I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down
Chumbawamba – “Tubthumping”
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, we had toys that were actually awesome. Toys that appealed to both boys and girls. Toys that were true originals. Toys that left an impact on our childhood, and can still make us smile when we see them as adults today. If you were a child 30 years ago and came to my blog today and saw that picture above, and didn’t immediately have the catchphrase “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down!” going through your head, then I only hope you and your alien race actually came to this planet in peace….
Yes, this week’s Flashback Friday post is a tribute to those roly poly little toys of three decades ago that always got back up and smiled now matter how much we little monsters abused them during playtime. Hasbro introduced Weebles to the toy market back in 1971, and continued to produce the ovoid shaped little people until 1983, which was just long enough for them to make it into my childhood memories. I still remember we had three different Weebles playsets when me and my sisters were still little rugrats….
The Tumblin’ Funhouse!
And the Haunted House!
Oddly enough, I always think we had four different Weebles domiciles, but that’s because me and my sisters were good at breaking every toy we ever had, and managed to have the Haunted House broke apart at the hinges in no time… so it was like getting two playsets in one!
Like many of the toys we played with back in the day, the science behind the toys would have blown our little heads right off our shoulders. The Wikipedia article on Weebles has a paragraph devoted to the laws of physics that allow a Weeble to have its amazing resistance to gravity….
A Weeble is shaped like an egg—in order for the physics principles to work as intended, the shape must have a bottom which is a more or less smooth (unfaceted) hemisphere (to allow the Weeble to roll) and from the central vertical axis the shape must be nearly cylindrically symmetrical (that is, any plane cut through the vertical axis line must produce close to the same profile). Next, the shape must be filled with two basic types of unmixed solids, and the volume of the lighter solid must be greater than that of the heavier solid. Next, the overall shape must have constant positive curvature. Next, the relationship between the heavy solid and the light solid must be such that any orientation of the object off of the vertical axis line must cause the object’s centroid to raise and to become offset. Lastly, the object must have only one position in which it can achieve stable mechanical equilibrium.
Combining these characteristics produces a basic Weeble.
Weebles were too popular not to reintroduce to the world, and a few years ago, Hasbro duly modernized the Weeble for the youth of today…
Since toys buck the trend of most other industries in the notion that smaller is better, the Weebles of today exploded in size. Since a scientific study conducted sometime in the 2000’s concluded that toys from the 20th century were so unsafe that nobody who ever touched one should still be alive, Weebles followed in the footsteps of other children’s playthings and became too big for some adventurous little tyke to shove in their mouth. Either that, or Weebles have also succumbed to the obesity craze that is sweeping the nation…
We here at The Nest would like to salute the Weeble for bringing us countless hours of weeble wobbling joy, as well as providing a nice round projectile to throw at our little sisters. While it would be cruel to give Weebles a round of applause or a high five, we instead offer them a congratulatory chest bump… and then watch as they bob back and forth trying to regain their equilibrium. And if you’ve always wondered what could possibly be more fun than a box full of possums….