Superelastic bubbleplastic

Superelastic bubbleplastic was toy product produced by the Wham-O toy company in the 60’s thru the 80’s. It was a very simple toy. It consisted of a toothpaste type tube filled with goo and a wide pink straw. The fun began as you squirt out a pea-sized amount out of the leaded tube and fastened the pea to the end of the straw. You then blew into the straw to inflate the goo, pinched the bubble off the end of the straw sealing in the air and then stared at it, knocked it around for a few minutes and then slammed it between your hands resulting in a spectacular pop that sent remnants of plastic goo into the carpet. The goo was made up of polyvinyl acetate dissolved in acetone, with plastic fortifiers added. The acetone evaporated upon bubble inflation leaving behind a solid plastic film. Acetate has been known to cause cancer and can enter the skin like DMSO and pull other chemicals along with it. Not a nice thing to give to kids but … what do they care, it was fun! The goo was multi colored and came out of the tube in bright red yellow and blue streams. In a time before this idea became commonplace with toothpaste the novelty of one tube producing multi colors was amazing. The bubbles hardened over time and if you were lucky you could have a semi deflated scrotal-like sac of balloon that could last days. The longer they lasted the greater the popping noise when you eventually smashed it.
The smell was something too. I'm pretty sure I was getting high off the stuff. The tube itself was the cause of many a cut finger. The screw top was plastic yet the actual threaded part of the tube was razor sharp. In addition the tube was soft metal that eventually was ripped open to get the last remnants of Bubbleplastic. That torn open tube was a danger as it was supersharp metal.
Superelastic bubbleplastic was taken off the market in the 80's due to concerns it may, MAY, be toxic.

They always come back:
It is still available but not by Wham-O. You can find it at your local .99 store under the name Fun Bubbles. It is made in Mexico and comes in a multi pack. It smells exactly the same and even comes in little tubes that I'm sure are made out of lead.
Good times!

Wham-O does not have one mention of this product in their official revised company history. See the lie by omission here.

3 comments:

laurenbove said...

I looooooved this stuff. I still remember the smell and yes, the cut fingers but the thrill of piercing the tube with the cap. Still great design. You can actually find the stuff as I think I saw it not long ago.

Hope you're happy and well. Give Pen a kiss.

Anonymous said...

I loved it too! It was my favorite toy. And I can still smell it now. :) The tubes I remember, though, were smaller than in the video posted.

Anonymous said...

This toy was great. I guess I was used to the smell because of the plastic cement that came with all the models I built because it didn't bother me a bit. Didn't get me high, but I suppose if you were stupid enough to sniff and sniff and sniff, sure. And please, I'd like to know of one kid that got cancer from this stuff.