Monday, February 4, 2013

WWD Co., Novelty Catalog (PT. 1)

If you've ever read a silver age comic book in your life, chances are you've seen the ad for World Wide Diamond Co., once located in windy wacky Chicago IL. And if you sent away for one of their smallish, 48-page, newsprint mail order catalogs then you absolutely uncovered a world of REAL hidden treasure! For buried there among all the other pages of cheap, gaudy jewelry and marked down wristwatches are the NOVELTY gift and gag pages, crammed packed with a jaw-dropping assortment of magic tricks, prank gadgets, monster masks, 'bop' style glasses, toys and other various instruments of endless enchantment and far-out fun! Man, there's seriously so much good stuff to share from this guide that it'll take two entire posts to deliver it all-- ENJOY!!

(to be continued...)


Mr. Cavin said...

This is an all time high. I love every page of this, but especially the two- and three-color pages (that one with the Mystic Egg Bag and the Nail Thru Finger is probably the tippy top). I never even thought of using my Jacob's Ladder as a way to steal coins! If I had a Hopalong Cassidy Wallet, a pair of Wolf Flirt Glasses (can they retrofit the Whammy Eyes with these strobe lights?), and the farting ass Razer Tie Clip I would be ready to knock 'em dead at parties! Whatta riot! Hours of sidesplitting laughs!

Brian Barnes said...

When I was young, I always imagined that if I had everything on these ads, I would be a god amongst men. Women would flock to me (not of much use when you are 8, but, take what you can get), Men would be jealous, and many small animals would immediately die by just falling under my gaze.

I still kind of think that's true ...

Kars, have you read "Mail Order Mysteries"? A great book, probably up you alley for this stuff.

Mr. Karswell said...

Yep, bought Kirks book years ago when it first came out. Many of us that grew up with these ads had no choice but to fall under their spell.

I want those Wolf Flirt Glasses too!

Crafty C said...

wow - those bamboo glasses look cool!

i used to look at these ads all the freaking time but never ordered anything - maybe the sea monkeys but that may have just been a dream - and i've always wondered what they're really like? i would kill to see the Peckin Chickens paddle and the Glo-Kitty and that weird Space Pilot Helmet and the Trick Spoon and Tooth and Pick and that strange Watch His Hair Grow doll or whatever it is. Did anybody get any of these things? i'd really like to know.

i also love some of the descriptions - like on the Nail Thru Finger "Friends sigh with relief when joke is known." And on the Pin Up Girl Mind Reading card "You Thought of Betty." That kills me.

I love that Pin Up Pencil too!

This is really cool!

Mr. Karswell said...

Lots more novelty gag coolness in the second half coming up here shortly-- plus books, love potions, rubber cheese and hot dogs, more wigs-- and Fatima!

Drazen said...

there's too much greatness here to take in at one sitting... and now you tell me there's rubber cheesE!?.. too much

KL from NYC said...

At first I thought: Wow, a plastic straight-edge razor in the barber's kit -- must be early- to mid-1950s. (I had a plastic safety razor with cardboard razor blades in the late-1950s).
However, the models on the eyeglasses page seemed to be aimed at a black clientele, and black barbers would have used a straight edge razor for decades afterward.

So, any guess at the year this came out (any copyright date on the cover)?
I can't determine a date from the prices.

The "love" perfumes, and invisible love letter ink could probably sell today.

Mr. Karswell said...

No date anywhere on the catalog that I could find, KL... my guess is late 60's or early 70's.