11/26/05 -  Part 5 will cover one of two additional inserts that were included in Marvel comics sold at overseas military exchanges.  The first was the Mennen insert wrap...

Military Insert Mania - Part 5

Marvel Inserts

-The Mennen Wrap-

July 1973

In addition to the National Diamond Sales (NDS) and Mark Jewelers (MJ) inserts included in Marvel comics, there were a couple of other unique ad supplements directed at overseas military personnel.  The first is what has become to be known as the Mennen insert wrap. 

The wrap is not found in the centerfold like the NDS/MJ inserts.  The ad was placed directly behind the front and back covers on similar slick paper.  The ad campaign lasted exactly one month and can be found in Marvel comics cover dated July 1973.

Page 1 and 2 contained a Mennen sponsored  "Live Like a Millionaire" sweepstakes directed at military personnel hence the name associated with these inserts.   Military members were asked to fill out a coupon and mail it in to enter.  The Grand Prize was an all expenses paid vacation on the Italian Rivera.  Included was a private villa, servants, meals, and $1700 worth of Italian Lira (approx 1 Mil).  Sounded like a great time.  Other prizes such as motorcycles, golf clubs, and shavers were offered for those unlucky enough not to win the Grand Prize.

Page 3 advertised mail order albums and 8-track tapes from 1955 to 1971.  This same ad was used in early NDS inserts.  

Page 4 contained a membership ad for Pentagon Federal Credit Union.  In fact, branch offices can still be found on most overseas facilities.  On a personal note, I refuse to use them and tell anyone that'll listen not to give them their money as they conveniently kept my wife's money when she and I left a European assignment in the early 90s.  Despite repeated attempts to get her money, and being stonewalled throughout, we finally dropped the matter (it wasn't that much money) as the irritation wasn't worth it... 

Below is an example of the Mennen insert wrap taken from Kull the Conqueror #9 July 1973.  Click on thumbnail scans for a bigger view of each page.  The same insert was used throughout all Marvel titles...

Mennen Insert Page 1 Mennen Insert Page 2

Mennen Insert Page 3 Mennen Insert Page 4

The Mennen inserts can be found in the following comics (I've confirmed those with an asterisk as having the insert):

Amazing Adventures #19 *

Amazing Spider-Man #122 *

Avengers #113 *

Beware #3

Captain America #163 *

Captain Marvel #27 *

Chamber of Chills #5

Conan the Barbarian #28 *

Creatures on the Loose #24

Crypt of Shadows #4

Daredevil #101

Fantastic Four #136 *

Frankenstein Monster #4

Hero for Hire #11 *

Incredible Hulk #165 *

Iron Man #60

Jungle Action #5

Kid Colt Outlaw #172

Kull the Conqueror #9 *

Marvel Feature #10 *

Marvel Premiere #9 *

Marvel Team-Up #11 *

Marvel's Greatest Comics #43 *

Marvel Super-Heroes #37 *

Mighty Marvel Western #25 *

Rawhide Kid #113

Red Wolf #8

Ringo Kid #21

SGT Fury and his Howling Commandos #112 *

Special Marvel Edition #11 *

Sub-Mariner #63 *

Thor #213 *

Tomb of Dracula #10 *

Two Gun Kid #111

War is Hell #4 *

Werewolf by Night #7

Western Gunfighters #16 *

Where Monsters Dwell #22

Worlds Unknown #2

Again, the Mennen insert can only be found in Marvels cover dated July 1973.  The inserts were not carried in other companies' comics such as DC or Gold Key.  Also, if the comic has the insert it should have a MJ cardboard insert in the centerfold.  Comics shouldn't have one or the other.  Comics missing one or the other is an incomplete comic in my opinion and should be treated as missing a page.  I have a couple of theories on why this is.  One found without the MJ insert was probably pulled out by a GI for ease of reading.  The cardboard inserts can make reading the comic awkward.  One without the Mennen insert was probably pulled by a comic collector or dealer due to the GI actually cutting out the coupon to enter the sweepstakes.  Pulling the insert out eliminates the stigma of having a comic with a coupon missing and increases it's price in the marketplace.  Remember, both should be stapled in the comic...

The Mennen insert wouldn't be the last ad campaign of this type targeting military members.  Just three months later we would see another insert wrap used in Marvels.  The Alka Seltzer or US Club insert.  And that'll be the focus of Part 6...