Okay, I never actually sent away for Lucky Products’s legendary 100-Piece Toy Soldier Set. (And I’m really not sorry that I missed out on it, as I’ll explain in a moment.) But the ad that you see below was a pretty common staple (see what I did there?) of comic books in the early 1980’s.
This seemed like an amazing deal to a grade-school boy. One hundred of anything seemed like a very high number, and I marveled at the idea of recreating that battle scene that you see depicted in the full-page ad. (And, lord, did I love toy soldiers.) And I wasn’t sure exactly what a “footlocker” was, but I had a pretty good idea it was a big, sturdy box. The mere pittance required to pay for these toys, I figured, could only result from … comic book magic. (Couldn’t most things that seemed unimaginable be found in the pages of comic books?)
Behold the cruel truth, at last made clear by a Google search. The ad was about as forthright as the ubiquitous advertisements for “Sea-Monkeys” or “X-Ray Glasses.” That “footlocker” was a cardboard box only six inches long, and the toy soldiers and ships and planes were wafer-thin. Hey, it was still a reasonable buy for $1.98, even in the 80’s. It just couldn’t recreate the Normandy landing in your bedroom the way you thought it could.
Anyway, the ad you see below dates from 1981. The interwebs inform me, however, that Lucky Products had been marketing this set from as early as the 1950’s.