Archie McPhee digs deep into their weird product archives

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/09/archie-mcphee-digs-deep-into-t.html

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Well, the multi-armed guy is Mr. Centipede from James and the Giant Peach… https://james-and-the-giant-peach.fandom.com/wiki/Mr._Centipede

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I have many of the old catalogs. Archie carried a LOT of weird stuff:

  • “Jass” items for Chinese funerals, like fake money and an accessory kit. I bought one with a watch, motorcycle glasses, gold bars, and the like.
  • Jellyfish snack food
  • Busts of a Chinese Red Army general
  • Cereal box premiums from the 70s, maybe the 60s!
  • DUNE action figures.
  • A one-of-a-kind Bozo the Clown one-man-band automata.
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Our holiday tree is mostly covered interesting small inexplicable toys. The tree is small and synthetic, bright chartreuse green and I think >15 years old. It showed up on my doorstep along with my mother and a turkey one day, along with the directions for cooking the turkey, “Your father and I will will be here at 5 tomorrow. Now that your grandparents are dead (mostly) we aren’t cooking holiday meals anymore.”

I didn’t have any ornaments, but from that year on the tree has been decorated in strange keychains with micro viewmaster like disks from locations that nobody would travel to, non-branded tiny happy meal like toys, things from cereal boxes, and strange or unusual plastic figures. The largest one is a vintage Princess Leia from the Empire Strikes Back that one of my kids found wedged under a shrub a year or two ago. The toys can’t be large and they should have some reason that they are on the tree. This year we will add one of the plastic figures that appeared or was used as the bases for one of the creatures in the original D&D, found in a bin at the local art reuse store. I also think a giant squid, the kind from an aquarium gift shop, will make an appearance on the tree.

It isn’t a traditional tree but it works, and each item has a story. I get odd and weird toys, especially from companies like Archie McPhee. I always wanted a Senor Misterioso, then again I have also wanted a glow in the dark business suit with matching fedora.

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Well who doesn’t?

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It’s nice to see normal weird. As opposed to what we have now.

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I want EVERYTHING in the Archie McPhee catalogue.

In my travel bag I always have a kazoo and a small tin with Archie McPhee Emergency Underwear - my sister gave them to me. I know they will come in handy. I used to have their bacon bandaids but I actually used them.

Also - we did a web series thing called Rubber Chicken Players and we got all of our chickens from Archie McPhee. I still have about a hundred of them in our shop storage. And a lot of costumes that will only ever fit rubber chickens. It’s a weird life.

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I think the spider is supposed to be too. Looks like a collection of knockoff and bootleg characters.

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this reminds me: i need to buy a large rubber fish. i wonder if McPhee is the way to go…

I liked the video but I guess I’m really spoiled by Tim, who (warning, the following is a opinion) is better in both charisma and quality of toys.

Maybe I’m missing some required nostalgia that makes McPhee resonate?

Yeah, I found the weird “real” items they scavenged from around the world back in the old days a lot more interesting than the new manufactured weirdness they sell now.

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100% agreed.

The stuff they have now are mostly variations on a theme. More cute than weird.

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