Category:
Toys

Diaper-Rash Doll



Jackson Sun - Oct 11, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 19, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Toys, 1970s

Digital Rubik’s Cube

A toy that seemed utterly immune to becoming digital...was not.

Review and details here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 12, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Technology, Toys

Three-Faced Doll

Introduced in 1961, her name was "Hedda-Get-Bedda." Twisting a knob changed her face from sick, to well, to sleepy.

I'm surprised no one ever came out with a similar, Exorcist-themed doll. She could have been happy, sleeping, or demonically possessed.



Allentown Morning Call - Sep 29, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 04, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Toys, 1960s

Suntan Suzy Doll

Suntan Suzy was a doll that would develop a tan if you put her in the sunlight. Back in the shade, her tan would fade. She came on the market in 1962, but lasted only one season. As far as I can tell, she was the only doll that has ever had the ability to tan.

Arizona Republic - Nov 23, 1962



image source: worthpoint



The chemistry responsible for producing the tanning effect is described in Patent No. 2,921,407 (Jan 19, 1960) – “Simulating Sunburning Toy Dolls and Figurines”:

0.5 gram of mercuric bis-dithizonate having the following structural formula was dissolved in 1000 grams of dioctyl phthalate.



1550 grams of a high molecular weight polyvinyl chloride polymer, in powdered form, were dispersed in this solution by stirring for ten to fifteen minutes. The latter material was specifically Bakelite Company QYNV polymer. Thus a plastisol formulation containing the phototropic dye dissolved in the liquid dioctyl phthalate (plasticizer phase) was obtained. About 120 grams of this plastisol formulation were then poured into a two piece steel mold, this having its inner surface previously coated with a silicone oil release film. This was then placed in an oven at 140 degrees centigrade and held at this temperature for eight minutes to allow solution of the polyvinyl chloride polymer phase. The mold and contents were then removed from the oven, cooled to room temperature, and the now solid form of the doll figure removed.

The figure thus produced was transparent and red in color. Upon exposure to sunlight a progressive darkening to a brown, then blue-black color occurred during a period of about three to four minutes, simulating a “sunburning” effect. When the doll was shielded from the sun a return to the original color took place, being visually complete after a period of eight to ten minutes. This action was repeatable with no detectable change in functional characteristics being noted after several dozen cycles.

It seems like an interesting gimmick for a doll. Curious it never caught on.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 07, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Toys, 1960s

Fly-Operated Turtle

Patent No. 1,591,905, granted to Oscar C. Williams of San Diego, CA in 1926, described this curious device.

It was a toy turtle. Its body was made of wood or aluminum, while the head, legs, and tail were made from lightweight cork. The user was supposed to insert several flies into the hollow body of the turtle. Their agitations once inside, as they sought to escape, would then cause the movable parts of the turtle to wag from side to side, as if the creature was alive.

I can see several drawbacks. First, you would have to catch some flies and maneuver them (alive) into the turtle. This was done by squeezing them through the leg hole. Handling a fly in this way seems like it could be a challenge.

And once in there, I imagine you'd have to wait until the flies died to get them back out. So, essentially, it was a fly torture device.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 22, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Insects, Inventions, Toys, 1920s

The Gay Bob Doll



Read the whole story here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 22, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Toys, 1970s, LGBT

Thuggies Dolls

Introduced in 1993, Thuggies were dolls that came with a "rap sheet". As described in the Philadelphia Daily News (Feb 3, 1993):

Carolyn Clark claims that playing with make-believe crooks helps young children avoid becoming real one. To that end, Clark and her partner, Rennie Resmini, both Philadelphians, have designed “Thuggies,” a line of 17 dolls.

Each comes packaged in a cardboard “jail cell” with a “rap sheet” describing his or her crime — and the penalty being paid. For instance, “Bonnie Ann Bribe” is said to be serving time by reading to senior citizens an hour a day. Bonnie, who did not read in first grade, wanted to bribe her way through school. “Dwight Collared Grimes,” who wears a pin-striped suit and a tie and, according to his rap sheet, used to have his hand in other people’s cookie jars, is said to be “presently on cookie-baking duty.”

According to Clark, the positive effect of cuddling these criminals comes from the notion that the doll’s young owner plays a role in “reforming” them. She explained that the dolls, expected to cost about $35 each, have a report card that explains what they have to do to go straight.




Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 17, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Toys, 1990s

Mining Accident Dolls

In 1922, the Bureau of Mines created a series of educational dolls to illustrate common mining injuries, and how they should be dealt with in an emergency. The dolls were exhibited at various mining centers. According to Popular Mechanics (Sep 1929) the dolls were also "intended to serve as a safety warning.”

As far as I know, there's never been a Mining Accident Barbie (or Ken).

Popular Mechanics - Sep 1929

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 10, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Accidents, Toys, 1920s

Juvenile Offender

Throw the book at her!

Source.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 21, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Crime, Toys, Children, 1930s, Postal Services

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

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