Mattel’s 1967’s Strange Change toy was designed for all would-be mad scientists. The sad fact of the matter for myself however is that I was born a little too late to see this on the toy shelves. Furthermore I didn’t even know about the Strange Change time machine until just a few months back.
I was creating a post for the Saturday Frights Facebook Page, looking up some vintage monster toys. Which is of course how I happened upon an article from Boing Boing. I didn’t waste any time attempting to find a TV commercial, so I might see the toy in action.
[Via] Muttley 16
A couple of things spring to mind after watching that commercial. In the first place, they would never make this toy today. As the Strange Change time machine unit was capable of extreme heat. That is how the Time Capsule is able to reveal the creature hidden within.
Not to mention the need for the included tweezers so that children could safely handle their newly freed beastie. The range of creatures appear to have been everything from robots, monsters, and dinosaurs.
Of course the Lost World was the focus of the Strange Change machine. So naturally dinosaurs were the focus.
When a young mad scientist was finished with their discovery. They would place the creature back into the Expansion Chamber, so it would warm up. Then, using the tweezers of course, they would stuff it into the Compression Chamber. Cranking the heavy metal handle to squeeze it back into a Time Capsule.
I have looked on eBay and the prices for a working toy…are very expensive. While the Strange Change machine was only on the market for a year. It appears that in this case it was a well built toy. And while I am saddened that I probably won’t be playing with one in the near future. At the very least I can take some small amount of comfort that I was around for the Mad Scientist Monster Lab!