Here’s a 1980s nostalgia bomb: Smooshees.
Bomb go off in your cobwebbed brain? Yeah, it didn’t for me initially either. But keep digging. They were plush toys primarily targeted towards girls, made by Fisher Price in 1987. I asked the wife if she remembered them. The word “Smooshees” recalled nothing for her. But then I described them as little plush dolls came with slightly undersized plastic accessories which you literally smooshed the dolls inside of.
Suddenly she remembered exactly which one she had, its hairstyle, clothing, and accessories, the brain suddenly making a long-lost twenty-five year old synapse connection. She then asked if I thought eBay had one, as if she was really going to go online and bid on one. She doesn’t even collect stuff, but that’s what happens when you fire up neurons that haven’t budged in over two decades.
Okay, so wait. Stuffing dolls into plastic things? What the hell and how is that fun? Let’s think this one out loud. 1) It was the 1980s. 2) Forcing adorable, smiling dolls into confining hellish traps. It’s not just fun—it’s about as sadistic as you can get at six years old, aside from killing ants.
The slogan was “Smoosh ’em, hide ’em, pose ’em!” but what it meant was “Torture ’em, smite ’em, CONTORT THEIR SOFT BODIES IN UNNATURAL WAYS!”
Here’s a screencap from the Smooshees commercial:
See? Evil. Honestly, this post could be Halloween-themed just in that this toy obviously turned little girls (and perhaps some little boys) into maniacal smooshing freaks, but I’m gonna take it one step further.
I actually had no idea I was in possession of a very rare complete set of these Halloween Smooshees. I didn’t have a clue what they were. About a month ago when I found that gigantic box of Happy Meal Toys, these were in there. I put them aside and figured I’d work them into the Halloween Countdown, whatever the hell they were.
Finally, I decided to research them last week. The four came with kids meals at Hardees in 1989. They’re actually worth about $10 a piece. Wish I knew that before I absent-mindedly ripped them out of the packaging, because I had the complete set SEALED, which was probably the last one of the earth. Since I’m the one that freed them from their quarter-century trappings, you’d think they’d grant me some wishes or something, but they’re really ungrateful little bastards. (And also, that would be absolutely terrifying.)
Oh well. I guess the only thing left to do is take my frustration out on them by repeatedly stuffing them into their little plastic prisons.
Which, let’s face it, is actually kind of fun.
Let’s have a look at each one:
This is the goblin and cauldron. He has the Mickey Mouse-friendliness paired with sharp teeth and red eyes.
The black cat and pumpkin is full of straight-up classic Halloween goodness.
The bat and tree stump is my favorite. In fact, if I vaguely remember any of these, it’s this one. I think I might have had this one.
And finally, here’s a look at the plain-but-classic ghost and trick-or-treat bag.
Overall, I love the 1980s aesthetic of these. I think I’m going to hang onto them, bring them out every year, and work them into my Halloween display table. There’s a lot of vintage smooshing action to be had with these, and maybe it will stave off our future kid’s inclination to kill ants. But probably not.