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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Whether you're buying for a child of the ‘60s or a Millennium baby, unique vintage gifts are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.

A perennial and inexpensive favorite, Silly Putty was created accidentally by a scientist looking for a replacement for rubber. This silicone polymer compouAdd Imagend was introduced to consumers in 1950. It bounces and stretches, and even comes in handy for more practical purposes such as cleaning cat hair off your favorite sweater or as a therapeutic stress buster. Packaged in a distinctive plastic egg and originally sold only in a coral color, today Silly Putty is available in 13 different colors, including metallic gold and bright shades of pink, orange, yellow and green.

Another unique vintage gift that came out of the 1950s is Gumby, the green creature that spun off from its own TV series to become a cultural icon. Created by Art Clokey and used in his stop-motion clay animation, the clay, stick-like man got his big break when he appeared on "The Howdy Doody Show," which was quickly followed up with a weekly series featuring sidekick Pokey and nemeses, the Blockheads. Today, Gumby merchandise is a favorite among toy collectors. Bendable figures are available along with stuffed dolls, key chains, mugs, video games and DVDs.

Similar to Gumby, the Mr. Bill Saturday Night Live doll also has its origins as a stop-motion clay animation production on a television series. Created as a parody of a children’s show and first aired on NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" on Feb. 28, 1976, the hapless Mr. Bill known for his high-pitched “Ohhhh nooooooo...” plea took on a life of his own and was featured in various advertising campaigns as well as his own live-action movie and television series. The popularity of the show led to merchandising including a Mr. Bill Saturday Night Live doll in plush and plastic bendable form.

Mr. Potato Head and related accessories are other unique vintage gifts sure to bring a smile. When Mr. Potato Head was originally introduced by Hasbro in 1952, it consisted of plastic body parts and accessories that could be stuck into a real potato or other vegetable, which the consumer supplied himself. Since then, the classic toy has expanded to include a plastic potato, various themed-accessory kits such as pirates, firemen, rock stars and popular movie characters including Indiana Jones, and even companions such as Mrs. Potato Head and Mr. Potato Head Spud Bud Pets.

by: Woodstock Candy


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