The Times, They Were A'Changing

The JSCAIf you were a kid in the 60s like me, as well as an admitted Geek like me, you'll recognize the image above. The ad that could be found at the back of every comic book... for recruitment into the J.S.C.A.! It sounded very official.

Wow! Not the J.S.C.A.!

Yep. The Junior Sales Club of America.

Oh. THAT J.S.C.A.... um, what was it exactly?

Jeepers! Your Free Membership to the J.S.C.A. made you eligible to earn money or win Other Grand Prizes!!! Who wouldn't want that??

Yes, upon further reading of the small print, kids were told "it's easy and loads of fun" to earn a whole 55 cents for every box of lovely All Occasion Greeting Cards you guilted er, sold to relatives, neighbors and friends! Or you could win valuable PRIZES from their Big Prize Catalog.

Psychedelic JSCACool stuff like Cadet Sleeping Bags, an Instant Load Flash Camera Outfit, a Tyco HO Train with Power Pack, a Portable Electric Mixer (??), a Deluxe 3 Speed Hi-Riser Bike (with Click Stick Shift!), or even this fashionable "Poodle Dog Radio" (although this particular model looks more like a "Poo Radio" to me):

Or how about these ultra-keen "Intercom Telephones"!!! Can you imagine being able to phone someone from anywhere in your home? Well, that is from anywhere close enough to plug them in, that is.

It was enticing alright.

And just look at those fresh faces... the girl with the bow in her hair, the clean-cut boy; both smiling at the fact that they could actually WIN a College Scholarship! Wouldn't your parents be so proud!

Yes, those were the early days of the J.S.C.A.

Then came the 70's and the J.S.C.A. wasn't so cool anymore. If they wanted to keep kids hooked, they had to change with the times.

It seems the clean-cut freckle-faced kids were replaced by Partridge-Family clones. The boy's hair lengthened, the sweater is gone, replaced by bell bottoms and a guitar. The girl is decked out in knee high boots and psychedelic duds. No more hair bow.

Surprisingly, the "prizes" didn't change all that much... except for something noticeably absent.

The J.S.C.A. no longer offered College Scholarships.

Reflecting the era of " Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out ", no doubt.


I never did join the J.S.C.A.

But I did want that groovy bike with the banana seat and high rise handlebars.

10 People would rather be commenting:

Irene said...

I'm glad you never joined that rotten club. You must have had some sense in that young head of yours.

Daisy said...

You can get lots of cool stuff from the back of comic books. Like Sea Monkeys! If you order some, I should tell you that they are not really monkeys.

Bruce Johnson said...

I can still remember when Bazooka Joe Bubble gum was only a penny......when it went to 2 cents, I knew my childhood had come to an end.

cherokeefox said...

I grew up in the 60's but don't remember the JSCA. But I did have a bike with a banana seat. It was pink and the seat was white with big groovy hippie flowers. I guess I rode a million miles on that bike.

feefifoto said...

My kids still want to fall for scams like these. They recite commercials to me verbatim and I feel like such a curmudgeon warning them that most of the ads they see on TV are complete exaggerations or fabrications.

Bart said...

I had a cool bike with a banana seat and high handle bars. As a kid of the seventies, I had the medium long hair and you wouldn't catch me outside without my groovy sloppy seventies cap on.

Man, my kids will die with laughter when they see those films/photos.

Ed & Jeanne said...

ps - You have been officially spoofed (Fri) on my blog. Boy did I have fun with your blog....

Janet said...

I was never in JSCA either, but I did have a bike with banana seat and monkey handlebars (as we called them)! And I thought David Cassidy or Bobby Sherman would marry me someday. *deflated sigh*

Swubird said...


Cool stuff, and a great job of researching everything. Of course, I go back a bit farther with the ads for body building (remember the skinny guy getting sand kicked in his face? That was me). Then there was always the x-ray glasses. When I was a skinny little kid I didn't really know what those thing. But gim-me a pair of those babies now--oh yeah baby!

Happy trails.

Maureen said...

The Gossamer Woman: Ha! Yeah, either me or my parents; I doubt they would have allowed me to join... which is a good thing.

Daisy: Oooh! I always wanted those Sea Monkeys! I really thought they came with crowns...

Bruce: Ah, yes. Bazooka Joe bubble gum. It was THE BEST. Although, the comics wrapped around them, were not.

CherokeeFox: I eventually got a banana seat and high rise handlebars too; but for my regular-sized bike. Not so cool...

FeeFiFoto: See? You're a good parent. They may be pissed now, but good for you for showing them that advertisers shouldn't take advantage of little kids.

Be.Bart: Awesome! Hide the photos now.

VE: You are incredible... I literally laughed out loud! OMG. Hilarious!!!!

Janet! Why am I not surprised! I loved David too! All my friends lusted after Donny Osmond; not me. I loved Cassidy.

Swubird: Ahahaha! Yes, I DO remember those ads too!

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