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Archive for the ‘Toys – Tricks and Jokes’ Category

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Fake Vomit

Posted by Big Boo on June 29th, 2011

Fake VomitI hope you’re not eating your dinner whilst reading this one (and if you are, what are you doing on the computer whilst eating anyway – you’ll get food in the keyboard).

Fake vomit or Trick Sick (not to be confused with Trick Stick) is one of those joke toys that kids always find highly amusing for some reason, a bit like fake dog poo.

Made from plastic and made to look, well, like sick (complete with “carrot chunks”) the idea is to shock and disgust adults by placing said item in a strategic place (e.g. in the middle of your Mum’s brand new living room carpet).

Sadly I’ve no fascinating tale related to fake “technicolour yawns” of my own to relate, but a great one is that told by Chunk to the Fratellis in The Goonies. He says about going to the cinema and making vomiting sounds before throwing some fake puke into the audience, which caused a mass vomiting session in the cinema. Funny, though perhaps not so funny had you been in the audience in question!

So if the inner child inside of you still feels like playing a practical joke of this manner (perhaps your Mum has just had another new carpet fitted and it would be a good repeat gag?) you can get hold of your very own plastic sick from Silly Jokes.

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Spud Guns

Posted by Big Boo on March 16th, 2011

Spud GunWhen I was growing up I had a number of different types of toy guns. I had a wooden pop gun, which fired a lump of cork attached to the gun with a string, and made a great popping noise in the process.

I also had a plastic machine gun that made a rat-a-tat-a-tat type sound when you pulled the trigger, and I had a couple of brilliant cowboy style pistols (I guess mine was the last generation of kids to regularly play Cowboys and Indians!) which you could load up with those pink strips of paper caps, so the gun made a loud bang whenever you pressed the trigger.

The toy gun that I always wanted to have though was a Spud Gun, but my parents would never let me have one, saying it was too dangerous. “How could firing a small lump of potato be dangerous?“, I thought at the time, but now that I’m a parent myself I can see where they were coming from.

Read more…

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Baking Powder Submarines

Posted by Big Boo on November 8th, 2010

Baking Powder SubmarineHere’s an example of one of those silly little throw away toys that you sometimes got as a free gift with packets of breakfast cereal. The Baking Powder Submarine was a thing of awe the first time you saw it in action, though chances are you never bothered to play with it again afterwards…

At first glance it was little more than a plastic submarine around 6cm in length, but open it up and fill the little compartment inside with baking powder, then pop it in a sink full of water, and the little submarine would astound you by repeatedly sinking to the bottom, then rising back to the surface, until it’s fuel load was depleted.

Whilst it seemed magical, it was of course a fairly simple chemical reaction causing this behaviour. At first the sub is too heavy to be supported by the water, so it sinks to the bottom. The baking powder starts to react with the water and lets off a gas (carbon dioxide I believe), forming bubbles on the underside of the sub. These bubbles want to rise to the surface, so they carry the submarine back up, popping when they reach the surface and so the sub starts to drop again.

These toys were initially produced in the 1950’s (funnily enough as breakfast cereal give aways) but I distinctly remember getting one out of a packet of some cereal or other when I was a kid during the Eighties. I believe there was also another variation on the theme given away, in the form of a little plastic SCUBA diver.

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Stink Bombs

Posted by Big Boo on June 23rd, 2010

stink bombsThere were (and still are) a number of fun practical jokes you can get, such as Snappy Gum and the good old Whoopee Cushion, but there were also some rather more unpleasant ones, such as the subject of today’s post – the Stink Bomb.

A Stink Bomb does exactly what it says it does. It makes a terrible smell. Usually coming as little glass tubes containing a yellowish liquid, to use them you simply dropped them on a hard floor so they smashed, releasing the liquid which would then react with the air to make an awful stench, normally either like bad eggs or perhaps like bodily functions…

This was the kind of prank you really didn’t want to have played on you! I’m happy to say I never was the victim, nor was anyone I know, but I have experienced there effect, or at least I believe I have.

When I was a kid my parents would often take us to a shopping centre in the nearest big town to where we lived – The Butts Centre in Reading (since renamed The Broad Street Mall). The Butts Centre still had a very late sixties/early seventies feel to it when I was young, with orange and brown signs and decor in the public areas.

The centre was on two levels, with most of the big, well known shops on the ground floor. The second floor was comprised of more local independent shops, and sadly didn’t see as much footfall, so it became a bit of a spot for bored older kids to hang out with their mates.

I distinctly remember one time we went up to this floor to look in a little arts and crafts type shop, but on riding the escalator up to the top level we found ourselves holding our noses as it truly did smell like rotten eggs. I think we ended up spending five minutes in the shop then heading straight back down the escalator!

Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Fake Dog Poo

Posted by Big Boo on April 19th, 2010

fake dog pooWhen you’re a kid there’s something strangely funny about bodily functions, so whoever came up with the idea of making fake plastic dog poo was certainly on to a winner. It might be disgusting to us adults (although I’m sure a wry smile came over your face when you saw the picture) but every kid would simply go mad over their own piece of plastic dog doings.

If you happened to have a dog this cheap trick was a great way of getting your Mum all worked up with the dog. Simply place it somewhere in the house (carpet was always the best, as it would be the hardest to clean if it had been real dog poo) and wait for your Mum to discover it and start telling off the dog.

From a distance this toy was surprisingly realistic, and it even had that classic dog poo shape, all twisted round on itself like the dog had been wiggling its backside about whilst it did its business.

The good news is for all you childish pranksters out there, you can still get hold of this joke item. Once such place is the Stocking Fillers website.

And whilst were on the subject of dog poo (and sorry to be disgusting – I hope you’re not eating your tea) but has anybody noticed any of that white dog poo these days. I always remember seeing the odd piece of white dog poo in grass verges on the way to school, and wondered why it was it was white. To this day I don’t know what caused this phenomenon (maybe I imagined it) but I guess with people (quite rightly) expected to clean up after their dogs these days the chances of spotting any are slim – but maybe that’s a good thing…

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Trick Stick

Posted by Big Boo on March 1st, 2010

trick stickHere’s a nice obscure one for you. So obscure in fact that I ended up having to create my own image to go with this post!

The Trick Stick was a rod of yellow plastic, about 3 feet long, with a big red ball of plastic on each end. Attached to the middle of the rod was a length of thin plastic cord, which had a ring on the other end. Sound exciting, doesn’t it? You slipped the ring on your finger and voila, you became a master magician, able to make a plastic stick seemingly float in the air around you!

The idea was obviously based on the floating wand tricks performed by many stage magicians over the years, but being made of primary coloured plastic it never looked quite as cool as a magicians black cane. Couple that with the fact that getting the stick to do anything that looked remotely realistic was near impossible, and you end up with a toy that severely failed to deliver on the promises of the TV advert.

Yep, on TV the person demonstrating it could do more than just spin it round their arm. This guy made it float between his hands and whizz around his head, things which were really not a good idea to attempt in the comfort of your own home, unless you liked having a lot of broken ornaments and a smashed TV set, which is what you wanted to do with the Trick Stick the next time the advert came on.

In the end, after trying to look all mystical with it and failing miserably, my Trick Stick normally ended up being held in the middle and spun round and round as fast as I could get it to go, like a majorette twirling her baton in a carnival procession. It wasn’t even very good at that though, as you had to watch that you didn’t get whipped in the eye by the plastic cord and ring.

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Pop Up Toys

Posted by Big Boo on October 23rd, 2009

pop up toyHere’s another of those pocket money toys that I’m sure you had as a kid, but which you’ve since forgotten all about. Pop Up Toys!

The Pop Up Toy, for want of a better name, was a fun little toy packed with suspense! OK, maybe that makes it sound a bit too exciting but they were fun. They consisted of a round plastic base that had a shaft running vertically upwards. A spring was placed onto the shaft, and on top of that a rubber suction cup.

The whole thing was finished off with some weird and wacky plastic creation of some kind, which could literally be anything, although creatures that jump were always a good bet, such as insects or kangaroos, or perhaps Zebedee from the Magic Roundabout.

To set the toy you push down on the top so the suction cup came into contact with the plastic base and held the whole thing together. The spring would cause the suction cup to slowly come unstuck, until suddenly the whole thing leapt into the air, ably demonstrating Newton’s Third Law.

I thought these little toys had all but disappeared but you can still get one with a bright yellow smiley face on top for the just fifty pence from Stocking Fillers. Funnily enough, they make quite good stocking fillers!

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Whoopee Cushions

Posted by Big Boo on January 6th, 2009

whoopee cushionHere’s another classic from the old jokes and tricks rotatey display thingy that toy shops and newsagents often used to have. The humble Whoopee Cushion was always to be found somewhere within the selection of snappy gum, hot boiled sweets and fake plastic vomit.

The Whoopee Cushion was very simply intended to raise laughs from that comedy basic – human flatulence.  Resembling a balloon (but made from thicker rubber that always looked like it was covered in a fine powder for some reason) you simply inflated it and placed it on a chair for some unwitting victim to sit down on.

Somehow the end of the Whoopee Cushion stayed sealed, keeping the air inside, until pressure was applied to the main balloon part.  This caused the air to escape through the neck, which vibrated to make the distinctive sound of air escaping from down below, although thankfully not the smell which this process also often involves.

A simple prank, the most amusing thing to me was the picture of the fat lady sitting down in the chair, with a little speech bubble coming out of it saying “poo!”.  I’m pleased to say some things do stay the same, as you can still get Whoopee Cushions with the same image adorning them from Stocking Fillers!