What is it about retro novelty items that makes otherwise sane people spend their hard earned cash?
Most of us have been there, either in a novelty store or online, when the temptation to buy something utterly useless overcomes us, and the wallet comes out the pocket. Novelty items are meant to be funny, and something you just play with in a store, but there are some people who actually buy them, and we are all guilty! We decided to save you a lot of time and money as we present the 23 most nostalgically retro but useless novelty items ever made…
Big Mouth Billy Bass
Who remembers this guy? You know, the one who speaks to you or sings as you walk past him in the store! You’ll also find this guy on the wall of many a man cave.
When a real hammer just won’t do, why not reach for the toffee hammer to smash up your slab of hard toffee? Tens of thousands have been sold and used just for that purpose so scoff not!
I even think my dad might have had one of these, and at the time what was cooler than a massive red hat, with earphones, to allow you to listen to the radio wherever you were.
The radio hat was one thing, but what about the umbrella hat? Well, it wasn’t so much a fashion statement as it was a practical item which actually served the purpose. So it made you look like an idiot, but you were a dry idiot…at least.
They were invented by Don Featherstone in 1957 and soon became THE icon of pop culture, as well as a feature in the gardens of most Americans.
I admit it, I had one of these, possibly even three. I never could work out the invisible cord thing on the belt, to make the Squirmie squirm around your fingers and hands.
They came/come in all types of shapes and sizes, and are often found on the dashboards of cars. Do you own a Bobblehead?
It’s kinda old skool as it was invented back in the early 1950’s. Who even knows how many of the important decisions in the world were made based on this toy.
No they weren’t real and they didn’t even work. And how many horny teenage boys were convinced they could see the girls in their class topless?!
Mexican Jumping Beans
These were cool, if you ever had any. They are beans that would jump when heated, or even just held in a warm hand on a cold day. Just make sure you don’t eat them as they are not edible.
These guys were first invented in the early 19th century in Germany but soon became popular across Europe as well as in North America, and further afield.
If you didn’t have a pair of these your dad definitely did. They defines the 1980s pop culture and were found in many a home around the world.
Not so well-known and more of a niche item, but many people owned this board game. The game was so complex you needed to be a genius to even play it.
This is such an awesome item novelty item for today’s list. Patented all the way back in 1918, these guys blew some of the best bubbles in the world. Hours of fun and games for the kiddies.
How nostalgic can you get?! Invented in 1981 by Stephen Askin, these headbands were worn sometimes at parties but more usually as a joke or as part of fancy dress.
The official name of these was Yakkity Yak Talking Teeth” when they were released to the market in 1949. Since then, they have a variety of different names and are still popular with kids to this day.
Well, they are a lot easier to have as pets than dogs or cats, cheaper and way cleaner! Then again, who wants to have a pet rock?!
Probably the most profound of the nostalgic items on today’s list, and one that most people have owned at one point or another. The Lava Lamp, designed in 1963 by an accountant in Britain, they now grace the dorm rooms of thousands of colleges across the globe.
They were pretty cool and entertained the kids for at least ten minutes back in the day. They weren’t actually monkeys at all, but rather brine shrimp that spring to life in water.
This is the third novelty hat today, and for good reason, as many many nerds and geeks owned one of these. They were and still remain fairly pointless, but just look at all those lovely colors.
Chinese Finger Trap
Totally random but some will remember these. You put your fingers into the curious contraptions and as you wriggled to free them, the trap tightened. The point?
Spongy Water Animals
The technical term for these much-loved kid’s favorites is ‘superabsorbent polymers.’ Basically sponges that grew much bigger in water and were minutes of fun for toddlers everywhere.
Horse Head Mask
We had to finish today with the most random of all, the old horse head mask. Originally designed in 2003 as a Halloween costume, it came to be a sort of icon to many.
[Featured image credit: www.huffingtonpost.com]