Fuzzy dice, also known as fluffy dice, soft dice, or stuffed dice, are an automotive decoration consisting of two oversized (usually six-sided) plush dice which hang from the rear-view mirror. The original fuzzy dice, first used in the 1950s, were white and approximately 3 inches (8 cm) across. Nowadays, fuzzy dice come in many colors and various sizes. In Britain and other parts of the world it is considered kitsch to display such items in a car.
Origin and historyEdit
The use of fuzzy dice is believed to be traced back to American fighter pilots during World War II. Pilots would hang the dice above their instruments displaying seven pips before a 'sortie' mission for good luck. It is also speculated that the dice represented a high degree of risk associated with the fighter sorties; hundreds of pilots were shot down each week. Upon returning after the war, many airmen continued the tradition.
In the 1950s, the fuzzy dice became one of the first items sold specifically to be hung from a rear-view mirror. The Encyclopedia of American Social History notes that during the 1950s, young adults were drawn to cars that were "customized for speed, painted with vivid colors, stripes, and flames, tuck-and-roll interiors, fuzzy dice suspended from the mirror, rock-and-roll on the radio..."
It has been postulated that the late Mark Shepherd Jr., a former CEO of Texas Instruments, created the first fuzzy dice in 1952, when he was a project engineer working for the company. He supposedly made them as a "good luck" gag gift for a professional acquaintance, knowing the original use of the dice.
Ed Sundberg and Lupe Zavala claim to have started the trend in 1959 at Deccofelt Corporation in Glendora, California.[non-primary source needed] Their dice were made of polyurethane squares with felt dots. When dice were produced in other countries, designers adopted a "fuzzy" plush material.
Another explanation for hanging these in a car has been proposed that "displaying the dice meant the driver was ready and willing to be 'dicing with death' in the dangerous and unregulated world of street racing."
In some segments, such as the lowrider community, research indicated that even the most dedicated individuals "did not attach any significance to the dice" that was hung from their car's rearview mirror.
A 1993 study found no correlation between the use of fuzzy dice and the degree of a driver's reckless driving behavior. However, in states like Nevada, New Jersey, and California - as well as countries that include Australia and England - a driver may get fined for having them.
A technology upgrade to the product includes illuminated LED plastic dice that change colors.
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- Vokins, Stephen (2008). Nodding dogs & vinyl roofs: the weird world of quirky car accessories. Haynes. ISBN 9781844254224.
to the pure kitsch of nodding dogs and fluffy dice, the motoring world's most vital accessories are gathered here
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Media related to Fuzzy dice at Wikimedia Commons