13 funky, bizarre dolls you would only find in the 1970s
Did you cuddle up with Grampa, Rock Flowers, Canned Beans and the Captain?
Images: Wishbook Web
We love the 1970s - a colorful, quirky decade that delivered variety shows, funky fashions, fleeting fads, one-hit wonders and Wonder Woman.
For those who grew up in the era, the toys were quite unique. Even the dolls of the day captured the counterculture vibes and changing culture of the Seventies.
We went flipping through some vintage Sears Wishbooks and J.C. Penney catalogs for dolls you would only find in the decade of Ponch and the Fonz. Do you remember any of these? Were you lucky enough to own them?
1. Flip Wilson
Laugh-In and The Flip Wilson Show had wide demographics, apparently, including toddlers. Li'l fans of those cutting-edge comedies could cuddle up with Flip… or flip Flip over to find his alter ego Geraldine Jones. The talking doll would proclaim, "The devil made me buy this dress!" It's for kids!
2. Rock Flowers
The Rock Flowers were a "real" girl group that released two albums in the early 1970s. Mattel made a line of dolls for the act, blurring the line between Barbie and the Archies, which came with colored 45 r.p.m. records. The girls could stand on the records as they spun on your turntable, playing tracks like "Your Music N' My Music" and "Mixin' Matchin' Day." The commercial for the "outta sight" dolls featured Casey Kasem and Geri "Fake Jan" Reischl from The Brady Bunch Hour.
Joyce Miller created the "Gramma" doll, which became a massive fad in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The stuffed old woman even spun-off into a line of children's furniture, anthropomorphic chairs that allowed kids to sit in "Gramma's lap." Naturally, Gramma needed a Grampa, and here he is.
4. Hugo, Man of a Thousand Faces
Ventriloquism was all the rage with the youth of the 1970s. This puppet, a sort of Mr. Potato Head–meets–Witness Protection, could change his appearance with a variety of stick-on facial hair, including thick mutton chops.
5. Lazy Dazy
Set her down anywhere and she passed out into a deep sleep. Hey, stay sharp, Lazy! The Ideal doll cost $5.99.
6. Canned Beans
Years before the Cabbage Patch Kids sprouted, this vegetable clique hit toy stores. Children could chose Navy Beans, Green Beans or — our favorite — Pork 'N Beans. Yes, the dolls were of course stuffed with beans.
7. Softina with Sneaker Sleeper
The Softina line was popular throughout Sears catalogs of the 1970s. However, those who truly wanted to pamper their babies could shell out a few more bucks and stuff them into a giant shoe.
8. J.J. Armes
What if we told you there was a man with two hooks for hands named J.J. Armes? The moniker seems a little too on the nose, but indeed Jay J. Armes is real person. Armes was 11 years old when he mangled his hands playing with railroad torpedoes. Doctors amputated his badly damaged extremities. After appearing as a sniper in "Hookman," a memorable episode of Hawaii Five-O, Armes began to develop his own TV series with CBS. In real life, Armes had his own detective agency, and a line of dolls, complete with mobile investigation van. Read more about this fascinating minor celebrity of the 1970s.
9. J.J. the "Dyn-O-Mite" Talking Doll
Speaking of J.J.s, the breakout star of Good Times had his own talking doll. Take one guess as to what he said.
10. Talking Redd Foxx
Speaking of sitcom actors with talking dolls, the star of Sanford & Son and comedian had his own plush miniature. When you pulled the string in his back, he would proclaim, "Your daddy sat on me!" That's not weird.
11. The Sunshine Family
The Sunshine Family were the most 1970s toys of the 1970s. Crunchy hippies Steve, Stephie and Sweets shunned the plastic materialism of Barbie. Instead, they wore turtlenecks and sandals, and sold handmade crafts from the back of their truck. They'd fit right in in modern-day Portland.
12. Snoopy Superstar
We all love Snoopy. But would you squish him up if he wore a satin disco jumpsuit and red afro wig?
13. Sonny Bono and "The Captain"
Cher and Tennille had dolls, so naturally they needed their "Kens." But we wonder how many kids were jazzed about playing make-believe with a keyboardist dressed in sailor's garb.
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