Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The elusive googly-eyed puffball sticky-footed creature fad

Ever since I made (and then lost) this little guy at Kidspace last week:

I've been trying to find out more about the sticky-footed puffball creature fad of the late 70s and/or early 80s. Anyone remember these? They were little puffball creatures with feet that were stickers and people put them on the bills of their baseball hats or stuck them to their dashboards. They usually had googly eyeballs, sometimes they were animals, sometimes they wore hats, and they usually had a ribbon hanging off to the side with a happy little quote like "Have a nice day!" printed on it. I think they came from gumball machines or doctors' offices or maybe we won them at carnivals? Am I making this up? Was this just a West Virginia thing? I've scoured the internet Googling words like "puffball creature" and "pom-pom animal sticky feet" and "80s fad puffball animal on hat" and have yet to prove they really did exist.

So last week I went to Michael's and spent $30 on puffballs and sticky-backed craft foam and googly eyeballs and glue and brought it all home to make my own. Sage and I made these Easter-inspired bunnies and chicks:

Here his is with his friend Ava showing off their creations:

They're super-easy and fun to make and each one comes out a one-of-a-kind. I want to make a whole bunch and bring the fad back. That is, if it ever existed in the first place.


Anonymous said...

I live in Newfoundland, Canada and I remember these! SO CUTE!

aSprinkling said...

Oh yeah...we had 'em in GA.

Anna said...

I used to collect those! Usually they were promoting something, with the company name or slogan or whatever on the ribbon. I'm in the UK, and we used to call them bugs.

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

We had them in Connecticut too. When we sold things for the school fundraiser everyone who sold at least one item received one of those.

I found these:

I guess some call them pom pom critters.

These are the ones I remember from school:

I LOVE your critters :)

KB said...

Ohmygad YES! Thank you everyone! I'm not crazy!

Robin, you rock! I forgot they had antennae too. It's funny that I kept looking for "puffball creatures" and they're actually "pom pom critters" Ha!

hravenscroft said...

My mom used to bring them home from foodservice shows. They would have little brand ribbons for Kelloggs or Frito-lay, between the feet and the pom. You could peel off some paper under the feet and stick them to stuff.
One of my grandmas craft books was all stuff using google eyes. I wish I had that. We made these puffball creatures and some felt fridge magnets. She's very crafty.

jmb_craftypickle said...

I remember these too...we used to get them for doing something good at school. They are kind of like that 80's feelings book "warm fuzzies" , I don't think that was the name of the book, but they had warm fuzzies and cold pricklies...that was when you were mean...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

CynthiaAvaDevta said...

Oh, yes. I remember them well. The ones we would get seemed to be made of the ones you make from thin, cotton, yarn. They were adorable. My grandma would buy me one when she went to the card shop. I miss those days...

Amy said...

i totally remember them they were the bomb. I think my grama had a few still in her house when my parents moved her 2 years ago.

undeadgoat said...

In my 1990s childhood those things were definitely still around . . . definitely not insane.

Unknown said...

Just been searching for these also, I managed to find out that they are called WEEPULS

johnny jism said...

I remember those things! The ones I saw were called Weebils (someone above referred to them as "Weepuls" which is close). They were better than pet rocks that's for sure...

Elizabeth... said...

My friend and I always called them Mooplets... I don't like the name Weepul, it just sound so wrong when in my head they are Mooplets and always will be!

But this blog has helped me know the truth, their real name despite how odd it is.


Lauri said...

I loved them and I still love them. I called them "warm fuzzies", as someone mentioned above. I am now a high school teacher and I decided to make these and give them to my students for "Random Acts of Kindness". You would have thought that I was giving them a gift card to the mall. When a student earns one, they get to choose from any of the one-of-a-kind fuzzies that I have on hand. My nieces help me make them. They then get to keep them or stick them somewhere in my classroom. It is truly magical to see how this fad of the 80s & 90s can still excite kids today, even high school kids.

Anonymous said...
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Coleen said...

You know a simple style is also cute. Just get a puffball and put 2 gigantic googly eyes on it. Presto!!

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Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

Anonymous said...

I know this post is old but thank you so much!!! I have been wanting to find these for my 7 yr old neice. She was introduced to scratch n sniff stickers and now she wants to know all the fun stuff we had in the 80's; even Garbage Pail Kids.

Anonymous said...

I remember these too! I had bought a pack of puff balls at Hobby Lobby and didn't know what to make. Now I do!! Flashback!

Anonymous said...

Target is using them in their in-store ads.

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Anonymous said...

"Weepuls" or "warm fuzzies" will let you find a lot of search results. Try "warm fuzzy story" or "warm fuzzy cold prickly" to find some versions of the story behind Warm Fuzzies.

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