CLOSE
Original image

7 (More) Outrageous Items Spotted at the 99¢ Only Store

Original image

As long as the 99¢ Only Store continues to restock its shelves with bizarre merchandise, this post will continue to be a once-a-year feature. If you missed last year's, take a stroll over here. However, this year's finds are far superior and far more bizarre.

Take, for example, exhibit A)

While this might seem like a normal doll + accessories set, the sort of doll that gets washed up on the beach in Miami, that you avoid like a Man o' War, take a look closely at the translated copy on the front of the package:

dollfineprint
Forget for a moment the grammar and sentence construction -- what on earth is this kind of copy doing on the front of the package? Isn't it the pitch the toy company uses in their collateral when they're trying to get distributors to sell the stuff?

On to exhibit B. I just couldn't help but smile that they were calling this a nuisance mask. Beyond that, take a close look at the copy:

dustmask
It reads: "Protects against non toxic shop & household dusts, powders and initanst." After a few minutes of pondering, I decided initanst must be irritants, with some substitution and rearranging. What do you guys think???

dustclose

Okay, here's exhibit C. I actually had to research this online because I couldn't get a feel for how this worked just by looking at the package. So the basic idea, as I gather now, is that you put the plastic fangs in your mouth, and then the candy, which starts to foam. The effect must be something like saliva coming from the vampire's mouth. Here's the copy I found online, btw: "Yummy tart powder candy that literally makes you foath (sic) at the mouth!"

foamingatthemouth

Exhibit D is just so off, I can't believe it. What brilliant marketing mavens thought this up? Iron Man Bubble Bath? Are you serious? Wha???



ironman

Exhibit E is beyond me, too. I've seen plenty of lollipups for real, actual dogs, but for kids? Not sure why kids want lollipops shaped like dog biscuits, but there you go.

lollipups

Exhibit F is alarming. Never mind that it's just strange to want an eyeball in a superball, scroll down to the next picture and dig the warning label on the package (yes, this is a toy for kids).
eyeballmain



eyeballcloseup

The warning on exhibit G made me laugh out loud. What do you suppose the good folks at Laser Pet Toy have against students?

laserpet
What about you all? What's the most unusual thing you've found at the discount store near you?

Original image
iStock
arrow
fun
Watch Craftsmen Shape Gobs of Molten Glass into Colorful Marbles
Original image
iStock

Marbles aren't just for schoolchildren. Humans have likely been playing with the tiny toys for thousands of years, as indicated by ancient Egyptian artifacts and other objects studied by archaeologists. These trinkets have been crafted from materials including clay, stone, wood, glass, and metal. But in the early 1900s, Akron, Ohio–based Martin F. Christensen changed the way the playthings are made when he invented an automated machine that produced glass marbles.

Christensen's machine ultimately paved the way for the mass production of marbles. But in the video below, you can see how they're made the old-fashioned way. Produced by The Magic of Making—a series of short educational films created along with BBC—and spotted by The Kid Should See This, the clip shows glass makers in action as they use large ovens to melt granules of sand into liquid, and as they stretch, twist, and shape the molten goo into fragile (yet still playable) creations.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

Original image
iStock
arrow
Lists
10 Fun Facts About Play-Doh
Original image
iStock

As any Play-Doh aficionado knows, September 16th is National Play-Doh Day! Let's pay tribute to your favorite modeling clay with some fun facts about the childhood play staple that began life as a cleaning product.

1. IT WAS FIRST SOLD AS WALLPAPER CLEANER.

Before kids were playing with Play-Doh, their parents were using it to remove soot and dirt from their wall coverings by simply rolling the wad of goop across the surface.

2. IF IT WEREN'T FOR CAPTAIN KANGAROO, PLAY-DOH MIGHT NEVER HAVE TAKEN OFF.

When it was just a fledgling company with no advertising budget, inventor Joe McVicker talked his way in to visit Bob Keeshan, a.k.a Captain Kangaroo. Although the company couldn’t pay the show outright, McVicker offered them two percent of Play-Doh sales for featuring the product once a week. Keeshan loved the compound and began featuring it three times weekly.

3. MORE THAN 3 BILLION CANS OF PLAY-DOH HAVE BEEN SOLD.

Since 1956, more than 3 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold. That’s enough to reach the Moon and back a total of three times. (Not bad for a wallpaper cleaner.)

4. IT USED TO COME IN JUST ONE COLOR.

Photo of child's hands playing with Play-Doh clay
iStock

Back when it was still a household product, Play-Doh came in just one dud of a color: off-white. When it hit stores as a toy in the 1950s, red, blue, and yellow were added. These days, Play-Doh comes in nearly every color of the rainbow—more than 50 in total—but a consumer poll revealed that fans' favorite colors are Rose Red, Purple Paradise, Garden Green, and Blue Lagoon.

5. FOR QUITE SOME TIME, DR. TIEN LIU HAD A JOB SKILL NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD COULD CLAIM: PLAY-DOH EXPERT.

Dr. Tien Liu helped perfect the Play-Doh formula for the original company, Rainbow Crafts, and stayed on as a Play-Doh Expert when the modeling compound was purchased by Kenner and then Hasbro.

6. YOU CAN SMELL LIKE PLAY-DOH.

Want to smell like Play-Doh? You can! To commemorate the compound’s 50th anniversary, Demeter Fragrance Library worked with Hasbro to make a Play-Doh fragrance, which was developed for “highly-creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood.”

7. HASBRO RECENTLY TRADEMARKED THE SCENT.

Anyone who has ever popped open a fresh can of Play-Doh knows that there’s something extremely distinctive about the smell. It’s so distinctive that, in early 2017, Hasbro filed for federal protection in order to trademark the scent, which the company describes as “a unique scent formed through the combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough.”

8. IT CAN CREATE A PRETTY ACCURATE FINGERPRINT.

When biometric scanners were a bit more primitive, people discovered that you could make a mold of a person’s finger, then squish Play-Doh in the mold to make a replica of the finger that would actually fool fingerprint scanners. Back in 2005, it was estimated that Play-Doh could actually fool 90 percent of all fingerprint scanners. But technology has advanced a lot since then, so don’t go getting any funny ideas. Today's more sophisticated systems aren’t so easily tricked by the doughy stuff.

9. IT HOLDS A PLACE IN THE NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME.

Unsurprisingly, Play-Doh holds a coveted place in the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. It was inducted in 1998. According to the Hall of Fame, “recent estimates say that kids have played with 700 million pounds of Play-Doh."

10. YOU CAN TURN YOUR PLAY-DOH CREATIONS INTO ANIMATED CHARACTERS.

While Play-Doh may be a classic toy, it got a state-of-the-art upgrade in 2016, when Hasbro launched Touch Shape to Life Studio, an app that lets kids turn their Play-Doh creations into animated characters.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios