Remember Sea-Monkeys? The white flaky powder, resembling a bag of head lice, that came in packets to be added to water and watched as they hatched to become a faithful and semi-visible friend forever. One of the best marketing schemes in the history of selling, still being sold today and rivaled only by the pet rock, Harold von Braunhut amassed a fortune advertising and peddling his shitty, gimmicky, half-assed novelties. We, Мишка, even used his Kiyoga Agent M5, spring-loaded baton advertisement as the basis for one of our very early tee designs.
Maybe I’m being a little too harsh on the dead conman, he passed away in 2003, but I bet most of you mail-order item collectors, I know you’re out there reading this, didn’t know that Mr. Braunhut, the mastermind behind selling ocean debris to kids as “sea-monkeys,” wasn’t just advertising in the back of your daddy’s Superman comics. He took out ads in Aryan Nation newsletters, white power publications, and other anti-semitic magazines throughout his working life. The clincher is that he was born Jewish, becoming a self-loathing supporter of fascist ideals and donating a percentage of his profits to keep the hate-machine going strong.
The Awl has conducted a really interesting, full investigation into the secret life of inventor, Harold von Braunhut with the whole story available to read here. To think that as you were anticipating the birth of your brine shrimp, their creator was funding the rise of a white, supreme race.- Casper