There were some strange things available to play with when you were a kid, weren’t there? Who would have thought that a blob of brightly coloured red putty could keep kids both amused and baffled for hours?
I have no idea what Silly Putty is actually made of, but it certainly had a wide range of characteristics depending on how you handled it. The first conundrum it presented was its malleability. It came in an egg shaped blob initially, but using fairly gentle pressure it was possible to shape it however you wished. Try to mould it with too much pressure (for example, by hitting it with a hammer) and it retained its shape completely.
It was also a great toy for teaching scientific principles. Pop it in a bowl of water whilst in a ball and it would sink to the bottom, but flatten it out and it would float. Its shape also determined its elasticity, and when rolled into a ball it would bounce higher than your average dense rubber ball.
Its final strange property was the ability to use it like an eraser to remove pencil marks, but you could also roll it over newspapers to pick up the ink, although admittedly with some newspapers your fingers can do just a good job of that.
Silly Putty was great fun and was one of those cool pocket money toys that you could afford to buy on a whim. Even better news, it’s still available today from our friends at Seven Again, and I reckon it would make a great executive stress release toy to fiddle with at the office.