Once upon a time, products featuring famous characters were licensed by manufacturers who often had little knowledge of the property they were trying to exploit.
There was little in the way of quality control by the owner of these famous characters, and their precious cash cows were at the mercy of artists and designers hired by the licensors.
These artists generally didn't give a rat's ass what the characters were supposed to look like, and the results were often alarming to the copyright holder and dissappointing to the young consumers.
As a child, I was furious about the uncaring attitude of these merchandisers. Didn't they understand the reverence we children had for these famous charcters?
Didn't they think we'd notice the wrong color on the gloves? The undignified expression on the face? Sometimes the stylistic insults seemed downright cruel.
But after a childhood filled with wretched toys, I've become nostalgic in my old age for this era of chaotic merchandising. Today's toys seem too perfect by comparison, adhering as they do to strict corporate style guides.
So I'd like to utilize a piece of this blog to periodically celebrate the misshapen product designs of yesteryear, the toys that made my generation the bitter cynics we are today.
For that childhood of dissappointment forced us to appreciate in the malformed, the degenerate and the just plain awful as the hallmarks of genuine humanity that they are.
So be my cuddly, naptime Batman and join me in my quest to rediscover the glorious world of off-model merchandise. I promise it won't be frightening.
Well... maybe a little...