No mention of James Bond, no mention of Sean Connery, no mention of anything other than the fact that these are 007 Superior Quality Rubber Bands. All of which means the only thing secret agent about this is the bootleg nature of the product.

If I were a big James Bond collector I might feel ripped off, but being a kitsch collector I’m completely ecstatic! The more bastard the product, the more magnificent the kitsch pedigree.

The rubber bands themselves are pretty special. They’re listed as multicolored but I think that’s stretching it a bit given the paucity of color allotted to each.

The manufacturer didn’t even get it together to give themselves credit on the box. Perhaps so Agent 007 can’t track them down for copyright infringement. The only information at all on this 3″ x 3″ cube is that it’s “Packed by Tin Tin Bizarre, Inc.” Tin Tin Bizarre sounds like a great name for a Bond girl. Aside from that,everything about this product’s identity and MO is strictly top secret x 007.

Not the normal pair that dangle from the rear view mirror, these 6″ soft dice feature sexual maneuvers on one game piece and the body parts to which they are to be applied on the other. The dice look nice and clean but seeing as they came from a thriftshop I’d suggest surgical gloves before tossing them and letting fate decide your next move. Which could be any of the following…

As the dice were made by Spenser Gifts, the pedestrian ‘kiss lips’ is to be expected.

Here’s to something swingin’ swingin’ above your dash or wherever you wish to place them (and thus have something placed upon you).

99¢  and discount stores in general are fabulous all year round but there’s no question that the season they shine most at is Christmas, when all stops are pulled out and the shelves are packed with more crap than even a kitsch loving aKitschionado such as myself can absorb. These stores at this season offer the perfect storm of circumstances for me, especially as I needed some Christmas arts and crafts supplies to make Pigmy Will Christmas ornaments.

So I got my head together to stand in line as these severe discount stores are the kind of places where there are five or six cash registers but only one or two staffed at a time. But despite the long lines and shelves stuffed with misplaced items because people change their minds on the go and stick things anywhere, it’s always a delight to see what’s offered at this most special time of the year. Here are a few of the things that crossed my eyeballs within the first 10 minutes of walking into two such establishments in North Hollywood, CA.

This seems like an awful lot of plaster or whatever these things are made out for four little hooks:

This looks like it was made by someone who’d drunk too much Red Bull and was let loose in a crafts store:

This kind of kitsch scares me:

Could there be any more going on in this frame to take away from a photo?

I know that this Stocking Wave-Cap is impressive but what I want for Christmas is that foot shaped emery board next to it:

I’m buying everyone on my list a “snug and comfy” non-Snuggie-looks-just-like-a-Snuggy Fuzzy Wuzzy:

And maybe some Elvis in a can…:

I bought ten Elvises in a popcorn filled guitar.

Forget about the doggie Santa suits; I like that pink coat with the fur collar down in the bottom right corner:

I didn’t know that Barbra Streisand had her own line of beauty products:

If the best thing you can say about your pantyhose is that they are “Beautifully  effective” I’m not even excited about them being Velvet.

As if there already wasn’t enough of this in the world, we don’t need more of it at a buck a pop:

And whoever buys this, please take me to your home and let me see what other supreme kitsch you have inside:

If you were kitschilousciously koncious this Christmas shopping season you could have everything on this page for under 100 clams. May you have a excellent 99¢++ Christmas!

Last weekend I drove down to San Diego to see a performance of my musical, The Color Purple. I rarely get a chance to see the show but when it’s anywhere near LA I choose which performances I’m going to see by which town has the best thrift shops and then I make a whole trip out of it. For this performance I mapped out all the second hand shops between LA and San Diego. But we left too late so dealt with the shopping jones in one antique mall in Solana Beach on the way to SD. I especially love antique malls this time of year because the Khristmas Kitsch comes out in full force.

Which is why no one should ever travel without a camera at this time of year. There is far too much kitsch to document by storing the wonderfulness in your head only.

The first thing I came across was this Bedazzled holiday fauna interpretation. These trees on felt or velvet are common Khristmas kraft faire but this one was done with more precision than most that line thrift shop shelves this time of year, with everything lying at the bottom of junk drawers messily glued on to form the tree. This crafter used chunks of resin to fill in the gaps between jewels instead of just accepting patches of black velvet  looking like dead branches on the tree.

I am so not a Mickey Mouse connoisseur so don’t know the vintage of this, but were I to let the mouse run around my house it would likely be in the form of this plastic cup with the big feet and double holed grip.

You can always count on a sweater smorgasbord this time of the year.

I dig homemade Christmas decorations but for $95 Santa’s mail won’t be delivered anywhere near my house this year.

Were I of the right religion I would definitely have gone for the following. If anyone ever spots Moses rolling through the rushes in mosaic let me know.

I’m definitely not into these little guard guys but you always see them around at Christmas. This one is particularly festive. I especially love his rubber chair leg tip shoulder:

I know that it was the individual bunches of tinsel that were for sale here but if I were someone who was decorating for Christmas I would’ve bought this whole thing and used it as a giant ornament:

Barbie, of course, always gets in on the Christmas action. With this kind of packaging I wish she were made out of chocolate:

Little baldheaded children with long eyelashes always look good dressed for the holidays:

I know that snowmen always abound in Christmas decorations so nothing special here other than the homemade quality of these three. I especially like how off-center the nose is on the guy all the way to the right (the snowman’s right, not yours):

I always like light up yard decorations of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. I love how coiffed Jesus is in this one, especially in his pink pantsuit, and how much baby Jesus looks like a bubbling soufflé.

Vintage Pebble Art is great all times of the year but looks especially good in these praying Christmas portrayals:

Although it has nothing to do with Christmas, The Color Purple, the musical I co-wrote and which is what brought me down to San Diego in the first place, has an awful lot to do with a little girl praying and writing letters to God. Seeing my show for the last time for a few months until I fly to Detroit in April to conduct my high school marching band playing a medley of my greatest hits in the lobby of the Fox theater, where The Color Purple will be, was an excellent early Christmas present for me, especially after a day of such kitsch as aforementioned lighting up my eyes with wonderment. Look what God has done!

And speaking of purple and Christmas, it’s still not too late to order a lovely Pigmy Will ornament for the tree or to use as a hat on little baldheaded rubber Christmas children.

Although I’m not a massive fan of actual peanuts, I’ve always loved classic 1950’s plastic Mr. Peanut memorabilia. I love how the plastic glows with depth from the richness of the classic 50’s colors he came in, in this case perfect baby blue.

I also love the sound of coins dropping into Mr. Peanut’s all too small empty plastic gut.

The only other Mr. Peanut memorabilia I collect is also made of plastic. I have this cup in pink, yellow, red and the bank mate, baby blue.

I also have Mr. Peanut salt and pepper shakers. I love them for their diminutive stature compared to the bank and cup, but they stay too close to traditional peanut color and I like things that break more out-of-the-box.

I love Mr. Peanut’s stance.  He’s so casual.

I especially like his little thin legs and rolled down socks.

And he always looks so self-assured.

For all these reasons I like having Mr. Peanut and his multiple selves around my kitschen.

When it comes to an award for crowing the loudest, that should go to politicians. If I get enraged by the money that movie stars make imagine how insane I go seeing the money that’s dumped into political ads on TV that tell us almost nothing about the actual goals of who made them. I don’t want to hear anyone crowing when they throw hundreds of millions of dollars away on campaigns. Do some real good and give that money to saving school systems or cities from going bankrupt. Neither Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina, the loudest crowers of all in the election yesterday, deserve any prize, which is exactly what they got for dumping all that cash down the drain. I don’t like to hear the other politicians crowing either, and I really don’t want to see any ads about ballot measures which, despite their cheesy production value, cost a fortune to shoot and are never clear about what the measure is really about.

At least with this rooster I have the option of winding him up to crow so I only hear him when I want to hear him…

…unlike all the politicians who drive me nuts constantly jabbering their text clouds of hyped-up nothingness on the airwaves. So despite the fact that almost every candidate who ran or makers of almost every measure that made it on the ballot are well deserving of this tin National Rooster Crowing Contest souvenir, I’m keeping it here. Because I feel like a winner today now that all those stupid ads are off the air.

I never learned how to play Chess. Checkers was way more my speed, especially as I loved the sound the vintage wood ones made as you plunked them down on the board. Plastic ones sounded good too and that was about as complex thinking as I was willing to ponder when it came to games. My standards were always based on design, what sound do the game pieces make, how do they feel texturally, how’s the color palette, etc.  Mind  you, I love the sound these plastic Chess Men make clicking together too. But for Chess you also have to burrow way deep into your brain to strategize about where to move them and I like to reserve those deep recesses for things like writing songs, painting and knowing the quickest routes to local thrift shops.

One thing I could always wrap my brain around though was excellent packaging. And the color technique for cheap, stripped down, straight-to-the-point things like Chess was excellent in 1969 when this was made.

My cat, Niblet, has developed a crush on the box. She’s very attached to sleeping right next to it, in this case on a lucite chair right under it, and stretches every time I shake the box.

I have too many deadlines and too many other things I should be attending to now besides stopping and finally learning how to play Chess. So this gorgeous vintage box and its contents shall just act as a collectible artifact and cat sitter until the time my brain feels there’s space to wrap itself around things like King’s, Queens, Pawns and whatever all the rest of these beautifully sounding pieces are.

There’s absolutely nothing right about this insanely cheesy Kahlúa “Udderly Delicious”plastic glass which, unfortunately, there’s no way of taking a photo of and showing all the brilliance of at once. At first glance, it’s just an incredibly cheap cup with the Kahlúa logo and some cow spots painted on it. Plus the excellent “Udderly Delicious” slogan. But then you peer inside and see the creature that the udders belong to with a nice frosty drink on its head and two toy bottles, one of which is unmarked, which makes no sense for something that’s a promotional item, rattling around inside on top of it.

As beautifully kitschy as this cup is, one sip from this thing and I would be over the novelty quick as plastic knocks against plastic every time you take a swig, making for an all too loud clunking sound happening way too close to your ear, not to mention that it looks like the bottles are going to fall into your mouth. All of which makes for a perfect kitsch drinking experience should you be up to the task.

Thank you, aKitschionado Denny McLain, for sending this Kahlúa kitsch my way. You are all the more “udderly delicious” for it.

In this Lego Star Wars recreation, “The galactic civil war is finally over and peace has been achieved. The surviving members of the Empire have reconciled and joined the party. But what to do in this time of happiness? DANCE!!!”  This stop motion dance fest proves that Fenderboy105 is a better Lego builder than choreographer, though his attempts are noble.  The little Star Wars cast does their thing but without any sense of rhythm or editing to accents or tops of verses and choruses, the kind of things dancers wait for to spike their expression.  An admirable effort to be sure but with a greater musical sense this could’ve elevated to a higher universe.

For a more through exploration of my “365 Days Of September” mission as well as details of how the song was written, go here. Until tomorrow, ba-de-ya!



Despite the fact that The Wibbler is guaranteed “fun for all ages”, the last thing I’m about to do is jump on this thing and start to wibble. All it is is a brittle piece of vacuformed plastic that you stand on with no strap to hold your feet in position and then start to tip every which way. I would bet that rather than having fun more people ended up with broken ankles and chipped teeth from their wibbling activities. This is probably why I never heard of The Wibbler before and why nothing shows up in a Google search for it. Which makes me treasure this toy that’s “scientifically engineered and built like a bridge” even more. Would you want to drive across a bridge called The Wibbler?


I definitely think more time was spent on designing the packaging than figuring out the physics of wibbling.


Although, as an art director I never would have chosen a red background to demonstrate kids wibbling away as it looks like they’re just standing on a black line.


As you can see, most of the Wibbler examples show two people wibbling together. As my life and career are dedicated to promoting socially fun interaction between people I’m usually up for anything that promotes this kind of activity, like say “Twister”.


But as bone crushing as Twister can get, one is standing on their own one or two feet and should you topple over at least there are a bunch of other bodies to cushion the fall. Tettertottering on The Wibbler gives one no such padding. I would suggest having excellent medical insurance before one takes it upon themselves to wibble.


If you still want to know how to wibble, here are some easy instructions:


My guess is that someone like Weldon Smith loved to wibble.


For now, I think I will confine my walking and dancing activities to two feet on solid ground. But should I ever get the itch to wibble, I’ll stand on this plastic bridge, say a little prayer and hope for the best.

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