Thursday, November 11, 2010

Puppy Surprise! There could be 3 or 4 or 5!

I think weird toys, like really weird ones, are usually a flash in the pan, because they're too weird for people to be excited about for long. When some suit at Hasbro or Mattel or whatever greenlights the prototype for some really strange thing, I assume the marketing department realizes it has a very short amount of time to infect the minds of the young with upbeat ads starring really excited blonde girls and a lot of pink. Because it won't be long before even the kids who were really excited get over their bamboozlement, look at what they got for Christmas, and think "What is this thing?"

Behold, the Shampoodle
 I have that particular thought whenever I open the bathroom cupboard in my parents' house and find my old Shampoodle. Maybe (probably) you've never heard of a Shampoodle. If you haven't here's how it works: that dog tag is actually a little lid to the hole in her neck. Every Shampoodle has had a tracheotomy so that you can take the little cup that comes with it, fill the cup with the right ratio of shampoo to water, and pour the mix into the Shampoodle's neck. Then you have to squeeze its stomach over and over until suds form and eventually start bubbling out of the small holes in its scalp. Sometimes you had to squeeze for a long time and it felt like it was never going to start coming out of its head, as I remember. Then you sculpt the glob of bubbles on top of its head with this little comb that came with it, as though it were an updo. Boom. Shampoodle. Honest to God, this was a real thing. I played with it a lot.
Less weird but maybe slightly more upsetting was Puppy Surprise.

My favorite part is when they pat and squeeze the pregnant dog's stomach to try to count the puppies inside, just as you would with a live pregnant dog. I also like how into the jingle the lead singer girl sounds.

I had this toy, too. Except that I had "Cub Surprise," one exactly like this one here. How did I find this picture? I googled it and found the website Ghost of the Doll, a database of 80s dolls and toys, I'm assuming for collectors. I'm not sure whether to be excited or creeped out by this. Anyway, Bear Surprise was a plush animal with a weird plastic bear face instead of a weird plastic dog face. And she had orifice...along her spine instead of roughly where an mammal's vagina would be. And she had three cubs, not four or five, which was pretty disappointing, even though the ad had told me the odds going in. It was my first lesson in gambling. They were basically little beanbags with plastic heads. But they were all different. I actually remember that she had two girls and one boy. Or one beanbag with a blue ribbon and two with pink. One of the girls looked really unhappy, and I was never sure how to feel about that. I think I ultimately decided that since she'd come out that way, it was the mother's fault. Anyway, I also played with my Bear Surprise a lot. I didn't spend a lot of time putting the cubs back into her womb and taking them out again, because, well, that part was pretty fucking weird.

There isn't too much more to say about these toys, other than wow. That existed. In summation, here's this picture.

Sooooo cute!

1 comment:

Normand said...

Puppy Surprise! There could be 3 or 4 or 5! I think weird toys, like really weird ones, are usually a flash in the pan, because they're too weird for ...

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