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Context

During the 1970s, confectioner and cakes maker Hostess advertised in major comic books. These were full-page comics starring Marvel and DC Comics characters (and Hostess products).

These ads were nonsensical and a parody of the most absurd aspects of Silver AgeSuper-hero comics from the late 1950s to the early 1970s comics. They’re still fondly remembered for their goofiness.

Some stories were terrible, such as this one. But heh, maybe somebody can find an interesting use for these characters.

(For decades the Ding-a-Lings were presented on writeups.org as individual profiles. Which was a bit silly. I finally took the time to make a group entry instead — Ed.).

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History

They appeared in “The Ding-a-Ling Family”. Which was in Avengers #167 among other places.

By some mysterious quirk of space and time warp, the Ding-a-Ling Family is thrust into Thor’s Asgardian orbit. The family leaves behind a trail of evil-doing on Earth.”

Grandma orders the charge, “Let’s git’em all, kin.”.

The Ding-a-Lings jump from their floating trailer to a spacefaring ark whose occupants include Thor, Sif and Volstagg.

Grandma spots the Thunder God, and says to her family, “By cracky, that purty, yella-haired fella’s the leader… let’s hornswoggle him and the rest’ll be a piece of cake…”

Ding-a-Ling family (Hostess Comics) surrounding Thor

Boardin’ action!

All the family members pile on, and Grandpa shouts, “Hold him still, so ah ken git a bead on ’im with my atomic shotgun.”.

Thor lashes out with Mjolnir, knocking all the Ding-a-Lings aside except for two. Cousin Bee and Cousin Bye resist the hammer blows due to their “cousin power”.

But the pair lets it slip that their power fades when they lose their concentration. So Sif brings out a tray of Hostess™ Fruit Pies.

Immediately, Bee and Bye lose interest in the Thunder God, focusing instead on the fruit-filled goodness. “You fools! We almost had the yella-haired one in our power! Dumb cousins!”, yells Granny.

Thor replies, “Forsooth, m’lady… not so dumb… they knoweth of yon delicious snack…”. As a final word, Sif and Volstagg say, “Now home to Odin. Be sure to save some Hostess Fruit pies for that great one to enjoy too!”.

Good idea. The All-Father can get pretty cranky when he doesn’t get any Hostess Fruit Pies.

Powers and Abilities

All the members of the Ding-a-Ling Family appear to be able to survive unprotected in space.

Grandpa states that his gun is an “atomic shotgun”. We’ll assume that the other shotguns are ordinary models.

Cousins Bee and Bye have a special “cousin-power”. It makes them both unusually resistant to harm… unless they lose their concentration.

Description

Sister has brown hair tied in a long braided ponytail, and wears a tattered yellow dress.

Pa has a mustache, and wears a brown cowboy hat, shirt and overalls.

Ma isn’t clearly visible.

Grandpa has a long gray beard and mustache. He wears a blue cowboy hat, blue patched-up overalls and a green flannel shirt.

Grandma is a shriveled-up old prune, with silver hair tied back in a bun, and a tattered lavender dress.

Brother has scraggly blond hair, a white shirt, and orange overalls.

Cousins Bee and Bye look identical, with scraggly brown hair, white shirts with the sleeves ripped off, and ragged brown pants.

None of the Ding-a-Lings wear shoes.

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Personality

The Ding-a-Lings attack by swarming opponents with their massive number.

Grandma is the leader, and barks out orders to the rest of her kin.

Of course, they all talk with a hillbilly accent, saying words like “hornswoggle” and “reckon”, etc.

DC Heroes RPG

Sister Ding-A-Ling

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04
Int: 02 Wil: 03 Min: 02
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03
Init: 012 HP: 010

Powers:

Sealed Systems: 15

Skills:

Martial Artist: 06, Weaponry (Firearms): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

Martial Artist also helps represent Sister’s ability at rasslin’. She can substitute the skill’s AP value for his AV/EV when determining Grappling Attacks.

Drawbacks:

Age (Young).

Equipment:

Side-by-side Shotgun [BODY 04, Shotgun blast (Range: 03): 06, Ammo: 02, Recommended STR: 02, R#03, Drawback: Long Reload].


Pa Ding-A-Ling

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 05
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 04
Init: 014 HP: 015

Powers:

Sealed Systems: 15

Bonuses and Limitations:

Martial Artist also helps represent Pa’s ability at rasslin’. He can substitute the skill’s AP value for his AV/EV when determining Grappling Attacks.

Skills:

Martial Artist: 06, Weaponry (Firearms): 07

Equipment:

Side-by-side Shotgun [BODY 04, Shotgun blast (Range: 03): 06, Ammo: 02, Recommended STR: 02, R#03, Drawback: Long Reload].


Ma Ding-A-Ling

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 04
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03
Init: 010 HP: 015

Powers:

Sealed Systems: 15

Skills:

Weaponry (Firearms): 04


GrandPa Ding-A-Ling

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 04
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 03
Inf: 04 Aur: 02 Spi: 04
Init: 010 HP: 020

Powers:

Sealed Systems: 15

Skills:

Gadgetry*: 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 08

Drawbacks:

Age (Old).

Equipment:

Atomic Shotgun [BODY 04, Energy Blast: 09, R#05].


GrandMa Ding-A-Ling

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 04
Inf: 07 Aur: 03 Spi: 06
Init: 014 HP: 030

Powers:

Sealed Systems: 15

Skills:

Charisma: 07, Weaponry (Firearms): 04, Military Science (Danger Recognition, Field Command)*: 06

Advantages:

Leadership.

Drawbacks:

Age (Old).


Brother Ding-A-Ling

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04
Int: 02 Wil: 03 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03
Init: 008 HP: 010

Powers:

Sealed Systems: 15

Skills:

Weaponry (Firearms): 06

Drawbacks:

Age (young).

Equipment:

Side-by-side Shotgun [BODY 04, Shotgun blast (Range: 03): 06, Ammo: 02, Recommended STR: 02, R#03, Drawback: Long Reload].


Cousin Bye Ding-A-Ling

Dex: 06 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 01 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Cosmic Hillbilly
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03
Init: 012 HP: 020

Powers:

Force Field: 20, Sealed Systems: 15

Bonuses and Limitations:

Bye’s Force Field Protects Power User Only. It expands a maximum distance of about a half inch from his body.

Skills:

Acrobatics (Climbing): 06, Martial Artist: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

Martial Artist also helps represent Bye’s ability at rasslin’. He can substitute the skill’s AP value for his AV/EV when determining Grappling Attacks.

Drawbacks:

CIA (Hostess™ Fruit Pies), Loss Vulnerability (Lack of concentration causes Bye’s Force Field power to drop to 0APs. Things that might cause his concentration to drop include character interaction attempts by others, suffering from his Irrational Attraction, etc.), Unluck.


Cousin Bee Ding-A-Ling

Exact same stats as Cousin Bye.

By Daryl Kuxhouse.

Source of Character: Hostess ads that appeared in Marvel comic books.