Saturday, March 06, 2010

Anyone Remember Slimies?

Here is more proof that kids who grew up in the 50s and 60s experienced a Golden Age of fun and pampering.
This is what "The Greatest Generation" made all their sacrifices for. They grew up poor, during the depression and then had to go fight Nazis in the ugliest war in history.
Why did they do it? For their kids. So we could have TV, Mad Magazine, comic books, cartoons, Nutty Mads and these oily slimies. Not to mention 3 meals a day, security and clean underwear.
So what did the kids who grew up with this pampering do?
They took all this cool stuff away from the next generations of kids - and then what did that even more remote generation do? They went and grew up to cover themselves with tattoos, join gangs, defend Transformers, take the prizes out of cereals, become "creative executives" make reality shows, bring mystical practices to corporations and monopolies, preach bucking the system in big budget corporate made movies, create rap and "sampling", become "DJs" and to complain about the greatest generation for being stuffy.

What am I missing Mike?

96 comments:

RooniMan said...

I feel so ashamed of myself...

JohnK said...

Me too.

I watched it all happen.

Mykal said...

John: I had the strange bird one. It was not possible to keep your hands off it. -- Mykal

John Young said...

Amen!

talkingtj said...

why did it happen? and why does it continue to happen? no wonder i was so damn retro as a kid, im even more retro as an adult-i guess i have standards and taste.

Zoran Taylor said...

Pierre Schaeffer + Muhamad Ali = rap.

Slimies strikes me as an ironic choice of an example to prove this point. If there is any one particular thing wrong with kids' stuff from my generation besides the lack of tasteful design, it is the relentless promotion of unpleasant viscosity and/or effluviousness as a virtue. If anything, Slimies set the precedent for that - that is, if they were indeed slimy. John, could you regale us a bit with the experience of actually holding one of these things?

gamzoo said...

"bring mystical practices to corporations and monopolies"

this one has me scratching my head. What mystical practices are you talking about?

coolhand said...

well the worst is yet to come considering this current generation doesnt even separate itself from the new media out there like video games. i dont actually think that kids play outside anymore. i consider myself lucky enough to have not had a video game system when i was younger. i think there should be an age limit on those like cigarettes and alcohol, due to the fact that it is bad for your health in some sense.

JohnK said...

Focus testing, Executive retreats, committee decision making, astrology, alchemy, you name it.

Zoran: Slimies felt slimy when they were new, but once you dropped them, they would be covered in dust, bug parts, cat hair and they became nasties.

I think they also were toxic, because they stopped making them after a couple years and kids couldn't figure out why. We all loved them, so why would they stop making them unless some dumb kid ate one and died or something?

Almost all cool things disappeared around 1968 or so and then everything became soft and indistinct. This was supposedly good for you.

kurtwil said...

ditto... father was a b17 bomber pilot, both parents truly believed in helping his kids (even though dad hated animation and an offspring loved it).

Parenting is much harder today. More restrictions, way more distractions. Also, cultures are less interested in integrating than in promoting their view (ethnic language-speaking schools in USA, anyone?)

Any ideas where Gen Z may take the world, given their fascination and constant focus on texting, watching videos/web, on line game playing, rapping attitude? Will all that encourage creativity, or stifle it?

Is Greg Bear's ETERNITY all that far away?

Mykal said...

I used to wash mine, but it was never the same as new. New, they glistened. -- Mykal

Ray said...

Remember these? http://www.seriouscraft.com/files/images/spirograph[1].jpg

It's hard to find anyone under 30 who grew up playing with them

Ray said...

Remember these?

Martin Juneau said...

Those slimies looks really cool but very well designed. My parents will be lucky to have good stuffs like that in their era but they never have that when they grow up. And we're grow up with pure edginess and narcissism with ugly realistic cartoons, rap, hip-hop and ugly sunglasses who made you... uncool, you got it!

Thanks for let us now what they are. I wanna collected them. They are look very good artistically.

Calvin said...

It sucks how easily a majority of people seemed to not mind the transition from the simply amazing culture we had back then to the superficial corporate culture that permeates our society today.

I want to help bring those days back by continuing and evolving the way cartoons were made back in the 30s and 40s.

Torsten Adair said...

Born in `69, I feel rather blessed. Yes, Saturday morning cartoons became inbred while I watched (I remember as a kid watching Thundarr and reading that it had over 60 violent acts per hour, followed closely by Bugs Bunny.)

But... the year I started junior high, we got cable. Had a VCR a few years before that. Youngest of four sons, my older brothers rented naughty R-rated movies like Fritz the Cat and I snuck a peek here and there. When we got the descrambler chip, and access to Playboy... hoo boy! I made my own mix tapes of cartoons, as the NBC station ran old WB cartoons at 3, and the ABC station ran MGM cartoons at 3:30. And the WB stuff was choice... no Bosko, none of that stupid Daffy/Speedy/Seven Arts crap, and Porky in black-and-white! Then I began taping Galaxy High and Mighty Mouse...

But here's where I'm blessed. I got all my older brothers' stuff. Gold Key comics. Hot wheel toys. Legos. My father was born in `29, my mother in `37. They were youngest children, too, so my aunts and uncles were older, and I knew from first-person memories what World War II was like (from both sides) as well as the Great Depression.

We had a set of those Time-Life "This Fabulous Century" books lying around. The 30s volume had a great section on comics and radio serials. Lots of great pop culture stuff in all the volumes.

Then I got hooked on Mad in 1979 (the July issue, with Superduperman), and a family friend bequeathed his early 1960s issues to me (the ones with guest star writers). This filled in more pop-culture gaps. (Raccoon fur coats, 23-skidoo, John Heard, Charles Dana Gibson...)

So, yeah, stuff is crap; Sturgeon's Law should be taught in Physics classes. But we can celebrate the good stuff and consign the rest to the ash heap. Wait for a snowstorm, and you will be able to ski said ash heap. Be careful... erosion causes old E.T. videogame cartridges to be exposed and cause hazards.

Coolest toy from the 1960s (not an expert, wasn't there): the Dr. Seuss Zoo figures from Revell.

My favorite toy? LEGO bricks.

I expect that 100 years from now, our landfills will be excavated and much of what we (or our mothers) threw away will find a place in museums.

Will Finn said...

Wow, John, I was just thinking about these the other day. My brother Jim had one, a green mouse with enormous feet and a long tale, similar pose to the thing sitting below the red octopus.

Apart from being made of indestructible toxic waste, they were also fairly heavy!

Mitch K said...

I've never seen these before! They're so cool!

WHY did they take the prizes out of cereal boxes! I used to LOVE that stuff.

And why do Cracker Jacks come in a BAG now?? They're supposed to come in a box! And with a ring inside to give to the cute girl next door.

Amanda said...

It was your generation that created rap, not mine. The oldest of the hip-hop originals are turning 50, if not there already.

Chris said...

coolhand - no. kids don't play outside anymore. i take my son to the park after school only to find it empty. kids are either home in the videodrome OR they are off to soccer, little league, tiger shulman, dance, gymnastics, etc. they are all being taught the "values" of networking rather the value of community.

i remember as a kid, coming home from school and running right out to the park and meeting all my friends there ready to play stickball, manhunt, kill-the-carrier, swing on the swings, climb the trees, ride our bikes and make ramps to ride off from a plank of wood and a cinder block.

i feel sorry for my son when the park is empty. lucky for him though, i'm still kid enough to run around with him.

HemlockMan said...

When did Aurora models and Weird-Ohs kits vanish? That was when the world went to Hell.

Forbidden Hippo said...

I understand your harshness towards rap music since none of the music you hear on the radio or TV is worth a dime. However it is an interesting artform that has been bastardized by the big music industry.

p.s. Got my Preston Blair book in the mail today.

Joseph said...

I think you covered it all.

Sven Hoek said...

It's the money, kids! The value of our money goes down every year making everything seem more expensive. Its not that things cost more every year because their value is going up (witness the quality of cartoons, for example) but because the value of our dollar is going down. It makes the decisions by these corporations (like sending manufacturing overseas) seem like a good idea but in fact the quality of goods goes down as a result.
Want to know why the quality of things keeps going down? Its because the value of our money keeps going down.

Ah, but the quality of cars has improved since the late 60's and the cost is relatively the same, but look at the shape the car industry is in right now. Animation companies have made decisions that seems correct given the circumstances they have found themselves in, but the quality has suffered tremendously.

It's our money! Or rather, the lack of stable value thereof.

Pete Emslie said...

I remember Slimies!!
I had several of the oily little bastards, including one that looked like "Ratfink" - I have no idea if was officially him or not. Yeah, when freshly purchased they seemed to have been marinated in Vaseline or something. Eventually they would dry out and the rubber start to deteriorate, but they were fun while they lasted!

K. Nacht said...

I've never heard the Second World War reduced to such trivial ends.

Kids, if you want to hear other perspectives on the war and the state of the nation from members of the Greatest Generation, read the collected articles of Gore Vidal (veteran, Pacific Theater), the novels of Kurt Vonnegut-esp. Slaughter House Five-(veteran, European Theater) and Joseph Heller (Catch-22)... for starters.

That is, if you can get past this oversimplified, populist pablum, pawned off in the voice of Jimmy Stewart.

Craig Something said...

Guess the closest thing I had to these would be those sticky hands? Those things were blast and you can still get them in some stores for a quarter. But they'd leave marks on the walls and off course they'd get dirty.

Robert Schaad said...

Other great stuff we had: Soupy Sales, Rat Fink/Martian Fink, Ugly Stickers, Monster Weird-Ohs, Wacky Packages (the early sets).

ddkou22109674 said...
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Ebbe said...

Rap is great, sorry about you being old.

Stone said...

fer crying out loud Mr. K...

http://video.pbs.org/video/1409148147

but I agree with all that other stuff ya crotchety old white dude.

She-Thing said...

I don't know John... I grew up with Legos, Barbies, Toy houses, Playmobil,Teddies, etc. Toy Story came out when I was 5-6 and I swear I had this reality that Toys were alive when I was with/out them. They made me use my imagination more than ever... Toys making friends, arguing, blah, blah.

I don't know, but from my POV you're being a bit negative here. It's more the parents' fault for choosing any crap just for their kids.
I mean, the Wii is quite worrying me to what it does to children- Plus, I'm so glad my sister lost her Nintendo's battery.


P.S. My sister bought 1 slimie bat and it lasted 2 days because it exploded :S Let's say they're not very playable with other toys, turning all sticky and stuff.

Martin Juneau said...

Oh yeah, i forget! Those so-called modern peoples seems to don't know what really means classics. For them, everything from the 80's, 90's and 2000's are considered like classics but are much for the mass consummers. Not for the Art of entertainment! If i want to claim something as classic, i will pick down to 1980's or 1970's.

Why we say classic cartoons or classic music, mind't you? Because they are actually timeless and was a part of their heritage. Unlike everything was done at the last 25 years.

JohnK said...

Didn't Toy Story star 50s and 60s toys?

BeanoFats said...

i don't remember slimies...but then again i'm only 28. has nothing to do with the post but goddammit.... where can i get your yogi the bear/ ranger smith, beany and cecil, and jetsons work!?!? any torrents (of course i'll donate... not looking for freebies) or physical copies i can buy?!?! anything... dammit... i have the ripping friends reg. 4 dvd, all the ren and stimpys, and mighty mouse new adventures. i just need the ones i mentioned. anyone ... please please PLEASE!!!!!! e-mail a son of a bitch! bumticket@hotmail.com

BeanoFats said...

i dont have slimies. but i need all the john k yogi the bear, jetsons, beanie and cecil, and ranger smith junk. PLEASE ANYBODY... torrents, physical copy. of course i will pay for it. i love you john k... i got the region 4 ripping friends complete set, all the ren and stimpy dvds *even the gay ones you didnt do*, and the mighty mouse new adventures. i just need to complete this friggin collection. anyone who can help, please email a son of a bitch. i sware i'm gonna keep posting til i get the above mentioned... bumticket@hotmail.com .. i've looked EVERYWHERE. used to have the yogis and jetsons on vhs... i lost it

Lampshade said...

ddkou22109674 is an example of the increasing prevalence of pseudo-intellectuals; those who try to find logic in something so illogical.

I read that this generation is writing more than any other generation in before. But does that mean they're writing something more meaningful? I don't think so.

ddkou22109674 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GoldDarkShadow said...

When I was little, I used to listen to hip-hop all the time, but when I started listening the music from Ren and Stimpy and Looney Tunes, my mind started to changed and I started listening to classical,polka(believe it or not, and techno. I also started listening to 30's and 40's music,sambas, and mambos. Hip-hop is making me real sick because the only things they talk about are money,sex, and shooting people. Do I want to live in a society that just talks about those things,heck no.

Bruce said...

"Didn't Toy Story star 50's and 60's toys?"

Yes and no. With the exception of Buzz Lightyear, Rex (he was based on the Tyrannosaurus toy from the Dinoriders toyline,) Rocky Gibraltar, the Toddle Tots Fire Truck, a troll, and those Squeeze Toy Aliens, the rest of the toy characters from Toy Story are based on many toys that were created in the 50's, 60's, and early 70's.

I should know, as I had some of those toys when I was a wee tot.

From an aspiring animator/ cartoonist

Chris said...

lampshade - i think this generation is thought to be writing more because they are text messaging, blogging on facebook, myspace, blogger, etc. but does that count as writing?

Lampshade said...

ddkou22109674 - Way to set up a strawman argument!

By the way, I'm surprised you say my response is common, because I've seen only one other person say something like that, Harlan Ellison.

"Conservative thinker" huh, I guess that's what everyone who doesn't agree with you are, right?

Chris - Technically, it counts as writing.

mike f. said...

What am I missing Mike?

I think you covered it nicely; Rat Finks, Weird-Ohs & Oily Jigglers giving way to gangsta rap and Bratz dolls as a metaphor for the decline of Western culture.

(BTW, if you had come with Eddie and me to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland this afternoon, you'd realize things are even worse than you suspected. I can't say you didn't warn me...)

A.M.Bush said...

Ii remember those sticky octopus things that came in cereal. Man, I fought my brother so hard over those. They're super rare and expensive now btw.

SandraRivas said...

Not to mention high school boys bands that can't even sing, let alone play any music.

Wait... they're still defending Transformers?!

The Butcher said...

John and Mike,

What is your opinion of video games? Does it depend on the game? Are there any you like currently? Do you think they have the potential to be extremely fun for kids?

Mattieshoe said...

Mike, I implore you to start a blog.

Your comments always leave me wanting to hear more of what you have to say about Western culture

Carmine said...

I always find it funny that the baby boomer generation lambasts the subsequent generations for, what? not being raised right?....and who's fault is that?? Arent we the ones who should be complaining...

Just kidding :D, kind of...

adrian said...

Practicing for your new 60 Minutes segment I see.

Yup. Gangs. Tattoos. Big budget, mass-distributed media that promotes subverting well established modes. I'm fairly sure all of these sprung into being around the time I was born in the late 1980's.

-AN AWFUL, TERRIBLE YOUNG PERSON WHO DESTROYED THE WHOLE WORLD WITH LIQUOR AND HOT JAZZ

Trevor Thompson said...

What's wrong with being a DJ? It requires actual skill and you have to have a voice and a presence... although that hasn't stopped anyone in the last decade at least.

Mike, did you and Eddie see Burton's Wonderland out of morbid curiosity or was there a positive element that drew you to see that Hindenburg of a modern fairy tale?

Zoran Taylor said...

"I've never heard the Second World War reduced to such trivial ends.

Kids, if you want to hear other perspectives on the war and the state of the nation from members of the Greatest Generation, read the collected articles of Gore Vidal (veteran, Pacific Theater), the novels of Kurt Vonnegut-esp. Slaughter House Five-(veteran, European Theater) and Joseph Heller (Catch-22)... for starters.

That is, if you can get past this oversimplified, populist pablum, pawned off in the voice of Jimmy Stewart."

@K. Nacht - I'm reposting this merely in the hope that it does not go unnoticed. Thanks.

Zoran Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juan said...

In my country theres no generations... muahaha!

JohnK said...

"I always find it funny that the baby boomer generation lambasts the subsequent generations for, what? "

I'm the baby boomer generation and I am lambasting my own kind. I even did it when I was a kid.

Zoran Taylor said...

@Mattieshoe - Mike has two blogs but hasn't posted anything on either of them. I suppose he waits for John to act as a catalyst for his vitriol. (I can't TELL you how long I've wanted to combine those two words....okay, since about thirty seconds ago, but I like the result.)

But he's obviously busy, as is everyone.....okay John, we HAVE to know now, you're working on so many projects simultaneously, where in Aunt Jemima's name do you find the TIME to blog with such regularity and consistent density of both content and premise? do you have an espresso machine in your private office?

Brendan said...

I was eating at a restaurant the other day and two large baby-boomers were seated near me. They were talking obnoxiously loud about how their generation was so great, nothing will compare, etc etc. The music, the movies, EVERYTHING. Current 18-23 year olds(or so...) will never know great music, and will forever be ignorant.

Soon after, a Zombies song came on.

"Who is this? The Beatles? Is that Ringo."

Sorry. What?


I know you're not defending baby-boomers, John, I'm just adding fuel to the fire.

HemlockMan said...

The only time I ever saw Slimies was at flea markets. They were always used ones and really gross. I never wanted one, but of course I never saw a new one.

Chaplin said...

Some cereals still have "toys" in them, not as cool as in the 70's when I grew up, but now they are outside of the bag for the cereal... Where's the fun in that?

JohnK said...

Zoran: It's easy

Mike sends me pics of old toys. I upload them and somehow figure out a way to throw hippies and rap in there and then I get lots of extra comments.

That way more people get to see the stuff they might not have known about while they are defending the hippies.

Zoran Taylor said...

"Zoran: It's easy

Mike sends me pics of old toys. I upload them and somehow figure out a way to throw hippies and rap in there and then I get lots of extra comments.

That way more people get to see the stuff they might not have known about while they are defending the hippies."


John: Ah, you clever old Spud.
But you post about a hundred million other things....pertaining to mostly one subject, but you know what I mean.

Hans Flagon said...

I had the vulture too. Or Crazy crow whatever it was called. A few years into its life cycle, it started oozing a bit out its bottom. But I think it is still around, plyable and shiny as ever, perhaps not as nasty to the touch. It has always stayed on top of a grandfathers clock we had.

Martin Juneau said...

As a kid, i watching only stiff cartoons of my era. I can watched bland Disney and Warner cartoons and also some cheap foreign cartoons (some are made in France, but this is ridiculously badly made!). I already see some produced by Dic and Hanna-Barbera as well a bit of Filmation and even the Power Rangers.

But when i started to watching old cartoons like Bugs Bunny during saturday mornings or the Herman and Katnip cartoons from Famous, i notice how amazing the cartoons are. And this is something we can never do again today unless we have talent and ideas.

This is why i don't get now the Julien Neel and his Lou's craze. This sounds a silly idea, turned out to a fake UPA comic but it's when i see the cartoon i notice we living in a comfort world, without giving credit to peoples who sacrified their lives for us and how it's made just for the 'Tude.

I having a conversation with my father yesterday night about the Big Darkness (It was named like that in Quebec in the 50's when Maurice Duplessis, a Trois-Rivieres guy was Quebec's prime minister) and how it passed. His father (My grandfather) should untangle by himself for study and findind a job as a kid because he lost his parents as a low age. (His mother was dead when he was born.) At his time, we didn't having a huge education, not because we don't want but because we haven't the ways to paid university. But i'm lucky that my grandfather was helped by his uncle to paid his studies. Without him, i think i will never learn something by him.

But now i don't want to watching the Lou's TV cartoon anymore because i scare to have a attitude i don't. And i scare that the comics series turns to bland and made for jerks.

Hans Flagon said...

I had the vulture too. Or Crazy crow whatever it was called. A few years into its life cycle, it started oozing a bit out its bottom. But I think it is still around, plyable and shiny as ever, perhaps not as nasty to the touch. It has always stayed on top of a grandfathers clock we had.

After the oozing, I suppose the actual curing of the plastic it was made of, it did not pick up dust and furballs and crap quite so much.

A missing subthread in the comments reminds me of when I reread Player Piano in 2002 fifty years after it was written, and being shocked by it all. By how the job market aspects of the book seemed to resonate more in the little recession that was starting about then, but particularly, about the management retreat teambuilding BS that was being parodied (Wikipedia doesn't even notice this aspect of the story) I thought that total waste of time corporate hazing ritual was something that was invented later, about the time that John usually blames for the rest of our culture going to hell in a handbasket, but here it was, being talked about in 1952!

Of course, Mad Magazine also made fun of a future that everyone would be riding little scooters around supermarkets, or using five razor blades at once to shave, just because it was some companies desparate overeaching idea of product improvement for the sake of having a new product to push. And that came true!

Bazil said...

Look up fail toy on youtube if you want to see how horrible toys can be. Some toys will make you want to slap the mother of the designer!

Lew said...

Get off my lawn!

I would object to this post, being one of the generation John is disparaging, but the older I get, the more I'm sounding like this myself. I wonder, John, as much as you hate the Filmation crap I watched as a kid, do you watch much of the anime crap little kids today watch?

talkingtj said...

kids do not play outside anymore most parents wont let them-fear-i suppose-my generation(born in 65) is the last generation to really be outside, kids today experience porno by age 11, start smoking stuff by 13, adopt a general apathetic attitude by 15, i see it everywhere, even in my own family, we stopped letting kids be kids, we inflate them with the anxiety and malaise we feel and treat as if theyre magical elves incapable of maturing but still worldy wise,its astonishing and sad.

eric said...

To all of the people defending rap and calling John old, that's a bunch of B.S. I'm only 24 and I can't stand rap. In fact, I hate all modern pop music with a passion. Its not about being old, its simply not good music. Almost every hit rap "song" has no actual musicians playing instruments. Does that not bother people? I play piano and drums and that is very insulting to me. I used to think it was OK until I learned how to play piano and compose real music. I grew up listening to so much bad music I was ignorant. But now I listen to nothing but blues, jazz, and old rock from the 50's and 60's. Sometimes I think about how many amazing songs I would have never heard if I hadn't stopped listening to mainstream garbage on the radio.

Aaron Borst said...

It is sad that a lot of the toys and games of the 21 century are so bland. All the laws and rules that have been forced upon us in the name of safety have destroyed creativity and fun. I have experenced it first had growing up in the 80's. I always prefered to watch cartoons from the golden age than the crap that came out.

Don't get me wrong,I was brain washed by the transformers and the Smurfs. I thought they were super cool in the 80's the last time I watched them though I was blown away by the crappiness that was before my eyes.

I see that the hippies and the progressives of the 60's and seventies ruined fun in the name of safety. Has banning Tom and Jerry helped curb violence? Is the world a better place because Coal Black acnt be shown on TV? I think not.

Martin Juneau said...

Eric, i'm caring to the radio medium but where i live they cut to the local informations and animators salaries for airing nothing but... just mainstream music garbage.

The only radio station i listen is Mint, a Belgium radio who was one of the only who air again songs who have sense besides they don't look to be made for 1 audience unlike our local radios stations.

Ben said...

Toe man i would have killed for as a child. But all the slimeys are too cool. being slimey where they ever meant to stick to things like your tv screen the first day before they got dog fur and dust coating?

William George said...

But now I listen to nothing but blues, jazz, and old rock from the 50's and 60's.

Considering those eras' older generations, and a number of youngsters as well, thought that everything cited up above was complete crap that proved the moral decline of society, this is a silly thought for anyone to have in their head.

We all get old and irrelevant. Pop culture moves on without us. Old songs become the well-regarded classics they weren't when they first came out. We try to convince the kids it was all better somehow when we were young.

*cue Glenn Beck's tears*

And the cycle repeats itself twenty years later...

JohnK said...

that's what everyone with a small area of knowledge and taste says

Most of what I admire was done well before I was born, so the only cycle I see is spiraling downwards

it's hard for me to imagine anything worse than modern music and reality shows, but I am sure it's coming

Lampshade said...

Well, Auto-Tune is becoming way more prevalent now. Soon you won't even have to learn how to sing to go mainstream!

eric said...

Yes John, if I could go back in a time machine and live in the 30's, 40's, 50's, or even the 60's I would. Besides computers and a few other technologies I wouldn't miss a thing. I think in the future historians will look at the last few decades as a sort of "Dark Ages" for art and music. They will see Looney Tunes, then they will see Family Guy, and it will seem like we went backwards. The same can be said for music, we went from the Beatles to Jay Z. Sometimes I feel like an old man complaining the new generation and their crappy music, yet I am part of that generation.

Andy said...

Jesus there are some mean people on here. Be a dick on your OWN blog.....

Pixel Eater said...

Eric, I am sure you are experiencing the recency effect in reverse or something. Your predictions for the future sound more to me like you're just having a bad time rather than successfully identifying a precedent for golden age values in the present. I say this with the utmost disregard for Family Guy and whatever.

Rampant said...

'30s: Great Depression, certainly the zenith of the US
'40s: World War II, slaughter of countless Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, et cetera...certainly the zenith of the world

William George said...

that's what everyone with a small area of knowledge and taste says

Twenty years ago, those with "wide" areas of knowledge and taste were claiming that Ren & Stimpy was an idiotic collection of fart jokes, and a glowing sign of the downward spiral of western civilization.

If we're to accept the "Fall from grace" theory being promoted up above (The same theory that causes Glenn Beck to cry like a moron), they were correct and R&S *was* trash entertainment that made pop culture worse than it was before.

I disagreed with this viewpoint then, and I still do. R&S is now considered a classic cartoon and an important step in the development of cartoons reaching a wider audience. You changed pop culture, you didn't degrade it.

But hey, if you want to agree with those with "wide taste and knowledge" about the awfulness of your own creations, (and to be consistent in your position, you have to do so) that's fine.

It's obvious few of your readers are willing to disagree with your position either way.

Sven Hoek said...

We can only imagine what kind of animation would exist if it were financially possible to completly make a cartoon in the US using american artists. It is, of course, economically impossible now, but its fun to dream.

Give John the money and the artists and watch the magic happen.

He's right ya know. About the music, and the culture and especially, the animation we have now. It's almost total crap. Trying to find a good cartoon these days is like digging thru the trash for a diamond. Good luck.

Starchie Spudnoggen said...

I love them slimies! Still have a few. One is kept in a sandwich bag and still as mucousey as the day it was born if anyone wants a feel.

My favorite was the ugly caveman that looked to be modeled after comedian Marty Allen.

J C Roberts said...

These comments have strayed a bit from the original topic (as discussions often do), but just to bring it back for a moment:

I saw a few comments about the "toxic waste" these were made of and whether or not they were outlawed for being dangerous chemicals. I don't think they were that dangerous, at least not chemically, but the thinner parts like arms and legs could tear off easily and safety watchdogs probably didn't like the potential for plenty of childrens-mouth sized rubber pieces. I'd guess they stopped making them for a reason more like that.

It's not like that material is gone, either. It's frequently used for adult "toys", and we know what gets done with those, so if they were a big health hazard I think those would be gone too.

glamaFez said...

The Slimies, and many other toys, had a "new" chemical smell that has vanished with time. That smell was part of most toys' original appeal.

I recently found an actual bottle of vintage Plastigoop at an antique mall. One sniff and it's 1966.

JohnK said...

I have deleted a couple of comments that are getting into personal insults between commenters.

Sorry, but I get weary when arguments get too heated.

Darrencardinal said...

I may be a little old for slimies, but I do remember green slime.

It came in a garbage, and looked like stuff from the blob movie.

It was gross and slimy and awesome.

Darrencardinal said...

I don't remember slimies but I do remember green slime.

It was just what it sounds like, it came in a small green garbage can.

It was gross and slimy and fun.

Mattieshoe said...

What exactly is wrong with Tim Burton's Alice and Wonderland?

Serious question. I haven't seen it yet and don't feel like wasting my time.

mike f. said...

What exactly is wrong with Tim Burton's Alice and Wonderland?

It's pretty joyless, actually. Dark, ugly and depressing, and it must hold the world record for eye-gougings in a children's movie. (I counted three, all in close-up.) The dialogue is surprisingly dull and pedestrian, considering the fact that the source material had some of the wittiest stylized dialogue ever written; riddles, puns, word play, songs and poems, logical and mathematical puzzles, etc.

No effort whatsoever was put into researching the way people actually spoke in 19th century England. The character Alice, who is a fully-developed, 3-dimensional character in the books, is a mere cipher here, mouthing the obligatory feminist platitudes one expects to hear in every modern film. She's no different from countless other heroines; bland, safe, inoffensive and derivative.

The film is at its best when its not straying too far from Lewis Carroll; for instance: the Cheshire Cat, the Jabberwock, and not too much else. The Mad Hatter is a mess, as are the Dormouse, and the Red Queen. They have nothing whatsoever to do with Carroll's memorable characters, and are no improvement.

Missing in action are Humpty Dumpty, The Walrus and the Carpenter, the White Knight, the Duchess, and many others. Nothing that happens in the film is remotely funny.

BTW, don't take my word for it. Read the reviews on Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes. Both score it a measly, failing 53%. Honestly, I think that's pretty generous.

kurtwil said...

This Boomer vaguely remembers Slimies, but this post triggered another memory: Garbagepailkids, which have their own www site.

Garbagepailkids spawned an "animated" show mostly like the ones JK tears apart, and deservedly so.

Jenny Lerew said...

These are "jigglers"--I never heard of them as Slimies. Huh!

I had(and still have) that owl. I loved and lost the arms-open crocodile. I used to try to bid on that sucker and get him back but jesus, they'd go for hundreds. Pretty ephemeral objects.

I also had Disney ones that were made for the release of Jungle Book-I'd play with them in the dirt and inadvertently wind up splitting their joints open by posing them. Oh how I loved their oily smell!

A couple of times a year we would go down to Mission Bay near San Diego and stay at the Hilton resort there...fantastic place on the beach. But what was really great was their gift shop...I can still see the rows upon rows of jigglers, all kinds, all colors, big ones, hanging there. Those things were made for adults, really. There were a lot of those sexy mermaids and nutty mad-type molds done, weren't there?
Great sculpts. Russ Berrie ftw.

Martin Juneau said...

In a part we talking about, i will blamed the feminists groups who brainwashed the X generation with those rules and applications. I think the Smurfs cartoons series having this problem when it started.

But today, feminists is everywhere. You will see too in some bastardised stuffs like Les Nombrils and Lou!

mike f. said...

I had (and still have) that owl...

I haven't seen one of these in 30 years. I gotta ask, Jenny - how well do they hold up? Are they still oily and (gloriously) slimy? Or do they oxidize and crack? Do they still smell like a textile manufacturing plant on Mars?

It's impossible to describe the weird, otherworldly texture to someone who's never held one. Near as I can convey it, it was sort of like holding a wet squid from outer space; and you could stretch their limbs reeeeeeally far without breaking them. I was obsessed as a kid; no other toy material was remotely like it.

Almost a definition of the phrase "fondly remembered", especially by collectors. I've tried bidding on them once or twice, too - and got left at the starting gate in a cloud of dust. The scans for this post came from the Hake's website, where they went for astronomical figures at auction.

Maybe someone will reissue them, like the Dream Pets? Not likely, though. As I remember, they disappeared because of some kind of toxicity scare, reportedly from kids who stupidly ate them.

Well, weren't they were worth a few less kids in the gene pool every year? Not to be brutal, but Darwin's theory of thinning out the herd, and all that...

Jenny Lerew said...

Hey Mike! Believe it or not, they hold up very well-at least mine have. They certainly aren't as "oily" as they once were but in the case of the owl they retain their uniquely vunderful smell and don't "decompose" at all--funnily enough, though, the thing that does deteriorate is the hanging elastic-that bit kind of crumbles away, even if unused. Also it's common to find ones where the plastic eyes have popped out, never to be found again(I'm sure kids yanking them). Truly mint in every respect is very rare but they happen.

I have a couple of Jungle Book ones still in the package/falling out of the package, and those are like new. Amazing, eh?

I too remember those stories about why they were discontinued. I have to see if I can find the jiggler uber-collector site I saw years ago where they laid out the whole enchilada about them.

After reading this post I went back on Ebay looking for some-something I hadn't done in years-and there were exactly zero available at any price. There used to always be at least one or two, albeit going for 300+.

Vincent O. Moh said...

There were

kurtwil: "(ethnic language-speaking schools in USA, anyone?)"

Bilingual schools that are intended for native English speakers to also learn another language still teach English. If you are referring to ESL and bilingual education for non-native speakers, I don't foresee that going away, and it doesn't have to do with parents not wanting their kids to learn English - I don't think very many parents truly don't want their kids to know English.

Martin Juneau: Classics can come from any era. Every era has its outstanding entertainment and its terrible entertainment.

SiriusStar514 said...

These toys were my favorites when I was a kid - I had a small collection. I was beginning to feel as if I were the only one in the world who remembered them.

My mom made me keep them in the wrapper because otherwise the greasy coating stained my nightstand. They also tore really easily - the skinny legs could be ripped off, which happened when my sister and I got in a fight - we tore the legs of each other's slimies. Such fun! Are these available anywhere? I'd love to give one to my sister.

I'd love to get one for my sister.

SiriusStar514 said...

Accck - I just read the above post and saw what these are going for on auction sites. It seems my sister and I had a fight that caused over $400 in damage. I guess that's what can happen when you grownup a boomer brat and don't appreciate what you have.

Griffin Calhoun said...

John K. I respect your opinions and I'm glad you had a fun childhood, everyone deserves a happy childhood

but I was born in 1989 and to be honest I kind of take offense in your put downs of kids born in any era after your childhood

look, I had fun in the 90's and so did all my friends and cousins, we had our own cool toys, our own cool ways of playing and we had our own fun, I'm sure the 50's and 60's were a great time to be a kid, but personally I'm glad I was a kid in the era of video games, Steven Spielberg movies, Star Wars and don't forget, your own cartoon Ren and Stimpy, which was one of my favorites

my point is that nostalgia is a great, wonderful thing, but it's also a very subjective thing, it comes off as kind of small minded of you to reject anything post the 60's as "sucky"