book, for something we knew was too good to be true. But still, we'd put money in an envelope and four to six weeks later, get something amazing that would make the rest of our lives whole lot easier. That thing? Disappointment.

Here's our salute to all the great products that taught us to be cynical.

#12. X-Ray Specs

Ever wish you could see through walls? Or ladies clothes? Or men's clothes? Dog's clothes? Don't worry we won't judge you. But we will offer you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually have X-ray vision!

As the ads says, all you have to do is buy these special X-ray glasses and you can become the disgusting leering pervert you've always wanted to be. Also you'll presumably be able to diagnose certain illnesses at a glance.

The reality ...
You waited six to eight weeks for delivery, only to find out that, no, these X-ray glasses did not in fact use real X-rays (probably a good thing since everyone who used them would have developed massive brain tumors) and wouldn't let you see through anything, not even them.

These old fashioned X-ray spec lenses consisted of two pieces of cardboard with a feather between them to blur your vision, causing two slightly offset images which appear similar to an X-ray photograph. So in other words they give you blurry vision which could have been obtained for free by squinting. What we're saying is if your doctor declares you to be tumor-free using a pair of these, get a second opinion.

#11. The Money Maker

All right, so your eight years on the planet have established that hard work is for suckers. But you still want money to buy things like comics books. There's got to be an easier way.

The reality ...
Then you find this little ad. It's so small it's almost as if it's a "secret."

A machine that turns ordinary paper into money ... just turn the knob and real money comes out. Sounds good. Sounds down right amazing, in fact. And probably illegal. Even if it is illegal you're just a kid, you'll never do any hard time and by the time you get caught you'll be stinking rich and can hire the best lawyers. What can go wrong?

You have to put money in it first. Sure it looks like paper is going in and coming out as money but it's all a despicable, cheap ruse.

No, the only way you'll make money with this thing is to demonstrate it for some local mobsters and try to get them to buy it from you. They wouldn't whack a little kid, right?

#10. Kryptonite

Think about it: You could have the power to bring the all powerful Superman to his knees, in the palm of your hand. Nobody's been able to beat Superman and you'll be the first. Think how awesome it will be to go around and have everyone point at you and say, "Hey that's the kid who beat Superman."

People will respect you, they may even fear you! For a total of $3.50!

The reality ...
Somewhere behind this amazing product was an entrepreneur who had some extra rocks, a can of green paint and a vision.

You may wonder what kind of bastard would cheat kids out of their money by selling them green painted rocks. But that same man may rightfully point out that you deserved to lose your money, because what kind of a rotten kid dreams of killing Superman?

We like to think of all the terrified little kids who, upon discovering their rocks were fake, decided the whole thing was a sting operation by Superman to get the addresses of potential supervillains.

#9. CB Receiver

You heard them: It's absolutely vital for every driver, housewife, shut-in, teenager, sportsman and law enforcement agency! If you don't fit into one of those categories, buy one anyway and maybe someday you yourself will become a teenager or even one of those illustrious shut-ins we always see on TV and in the movies!

You'll be alerted to coming fires, floods, blizzards, riots, criminals on the loose, airplane crashes, tornadoes and even poor traffic conditions! You'll know what's going to happen before everyone else, you'll be like God! Plus you'll also receive a 10-page book on trucker code! And we can't emphasize enough that it's absolutely vital for shut-ins!

The reality ...
When it comes time to warn us about "FIRES, FLOODS, HURRICANES TORNADOES" we like to think that the regular radio will do that, with the added bonus of also playing music on it's many channels.

But hey, teenagers can attach them to their bicycles so they'll be warned about dangers ahead! All dangers except the many well-deserved ass kickings they'll get for being the dork who rides around with CB receiver on his bike.

Though there is one upside, which is the fact that you can listen to truckers and if there is anything truckers know, it's prostitutes. Truckers have over a dozen slang terms for prostitutes, none of which are included in your handy 10-page trucker code book.

#8. Never Look Short Again!

Sick of being short? Let's face it, tall people get more dates, more respect and better jobs. But if you can't afford expensive body-lengthening surgery, you can simply get yourself a pair of "liftee" height-increasing pads.

The reality ...
Yes, they're just wedges you put in your shoes. Sure, according to the picture up there, they'll make you about eight-inches taller, but at the price of making you feel like you're wearing high heels.

The promise that the shoes will "invite romance" seems a little dubious, as the effect only lasts until you take the shoes off, so you better have, ahem, another way to impress the ladies once the disrobing begins. Like if you take off your shirt and have an Olympic gold medal there.

The claim that you'll "Find and qualify for the best jobs" seems even more questionable. Find, maybe, but qualify? "Well sir your resume doesn't show any gynecological experience and your background check revealed you're a convicted sex offender, but your tallness is very impressive. Congratulations you're our newest gynecologist! Here's three company pens, try not to lose them."

Though we don't doubt these shoe inserts worked better than the GROW MAN GROW program ...

Which offered a series of "courses" that would add up to six inches to your height. That's right, kid, the reason you're a head shorter than anyone else in your class is because you didn't study tallness like they did.

#7. Frontier Cabin

You! Yes you! Could own your very own frontier cabin just like Abe Lincoln, Grizzly Adams and all those lunatics who thought Y2K was going to end the world and coming soon--all those lunatics who think 2012 is going to destroy the world! You can reenact all those great things you've seen happen in cabins in movies!

The reality ...
Sure it's only 23-square-feet big, but a studio apartment in Manhattan that size would cost $2,000 a month. No, the major problem with your frontier cabin is that it's made of 100 percent cardboard, which is a less than sturdy housing material. Especially if you're living on the frontier, where you need a home that can stand up to things like bear attacks, strong winds, rain and the occasional light kick.

Though it is cool that they sold them in bulk ("5 for $4!") so that if your cabin should be destroyed in a natural disaster or peed on by the family dog, you can just whip out a replacement. In fact, with these things on the market for a buck, we're wondering why a homeless man would ever opt for a refrigerator box.

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