Man from U.N.C.L.E. Spy Pen Advertisement, Circa 1966

Here’s an advertisement for a Spy-Pen toy based on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. that was published in the October 1966 issue of Marvel’s The Avengers comic book. Specifically, issue #35. The advertisement features Robert Vaughn, David McCallum and Leo G. Carroll and offers the ability to “see” through walls.

The Spy-Pen was “developed by the German Secret Service in World War II” and is “used by Interpol” and features “three precision ground lenses, not just two like some imitations.” Apparently, it can see around corners and photographs can be taken through it. All for just $1.98 plus 27 cents shipping and handling.

Scan of an advertisement for a toy Spy-Pen based on The Man from UNCLE
Advertisement for Man from U.N.C.L.E. Spy Pen
Copyright © Vista Publications, Inc., 1966

Does anyone still have their Spy-Pen?

2 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Even though this ad sounds tempting (“Gosh, autographed pictures of ‘Solo’ and ‘Illya’ AND a book on “spy secrets”!! Maybe I can infiltrate the girls’ locker room using the pen and some of those ‘secrets’!!”), I suspect that after receiving the package, and seeing what the “Spy-Pen” actually looked like, someone might have said, “Hey, you were gypped!!! Those signatures on the photos are RUBBER-STAMPED!!!”. Always beware of a mail-order comic book item that costs $2.25 [including the 27 cents for “shipping”]….and if anyone still has one of those “Spy-Pens” almost 45 years after they sent away for it, I’m sure they’d tell you the same thing…..

  • OM says:

    …These spy pens show up at comic book conventions every now and then. The sales “gimmick” is to include a copy of a comic book the item was advertised in. I’ve actually seen *American Seeds* sold like this; someone found a box of them that had been sitting in the garage for a few decades, and the novelty was such that he managed to sell the comics for almost double guide.

    Hey, they don’t call it “disposable income” without a reason…

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