Spam (madbodger) wrote,

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In 1951, someone who worked for a pocketbook manufacturer gave some leftover vinyl scraps to a couple of friends who were artists, Harry and Patricia Kislevitz. They quickly discovered the brightly coloured plastic would stick to smooth surfaces, and had a good time cutting out shapes and sticking them to their bathroom walls, mirror, and tile. They left a bunch of shapes, along with more vinyl and a pair of scissors in their bathroom for guests to play with.

People had lots of fun with this, so they decided to market it as an art toy. Packaged in a large black box decorated with brightly coloured shapes, it stood out at FAO Schwarz where it was first marketed. Many other products came later, with precut and decorated shapes of all sorts, from cartoon characters to weather symbols. This simple product was a great toy from my childhood.

A while back, I got a hankering to play with silly things like this again. I was reluctant to buy a set from eBay, as it would be priced like a collectible and the plastic might have dried out over the years. Happily, Colorforms is back, including the original freeform set in the original impressive box. I got my set from Live and Learn.

True to the original concept, it lives in my bathroom, where odd art has begun to pop up here and there.

The box and contents. It's a big box!


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