The Perfect Christmas Gift

Yeah, that's the stuff!

Yeah, that’s the stuff!

Around this time of year, our cable company has an “all Christmas” music channel, up there in the 900’s and for the most part, when we’re not watching a holiday movie, it’s playing away.  To go with the songs, it keeps a steady flow of holiday trivia going, so that if you’re actually looking at the TV, you could learn something new or be reminded of something from years gone by.

Today, I saw the tidbit that in 1977, Mattel’s Slime was the #1 toy that year.  One of many “perfect Christmas gifts” that have appeared over the years.  Who could forget the Furby, the Pet Rock, Troll Dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids and so on?

The memory that Slime triggered was that, growing up, we had a neighbor who worked at Mattel.  He was in development and every now and then, he’d bring over a prototype of a new toy and give it to us to play with, then find out how it did.  One year, we actually got one of the early versions of “Slime.”  It felt creepy and was kind of the dark side of Play-Doh.  Remember, that was back in the time when Weirdo toys and odd things were all the rage.  So the idea of giving a kid Slime as a gift…well, that should give you an idea of where we were at in 1977.

I don’t remember much, except we learned the hard way that it was meant to be played with on a kitchen table and NOT in the family room.  I recall it getting into the rug and not being easy to get out, if it ever did.

Not sure how it did for Mattel, if our research next door prompted them to make it easier to get out of rugs, or if management just said, “Sell it quick before they find out!”  But for one, brief, slimy moment, it was the perfect Christmas gift.  That is, until you started to play with it.

We’ve come a long way.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Slime-free holiday season!

Tim Hunter

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