There’s a popular Youtube show featuring a hand puppet… really just a hand with some eyes on it… named Oobi, who has a sister Uma. It’s designed for very young children.
Here’s an example. It’s… well, it’s for very young children. Most such television is painfully simplistic or disturbingly hallucinogenic. This show is no exception.
As strange as that might seem, though, it’s a very safe Oobi for kids. Not so, the other Oobi.
Oobi was a toy that debuted in 1971. It resembled a brightly colored change purse or stone with two big eyes. On the bottom was a blank spot that contained an address and a plea not to be confined to a mailbox.
The idea was that kids would put messages into the Oobi, write the address of a friend onto the bottom of the toy, and leave it by the side of the road. The kindness of strangers was then expected to get the message to its intended recipient.
Because someone thought that giving a stranger the name and address of a child, a valid excuse to visit their home, and (if they read the unsealed message) access to information which would allow them to seem trustworthy was just the best idea ever.
The Oobi didn’t last long. It had a small marketing push in some areas, then quietly… and thankfully… faded into nonexistence within a year.
Question of the night: What were some memorable toys from your youth?