If you read American comic books in the 1970s and 1980s – back when every other page seemed to be an ad for the most amazing sounding novelties imaginable, sold by not-at-all -dishonest mail order companies – then you probably remember the ad for the 7 Foot U-Control Ghost, Monster Ghost and other variations. And you probably thought it would be the greatest thing in the world.
These ads promised the ultimate in spooky horror. After all, what could be better than a 7 foot remote control ghost that darts, dances and lurches? Why, look at the kid in the ad – he’s practically pissing himself in fear. That kid could be your worst enemy, all for 95c. As a kid in Britain, the delights of these ads could never be anything more than an elusive fantasy – but oh, how we dreamed of owning these glorious novelties.
Of course, this being the internet, the truth about what you got for your hard-earned money (and 95c was worth a lot more back then) has been revealed. And to no one’s surprise, it’s a bit of a disappointment.
A balloon with a Casper the Friendly Ghost knock off face – hardly the stuff of nightmares – with a white plastic sheet and kite wire. What a con! It’s hard to imagine this putting the willies up even the most impressionable of kids, and there must’ve been scores of angry customers (and countless asthma attacks if kids tried to blow up a seven foot balloon by themselves).
But then, that was also the curious joy of these ads – wondering just what rubbish lay behind the boasts (which just about avoided actually lying, when you read them properly) thought up by the creative ad men. And looked at objectively, it’s actually quite good fun.
There’s no word on whether the Horror Record suggested as an add-on lived up to expectations, though…