Sunday, August 13, 2023

[YouTube] Play-Doh: Cowboy & Strawberry Shortcake Sets

Play-Doh is one of those toys that just about everyone knows of and has likely played with at least once as a kid and maybe as an adult too. I'm going to quickly summarize its history from an article you can find here: Smithsonian Magazine. It began life as wallpaper cleaner from Kutol Products, a Cincinnati-based company founded in 1912. During the '50s Kutol began struggling financially as the need to clean wallpaper declined thanks to oil, gas, and electricity replacing coal as a heating source in homes. That led to the idea of turning the wallpaper cleaner -- that some had already been using for crafts projects -- into a children's toy. As a subsidiary of Kutol, the Rainbow Crafts Company began selling Play-Doh in either 1955 (according to Kenner) or 1956 (according to the Smithsonian article). General Mills purchased Rainbow Crafts Company in 1965 and later merged it into Kenner which it acquired in 1967. After Kenner changed hands a couple more times, Play-Doh became a Hasbro property and still is today.

Although I believe I did own a Fun Factory and some other Play-Doh toys at one time, all I have remaining is my sister's Strawberry Shortcake set from 1982 and the Cowboy Set that was first sold in 1975 I believe. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have the Cowboy Set's mat any longer. I did find another mat though I'm not sure if it was part of a set; I'd guess it was simply sold with cans of Play-Doh. The yellow tool has multiple names, sometimes the packaging refers to it as a trimmer and other times it says trim knife, and the wooden cylinder is a roller. Play-Doh sets have featured a variety of licenses in addition to Strawberry Shortcake, such as Star Wars, M.A.S.K., Care Bears, Sesame Street, The Flintstones, and the Real Ghostbusters. As you can see on the items I'm showing, there was a blond boy featured on most Play-Doh products. He became the mascot in 1960 and was known as Play-Doh Pete but Hasbro phased him out in the early 2000s. 

1981 Cannister

1984 Cannisters

Cowboy Set
This set included three cans of PlayDoh, six molds, a wagon, trimmer, roller, and 14" x 20" mat. The molds can be used to create three people, a horse, fence, hat, and cactus.

Strawberry Shortcake Play Set
This set included three cans of Play-Doh, two molds, a trim knife, mat, and what Kenner calls a vehicle. Kenner did produce another Strawberry Shortcake set before this one that has a lady bug vehicle instead of a butterfly and a strawberry scented mat. Strawberry Shortcake herself must have been a mold in the first set but also appears to be one of the characters here. I think the others are Lemon Meringue, Apricot, Hopsalot, and The Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak.

Some old creations from the '80s that are now hard and discolored.

1976 Booklet Piece

1987 Booklet

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