Jan 17, 2008

Bupkis, Jigglers & Other Wiggly Things - Russ Barrie 1964

Russ Berrie was a toy buyer who decided to go into business for himself and from the beginning, his idea was to expand the "Impulse gift" trade. His first breakout hit came in 1964 with the Bupkis Family; ten ugly, rubbery oily critters that could sit on your desk or hang from the rearview mirror.

Bupkis was so popular, Berrie introduced at least two more oily lines called the Untouchables and Loveabulls. If there was a common theme to any of these lines, I don't know what it is. It seems to be a football player mixed with a buzzard a spider in aberet and maybe a monkey. [just between you and me, if you're looking for a bff, send me the monkey.

The characters were well designed and stood somewhere between cute and creepy. Kids loved the way they felt. Other companies also offered up jiggly figures and while the other guys weren't as oily as Russ Berrie figs, the rubbery, blubbery fad was on.

Now the generic term for the figures is 'Jigglers' and if you decide to collect them, be sure to bring the checkbook. If Ebay and the outdoor antique shows I frequent are an indicator, they do seem to be difficult to find. I've seen near mint Bupkis figures with their tags still intact start at 100 smackeroos and up. I saw the spider in a beret go for $400. Yikes!

1 comment:

QueuePublic said...

Thanks to serendipity and a little stolen slack time I decided to search "Bupkis AND toy AND 60s" and found your site. Thanks for the gas from the past.

Now onto Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, Creepy Crawlers and other toys that likely helped make me what I am today: a storehouse of volatile organic compound off-gases!

Thanks for the chuckle. --Bob