Ninja Day 2011: Ninja magazine and some of its awesome ads

Ninja Day Banner

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.

Ninja mag 13

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.

AWMA ad 1 AWMA ad 2

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.

Ninja uniforms 4 sale
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.


6 Responses to “Ninja Day 2011: Ninja magazine and some of its awesome ads”

  1. :O …so let me get this straight. Not only is there an entire day dedicated to being a ninja, but there’s a magazine as well?! That’s EPIC!

  2. You and I are truly brothers from other mothers. I caught hell from my mom for cutting the sleeves off of a black t-shirt. The sleeves, when placed over the mouth and nose and top of head, made a serviceable ninja cowl. With my trusty broomstick katana with electrical tape handle, I was a sight to behold.

  3. hobgoblin238 Says:

    I wish it were easy to track down these older publications. They are almost impossible to find!

  4. Jason Parker Says:

    I remember in 95 I saw an advertisement for a newsletter called Temple of the Ninja Ghost. I ordered and found some very interesting information. Does any one else remember this

  5. Earth Ninja? I just saw it. Here it is: “Earth Ninja, Destroyer of Evil” Ninja Magazine- April 1985- Issue #6. I had issue #13 it told you how they made ninja grenades and smoke bombs. Even chemicals to use to change the smoke different colors. I cant remember if it was this magazine that had an article on external iron palm. Picture showed a student splitting a flat smooth rock on the floor with this thumb. Is that article in issue #13?

  6. can you do magazine scans of ninja?

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