It has successfully creeped up on us again this year, ready to slit our throats. It’s Ninja Day 2011.
Today I’m going to look at the vintage magazine called Ninja that was on the racks in the mid 80s during America’s ninja craze. I owned many of these magazines and they were awesome, yet poorly made at the same time. However, there was lots of awesomely deadly things that were only a mail order catalog away.
Here is what a typical issue of Ninja magazine looked like. This is Ninja #13 from 1986.
Covers were typically artists’ conceptions of ninjas doing awesome ninja things. Inside featured articles on specific aspects of ninjas like meditation, a specific ninja weapon or a fighting style like “close quarters” fighting. There were also feature articles on types of ninjas. I remember an issue that featured women ninjas or another series of articles focusing on “elemental ninjas”. “Elemental ninjas” included the “Fire Ninja”, the “Water Ninja” and the “Wind Ninja”. I have all three of these issues. However, I have to wonder if there was a fourth issue featuring the “Earth Ninja”. There had to be. I’m going to have to track that one down. Anyway, I’ll have an article discussing the Fire, Wind and Water ninjas in the future because I love this concept.
One of the best things about these magazines was the cover paintings. They mostly featured ninjas straight up murdering people with swords and ninja stars. And I bought all of these mags off the rack. At a supermarket. When I was like 11 years old. I loved the 80s.
Anyway, let’s take a look at a few ads from Ninja magazine that I coveted.
These Asian World of Martial Arts ads were in nearly every issue of the magazine. They were often times found on the back cover. As you can see, they were colorful and awesome. I wanted the stuff in these ads so bad. As you can see, they sell mostly deadly ninja weapons. Nunchuks, throwing stars, sai and even the deadly katana blade. I mean, this stuff was BAD ASS. And these weren’t fakes, these weapons could actually kill you. I can’t believe you could buy them through the f**king mail. I knew a kid at the time that got one of those ninja stars. HE BROUGHT IT TO SCHOOL! That’s just insane. Yes, in the 80s, kids brought real ninja weapons to school. We were that awesome.
So while the ninja weapons were on my hard core ninja want list, this ad features the one I REALLY wanted. The holy grail. And I lusted after it in every issue. I wanted so bad to send away for this suit. You can’t really tell the quality from this ad, but I didn’t care. It was a ninja suit. For $39.95 ($24.95 for kids). And I could not convince my dad to get it for me. No amount of begging, cajoling, promising to do extra chores. Nothing worked. So I had to become a “sweatsuit ninja” like most other kids around the world. Never was I to have my own “official” ninja suit. Oh, the memories this ad has kicked up from the darkness.
So, yes, Ninja magazine was awesome. I’ll do a more in depth article about it later, I just thought I’d share with you a few fun ads from the magazine today, the day of the deadly ninja, 2011.
Have a good Ninja Day everyone.