Monday, February 9, 2015

Winky Dink, 50 cents, and You

Last weekend, I attended a local estate sale at a home that had all the appearances of having housed a hoarder.  There were papers and magazines strewn throughout the home and an actual dump was on the property where the homeowners had thrown their unwanted debris for decades.  This kind of sale is usually a deterrent to the casual garage/estate saler, but I've found these kind of homes can house treasures as the owner rarely threw things out (except in the dump I mentioned above!)

I found this among the rubble.

I didn't recognize the character, but the graphics interested me, so I stuck it in my bag.

As it turned out, I ended up buying a large set of 35mm slides from the home (which I'm sure I'll blog about at some point once I go through them) and the person running the sale let me have everything else in my bag for free.

The game, made by Tryne, was obviously intended to be used with tiddly wink chips with the intent of landing the chips in the various circles on the playing fields.  This is actually a flattened box. When folded out, it forms a cube upon which you can play.

After doing a little research (read Googling), I discovered I did vaguely know about the character on the game, or at least had heard of him.

"Winky Dink and You" was a CBS children's program in the 1950's.  It was hosted by Jack Barry, of "Quiz Show" scandal fame and "The Joker's Wild", and cartoon character Winky Dink, voiced by Mae Questel, best known as the voice of Betty Boop, Olive Oyl and for her portrayal of Aunt  Bethany (Did I break wind?) on Christmas Vacation.  Children were encouraged to write away (and send 50 cents) to the show for which they would receive a sheet of vinyl plastic and "special" crayons that would allow them to participate with the show.  Considered the first interactive television show, Winky Dink along with Barry lead children through adventures involving the drawings they would make on their television screens at home.  There's a full episode on Youtube and after watching, I wish I'd had something like it when I was a kid.  Heck, I'd probably play now.  I wonder if you can still find those kits for 50 cents...

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