Aug 1, 2013
Fads come and go. I think that is, by definition, what they are supposed to do. Sometimes their life cycle is thankfully brief, others can linger painfully. Pet Rocks, Slap Bands, Furbies, and grown men wearing dress shoes with no socks, all fads, and thankfully all residents of the fad afterlife… for now! These things have a nasty habit of being cyclical, and if we are not careful kids may start wearing those icky jelly shoes again, or worse still, Camp Beverly Hills T-shirts. [insert shudder here]
The item I have for you is an example of fad that hit big time in the seventies, and like most things from that decade, the intervening thirty plus years have not favored the aesthetic that was oh so “in” then. In simple terms people look back at the swinging seventies and see the popular styles as gosh awful.
So what do I have for you exactly? Well check this out.
At 23″ tall it is a wall decoration. Obviously it depicts the Caped Crusader in all of his plasticky gnarled goodness.
It took a bit of research on my part to learn that this type of art form is commonly known as melted plastic popcorn. Great name, right?
A closer look reveals that the colored areas of the design are composed of what can best be described as soft plastic shavings. Obviously they were then heated causing them to fuse in to the finished piece above, I can see where the popcorn comparison arose.
The back is flat and smooth and lacks the kind of detail seen on the front.
In the seventies these pieces could be found in almost every home in America. Think of any holiday and there were a hundred different designs available to adorn your walls with. Truth be told, they are tacky as all get up but for some reason the citizenry of this great country could not get enough of them. As with most fads, as I mentioned before, we can all be thankful that this one has been dead and gone for a few decades now.
I grabbed this tacky little gem when I was at toy show a couple of months ago. A dealer friend of mine was astounded that anyone showed an interest in such a “monstrosity”, admittedly, as with most of the local dealers, he knows I am in to the weird and wacky stuff. In a move I am sure he is still proud of, he sold me two of them. Someone had sold him a pair of these Batman pieces and he was happy to see them go away in one quick transaction. I paid $10 for the both of them and was delighted.
Well fans, it turns out that this is quite a rare piece. Search the interwebs for “melted plastic popcorn” and you quickly get 83,000 returns. Refine your search to include the word Batman and you get far fewer returns and I can’t actually find this guy at all.
Apparently a Robin version was also produced.
You have to love how goofy they look.
Unlike the generic holiday pieces these guys command quite a price. Expect to pay $50-75 for these rare gems.
In summary, these guys may not be the most handsome of collectibles, but in terms of weird and interesting I say they are top notch.
Flickr = 31,303
Get your official ToyNerd merchandise here