January 30, 2009 12:11 AM   Subscribe

1. It's nice to see a commercial for a toy that actually looks fun for a change.
2. It's even nicer to see a name attached to it that's not a synonym for Hasbro.
3. "What has been done cannot be undone?"
4. But the Fun Factory... is it just me, or does it seem vaguely scatological?
posted by JHarris at 12:41 AM on January 30, 2009

"What has been done cannot be undone?"

After you smoosh enough different colors together you end up with a purplish-brown type color.
posted by GavinR at 12:57 AM on January 30, 2009

Forbidden extruded DayGlo salty snack.
posted by pracowity at 1:00 AM on January 30, 2009

The Auschwitz reference was an unexpected touch.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:32 AM on January 30, 2009

When I was small I was really into fake food. Still am, as a matter of fact. My parents got me that Make-a-Meal set for my birthday. I was so psyched. The resulting blobs of vaguely foodlike brown stuff that resulted disappointed me so much that I had blocked all but a remarkably successful rendition of blueberry pie out of my memory. Now it has all flooded back! Damn you, tiny chicken leg! *shakes fist*
posted by Mizu at 1:43 AM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

when i was five i ate this stuff whenever mumsy wasnt looking. twenty years later and i'm feeling all sorts of nostalgic.

Added bonus: play all the links at once. welcome to psychotropic central....
posted by vantam at 1:47 AM on January 30, 2009

The way that kid says "Totally" at the end of the Bill & Ted one was priceless. Like he had a mouth full of marbles.

Also, my mum, being a responsible working class girl done good, used to make us homemade play-dough made of, well, dough and food colouring.

For the minute and a half that the dough kept its oven-warmth it was the Best. Thing. Ever.

Thereafter, the fun was variable.
posted by Jofus at 2:16 AM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Mizu, I had similar problems with the Barber Shop. That guy who's perfectly red on top and blue on the sides? That coiffure and bow in the woman's hair? I couldn't get any of it right. Why couldn't it be like in the commercials? My dad helpfully demystifed it for me by explaining that they made the kids in the commercials make the clay hair over and over and over until it was perfect - it didn't happen the very first time or first few times. That definitely made a difference for me. Seeing what a chore PlayDough was, I returned to my Legos.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:46 AM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

In college I had to take a course in Humanities. We read first sources. We read Herodotus, we read Thucydides, and we read Plato. We had to do reports - presentations to the entire class - about what we'd learned from reading these classics.

I remember the time one student stood up to explain Play-doh's Theory of Forms. This student brought clay, or some clay-like substance, and we all enjoyed smooshing this clay between our fingers as we discussed the emergence of shape from between individual fingers and how ultimately there should be an ideally perfect shape for the clay but you can't tell because all you can see is a shadow of the real clay and it's very hard to sculpt a shadow.

I guess my point is that the philosophy of Play-doh is quite deep and I encourage everyone to play with it.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:23 AM on January 30, 2009 [5 favorites]

Playdough Recipes
posted by pracowity at 4:09 AM on January 30, 2009

It's nice to see a commercial for a toy that actually looks fun for a change.

Toys in commercials often look fun. PlayDoh is no exception to the rule that looks can be deceiving.

Seriously, try playing with the stuff as an adult. It's terrible. Even if you play with it with a child, neither of you will get much enjoyment out of it, unless you really really love pancakes and snakes. (Resisting temptation to put a "MetaFilter:" on that.) Clay is an infinitely better medium of expression.
posted by DU at 4:19 AM on January 30, 2009

Play-Doh lost to Silly Putty for "Slowest Toy" during the last international competition.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:24 AM on January 30, 2009

Scoff all you want, but "Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop" has got to be one of the greatest toy names ever. Just say it a few times out loud! It's great!

I never got too much into Making Fun Play-Doh Things because you had to take everything apart, color by color, to put it back away. While that appealed to my OCD instincts, the white and the yellow invariably stuck together and then your little brother would mush up the blue and red bits and now you couldn't have blue nor red anymore and it stunk.

That said, a little plastic container of day-glo orange play-doh was one of the things I carried around in high school to amuse friends and annoy enemies. Well, that and the tiny Lego catapult.
posted by Spatch at 6:26 AM on January 30, 2009

These are great. A friend gave a bunch of these to my daughter recently, including the mop-top hole-headed bullet people and a giant ziplock bag full of very brown all-color playdoh. Tons of fun. I even let my daughter share with me.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 6:40 AM on January 30, 2009

Seriously, try playing with the stuff as an adult. It's terrible.

I dunno, I'm always sort of fiddling with something, and Play-Doh is a good thing to fiddle with. Plus it smells great.

Although I did buy a Fun Factory a few months ago on a whim (hey, it was $5), and it's kind of craplousy.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:46 AM on January 30, 2009

Schmoopette has a lot of Play-Doh toys that I wish I'd had when I was a kid. The best is a sort of "tarp" that you can put on the floor to prevent the inevitable "Play-Doh Getting Permanently Squished Into the Rug." As a grown-up, I totally appreciate this touch.

I will say though that getting the Play-Doh through the hair-maker-thingum requires quite a lot of brute force. No way would I have been able to do this as a kid. If the Play-Doh is kinda old and slightly hardened, it doesn't work at all. You need totally fresh Play-Doh and a sucker grown-up for optimal results.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:18 AM on January 30, 2009

Yes, the Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop.
'Turn that hippie into a cop at the Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop." - i convinced myself that was a line form the song when I was a kid.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:54 AM on January 30, 2009

These ads are fantastic. Simple, unironic jingles, happy kids. Great toy too. It's amazing to me how many variants of simple dough-in-a-can they sold over the years.

But what's with the Nazi reference? It's inappropriate and apparently non-sequitor.
posted by Nelson at 8:03 AM on January 30, 2009

"But what's with the Nazi reference? It's inappropriate and apparently non-sequitor."

The song is all about how kids should learn that it is fun to work in a factory, like it is almost preparing as children to be content with mindless labor. It almost seems like a heartless overbearing industrial work ethic implication that I thought was a little strange. I'm not mocking the holocaust, but rather the strange way they depict factory work in a jingle.
posted by GavinR at 11:24 AM on January 30, 2009

"Forbidden extruded DayGlo salty snack.


And, Dr. 'Drill and Fill'? Ooohhh Yeeaahhh.
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:44 PM on January 31, 2009

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