Wacky WallWalker

The Wacky WallWalker was a toy molded out of a sticky elastomer. It was shaped similar to a spider, and when thrown against a wall would "walk" its way down. It was a hugely popular toy in the early 1980s.

Wacky Wallwalker as a cereal box prize

Before its introduction in the United States, Ken Hakuta received in the mail several sticky octopus-like toys from his mother, who lived in Japan. They were intended for his children, but Hakuta found himself fascinated with the toy, which was called Tako in Japan. He realized their marketing potential, and after purchasing rights to the product in 1983 for $5,000,[1] he began to market them locally in Washington, D.C., dubbing them "Wacky WallWalkers". Their popularity was mediocre, until Nina Hyde of The Washington Post wrote a feature story on them. This created a buzz, and people in the Washington area flooded local stores to purchase them.[citation needed] As the fad began to decline, over 240 million Wacky WallWalkers had been sold, raking in about 80 million dollars.[citation needed]

The popular toy was featured in the 1983 animated Christmas special Deck the Halls with Wacky Walls, starring the voices of Daws Butler, Tress MacNeille, and Marvin Kaplan.[2] The show featured seven Wallwalkers from the planet Kling-Kling: Big Blue, Springette, Bouncing Baby Boo, Crazylegs, Stickum, Wacko, and their leader, Kling-Kling.[3] One character in the special was modeled after Hakuta's son, Kenzo.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Elizabeth Church. "Want to buy some goo?" The Globe and Mail (Canada) 21 July 1999. M1.
  2. ^ Woolery, George W. (1989). Animated TV Specials: The Complete Directory to the First Twenty-Five Years, 1962-1987. Scarecrow Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-8108-2198-2. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. ^ Tom Shales. "The Year Dan Rather Lost His Place and Other Great Moments in TV '83" The Washington Post, 6 January 1984. D1.
  4. ^ Clarity, James F.; Weaver Jr., Warren (July 11, 1983). "Briefing". The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved 7 June 2020.

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