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Fuzzy Felt

Posted by Big Boo on November 27th, 2008

I remember having loads of fun as a child with Fuzzy Felt sets.  They consisted of a board with a slightly rough flock surface, and a wide variety of shapes cut out from different colours of felt.  Pictures and scenes could then be constructed by laying the pieces of felt on the board where they would be held in place until you peeled them off to put them somewhere else.  It really was such a simple toy, yet it could keep me amused for hours!

The felt shapes in a set usually consisted of a mixture of simple geometric shapes such as squares and circles, various different sized curves and, depending on the theme of the Fuzzy Felt set in question, silhouettes of people, animals and other objects.  The shapes of people were often split into legs, bodies and legs so you could create people wearing different coloured clothes.

Between myself and my sister I think we must have had three or four different Fuzzy Felt sets, the simplest consisting of just a black coloured board and loads of different brightly coloured shapes which could be put together to make much larger pictures of just about anything.  I also remember having us having a farmyard set, with felt tractors, hens, lambs and the like.  I seem to recall this set may have had little round felt circles with different faces printed on to make the human characters a little more realistic.  I also had a Wild West set, full of cowboys and wigwams (Hmm, I wonder if kids still play Cowboys and Indians these days?).

Fuzzy Felt was not a product of the 1980’s however.  The first Fuzzy Felt set was created by Lois Allan in 1950, the inspiration for the toy apparently coming from cutting felt gaskets for tanks during World War II.  I’m not sure exactly which anniversary it is celebrating, but there is a wonderful bumper set of Fuzzy Felt available on Amazon for less than a tenner which contains around 500 different felt pieces for you to get creative with.

The official Fuzzy Felt Website is also worth a look, with a number of computerised Fuzzy Felt images for you to create and a more in depth discussion on the toys history and its creator.

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