The Wayback Machine: 1978 Clark Bar Superhero Ads

The Wayback Machine:  1978 Clark Bar Superhero Ads featured

The Wayback Machine:  1978 Clark Bar Superhero AdsBack in 1978, before the internets and cellphones and fanboy rage, the world was a much younger, friendlier place.  In those long gone days of yore, the Clark bar company ran a wicked awesome sweepstakes that appeared in both Marvel and DC books that fueled many of your friendly neighborhood jman’s then 7 year old fantasies.

An all expenses paid trip to New York/Gotham to appear in your favorite superhero comic book!

Tell me that wasn’t every lil fanboys wet dream?!?!  And what did you have to do to win this spectacular prize?  Enter!  That’s it!  No shit!  Just fill out the attached form and mail it in.  You didn’t even have to buy anything!

And for only putting pencil to paper, the grand prize winner would get (depending is you were a Marvel or DC fan) a 3 day/2 night all expenses paid trip to either New York or Gotham (now, how they were going to pull off the Gotham thing, is beyond me.  Considering Gotham isn’t even real) for a family of four.  But, wait!  There is more.  You’d also get to tour the offices of the publication of your choice.  And the best part?  You’d get drawn into an upcoming issue of your favorite book.  But wait…there’s still more!  When your favorite book with you in it was published, Clark will send you 15 comics of the issue so you can totally show off to your friends.

The Wayback Machine:  1978 Clark Bar Superhero Ads


Man!  The dreams I had of winning this contest.  I was totally picking the DC tour (I knew Gotham wasn’t real).  And those artist were gonna draw me on every page of Superman.  Not Action Comics, mind you.  Superman.  I was totally gonna own those offices.  They were gonna give me artwork and whatever else they had on hand.

For the unfortunate souls that didn’t win, there were other runner up prizes.  Pedestrian, if you ask me.  Twenty “second place” winners would get a famous superhero watch.  Your pick!  Spider-man, Superman, Wonder Woman, or even the Joker!  The watches were quality time pieces retailing between $19.95 and $23.95 and…AND…were “Swiss-made” (and here I thought the Swiss were only known for their hot chocolate)

The Wayback Machine:  1978 Clark Bar Superhero Ads

A 100 “third place” winner would win the slightly less pedestrian prize of a subscription to their favorite DC or Marvel comic.  It’s your pick.  The Incredible Hulk.  The scantily clad Red Sonja.  The Justice Society or even Little Lulu?!?!?  Who the hell wanted Lil Lulu?

There’s another part of the ad that’s equally as awesome.   You could collect the wrappers from Clark, Crispy, Zagnut, Crunchy, Light, Peanut Butter log (that sounds so wrong), Milk Duds, Slo Poke and Black Cow to send away for toys premiums.The Wayback Machine:  1978 Clark Bar Superhero Ads

And what were some of the premiums you could get?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  You could get Zing Wings (which look an awful lot like mini Frisbees) for $1.75 plus two wrappers.  One of those “swiss-made” superhero watches for $14.25 plus 12 wrappers (dude…that’s a lot of chocolate!) and the premium I wanted the most?   The utility belts.  I’m not sure which I wanted more.  I wasn’t a big Batman fan back then.  It was either Superman or Spider-Man for me, thank you very much.  But even I knew Spider-Man didn’t wear a utility belt, either.  So, I probably wanted the Batman belt.  Better to side on realism, then not.

Of course, I never won.  I never entered.  Or collected wrappers.  That required work.  And I was too busy dreaming about how I could pilfer Marvel’s offices too, while I was in Gotham New York.

I wonder if anyone really won, though.

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  1. it’s a trip. I was too little, but I have a vague memory of those ads. Also, in retrospect, it’s a little odd to see that Marvel decided on Red Sonja for the female representation- technically a licensed character. Why not Spider-Woman, or Invisible Woman, or Storm?

  2. That’s what I’d like to know–who’s the lucky kid who won? are there back issues of some Marvel or Dc comic with this kid (or possibly adult–there were no age restrictions that I could see) drawn in?