Monday, November 17, 2008

SLIME: No Redeeming Social Merit But it Sells

August 5 1977- Slime is not a B film playing second bill to "Sheba, the Slug Queen" at the local drive-in. It is, rather, a moist, sticky, six-ounce gob of gelatinous goo. It looks like something extremely rude.The novelty item also sticks to drapes, carpets, furniture and hair. And it sells. "We can't keep it in the store," said Jack Sweetland, manager of Toys R Us in Hayward.

"We sold out our last batch in two weeks,and we've sold 24 dozen cases in four weeks" said Guy Luiz, assistant manager of Woolworth's in the Fremont Hub shopping center. A case has 24 containers. Both the Newark and Hayward K-Marts
were out of the stuff, which sells for about $1.30 and comes in a chartreuse garbage can. "There's no comparison of it to anything else" agreed Rick Kuhle, manager of King Norman's Kingdom of Toys in the Fremont Hub.

"The surprising thing is that there's been no advertising. It's all been word of mouth. Or " he said, poking an oozing ball of the stuff, "word of feel." Word of feel, indeed. It looks like the unholy tryst of lime Jello and rubber cement. But it has its drawbacks, too. George Coble, manager of Toy World in Hayward, said his store didn't stock it for a month because of the things it could do to furniture. "I always have them read the label" added clerk Anna MacWilliams.

The label reads: "Slime: You can squeeze it, stretch it, squish it, snap it and drip it, but keep it in its own container. "

Slime sticks to rugs, furniture and fabrics and hair. If it stains, wash with water and vinegar or soap. Dry cleaning will not remove Slime."

A Mattel spokeswoman defended Slime. "We haven't really had any complaints. I've talked to our customer relations department and they said the only complaints were that it dissolves when the cover is left off, but the label warns about that," said Beverly Stin.

Water stains are a problem because Slime is 95 per cent water, she said. Slime is non-toxic. Parents seem to take a dim view of Slime. "Yes, we've seen it. It's icky" said Genore Shaw. "I like it!", interjected son Jeff, 7, with glee. "I like the way it looks!"

"My daughter wants it for her birthday. I guess it depends on how much pressure she puts on me" said Pat Marble. Delores Uineke, another parent, said, "I
took it away from my daughter and now it's sitting on top of the refrigerator. I heard it stains rugs

Like the hula hoop of the '50s and the skateboard of last year, Slime is a fad item said Kuhle. But the demand is leveling off. "When school was in session, a kid would bring it to school and then everyone would want it," he said.
But what do kids actually do with the oozing mess?

"You stretch it and catch it in the cup. You pull it apart and sometimes you can mold things with it" said Tom Benepe, age 9.

***For the record, I was totally denied Slime, we had flocked wallpaper, so I understood. I got revenge however when they gave you a small sample for a quarter in a vending machine at the local Miracle Mart.


Bubbashelby said...

I have a vat of generic Slime in my dresser drawer at this very moment. I've been planning on doing a post about it since I found it at the dollar store a few months back. Thanks for posting this article.

Slime is awesome!

Anonymous said...

3 things:

1. I'm surprised they didn't mention the smell.

2. Any place called "King Norman's Kingdom of Toys" is a place I wanna be

3. The kids failed to mention the number one use for slime - any plastic/rubber/bendy action figures you had were now able to battle The Blob!

Anonymous said...

There was also Slime with Worms. I believe that SwW came in an orange trash can and the worms were purple. This stuff was awesome/gross. But it got full of hair and lint real fast, kind of like Wacky Wall Walkers.

Anonymous said...

I remember Slime!
My brother - who was more into trendy, novelty toys anyway - had to have it. It stank and eventually turned an ugly brown color.
I had completely forgotten about Slime with Worms but I also seem to remember that there also was a board game that incorporated Slime. I somewhat remember a little, 1" high guy with his arms over his head to protect himself would get slime dumped on him.
Or am I just imagining it?

Anonymous said...


you're not imagining it:

it also links to an ad for another slime product: Slime It's Alive, which was basically just orange slime with 2 eyeballs floating in it.

biopunk said...

I also had the Slime with Worms. It did indeed have purple worms in orange trashcan (the "can" part went on to be used as a toothbrush holder in our house...) but my little brother had the Masters of the Universe Slime Pit in the mid-80's.
It made excellent slurping sounds and was fun while it lasted.

Laura Moncur said...

I was denied Slime as well. My friends had it, though, so I got my fill of playing with it. After you make it fart a few times, there wasn't much appeal.

I LOVED how it smelled! I can almost smell it just thinking about it...

50sme said...

How I loved my slime with worms. Sigh. Those worms were cool.


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