Wednesday, May 14, 2008


ITEM! Remember these, True Believers? Me neither. Let’s face it... your Uncle Stan’s long-term memory works slightly better than a shot-gunned sieve. But be that as it may, look-see what I found this morning while rummaging around down in my climate-controlled vault at Casa del Lee... a Merry Marvel Marching Society plastic pillow! And they only went for a measly $1.50 way back in 1968. That was about three gallons worth of gas at the time... so in today’s dollars they would only cost about $12-15 buckeroos. What a bargain!

You know we sometimes give the late, great Vinnie Colletta a hard time around these here parts, but you have to give it up to The Prince! I mean do you have any idea how hard it is to ink an inflatable plastic pillow? It takes a mighty light touch, sunshine. Enjoy the "this-offer-clearly-expired 40 years ago" ad below!



RAB said...

You may not remember these, Stan, but take the word of one True Believer who's here to attest that back in the day, these pillows were just the novelty item to delight a certain Merry Marvelite.

Your description omits one crucial point about the transparent pillows: part of the image was printed on the front exterior of the pillow, and another part of the image was printed on the back interior of the pillow. In the Spider-Man pillow, the image of Spidey was printed on the foreground, but the yellow alleyway with the figure walking away (being tailed by Peter Parker, natch) was printed as a separate background image, showing through a clear portion of the front image...creating a quasi-3D diorama effect when you looked at it. The Thor pillow was a bit less exciting, with the Son of Odin in the foreground and the grey lines presumably meant to indicate stormclouds in the background.

I spent hours looking at these, marvelling -- you should pardon the expression -- at how effective such a simple visual trick could be. Sure, it may not sound like much now...but you have to remember, being a six-year-old tyke at the time, I had no access to LSD or the other mind-altering substances of the day. If I wanted to trip out and blow my mind, staring at brightly colored plastic pillows or sniffing an open tube of Testor's model airplane cement were pretty much my only options.

Stan the Man said...

I've just noticed something... unlike many other collection of comments in different blogs, our commenters all seem to write well and intelligently. I assume this denotes that our readers are a cut above average, and that's just the way your Uncle Stan likes 'em!

Thanks for pointing out my ominous omission, Rab. Unlike my own earnest ego, I hadn't inflated my old MMMS pillow in so long, I'd forgotten about the 3D effect!

And thanks for the plug of confidence, Dan! I'm not sure where you get your information on Madcap Mark's sleeping habits, but I'm willing to take your word for it! I don't know if the illustrious Mr. Evanier still sleeps under a Marvelmania black-light Silver Surfer poster... but Yours Truly does! Sometimes I don't know why my wife still puts up with me...


david_b said...

I.. FINALLY.. BOUGHT.. THE.. SPIDERMAN.. PILLOW..! I can seriously die now.. I've pined for that pillow in that ad since '68. It's setting me back a few hundred (now deployed again in Kuwait..), but it's been the 'Holy Grail' for me.

It's assured 'DIVA' collectable status in my meager showroom.

It's the highlight of this tour overseas..! Will probably mount/frame somehow in my music room when I get home.