Category:
Toys

Growing Up Skipper

In the Barbie family, Skipper is Barbie's younger sister. The 1975 version of her included the unusual feature that moving her arm caused her to experience "plastic puberty" (as one reporter put it). From wikipedia:

In 1975 Growing Up Skipper was released. The gimmick of the doll, which led to much controversy in the newspapers, was that if Skipper's arm was rotated, the doll would become an inch taller and small breasts would appear on her rubber torso. This concept was later used for Mattel's My Scene brand in 2007 with the "Growing Up Glam" line, which was also controversial.



Appleton Post-Crescent - Dec 19, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 19, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Toys

The Bubble Hat



More pix and info here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 09, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Eccentrics, Toys, Headgear, 1950s

Bugs for Dolls

From the Pittsburgh Press - Oct 23, 1938:

BUGS FOR DOLLS
Dead Crickets Are Toys in China

In China, where life is hard and patience strong, the toy man is a favorite of old and young. On the streets of Peiping he displays his wares and children flock to see — and if they have pennies — to buy. A set of his most fascinating wares are fashioned from skins of dead crickets, dressed up to satirize the many street vendors in the ancient city.


"This cricket has been mounted to represent a vendor of flowers and plants."



"These crickets represent a barber shaving a customer."



"Barbers bring their trade to the customer in China. They carry their 'shops' on long poles which they balance on one shoulder. Above is a Chinese cricket-barber carrying his tools along the street, offering to shave the head of any he meets."



"Bicycles fill the streets of Peiping. Hence the toy-man's set would be incomplete without a cricket astride a wheel."

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 10, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Toys, 1930s

Chilly Bang! Bang! Squirt Gun

The brief, controversial product life of the Chilly Bang! Bang! juice-filled squirt gun. Kids put the gun barrel in their mouth and squeezed the trigger to enjoy a refreshing squirt of juice.

First sales were halted because the plastic tab at the end of the barrel was deemed a choking hazard. Then in 1991 it was banned outright. New York Senator Nicholas Spano noted, "The last thing we should teach our children is to put gun barrels in their mouths."



Democrat and Chronicle - Aug 30, 1989



Democrat and Chronicle - Sep 6, 1989



The Ithaca Journal - May 18, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 13, 2017 - Comments (8)
Category: Toys, 1990s

1960s Marx Presidents Set



Gee, I wonder why they quit adding new presidents after LBJ?


More info here.




Original ad here.

ADDENDUM: WU-vie GES seems to have found a Nixon figure from the final incarnations of this set.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 05, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Politics, Toys, 1960s

Patty Prayer Doll





Posted By: Paul - Tue Dec 06, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Religion, Toys, 1970s

Kenner’s Scottie Bagpipe

Introduced by Kenner in 1962, this plaid-patterned vinyl bag attached to a plastic flute allowed kids to play "exciting bagpipe effects." You need to watch the short video to appreciate the true horror of the sounds this thing created. Guaranteed to drive parents insane in mere seconds.








Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 07, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Music, Toys, 1960s

Plasticville, USA

image

Original ad here.

With no trace of modern irony, Plasticville USA was once deemed a grand name for an imaginary town. Somehow I can hear a beatnik of the era saying, "Plasticville, man, that's for squares!"

Wikipedia entry here.

More info and some great pictures on this page.

More images via Google.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 23, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Toys, Urban Life, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1940s, 1950s

Kenner Easy Care Manicure Set





Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 21, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Cosmetics, Stereotypes and Cliches, Toys, Children, 1970s

Milka Moo

Introduced in 1948, the "Milka Moo" toy cow had a rubber udder that, when squeezed, would squirt out real milk.

It was one of the many inventions of Beulah Louise Henry (aka Lady Edison). Her inventions made her rich, but she was considered a bit of an eccentric. She lived in New York hotels along with "three sizeable live turtles, a dozen tropical fish, a school of snails and other flora and fauna."

Des Moines Register - Mar 14, 1948



St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Dec 5, 1948



The Indianapolis Star - Aug 21, 1948

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 03, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Toys, 1940s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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