By Mark Frauenfelder at 5:13 pm Wed, Nov 16, 2011
When I was a tiny kid, this was the coolest toy imaginable. My opinion hasn't changed much about it, either.
The hip-hop ur-text.
It looks cool on the black and white commercial, but when I saw one in the flesh, as it were, I was deeply disappointed. Looked nothing like a real finger :*
I was in kindergarten at the time.
A sign of the times, it was not unreasonable for a child to bring a “stealth” toy gun to class in a private kindergarten…
Edit: Upon reflection, I think I do remember the teacher confiscating the projectiles, but the owner was allowed to keep the ball point pen attachment and use it when we had our art period. I guess the versatility _did_ have its uses…
Edit 2: If you want to see what _really_ got me drooling in 1966, check out this commercial:
The Plazer ray rifle. I never even saw one of these, thus my boyhood dreams of sniping at low flying aircraft with a death ray are unsullied by reality.
Before my time, I guess, but man I would have wanted one. Still do. Any survivors on eBay, I wonder?
I’d love to hear Ken Nordine read that copy…
When I was a kid, it was the weirdest toy imaginable. The fingernail still creeps me out.
these days, that nail would have to be painted glow-in-the-dark red to keep cops from shooting you for horsing around with your six finger (penn-state locker room stylee)
Am I the only one who kept hearing “six finger” as “sex finger”? I’m going to go read more Freud now…
Less Freud. Read less Freud.
For white kids only?
I’ve still got mine but some of the missiles are missing. I don’t think mine ever had the exploding cap or the pen one either. Must have been a little finger.
I hear the company that released this was busy dealing with ”Six Finger” recalls do to unforseen finger banging incidents.
I bet black kids must have loved having that white sixth finger.
I had Six Finger as a kid … the only weapon in my arsenal that was cooler was my Johnny Seven OMA. http://youtu.be/GPhZsauluXM
Reminds me of some of the things Hasbro’s been cooking up over the past decade…
I own far more of them than I probably should at my age…
Six-fingered white people stole the blues and the banjo from African-Americans. African-Americans stole rap from six-fingered white people.
The cycle of life continues.
My uncle, Henry Orenstein, was the founder and president of Deluxe Toys and Topper Toys, and the creator of Six Finger, and many other novel toys in the 60s and early 70s. He is a holocaust survivor, awesome player of chess, ping pong and poker, inventor, philanthropist, author of books, and a real character. He’s 88, going strong, and still has all his marbles. Check out the wikipedia article on him.
When I was a kid, my brothers and I got to test drive new toys and prototypes, some of them awesome, others not so much. (The 4-player backgammon game was interminable.)
If you want to see the absolute pinnacle of awesomeness, check out this commercial for his Suzie Cute doll featuring Louis Armstrong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkConPs9tKQ. (He has an amazing photograph in which he is arguing with Louis over creative differences in the filming of this commercial.)
How great that his Wonderful Thing has stood the test of time.
I hope you consider getting him one of these:
Dang, any chance of arranging an interview of your uncle by BB?
* * *
I remember the Six Finger toy, but not the commercial. It recall another kindergartener having one.
This is so cool! Could you possibly interview your uncle for Boing Boing?
I’ll see if he’s up for it.
Headline: “Innocent Children Slaughtered by Enraged Spaniard”
Okay, fine. I’ll do it. :::sighs:::
Inigo Montoya: My father was slaughtered by a six-fingered man. He was a great swordmaker, my father. When the six-fingered man appeared and requested a special sword. My father took the job. He slaved a year before it was done.
[Shows the Man in Black the sword]
Man in Black: I’ve never seen its equal.
Inigo Montoya: The six-fingered man returned and demanded it, but at one tenth his promised price, my father refused. Without a word, the six-fingered man slashed him through the heart. I loved my father. So naturally, I challenged his murderer to a duel. I failed. The six-fingered man left me alive, but he gave me these.
[strokes the scars on his cheeks]
Man in Black: How old were you?
Inigo Montoya: I was eleven years old. And when I was strong enough, I dedicated my life to the study of fencing. So the next time we meet, I will not fail. I will go up to the six-fingered man and say, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Oh, Guy Faulk beat me. But there is something he doesn’t know.
I wonder how many of the child actors in this commercial, who already died, dies from drug or weapon abuse or suicide.
It still blows my mind that one of my childhood dream “toys,” a laser, is now available at everywhere and can be bought for $10 or less.
I’m reminded of my favorite childhood toy, the Ghost Gun.
A friend has a toy Palm Pilot that came with candy- its version of beaming messages (remember that?) is, I now see, shamelessly lifted from Six Finger: a little dart with a note on it.
Am I the only one who thinks that this is leading children to worship Grazzt, and that worshipping one of the demon princes of the abyss (even if he was once a devil, prior to turning his coat) isn’t a grand idea?
-abs will admit he might have a problem distinguishing reality from d&d, but dude, Grazzt is evil
Had one and loved it. How did I ever get along with five?
When evolution gives us cool, real life utility fingers then I’ll start believing in it.
Had one! Purchased at Todd’s Toys San Bruno, CA somewhere around 1967. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
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