By Cory Doctorow at 9:00 am Sun, Feb 19, 2012
Hey, look, it's the Johnny Space Commander Mask!
"Why Billy, Look! I've Already Bought You One! Let Me Put It On!"
Perfect for spying on neighbours and shopping them to HUAC.
My first reaction is always to look for pictures of the real thing, and for once I found some: http://www.ebay.com/itm/50s-TOM-CORBETT-Official-SPACE-CADET-Cosmic-Vision-HELMET-w-Rocket-logo-/120862522847?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c23f7bddf
“Estate Fresh” too! I’ve never found anything remotely “fresh” at an estate sale.
That’s actually pretty impressive. I was working under the assumption that the whole “Invisible Helmet” thing meant that every poor schmuck who ordered one received an empty box. When they called to complain, the seller would say that the helmet was indeed in the box and ask the buyer what they expected when they placed an order for an Invisible Helmet.
Wow! The actual item looks even more like the cover of Astounding Science Fiction than the ad.
You’ve seen Hoverboy, right? Brainchild of Ty Templeton and (Commander) Rick Green? In particular, the invisible helmet reminded me of this:
That reminds me of this classic SNL bit. I can’t find video, but there is a transcript.
For instance, your company manufactures and distributes this Halloween costume.. [ picks it up and holds it ] ..Johnny Space Commander mask, which retails for $6.95. It’s nothing more than a plastic bag and a rubber band.
There was an episode where a company made a “Human Torch” Halloween suit. It was a bunch of oily rags and a lighter.
Actually, that was the same sketch.
I feel like the little three-panel thing ending in ‘EVERYBODY AMAZED!’ has memetic potential.
Awesome. Make it so, interwebs!
Interesting choice of simile: “This sensational discovery is as new as the hydrogen bomb!”
I remember having one as a kid! I put it on, went outside, walked around the neighborhood, and, just like the ad says, EVERYBODY WAS AMAZED! Just about EVERYONE stared at me in dumbfounded, speechless amazement! They were shaking their heads, in confused amazement, I guess!
HAHAHAHAHA! For only $1.98 the secret of invisibility will be mine, then I alone shall rule the world!
So if I put one over my internetz I will be invisible to the SOPAnauts? And the Toewstards?
This was parodied on SNL once… good stuff
Getting a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal vibe from this. I guess we have those V masks now, though.
It just isn’t a “cosmic vision helmet” if it comes without the peyote.
The “Cosmic Vision Helmet” is No Match for Professor Chaos!!!
In my day – not a good thing.
I’ve been reading the Tom Corbett–Space Cadet series, available through Project Gutenberg. Great fun with Tom, Roger Manning & Astro!
This explains what happens to the police when they don the kevlar helmets and face shields; “Nobody can tell who you are but you can see everybody and everything.” “Makes you a super space cadet.” Guess the pepper spray should come in something that looks like a ray gun.
The people who wrote this ad copy must have hated children with a depth of loathing difficult for a rational human being to comprehend. That, or they were a bunch of fucking lawyers.
Reading the ad tells you everything you need to know about why the 60s happened – absolutely no one could be trusted to be honest, not even to kids. No wonder an entire generation became disillusioned. Dirty tricks had been played on them since before they were shaving.
Ah, Tom Corbett was a pioneer in reasonably priced avant-garde headwear. Scroll down this page, http://www.solarguard.com/tcradio1.htm , for rather classy space goggles.
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