And now, back to the Beany and Cecil Onslaught...more than one generation of children grew up with Colorforms, amazing and simple playsets that allowed hours of fun and customization, long before computerization took over. Colorforms were available in just about every franchise imaginable; I still have my prized Pac-Man and Spider-Man sets...no Star Wars though, although today I bet there would be.
The description on the box explains how they worked:
Colorforms sets consisted of a plastic-coated backdrop, which fit into the lower half of the box. Pieces were stored on removable flaps that were held into the backdrop by slots. This insured that everything had a place for storage, which is always a good idea.
For a Spider-Man set, the backdrop is a cityscape; for Beany & Cecil, it is the beloved "Leakin' Lena," naturally with some sort of body of water for Cecil to populate. Now, let's look at the pieces included:
The first card holds Cecil, Captain Huffenpuff, and some accessories, although I'm a little confused as to what the little round thing is...a throwing star? A peppermint candy? These were usually the first pieces to be lost, although the original owner of this set was pretty fastidious, I have to say...even the filler piece inside of the life preserver is still present!
The second card has the villain, Dishonest John (or "DJ"). It's cool that Colorforms separated his body parts, because it allows for more poses during play (or amputation). We get two different poses of Beany (with separate Beanie), and some random pieces. The bird is actually Crowy, who belongs in the crow's nest, but we also get an oversized mutant seahorse, a sweater (?), another fish, and a snail shell, which is a bit puzzling.
And finally, the booklet itself, which is a great find, because like the tinier pieces, this would also be completely discarded:
|"Besides, Mother will thank you!" I can feel the teeth of a thousand feminists grinding! Can't Father be responsible for the little snot once in a while???!?!|
Some of the other sets listed are interesting (well, okay, not Shari Lewis, that's nightmare fuel), and are from a wide range of licenses. If you want them, all you have to do is ask your local "toyman." Wait, what?