Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yukk in the box

A mouse and a Yukk

Anyone over forty remember gonks and other fluffy funfair creatures? Well, here's my Yukk (above right), as sold in a wonderful, now long-gone, souvenir, giftware and ceramic ornament store in the old Imperial Arcade in the Sydney CBD in the late 1960s.

Yukks were essentially balls of brightly coloured acrylic "fur" - the fabric was glued to very squat plastic legs, with bulbous "Mr Potato Head"-like eyes poked into the core. They also featured long, thin, leathery arms. My Yukk was blue, and I recently rediscovered him in a box in the garage. My brothers once had one each, too, in Dayglo orange (or green?) and crimson, if I remember correctly - and my youngest brother's Yukk actually sported an actual mismatched "Mr Potato Head" eye after an encounter with our pet dog.

A few years later, a cheaper version of such creatures, usually armless and with wiggly eyes, were very common, usually on the "every child wins a prize shelf" of carnival sideshows.

But a recent viewing of an old episode of "The Magic Circle Club" reminded me of where my childhood fascination for gonks and Yukks probably derived:

Gaspar, Oscar and Sir Jasper
Gaspar, Oscar and Sir Jasper in the episode, "Claude Clumsy: A Smashing Time".

Gaspar shows Oscar to Sir JasperwhiteClaude Clumsy spies Gaspar and Oscar

Mmmm. Oscar had a nose like a regular gonk. Yukks didn't have a visible nose.

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