So, a little over five years ago I wrote (what I thought was) a throwaway blog post on this oddball stuffed animal from the 1960s called "Slurp" that I found at a thrift store. It was pretty difficult to find anything, but some Googling showed that it was produced by a company called Spectacular Products. Spectacular Products folded at some point and became Princess Soft Toys, a more traditional stuffed animal manufacturer that was a frequent staple of hospital and tourist trap gift shops. Since the writing of the original blog post, Princess Soft also dissolved in a complete mess of financial shenanigans. But that's neither here nor there.
Apparently that blog post has been finding it's way around various internet collectible fora, being the only post laying out any sort of history for the thing. Not sure if it was through that forum or just Google or what, but a particularly resourceful collector of these toys tracked me down from that blog post, contacting me through my Google+ profile attached to this site. We did some haggling, and unfortunately couldn't reach a price we were both comfortable with for me to part with my Slurp (yes I still have the weird little thing). In the meantime, however, I managed to goad some background information about them.
"These were made by an old company in my home town. Cannon Falls Minnesota. The company name was Spectacular Products. That's my reason for the interest. Some people collect them because they were made in the 60's - hippie era.Unfortunately, I never got to hear any further about these "stories", but the potential buyer did tip me off with this Youtube video of the band discussed in the anecdote. They were called The Shades, and get a load of their wicked station wagon.
Some of the local high school kids who had a small band in the 60's, probably influenced by beatnik music, like Dylan and the Beatles were, worked at this company making the Slurps. I'll see if I can dig up an old photo of the band. They played at local fairs, and eventually went off to Viet Nam. One was killed.
I was born in 1960 and had a slurp as a kid. Have no idea what I ever did with it. Some of my friends still have their original Slurps. I have about six. I know there's a guy in my hometown, a year older than me, who very seriously collects them. I've heard stories."
Apparently members of this band worked in the factory hand-stitching these toys. It's entirely possible that one of them hand-stiched the one I still own, the company was just starting and most accounts say there were between 8-10 employees when they rolled out this toy as their first product.