Can anyone identify these fuzzy creatures?

Started by GodzillaGirl, March 05, 2009, 11:53:52 PM

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GodzillaGirl

I first obtained one of these back in 1972 in Japan, so I'm going to guess that's where they originated.  The date of manufacture could be the late 60's or early 70's.  Mine was white with brown acrylic eyes (similar to the pink fuzzy in the photo), but apparently they came in various color schemes.  (I recently found these 2 online.)  They consist of a hollow cardboard tube covered with long pile faux fur fabric.  Some had acrylic doll eyes with felt "lashes" and felt feet.  The pink one in the image has a pom-pom nose and red felt hands, but my white one had a black plastic "teddy bear" nose and no hands.  The green fuzzy in the photo has a pointed cone shape, no feet, no hands, all felt facial features and prismatic cardboard eyes.  Anyone know the story on these creatures?  Thanks!


Scary Terry

Not a clue -- though seeing them triggered the memory of owning one way back when.  Mine was blue.

That's all I've got on the subject, though.
Scary Terry
www.terrybeatty.blogspot.com

fmofmpls

Never seen these critters before except occasionally in the corners of my house. We call 'em dust bunnies.  ;D
The Famous Monster of Mpls.  Sayer of the law.

ChattyLMS

Laura ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)

Therin of Andor

#4
If you do a Google or Wikipedia search on "gonks", you'll find quite a few references.

Gonks were really big in Australia in 1965, and I have a very strong memory of requesting one from Santa that year, and even putting the request in writing at school. I have mentioned gonks in my blog three times. Typically they have bulbous noses, goofy eyes, rather short legs, long arms and messy hair - wow! I just remembered: my gonk was christened (by me) "Messy Hair"! I also recall an aunt trying to convince me I'd be happy with a foam gonk bath sponge, which were also the rage that Christmas. Check out:
http://therinofandor.blogspot.com/search?q=gonk (three entries; scroll down to see gonk pic.)

After already having owned a handknitted gonk for several years, I next noticed small fluffy "Yukks" in a city store selling souvenirs and small ceramic ornaments. They were essentially balls of brightly coloured fluff glued to very squat plastic legs, with bulbous "Mr Potato Head" eyes, and featuring long, thin leather arms. My Yukk was blue. I think I still have him in a box in the garage.

A few months ago, I caught a 1966 episode of an old Aussie children's show, "The Magic Circle Club", and the goulish sidekick, Gaspar Goblin, had a little gonk-like, furry creature he called Oscar. (So that's why my brothers and I were so determined to own a "Yukk" each from that gift store in Sydney's Imperial Arcade. Early product placement!)

In the 70s, gonk-like creatures made a resurgence as cheaply-made carnival toys - you know, impress your date, win a prize, and select any stupid toy from the cheap shelf! Such creatures used nylon fur fabric remnants, felt or plastic eyes, sometimes a rather firm base - and rarely any arms.

The pictured creatures look, to me, like an intermediate stage between classic 60s gonk and el cheapo 70s carnival junk.

Thiptho lapth,

Regards, Ian.

Grape

When I was about two or three years old ('68 or '69 or thereabouts) I had one of these and he was, for some reason, my absolute favorite toy for some length of time. Mine was gray and black. He had the flat felt feet. I can't recall if he had any hands. Maybe he had some sort of felt ears? I kept him for years and years ....... now that I'm reminded of him again, I sure do miss that little guy.

Anyway, I always called mine a "galoot", and I've always assumed that that was the name of the product.

Googling "galoot" doesn't seem to locate any of these though. Perhaps "galoot" was a name that I gave the thing myself.
~Grape
When you've got a thirst for something palinka, remember ....
BOR SOR ES PALINKA

Toy Ranch

I had a red one when I was a kid.  Seems like I have  a couple of little ones somewhere.  If I run across them, I'll let you know.

gypsy214

I am positive I have the bottom one that looks kind of like an owl. I'll try and dig it out this week and see if my mom remembers when/where I got it.
- more fearful than the monster himself!

GodzillaGirl

Quote from: Therin of Andor on March 06, 2009, 09:02:47 AM
If you do a Google or Wikipedia search on "gonks", you'll find quite a few references.

In the 70s, gonk-like creatures made a resurgence as cheaply-made carnival toys - you know, impress your date, win a prize, and select any stupid toy from the cheap shelf! Such creatures used nylon fur fabric remnants, felt or plastic eyes, sometimes a rather firm base - and rarely any arms.

The pictured creatures look, to me, like an intermediate stage between classic 60s gonk and el cheapo 70s carnival junk.


I see what you mean about "gonks"!  They are similar.  I think you're right about the cheapie version.  That might be what I have.  I'll keep looking online for further info.

Thanks!

Therin of Andor

#9
Quote from: Therin of Andor on March 06, 2009, 09:02:47 AM
I next noticed small fluffy "Yukks" in a city store selling souvenirs and small ceramic ornaments. They were essentially balls of brightly coloured fluff glued to very squat plastic legs, with bulbous "Mr Potato Head" eyes, and featuring long, thin leather arms. My Yukk was blue. I think I still have him in a box in the garage.

And I found him a few weeks ago! This is a Yukk (right), circa late 60s:


A mouse and a Yukk by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

QuoteA few months ago, I caught a 1966 episode of an old Aussie children's show, "The Magic Circle Club" (1966), and the goulish sidekick, Gaspar Goblin, had a little gonk-like, furry creature he called Oscar. (So that's why my brothers and I were so determined to own a "Yukk" each from that gift store in Sydney's Imperial Arcade. Early product placement!)


Gaspar, Oscar and Sir Jasper by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

Mmmm. Oscar had a nose like a regular gonk. Yukks didn't have a visible nose.
Thiptho lapth,

Regards, Ian.

jim m



Therin of Andor

#12
Quote from: jim m on March 16, 2011, 02:09:33 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/51641424(*at*)N07/5060826822/#

this is a gonk.

That link isn't working. I think you were trying for this image:

gonk 1964 by jetjimbo, on Flickr

He doesn't really look familiar to my memory of gonks of the day.

Here is my hand-knitted gonk from Christmas 1965. The common commercial gonks I knew were sewn from satin materials or felt rather than having hard plastic parts.


Gonk by Therin of Andor, on Flickr
Thiptho lapth,

Regards, Ian.

Therin of Andor

Quote from: Grape on March 09, 2009, 09:29:23 AM
I always called mine a "galoot", and I've always assumed that that was the name of the product.

Googling "galoot" doesn't seem to locate any of these though. Perhaps "galoot" was a name that I gave the thing myself.

Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam were always calling someone "a big galoot". I'll bet you picked up that term from "The Bugs Bunny Show" cartoons.
Thiptho lapth,

Regards, Ian.

raycastile

I had one as a kid, very much like the pink one in the top photo. It had googly eyes and a cardboard inner core, as described.  I guess this would be late 70s, early 80s.
Raymond Castile