Monday, March 18, 2013

Part the Third


I loved watching Beany & Cecil cartoons as a kid.  I guess you could say I was part of their “second wave” of fandom, because I ONLY knew them from cartoons.


As a kid I had no idea that they started out as puppets.

One luxury of my childhood, though, was that for my birthday I got an official Beany-Copter.



Now, do you see that hollow space in the center of the propeller?  The propellers originally had caps that fit over this little cavity.  This small hollow space was to put secret messages into.

You set the propeller onto the top of the hat and turned it clockwise two or three times.  There was a ratcheting spring inside, and you could hear it click-pop every quarter-turn or so.  Then you put your Beany-Copter on your head and pulled the chin-string.  This released the propeller, which zoomed into the air and probably landed on your neighbor’s roof, never to be seen again until the next windy day.



This merchandising card gives you an overhead view of the cap -- the white thing in the center of the red was where you put the propeller to wind it up.  And you can clearly see the hinged cap for the top of the “secret message compartment.”

I can still remember the zip-click-whir sound made when you had your Beany-copter on and yanked the string to let the propeller go!

Here’s a link to a Beany-Copter TV commercial:

And, yes, children, it was typical to have commercials that ran for one full minutes, not ten or fifteen seconds.

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