Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Captain Kangaroo saved Play-Doh

"Captain Kangaroo saved Play-Doh
Back before it was Play-Doh, everyone's favorite squishy clay was actually a wallpaper cleaner used to clean soot off of walls. But when people switched from using coal burning furnaces to oil fueled ones in the '40s and '50s, demand for the product evaporated. Kutol, a manufacturing company in Cincinnati, was watching their sales dwindle when the son of the company's founder, Joe McVicker, started looking for ways to turn the business round.
His sister-in-law Kay Zufall suggested using the wallpaper cleaner as a child's craft item, and McVicker was willing to try anything. He formed a new division, Rainbow Crafts, and began selling the re-branded product as Play-Doh. Sales were okay, but then McVicker came up with a way to sell a whole lot more. He contacted Captain Kangaroo (A.K.A. Bob Keeshan) and offered him 2% of sales if the good Captain would feature Play-Doh on his show. He did. Ding Dong School and Romper Room soon followed suit, hawking the crafty compound to kiddies everywhere and Kutol made plenty of Doh (er, Dough) in the process.
While the company has changed hands a few times since (Rainbow Crafts was purchased by Kenner Toys and Kenner was purchased by Hasbro) that's hardly impeded sales. More than two billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold since 1955."

Source: mental_floss magazine


bluedreamer27 said...

play doh as a wall paper cleaner before lol this is such a wonderful trivia all the seeing eye
by the way hope you visit my site too have a great day

Sue said...

I loved play doh, Captain Kangaroo, and Romper Room when I was a kid. I never heard of the Ding Dong School, though!?

The All Seeing Eye said...

Sue, hopefully you followed my link on Ding Dong School to learn more about it. I also had never heard of it.

The All Seeing Eye said...

I had never heard of that either, Bluedreamer27

Debo Hobo said...

Oh wow I never knew this. Capt. Kangaroo was one of my favorite shows as a kid as well.

The All Seeing Eye said...

Well Debo Hobo, You can learn some unusual things on my blog. Thanks for being such a loyal reader.