Toys of the Seventies, Sea Monkeys

I also have toy pages for the 80s and 90s.

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One of life's biggest disappointments. The ads in the comic books made it look like they would be this adorable little family of sea creatures-a cross between sea horses and monkeys. But when you got them they were actually brine shrimp that were so small you could barely see them.
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The following are comments left about Sea Monkeys from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

Rob Lambert - November 08, 2014 - Report this comment
One of the biggest con jobs a novelty company pulled over a span of 25 years or more. The original, Honor House, sold these, and had the moola to advertise in most every mainstream comic book company (Marvel, DC, Archie). The Sea Monkey ads began appearing around 1960, continuing well into the 1980s. Yes, it was aimed at kids, and kids were gullible. Among the other clever toys Honor House (and succeeding companies) pushed on kids included the "Moneymaker," in which you'd appear to be cranking out genuine dollar bills from blank pieces of paper. Others included chewing gum with onion or hot pepper flavor. Many of those novelty items leaned on the weird side of marketing.
FB - January 16, 2015 - Report this comment
It seems a bit ironic that the perpetrator of these marketing con jobs is named "Honor" House.
Rob Lambert - January 17, 2015 - Report this comment
Good point, FB! While I'm not defending Honor House's deceptive practices, here's a little history: The first Honor House ads appeared in Archie comic books in 1956. Those were for the toy tanks and submarines, made of vinyl and after assembly, which could fit two kids under ten years old. Around 1963, the company marketed the glow-in-the-dark, seven foot tall, Frankenstein and other monster figures, also vinyl and needing assembly. The name came from the company's pledge to "honor" its money-back guarantee on anything it sold. The Sea Monkeys pictured in the ads looked way to "humanized" to be for real. In 1972, Honor House began breaking up into smaller "sub-companies," that still sold the same novelty items. While the Whoopie Cushion was about their sleaziest item, most of the novelties sold were geared toward family fun.
Rob Lambert - January 20, 2015 - Report this comment
Found a later Sea Monkey ad in a 1982 Archie comic book. Same picture, same come-on script. Only differences: Price went up to $1.25, and the company selling them was named Mirobar. Also found an early ad by Honor House from a 1962 Archie comic book. Ad shows a baby Sea Monkey hatching from its egg (face looks somewhat human). While some deception was allowed, the novelty companies which advertised in comic books (aimed at kids) had to keep their ads clean (no erotic toys), as publishers had to adhere to the Comics Code Authority. One more note on Honor House: Over the 17 years of existence, its mailing address had been Lynbrook, New York. Switch the two syllables around, you get Brooklyn!
Rob Lambert - February 13, 2015 - Report this comment
Here we go, readers: Another round of "Bash Honor House," the novelty company which introduced us to Sea Monkeys in 1961. I can't resist sharing my latest ad find. From 1965 to 1970, Honor House offered a complete electric guitar with amplifier set... for only $15. In the late 1960s, a decent guitar and amp ran at least $200. The Honor House amp is powered by two 12-volt electricity needed. The guitar, not much better than a toy. A book of guitar lessons came with the set. As always, Honor House backed its ten-day money-back guarantee. That amp would be destroyed in less than a month. It tis to laugh!!Ad first appeared in Archie comic books in August of 1965.
Rob Lambert - February 19, 2015 - Report this comment
For this installment of the Sea Monkey saga, we go to 1970, when a freakish turn of events happened. My source being the #8 issue (June, 1970) of Everything's Archie comic book. The company selling Sea Monkeys changed from Honor House to Sales Unlimited. This company offered, for a dollar, two Sea Monkey eggs, inside a small plastic globe with brass chain (a pendant to be worn as a necklace) attached. You filled it with water, and in days, a girl could walk around, wearing this necklace with two living creatures in the pendant. WEIRD! Product's name was Sea Gem. Also in this comic book, Honor House offered Sea Horse Ranches for three dollars. Included were two live (hopefully) baby sea horses, a cheap aquarium made of plastic, some fish food, and a booklet on how to care for them. Honor House states its normal money-back guarantee (duh! if the horses died during shipping).
Rob Lambert - June 24, 2015 - Report this comment
From the Aug., 1971 issue of Everything's Archie #15: The latest Sea Monkey ad (Sales Unlimited, Inc.) sweetens the offer on the one dollar deal, including a year supply of food and a water purifier! Ritzy, huh? Other ads include Palisades Park (N.J.), with coupons for free admission, parking and one ride (didn't Palisades close up after the '71 season?). Featured was the World of Archie attraction. Another ad for Topper Toys' Zoomer Boomer line of motorized toy cars (called The Goofys). Another ad: A guy using the pseudonym "Matt Numiss" (reversed: Numismat, a coin expert) doing a coin mail-order thing (this was when silver was cheap).
Rob Lambert - September 26, 2018 - Report this comment
A comic book ad offering a product similar to Sea Monkeys. Crazy Crabs, which crossover between Pet Rocks and Sea Monkeys. Reader is led to believe they're living creatures, can survive with little water, and an artificial shell, which the ad states can be painted. Regular Crazy Crab was $3.50 with shipping, a giant sized one for $5. Company was Trans Science, with an address in lower Manhattan. Ad was in Welcome Back, Kotter #5 by DC (mid 1977). The main comic story has Kotter directing the school play, an adaptation of "Julius Caesar," a la Sweat Hog, with Julie Kotter assisting with the disastrous proceedings.

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