When I was in elementary school I used to stay over at my friend Tim's house a lot. Tim had two much older brothers and all of their old, cool stuff Tim had just sort of inherited as they grew out of it. This included things like original Star Wars figures and obscure board games. My favorite thing that Tim had were these little collected Spy vs Spy paperbacks. I can't remember how many he had, a few at the least. Everything about them appealed to me.
Both Tim and I were really into the 1960s tv program Get Smart, which had recently started airing on Nick-at-Nite. It also seemed like the 1960s Bond movies were constantly playing on cable TV. Spy stuff was cool. I also loved the sort of Rube Golderberg style of the Spys' traps for each other, and that so often the Spys would end up destroying each other. That stuff was so funny to me.
I was too young to really understand the comments on nuclear destruction and the cold war. To me they were just this cool, funny thing that my friend had. I don't even think I'd seen an actual Spy vs Spy in Mad magazine. Growing up I was into Cracked magazine, not Mad (because Cracked wasn't as popular as Mad). I remember just pouring over these things all the time at Tim's house while he played Nintendo or did stuff on his Amiga.
Overtime I've collected five of the paperbacks for myself. I think there are a few later ones I'm missing. I've just picked these up as I've found them at thrift stores and garage sales.