A Chuckle Is Worth Millions
Your non-typical Country Club conversation:
Mother 1: “I’m so proud my daughter is married to a Doctor”
Mother 2: “ My daughter is now married to a lawyer”
Mother 3: “So Sorry for you girls, my daughter is engaged to the Plastic Vomit heir.”
Plastic vomit? You ask. You know the stuff sometimes referred to as fake barf, but this is serious business. Invented by Marvin Glass and Associates, (does it really take “associates” to create such a product?) in the 1950’s, it has apparently has great staying power on the store shelves. Go ahead and laugh but then think about the number of people and families it directly impacts. There are the designers, engineers, mold makers, production workers , as well as wholesalers and salesmen that depend on it’s success. Marvin Glass was not a “one hit wonder” either as this was a followup to his very popular wind up Chattering Teeth toy, introduced in 1949.
Of course that got me thinking and traveling down that warped and twisted road that my mind tends to wander upon. With over 3.6 million results on Google for this product, apparently I’m not alone on this road.
With the proliferation of infomercials and must have gadgets we are bombarded with daily, how many of those will have the lasting impact of the great products that were featured in comic book ads from the 50’s-60’s-70’s? You know the ads, printed inside the back cover of the then Ten Cent comics. Ads that made novelty companies like SS Adams a familiar name to kids everywhere. I’m sure many of you have fallen prey to their slick talk and even purchased a few items.
Immediately a number of items come to mind:
The Whoopie Cushion (389,000 results on Google). The rubber device that never fails to bring laughs and embarrassment to a crowd. The original invented by the Jem Rubber Company in the early 1920’s is virtually unchanged over the years. There have been imitators and attempts to improve it but a basic flatulence device seems to be the most popular. So popular it has even spawned an Android and Apple App for it. Who would have thought? (You are going to check for that aren’t you?)
Then there was always the popular Fake Poop with 4,470,000 results on Google. Who spends that much time looking for that? With hundreds of variations available on the internet a lot of families are living off the success of poop products. I must have been absent the Career Day that little Suzie brought her dad, the Head of Poop production, to class. Hey somebody has the job!
The undisputed KING of the gag and novelty biz has got to be the ever popular Rubber Chicken. Dating back to the early 1900’s, the rubber chicken has no moving parts, does absolutely nothing other than supplying smiles wherever it shows up. Originally thought to be a prop in early vaudeville acts, the Rubber Chicken is basically unchanged after almost 100 years. With over 11 Million results on google it is a testament to sophomoric humor that we all must love. In fact one of the largest online retailers, Archie McPhee, was featured in Time Magazine’s “50 Coolest Websites”.
What strikes me as remarkable about these products is that they have survived literally unchanged through generations and are familiar to almost everyone. Chuckles, smirks and giggles, it seems, are ageless. Another remarkable fact is though these products cover a span and economy of 50to 60years, any of these items can be bought for under 4 Dollars!
I could go on as my mind continues on that twisted path and reminisce about the Dribble Glass, Joy Buzzer and my favorite, the X-Ray Glasses but I have Sea Monkeys to feed.