October 29, 2006


You guessed it, there's a fight for number three! I call this one the Duel at the Dime Store!

"Dangling Skeleton With Moving Eyes"
Era: 1960s
Glow-in-the-Dark?: No
Place of Origin: Salem, MA
Rib Count: 12
Celebrity Look-alike: That old guy in Poltergeist II
Description: Points of interest: lenticular eyes (luxurious), hoofed feet (disturbing), apparent flesh covering (vomitous).

And in this corner...

"Hanging Skeleton"
Era: 1960s
Glow-in-the-Dark?: No
Place of Origin: Ebay
Rib Count: 22
Celebrity Look-alike: Magilla Gorilla
Description: Points of interest: chain made of real metal (fancy), rubber suction cup (inventive), eyes on the same side of the skull (unique), large nostrils (hideous).

The Judgment: One hangs, one dangles, both employ a bright yellow header card to draw attention from young shoppers. But one goes the extra mile and shows children what sort of fun can be had with a little imagination.. sort of a serving suggestion for the mind. " It's true, this skeleton could fence cave-dwelling robot knights.. I'll take it!"

The Winner: Skeleton #3 is..."Dangling Skeleton With Moving Eyes"
Cause of Death for Hanging Skeleton: Hanging


Steven Altis said...

I've often wondered if the artists who work on sort-of generic header cards like that ever actually have a story in their heads that explains why, for instance, a skeleton and spaceman might be fencing. Sort of along the lines of a method actor who invents an entire personal history for a character he's playing, even though he knows that nobody other than himself will ever know what that history is...

gentle_dissident said...

i thought it was made by ppl tryin to get a fast buck

i heard the artist in my head as well. he, an old guy with a cigar and mustache, said "he's gonna sword fight a space night. the kids'll eat it up!cough...cough...cough"

Devlin Thompson said...

How big is the "Dangling Skeleton?" I ask because I have a dull silver blow-molded one that resembles him that I've never quite understood. The plug in the head suggested that it might have held a fluid, but I could never envision a scenario where that made any sense. If it's there to secure a string long lost, I guess that maes sense. Mine, though is about 6" tall, while this one appears smaller. Also, if mine ever had eyes, they're long gone. My grandmother had the hanging skeleton in her desk for many years (I believe it may have been a gag gift when she entered nursing school in the early '60s). It took me until my mid-teens to talk her out of it, and it took me maybe 6 months to lose a leg. At least the one-piece iterations of this still exist, with nearly unchanged art even,though usually in goofy colors. Still, I think this is the greatest jump-ring skeleton of all.

Rozum said...

Kirk, stop on by. I just posted some skeleton pictures including a dangling one woven out of straw fibres that a fan in Mexico sent me a few years ago.

Kirk D. said...

Steven, yeah this may have been the artist's big chance to express some major creativity. Or maybe he was thinking "Those stupid kids go for the space stuff. Dat's it!" Well, more likely his boss was.

Funny, Gentle I was thinking a cigar too before I even read your comment.

This dangling skeleton is about 6 inches tall too. (almost actual size on my monitor) But yeah, why did they go for the plug versus the standard hoop?
Ah, the grandmother/skeleton memory is simply perfect. That's hilarious that you waited so long to disuss it! I always loved it when adults (especially older ones) had little toys around. So out of place in their world and to a youngster they become the focus of attention. My distant grandparents house in Florida is represented in my mind by a pair of plastic bowlers. (I also recall Steven Altis commenting that his grandmother had one of the other skeletons in a drawer.)
How did you ever learn they're called "jump-ring" skeletons? I've been coming off as such a layman, sheesh.

Will do Rozum!

Mike said...

This is very similar to the skeletons I found at a local dollar store (they come 4 to a bag full of other halloween stuff). Exact same sculpt only it's all one piece, a bit smaller, and available in colorful variations.

I always pick up plastic skeletons wherever I find them so these articles are a blast.

Great blog! First time here, but caught the Secret Fun Spot and Flip last year.

Kirk D. said...

Thanks Mike! It's good to meet another supporter of skeletons, after all, they've supported us for so long.