When Cutting Up a Comic Was Charming

20 Jun

To help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the American Bicentennial summer, I’ve been reading as many of the DC Comics that were published in June, July, and August 1976. A total of 23 issues were printed with a special banner across the top that read “DC Comics Salutes the Bicentennial” in red, white, and blue. In the upper right corner was a number. Nice, huh?

Well, inside there’s a house ad. Here it is.

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If you take a read, you’ll see that kids back then could get a free Superman belt buckle *if they cut out and sent in at least 25 cover headings*!

Yes, you would actually have to cut up the covers to 25 brand-new comics.

I did this sort of thing for Star Wars figures when I cut out and sent proofs of purchases to get my Boba Fett action figure. But those were cardboard boxes. This situation was comic book covers. I’d like to think that, even then, I wouldn’t have done that.

But here’s what I do like about it now, in 2016. I like the charm factor of it all. Over the decades, companies always had drives like this. “Eat 5 boxes of [insert cereal] and send in the box tops for [insert cool toy].” Yes, campaigns like this promoted binge buying, but it was actually kind of fun, no?

Do companies even do that anymore, or has our culture just moved on to kids simply asking parents to buy them whatever they want? Not sure, but at least by buying 25 DC Comics in the summer of ’76 or however many box tops, you felt like you were actually working for your prize.

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