The adverts in Victor Comic (2)

Here’s a second look at some of the adverts in Victor Comic in the 1960s. Ironically, given the wide spectrum of areas where the picture stories are based, from working class athletes to First World War flyers, from the trusty Gurkhas to the first Mounties, the adverts are not particularly vast in scope. I suppose the problem was that they all had to sell things which a boy or a youth of say, 8-16 or older might be interested in, and could afford, without involving risky photographs of the fair sex or dangerous weapons.

So keep it clean lads and stick to your Airfix kits:

FW Woolworth. Whatever happened to them? All the naughty boys were  probably sniffing their Airfix glue to get their kicks but there was certainly very little of a hallucinogenic quality in stamp hinges. So the comic was full of  them. And a lot of money must have been made. Well, they do say Philately will get you anywhere. Just look at these adverts:

Don’t be fooled by the word ‘Million’, though. For a start, you have to share a million stamp packets with everybody else and there is bound to be some catch to it. You certainly won’t get a million packets of stamps because that many would bury a small town. The second advert has prices.  Between 2/6 and 5/- would be a likely sum for a boy’s weekly pocket money (12.5 to 25 pence). The advert for 50 different stamps “plus exciting mystery set” certainly makes Heston in Middlesex sound exciting and mysterious. And neither Mr Brown nor Mr Delaney in the very last section can be doing that well with the amount of advertising space they have had to share.

There are still matchbox covers for sale. although if I lived in Cocksett Avenue I think I’d move:

And still the stamps pour in. Did the entire world write a dozen letters a day? To Rumania, and Paraguay, and China (Communist and Nationalist)?

England winning the World Cup in 1966 gave every country an excuse to print even more stamps. And those stamps that were overprinted with “England Winners”. Do you remember how everybody went nuts to buy them? Well, just look up sometime how much they are worth nowadays:

For the older boy there were adverts for cars:

Mind you, they were model cars at Woolworths, not real ones. Incidentally, my Dad paid £510 for a full size Hillman Minx in 1966 and my Mum would have played merry stink with him if he’d told her the correct price.

Every teenager will want to change his body, of course. Here’s an advert for Charles Atlas who always looked rather like my Dad;. but only from the neck up. I’ve actually seen this advert before. When I was a little boy, I thought the two young ladies were very strange bricklayers. And I wouldn’t want to live in Chitty Street either:

And last of all, a comic can advertise itself. Special editions for the Summer Holidays:

And don’t miss any foreign sales. There are thousands of little boys across the globe all wanting to have Victor comic sent to them. But what bizarre sums of money! 43/4d and 36/10d are just weird. It’s like the charge being precisely £4.34 or exactly £3.61 :

Above all reserve your comic:

Or you could buy your Victor on DVD. A lot cheaper than collecting the whole lot on ebay one at a time.



Filed under History, Humour, Personal

25 responses to “The adverts in Victor Comic (2)

  1. Ah. Memories, John – but, for me, of the ’40s and ’50s. They didn’t change much in those decades

    • No they didn’t, although I suspect that eventually the American influence gradually grew greater and greater. In the mid sixties it was just a few Superman comics but by the mid-1970s, Marvel were publishing a weekly comic of their own in England. What a great pity, I very much preferred the Wizard and Hotspur type comics of which Victor and Valiant were very close relatives.

  2. I can picture those ads in the back of magazines and comic books!! Childhood memories are the best – we could still dream back then.

    • Yes, we could, and we were innocent enough to believe that those dreams might come true. Comics of that era were so informative. Here in England, we all learnt about the war heroes of WW2, the rules of cricket and of football (soccer) and probably most important of all, how to do things. How to build a tree house, how to recognise animal tracks and, my favourite of all, how to make a boomerang. I must admit though, I didn’t have much joy with them ever “returning to sender”!

  3. Such nostalgia! Whatever happened to Charles Atlas? Perhaps he ended his days sinking into a protein enriched abyss surrounded by Charles Atlas Bullworkers.

    • I’d forgotten about the “Bullworker” ! Perhaps I should go and have a good look for mine around the far end of the garage sometime. It’s probably behind the exercise bike and the steel reinforced trampoline.
      I always used to think that there really was a man called Charles Atlas. I suppose I just accepted it as a strange name from America, a bit like our “Captain Hurricane”.

      • No Charles Atlas! Now you’ve shattered all my boyhood dreams, you’ll be saying there’s no green cross code man wandering around street corners next!

        REPLY: I had forgotten about him completely! I have a feeling that he was the same actor as played Darth Vader. Not very sure about that one, though.

  4. As kids growing up in the 60s, we went through a stamp collection phase. It was often a source of contention between my brothers.

    • I think that stamp collecting was a very valuable educational tool for children. When I as ten, I knew quite lot about British Guiana from stamps and a fair amount about the French and Dutch territories as well. Currencies too, were familiar to us all, forints, zlotys and dinars. Most of all, I suspect that those stamps and the pictures on them taught us, if only subconsciously, that those people on that Mongolian stamp were not so very different from ourselves that we couldn’t say ‘hello’ and shake hands if we ever met in the street.

  5. I had quite forgotten that there were adverts in Victor. An Airfix kit certainly didn’t look like the real thing when I had finished with it!

    • It was just the same for me! I think a lot of it was the lack of cash for airbrushes and even the correctly coloured paints. And there was a certain lack of patience too. I couldn’t even wait for the glue to dry to put the transfers on. The result was a Lancaster which was all black with the glue smeared fingerprints of a giant on the cockpit canopy and the three gun turrets. I could also supply on demand a list of the first ten things to get broken off….radio aerial, machine guns, propeller blades. undercarriage, tail and so on.

      • I was often so impatient that I forgot to put the pilot in his seat and when the thing was glued together there he was rattling around at the bottom of the box. Doh!

  6. Aussie kids magazines were the same. Except our Atlas advert had a huge bloke kicking sand in a weedy little fellows face and all the girls laughing. I wasn’t a very brave kid when I was a kid and that advert made me very anxious.

    • It is quite difficult to kick sand that high though, so your fears might have been groundless. I wonder if it’s ever been done or whether it’s in the category of “man slips on banana skin” which I did read once was supposed never to have happened. I used to be quite anxious that Charles Atlas looked like a tanned version of my Dad. I suppose I must have worried that Dad wasn’t doing the exercises as often as he should have been.

  7. I grew up in the 50’s and up, but I do remember airplane glue … my brothers used to sniff the stuff. LOL Anything that looked like trouble …. they were in. And what a riot about those advertisements! I got a good chuckle out of this. And yeah whatever happened to Woolworth? We used to have one here too! Great post, John. Thank you! 💝

    • My pleasure, Amy. I think our English Woolworth just went bankrupt. It’s happening to so many even quite large companies now. Last week, it was Toys R Us. One day, there’ll be only Amazon and the politicians will have a problem telling us why freedom of choice isn’t important anymore!

  8. Great days! So my investment in World Cup Winners stamps has gone the same way as my investment in Churchill crowns. Ah well!

    We still get those old-fashioned stamp collections brought in and 99 times out of 100 we either use the stamps (if they are decimal and un-used) or advise the owner to give the stamps to charity/the grandchildren.

    • I’m afraid so! I can’t actually think of anything of that sort that is now worth loads of money except perhaps for the bubble gum cards of the early 1960s, James Bond, the Beatles and so on. I wish I had kept mine but my mother got rid of them out as far as I remember.

      • We have stopped buying cigarette cards in the shop as they rarely sell – still sell a few Brooke Bond cards, and the gum cards also sell now and again. Not sure what happened to my Batman cards…

  9. Tony Wilkins

    I have a few Victor and Warlord comics/annuals knocking about

    • Thank you very much. I find your writings about what to me is a foreign land, equally fascinating, especially the way you wait for the monsoon. I used to read about mountaineering and I know that the arrival of the rain in the south means the imminent arrival of the snow in the mountains in the north, and that is the end of the climbing season for that year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.