Today’s prompt is cooking toy, but I can’t remember actually have one of my own as a child. Last year I sketched an Easy Bake Oven, and this year the thing that popped into my head were the rather obscure miniature wind-up toys made by a toy company called Galoob. Shown here in a super fast and admittedly odd doodlewash of the little kitchen appliances that you could wind up and they would actually spin, mix, and apparently microwave, but it was really just more spinning as the tray inside turned. I liked these best, but the packaging had large letters that said Gee Whiz, It Works and a photo of a little girl. Other items geared to girls included a cute sewing machine and a vacuum cleaner. If you were, as I was, a boy, your packaging read Oh Boy, It Works and you were supposed to select one of several ugly and less colorful power tools including a drill, a jigsaw, or more disturbingly, a chain saw. Pretending to saw and drill things didn’t seem nearly as fun as pretending to cook a pizza or blend a shake, so I always wanted the “girl” versions instead.

I remember these toys clearly, yet I still can’t remember if I ever actually got one of my own. The packages were so clear that they were off-limits to boys, so I’m sure I would have been too shy at the time to be present when my mother bought them for me. I think I may have ended up with the Gee Whiz, It Walks! Wind-up Poodle instead. This simply had a photo of a poodle and didn’t try to make a determination of the proper gender one should be in order to own one. I’d love to think that much has changed since those days, but walking by the toy aisles today it’s surprisingly similar. Not that I wanted dolls, as I’ve always found them to be creepy, but I did really wanted to play with colorful appliances. That always seemed like a lot of fun!

Truthfully, I’ve always just loved things that were more colorful. Boy colors in toys always tried so hard to be a bit more drab and not too “girly” and it made them less attractive. I loved pink, so I was thrilled in the mid-80’s when Miami Vice came along and made it suddenly fashionable for guys to wear pink shirts. It’s funny to me that manufacturers of clothing in the 1940’s set up these rules of color that didn’t really exist before that. We’ve come to accept them as being truth, but it’s all just a made up notion. Thankfully, as an adult, I can enjoy as much pink as I want and I’m thrilled on the days when my subject calls for a little Opera Rose. I often wonder what life would have been like if these colors hadn’t been pre-chosen for us. We could have grown up loving whatever color came naturally to us and in the end, I’m pretty sure we would have all happily decided that Gee Whiz, It Works!

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Dioxazine Purple, Sennelier Red, Opera Rose, Cobalt Turquoise, Olive Green, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 9 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Wind-up Appliances by Galoob Cooking Toys

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24 thoughts on “Gee Whiz, It Works!

  1. I don’t remember these toys, but you made them look so good I want all three! I do remember the Galoob name which is perfect for a toy maker because Galoob is fun to say, even if I didn’t have any of their toys. 😜 I am glad you got to use your opera rose in this painting and it looks terrific!

  2. These are toys I don’t remember my sons ever having but you’ve painted a terrific Doodlewash of the three. Kids always seem to love anything that’s miniature and that has moving parts, so of course these would be a hit with children. I agree that labeling colors as boy or girl limits kids in awful ways. As an art teacher, I had a heck of a time convincing them that they should use whatever colors fit their art and not try to categorize them artificially.

  3. I don’t think they think ok off over here in the UK, but I vaguely recall a small oven, grill, microwave thing which had a chicken on it, when wound up it spun the chicken, so it as cooked well throughout, of course….it was so small I think it broke, or we lost enthusiasm. I think they were great if you loved sindy or barbie, as they were mini working appliances for her luxury mansion 😀…….my sindy never had a home, she unfortunately lost her head in the end…literally, helped by a pull from myself. I hated dolls. Preferring to play outdoors with friends. Cheers Charlie, I love your memory lane themes so much ❤️

  4. Wouldn’t it be great if actual appliances were so colorful? Yes, I never understood the blue-pink thing either. I remember them making pink legos to appeal to girls, and both my daughters making a face and going “seriously?”. So it works from both directions! (K)

  5. Gee whiz, awesome stuff! Cool selection, and definitely preferable to chainsaws and drills – ugh! I remember wanting one of those miniature ovens, but never getting one. Sigh. It was the same story as the Crazy Coupe… truth be told, I’d still quite like one of those. 😉

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