Category:
Toys

Anchor Stone Building Blocks

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Another weird old playtoy for building stuff. Very pricey on Ebay.

Wikipedia entry here.

A blog post here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 23, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Toys, Europe, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

Johnny Horizon

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"Mom, Dad--I want to grow up to be an EPA field-worker like Johnny Horizon!"

Such were the words probably never actually spoken in the early 1970s, when the icon of Johnny Horizon was launched by the BLM. But if any lad or lassie did utter such a wish, then they could have been placated with the Johnny Horizon Environmental Test Kit. Parker Brothers showed a little poindexter hard at work in their ads for the kit.

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Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 15, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Geeks, Nerds and Pointdexters, Government, Nature, Toys, 1970s

Miniature Grand Prix



This is what we did before video games.

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 02, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Games, Toys, 1960s, Cars

Action Man



For what started as a GI Joe ripoff, this toy seems to have evolved its own complex mythology. Not sure about propriety of "Bulletman," since that was and is a DC Comics character.

Full story here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 16, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Toys, 1960s, Europe

Newest Must Have Trend

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These creepy so called "God dolls" are a new popular trend coming out of Thailand. Not all of them have the disturbing third eye markings but all are supposed to be inhabited by a child's spirit. They are purported to bring good luck when loved and cared for. Because, yeah, that's where I hope kids spirits go, into a creepy doll to bring good luck to some yuppie jerk.

Posted By: patty - Fri Jan 29, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Gods, Toys, Myths and Fairytales

Little Brother

In 1967, Creative Playthings began selling the French-made "Little Brother" doll in America. It was an anatomically correct baby boy doll designed to encourage "acceptance of body differences."

However, some American mothers regarded the thing as an abomination and protested to have it removed from the market. Said one protester, "We believe children should not relate sex organs with play. We think this is carrying 'educational' playthings too far."

Cincinnati Enquirer - Nov 7, 1967

Ebony - Nov 1967


Frank Caplan, founder of Creative Playthings, with "Little Brother"
Newsweek - May 29, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 19, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Toys, 1960s

Atom Bomb Toys

Italian toy maker Brumm normally makes miniature models of fancy sports cars (Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, etc.). But in 2006, the company decided to release models of the "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They sold, at the time, for around $10 — but now go for around $36, if you can find any in stock.

When the company debuted them at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, the bomb models generated a lot of controversy. The media described them as "Atomic bombs for the children's bedroom," and critics said they were in poor taste.

The company defended itself, insisting that its intent was to "provide a small historical contribution so as not to forget what generated the worst catastrophe of the twentieth century” and that the bomb models were actually a protest "against the insanity of nuclear war."

Of course, these weren't the first atomic-weapon toys ever produced. See this earlier post: Make nuclear war in your own home.



Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 09, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Toys, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, Weapons

“Life-sized” Alien Facehugger & Egg

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Too bad this won't be available until April 2016. Imagine the screams of terror, as depicted, when your lucky first-grader opens this under the Xmas tree.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 20, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Aliens, Death, Toys, Children

Dying Pigs

In the first decade of the 20th century, "dying pigs" were the must-have toy that every kid wanted. They were rubber balloons shaped like pigs. You inflated them and then, as they deflated, they made a sound like the squeal of a dying pig.





The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Sep 17, 1905

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 09, 2015 - Comments (2)
Category: Toys, 1900s

The Z-Man, or Brain, Toy

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What was so distinctive about this toy? Early pre-silicon programability.

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Original article here.

Even more pix and info at this blog.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 04, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: Toys, AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Computers, 1950s

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Who We Are
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.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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