Ben Marks of Collector's Weekly says: "We just published an article on the origins of fake barf. Thanks to Mardi and Stan Timm, who are the foremost collectors of novelty gag gifts, we got the story behind plastic vomit, including behind-the-scenes photos from the Chicago factory where this infamous item is still produced."
H. Fishlove & Co.—and now Fun Inc., which bought the company in the ’80s—has kept a lid on the formula Irving came up with, the same way Coca-Cola guards its recipe and KFC protects its special herbs and spices.
“It is a secret recipe,” Mardi says. “But I think we know what’s in it. It’s got foam pieces cut up, and it’s got latex. But the actual recipe, nobody outside the company knows that.”
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.