Blonde in a Bathtub

Blonde in Bathtub small ad

One of the many frustrations of growing up reading American comic books and magazines in the 1970s and 1980s was their tantalizing ads for such things as Sea-Monkeys and X-Ray Spex. No matter how much you were sold on their promises, and even if you did have the correct amount of pocket money, they remained out of reach across the ocean. A glow-in-the-dark monster-size skeleton could be mine if only I had dollars, and the seller would ship to the UK.

There was a parallel world of such ads aimed at “adults” to be found in the pages of men’s adventure magazines, set between such articles as “Cuban Hell-Cats Scare Castro’s Cutthroats” and “Weasels Ripped My Flesh.” Who wouldn’t want a miniature spy camera or a permit to go wolfing while learning to draw naked ladies? If only I had a trophy room in which to hang my Mammalia Americana plaque. Would I be able to get the blonde in a bathtub to behave?

I’ve collected some of my favourite ads that appeared in men’s magazines on both sides of the Atlantic in the publication X-ray Specs and Other Vintage Ads.

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