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I Saw It Advertised One Day – A Life Size Inflatable Doll! What a Great…Burglar Deterrent! Yeah, That’s the Ticket!

This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at advertisements in comic books over the decades that amused me for whatever reason. Here is an archive of all installments of this feature.

Today we look at an ad for an inflatable doll, a bull whip and Vitalis hair cream! Sounds like a fun Saturday night!

From Charlton’s The Phantom #38, from June 1970…


That is an awesome ad, because it tries to come up with reasons why you’d want an inflatable doll. Burglar deterrent, of course! To give my daughter! Of course!

Naturally, these “realistic” dolls did not actually fully match the female anatomy in certain areas, so you have to love the disappointed kid who got this and discovered that fact. I also love thinking of moms finding this in the mail. “Billy, did you order a life size inflatable doll?” Or then poor Billy trying to take them up on their return policy!

Next, from 1955, we have an ad parents probably hated even more than the doll, a freakin’ BULLWHIP!!!


Younger siblings and pets must have LOVED that bit.

Finally, in a sign of the changing demographics of comics, from 1951, we have an ad for Vitalis Hair Cream. I love that there was a time when Bert Parks’ endorsement would have ever carried the day. “Oh, you know that guy who hosts that game show on the RADIO? I need to have hair like him!”


Feel free to send in other amusing comic book ads to bcronin@comicbookresources.com for future installments!


That is Deidre Hall from Days of our Lives and Electro Woman and Dyna Girl

I didn’t know Diedre Hall was inflatable…

Ronald Spillman

January 7, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Yeah, give that inflatable doll to little Suzy; she’ll take it to school and be the talk of the playground.

And YOU’LL be the talk of the town when the police show up to have you, ah, EXPLAIN said doll to them and Children’s Services!

I want to see what the actual blow-up doll looked like.

Good ol’ Deluxe Judy.

Take Judy riding, or to a party, boating, or swimming.

SMALL PRINT: Warning – following our suggestions may result in you being disowned by family members, losing friends, becoming the butt of jokes, earning a reputation for extreme weirdness, and becoming a social outcast. This may increase your dependency on Judy. Liverpool Sales disavows any responsibility for these outcomes.


January 7, 2016 at 11:17 pm

It WOULD be a good burglar deterrent. I’m pretty sure anyone who peeked in a window and saw a dressed up inflatable doll would probably just skulk away and go on to a house not occupied a possible crazed loner*.

In every dream home a heartache indeed!

*no judgement implied (well, not a lot anyway)

To be fair, the Bert Parks ad DOES say “TV star of Break the Bank” and he is holding a mic that says TV on it, so it’s safe to say his visage was visible to a viewership of some kind.

I knew a girl in college who had a male inflatable doll that she put in the passenger seat of her car when she went home for visits. The logic was that it was safer if it looked like two people were in the car, rather than a woman alone. He (he was named Bob) actually ended at the waist, though. There were weights to keep him upright in the car seat. So the “deterrent” thing isn’t completely crazy, but you really don’t need wigs, bikinis, and other accessories.

On another front, I own a 12-foot bullwhip. There was an old man in my town that made them. Yes, I do know how to use it, thanks to hours of pretending to be Indiana Jones. It’s also great if you want to be Indy for Halloween, though invariably someone will ask you to show them how it works. Mostly they also ask to try it, which can be both painful and disfiguring. I don’t loan it out.

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