Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Geneaology of Weebles

I remember playing with Weebles, those plastic, egg-shaped toys when I was a kid.  I might have even had a play set to go with them, and I'm sure they got tossed around the house and the yard.  They were pretty much  indestructible, and sure enough you could tip them over and they would pop back up.

I never thought too deeply about them, and in a kid-centric sort of way, I guess I assumed all toys were invented in time for me to play with them.  This notion was first challenged a few years ago when I did conservation treatment on a prototype box for Lincoln Logs which was flat and rectangular, like a regular board game box instead of the cylindrical tin I was used to.

Then the other day I was looking through a recent acquisition of trade literature, doing a quick condition assessment.  I pulled out this Christmas catalog from Strawbridge & Clothier, the cover looked fine, but I wanted to check inside to make sure there weren't any hidden tears, sections repaired with scotch tape, or rusty staples. 

And I found...

Item "E-74", Rolly Poly Dolls, made of papier mache and available for 25 cents.  There you have it, the ancestors of Weebles!