Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.
Look, I totally understand the modern hankering for the handmade and the pre-industiral, for children’s toys that look like they might have been crafted by elves in a workshop rather than shat out of one of those Mattel’s Chinese lead-and-woe factories.
But good Lord in heaven, that’s no excuse for the horrors of How to Make Soft Toys & Dolls. What is the appropriate age for furry prisoner-rendition cosplay?
And it’s no excuse for this Thanksgiving nightmare from the same book:
Yes, an uncooked turkey claimed the heads of those who would have eaten it.
Also out of the oven: This Corpseybread Cookie comes stitched with a memento of each person you have wronged in your life.
Weirder still is this wolf-crotched Red Riding Hood doll. Perhaps it was designed to teach girls about that time when their bodies start to change.
That one deserves a second look. Hitch up Red’s skirts to reveal the great truth of American woman: there’s nothing wrong with being both wolf and grandma.
How to Make Soft Toys & Dolls also offers:
Hallucination Bunny . . .
A clown you must defeat in combat . . .
. . . and that one memory of your father you thought you had suppressed.
“Nude 70s Rob Reiner Reclining Upon a Sacrificial Altar” is made out of pantyhose, incidentally.
ALSO: I AM NOT MAKING THIS BOOK UP.
Here’s the actual cover:
NEXT: Madness from A Soft Touch for Macrame and The Big Book of Small Needlework Gifts!
The most disturbing thing in 1977’s A Soft Touch for Macrame is right there on the cover:
See that? Beside the puddley face of that decapitated bear, and just above The Eiffel Tower Jammed Up a Great Red Nose: the promise that macrame is appropriate for “special occasions.”
That bear head is upsetting, though. Here’s another shot from inside the book:
When adult life feels overwhelming, your Crap Archivist often thinks back to the youthful hours he spent dreaming of bees circling the bear heads mounted in a trophy room.
Creepy as all this has been, all these toys pale next to the one on the cover of 1980’s The Big Book of Small Needlecraft Gifts. There, a young William Katt clutches his own botched female clone.
In this book, we see evidence that these toys were scary even to kids in 1980:
That comes just a couple pages from the most disturbing image in any of these books, one that isn’t of a toy at all: this publicity still from MTV’s Skins:
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