Matchbooks are excellent promotional items, and are highly collectible. My father collected matchbooks, mostly from restaurants. The excellent collectibles website, Collectors Weekly, has a nice article on vintage matchbooks here:
The idea of using matchbooks to promote comic books seems a little odd by modern standards, even if the comics in question were targeted to a more mature audience. Was it a common practice? The seller I acquired this matchbook from had almost nine hundred matchbooks for sale, and this was the only one from Harvey Comics. This could mean not many were printed, or it could mean not many have survived. If anyone knows anything more about Harvey Comics using matchbooks as promotional items, feel free to leave comments below.
The matchbook itself does not have a date on it, but the artwork is remarkably clear. A little searching in the Grand Comics Database revealed that the main image is First Love Illustrated #4 from August of 1949, while the two issues on back are First Romance Magazine #2 and True Love Problems and Advice Illustrated #3 from October of 1949. That makes this matchbook the oldest item in the Harvey Mercheum permanent collection, taking the title from the Casper the Friendly Ghost game. I think going back in Harvey Comics history another ten years is a great way to end this year.