Sunday, June 24, 2007

Crazy Crop

The 1980s are considered the golden age of plush anthropomorphic food. This decade brought us not only the Del Monte Country Yumkins and the Nestle Morsel Family, but also the extensive Hallmark Crazy Crop collection. In 1984 Hallmark created their own line of stuffed fruits and vegetables, no doubt in response to the Yumkins; clearly a market existed for fruits and vegetables with eyes. This collection featured characters with expressive faces made from smooth cotton as opposed to plush “fur.” Each character was named (Pearl E. Onion, DeeDee DePear, Ronald McMushroom, Betty Beet, etc.) and had a hang-tag gift card with a phrase like “You’re un-beet-able!” or “You’re peachy keen!”

Vegetables included: chili pepper, large onion, celery, cucumber

beet
radish
mushroom
corn
small onion
lettuce
Fruits included: pear
apple
strawberry
peach

Hallmark even produced a Springbok puzzle featuring the Crazy Crop gang frolicking in a fruit crate:


This puzzle is interesting as it includes many variations on the commercially available characters with different facial expressions (click on the photo for a larger view to really appreciate their expressions). Other characters include an eggplant, small corn, potato, tomato, carrots, asparagus, a variety of onions, sweet potato, grapes, bananas, a watermelon, and a small orange unidentifiable fruit/vegetable in the lower left corner happily hugging itself.

At first glance, the range of Crazy Crop species is very broad, but on closer inspection two key groups are missing. Where are the cruciferous vegetables? Were broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage not invited? What about legumes? Are the peas and beans in their own clique? Or perhaps these vegetables were too busy fighting diseases with their phytochemicals and fiber to join in the fun.

5 comments:

Tanz_Fanatika said...

This is the post that led me to your blog. I found a set of three Crazy Crop toys on etsy and wanted to know more about them. Thank you, Google. I bought the set (radish, lettuce, corn) and am definitely going to keep an eye out for more of these. I love the eggplant and asparagus from the puzzle image. I wonder if those got made.

CCCooperAgency said...

I have the strawberry and hot cha cha (red pepper) for sale.

CCCooperAgency said...

I see the hot pepper and strawberry are available on Amazon.

ski.beth@gmail.com said...

My mother made these at Hallmark Cards, her name is Donna Moore

Lushie Peach said...

Thanks for sharing, Beth! Please tell your mother how much I love them. Did she also do the Christmas ornaments (candy cane, ribbon candy, cookies)?