With Christmas approaching and gifts for grandkids on my mind, I was reminded of the toys available when I was a kid. Some of them would be thought of as dangerous by today’s standards. One such toy—that I never received but was always at the top of my list—was the Thingmaker. In those days, it was basically a 400° hot plate (what could go wrong there?). In later years, I believe that Mattel replaced it with some benign light bulb heating mechanism—and even that was behind a “safety door.” Yet they still have the gall to call it a Thingmaker. Really? Please.
Regardless, I am pretty certain that price, not its inherent perils, was why I never got one. Those were the days before seat belts and bike helmets, after all, when just getting out of bed in the morning was risky. Fair enough though. Thingmakers were relatively expensive back in 1964 and my parents were not exactly flush.
If you are interested in such things as Plastigoop (or old enough to even know what it is), I have a Thingmaker story in my book, Searching for Alpha Centauri: A Boyhood Memoir, that you might enjoy. Here is an audio excerpt: