Monday, February 22, 2010

Charles McGoonigal

A very quick illustration (about an hour) of a monster/goon.

Charles was inspired by various toys of the 1960s, in particular Creeple Peeple. For those of you not around back then, in 1964 or 1965, Mattel introduced their Thingmaker toy. The Thingmaker basically consisted of an actual hot plate, some metal molds and a liquid polymer that they called Plastigoop.

You selected a mold, poured the Plastigoop into it, then set it on the Thingmaker (or hot plate), then after about 5 or 10 minutes the heat would solidify the Plastigoop and you'd pull the mold out with tongs, giving yourself a second degree burn in the process. When the red hot metal mold finally cooled off enough to touch, you released your figure from the mold and you had a smelly, rubbery toy to play with, one that you made all by yourself.

They had many different varieties of molds, including insects & spiders, disguises (scars & mustaches), flowers (for dumb ol' girls) and Creeple Peeple. I had all the sets except for the flower one. You could make Creeple Peeple heads, arms and feet, and you were supposed to put them on a pencil and make a monster toy out of it. I spent many an hour making Creeple People with my Thingmaker, as the smell of burnt plastic and seared flesh filled my room. They definitely don't make toys like that anymore.

Looking back, Creeple Peeple looked a lot like those little naked troll dolls with the big shock of hair. I didn't notice that when I was a kid.

Sadly, neither my Thingmaker or any of the toys I made survive to this day. Even more sadly, the Thingmaker has long since been taken off the market, branded as a safety hazard. I'm sure it caused quite a few burns to quite a few kids, but that was part of the fun! What better way to learn a healthy respect for electrity and chemistry than by playing with a toy that could burn the holy crap out of you? I bet it was wimpy 1980s kids that cried over their searing burns and got the Thingmaker taken off the market. Tough 1960s and 1970s kids like me suffered our burns in silence like men and kept right on playing.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the original sketch of Charles. I decided I didn't like his belly scratching pose, so I drew him holding a 1960s flower power plant.

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