1.28.2020

COLORFORMS: ONE OF MY FAVORITE RETRO TOYS


Back in the late 1950s to early 1960s, the first tv obsession I had was Romper Room out of Detroit and Canada. We were lucky to have 2 different Romper Rooms to watch.


My favorite part of the show was Willie the Weatherman. I loved to watch the host pick out what type of clothing for Willie to wear matching the weather outside. One of the very first Colorform sets I had was Willie the Weatherman and my love for these cool toys grew from there.


Colorforms is a creative toy named for the simple shapes and forms cut from colored vinyl sheeting that cling to a smooth backing surface without adhesives. These pieces are used to create picture graphics and designs, which can then be changed countless times by repositioning the removable color forms.

Shari Lewis and my favorites Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse

The Colorforms concept was developed by Harry and Patricia Kislevitz in 1951, firmly rooted in the Modernist design ethos and reflecting the Color Field abstract style prevalent at the time.



The basic concept behind Colorforms was the ability to adhere and reposition color form shapes on random surfaces to create art. Both recent art students, Harry and Patricia discovered the idea when they acquired several rolls of flexible paper-thin colored vinyl used to manufacture plastic pocketbooks and found that it would stick to the glossy paint in their bathroom. They found that they could reposition the pieces at will without affecting either surface.

Unlike stickers, which a child could use just once, these pieces could be moved over and over without running out of adhesion.


The first Colorforms product to utilize a licensed character property featured Popeye, the King Features Syndicate cartoon character, released as a boxed set in 1957. Since then, licensed products have remained critically important to the Colorforms marketing strategy, with hundreds of brands connected to Colorforms.

Later Colorforms licensed various properties, producing sets supporting varied cartoons, TV series, movie releases, and popular musical artists, like The Beatles, Peanuts, Gumby*, Tarzan, The Three Stooges, Doctor Do little, Star Trek, Batman and Superman (along with a whole pantheon of comic book superheroes), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Smurfs, and even Steve Urkel. read more


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