Over the last few weeks I’ve bought a bunch of random comic books from the 1980’s. There’s just something about the comics of yesteryear, the cheesy stories, the smell of the comic, the cheap newspaper it was printed on. What can I say? I love those old comics.
Last weekend, I picked up a several issues of Marvel’s Dazzler series, and in them I found an advertisements I had somehow forgotten about: the full-page ad for Olympic’s “Prizes or Cash.”
I think most young comic book readers back then were at one time or another tempted by Olympic’s “Prizes or Cash” ad. How could you not be? the deal the ad offered was too good to pass up: sign on with Olympic, and sell their overpriced junk to your family and neighbors in trade for either money, or points you could use on one of Olympic’s awesome prizes.
The ad offered well-known toys and action figures based on the stuff we enjoyed back then, and they had all sorts of stuff you never knew you wanted until you saw it. I hated camping, but I was more than willing to win or earn a tent. I had no need for a telescope or a two-man raft, but I dreamt up all the adventures I could have with them.
I asked my mother yesterday if she remembered these Olympic ads and she said yes, because I asked her for permission to join a few times. Luckily for me, she was smart enough to recognize a cult, err I mean a gimmick, when she saw one.
All these years later I can’t help but wonder how many kids signed up for Captain O’s club only to have their neighbor’s slam doors in their faces. And out of all those kids that signed up, I wonder if any of them ever got the stuff they really wanted. Finally, I still have to wonder why Peggy and her fellow Captain O operators couldn’t answer questions?