Duke The Super Action Dog (Comic Ads #9)

Comic Ads are more than just the mountain of Hostess Ads we know and love. Over the years, many a company has used one page comic ads to shill their products in the pages of comic books! So I thought I'd do a list series that showcases those ads, and shows you what issues I've found them in. To me, these are as much a part of comics history as any superhero, and I love 'em for the nostalgia they bring. I hope they do the same for you. Enjoy.

I ran across this gem in an old Gold Key comic. Duke The Super Action Dog is quite a piece of work. The thing I think is funny is that the first thing the ad says about him is that, "His mouth opens." You know the toy doesn't do much when one of the options hyped in the ad is "his mouth opens."

You could also get a Rescue Unit for this plastic pooch to drag around behind him, and a harness that he can wear to help him fight fires- he holds the hose nozzle in his real opening mouth! He has a Canyon Slide zipline that he can ride...by gripping the zipline handle with his mouth. I'm starting to think if this dog's mouth didn't open, he'd have pretty much been a bust as a toy.

But wait! Before I get too carried away thinking that, he also had his own HQ! That's right: Duke has a headquarters. It's "underground," has a periscope that he can look through, and even some computer equipment whose operation I'm guessing is dependent on the fact that his mouth opens.

Something that's funny about the art is that although the hand drawn comic makes Duke look more like a normal cartoon dog, he's drawn pretty much exactly as he appears on the toy packaging. He's all stiff legs on the Canyon Slide and "running" in front of the Rescue Unit. And the way they show him standing in the HQ is pretty much exactly how he looks as a toy. You can see the toys over at PlaidStallions.com. I would've snagged a couple of examples, but noooo, they've got to be all "proprietary" about it, and put their logo all over everything. Way to hog those catalog pages, guys! If only I had a Super Action Dog that could take care of them for me!

Outside of the ad, there's an interesting detail on the firefighter harness picture- Duke apparently came with little mini-comics. The one pictured with the fire fighting rig is "Duke Fights the Energy Crisis." I wouldn't mind getting a look at those, at some point.

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Edited by cbishop