“The Weebles Haunted House, Where Weebles wobble…and go bump in the night!”
Why, why, why did I wait so long to get this toy? I’ve been collecting toys since I was a kid and like most Gen Xers love the feeling of nostalgia that goes with toys. The main focus of my collection is Fisher-Price Little People and Adventure People so, even though I had seen this house in glances every once in a while, I really didn’t know what it was for a long time.
I am obsessed with scary stuff: scary (not gory) movies, music, art, books and toys. Even better are all of these things made for children. In the 70s and 80s there was a weird trend to do scary stuff for kids. It’s not like that now, but I got hooked early on in my childhood. I just wish I had had this playset! As a little “goth nugget” (hat-tip to Jenny Ashford, her moniker for her goth-kid self cracked me up!) I would have LOVED this!
P.S. If you have not seen 13 O’Clock on YouTube it is fantastic! Jenny and Tom do a whole true crime/paranormal show that I cannot live without. It’s possibly the best thing on the internet.
Many blogs go into the history of this toy, and I don’t want to bore you, so you can watch a vintage commercial here on Youtube and get the idea.
Finally, I decided to buy one last year in the spring. They are on E-Bay quite a bit and at reasonable prices if you keep and eye on the auctions. (The hardest thing to find is the witch’s hat. If your ghost has his face missing it’s pretty easy to draw it back on with a permanent marker.) When it came in the mail I was obsessed! It was amazing and so fun! My kids gravitated to it right away even though they are “too old” for preschool toys. My son was sick that week and spent a lot of time playing with it.
The obsession grew. My creativity was lit on fire by this toy! I did a mind-mapping exercise to organize my thoughts because they were boiling over! This toy just kept touching on all the things I love and new things I discovered since.
First, I realized that Weebles and Little People are on the same scale. Our Little People figures had to visit the haunted house too! Second, it reminded me of a funhouse and so I watched Tobe Hooper’s movie after Texas Chainsaw, “The Funhouse” and it was better than I remembered it being! Third, I remembered that I had been to Joyland in Kansas when I was a kid and they had a Wacky Shack funhouse. Then I remembered it was like Phantasmagoria at Bell’s . So I internet ran-into all these cool websites about funhouses, pretzel rides, and dark rides. What a hoot! There are even video drive-throughs of these awesome places on YouTube! Then I found the story of Elmer McCurdy who was a low-rate train robber who was shot by law enforcement and killed. He was enbalmed but no one claimed him. He ended up being on the freak-show/fair circuit and in the 70’s in a Long Beach, CA funhouse was being used as a prop until his arm broke off and they realized it was a body!
Fourth, some of the “gags” of this house reminded me of movies. The mirror reminds me of the great CBS children’s program of “The Treasure of Alpheus T. Winterborne” and Disney’s first foray into scary stuff to attract an older audience- “Watcher in the Woods.” The bookcase is so like “Young Frankenstein” and all the movies it was paying tribute to.
There’s so much more but this house reminds me of everything I love about the 70s- the love of the Victorian haunted house, especially Mansard-roofed versions, scary TV shows made for kids, heck, even my favorite 70s Haunted house icon, The Rochester. Here is my mind map if you want more!
I also got obsessed with the “gags” of haunted houses and dark rides. I even started to write a fun picture book about them. And of course, I had to produce tons of art and ideas about this awesome playset.
Here is my favorite spooky recipe- an easy, fun drink to make your kids. It’s called:
Ghost in the Graveyard
Pour your favorite root beer into a glass. Add drops of black food dye until the root beer is black as well. Plop in a scoop of vanilla ice cream and watch it swirl and whirl around!
For the adult version, fill a smaller glass with Blavod (black vodka) and add the vanilla ice-cream for a spooky effect!
So make yourself a drink and kick back as we present Weebles’ Theatre!
Sister & Brother Explore a Haunted House!
Once upon a time a big sister and her little brother came upon a haunted house in their neighborhood. Should they go in? The door opened….c r e a k…
They are young, brave eggs, so they do! What will they find inside?
OOOH! Creepy cobwebs and furniture. Wait, did that door just close? Oh no!
Creeky door, squeaky floor, got inside,
be scared no more!
Bookshelf twirls, weebles whirl!
What a fright! We’re glad it’s not night!
Spooky pictures on the wall, wobble upstairs, do not fall!
Is that Goldilocks sleeping in the bed?
Nope, it’s the Invisible Man instead!
In the attic, in the dark. Found a trunk, what a lark!
Opened it and out bats flew…
Here comes the ghost! Whooooooo!
What is glowing from the fireplace?
Hurry down the staircase!
Run downstairs as fast as you can.
What is Witchy-Poo doing here from Kroft-land?
Get out the door and give it a slam!
Safe and sound now, eggy and true.
Hey let’s go back in, we’ll go with you!
With toy fun and 70s nostalgia from Kansas Street,