All Original Toy Concepts, Written and Photographic content is Copyright MEL BIRNKRANT
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Here is something utterly disgusting, courtesy of the naughty little boy in me. Ah, those were glorious days when water guns were commonplace! And one could shoot both friends and enemies with a harmless stream of water. But, alas, the world today has changed. No water can be considered harmless, unless it’s tested by the EPA. And precious little of it can be wasted, on anything but endangered species.
Worse still, God forbid you’re found to be carrying a transparent lavender water pistol, with a plastic skunk on top. That could put you on the no fly list, get you expelled from school or job, if they don’t just shoot you, on the spot!
Stink Shots stood little chance of being manufactured, even in the 1980s. Nonetheless, an aspiring toy inventor could still dream, back then. Imagine how much extra fun playing with water guns would have been, if, instead of just plain water, each Stink Shooter fired a pungent stream of scented odor. And for added excitement, there would be a variety of flavors, everything from “woods pussy” to strawberry.
The package told the entire story. The scents would come in the form of harmless tablets that, inserted through the filling hole of the Stink Shooter, dissolved automatically. A scratch and sniff patch on the package would let the buyer preview the way the scents they chose would stink. The odors would be engineered to fade quickly, and disappear completely. What kid could resist this?
Having grown up, I use the term loosely, in the once great Motor City, where Michigan’s equivalent of the Emerald City of OZ was called “Downtown Detroit,” and every other doorway led to either a burlesque theater, or a novelty shop, I can say with certainty that Stink Shots would have been a HIT, right up there with itching powder, joy buzzers, and realistic plaster dog ... poop.