12 strange Xmas gifts from the 1970 Sears Wish Book you will not find today

Don't take your anger out on poor Flipper.

Sears called its annual catalog a Wish Book, and what an appropriate name. When that fat stack of glossy paper showed up in the mailbox, we ran with it to the kitchen table, quickly flipping through page after page of wonderful toys. 

Of course, some of the stuff being sold in there was kind of weird. I'm not sure we really needed a mullet wig, but it was for sale in 1970, on page 566.

We flipped through the hundreds of pages in the 1970 Sears Wish Book and found some funny items you would be hard pressed to find on the shelves this season. These images come courtesy of the wonderful Wish Book Web website.

1. Punch Flipper in the Face Punch-Me


One the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a dolphin to punch in the face? Truth be told, we adored these inflatable punching bags, but there's something a bit worrisome about wanting to sock it to Flipper's jaw.

2. Granny Miniskirt Costume


What is going on here? The Dress-Up Accessories include a silver wig, high heels, miniskirt, pearls and reading glasses. For all those budding Blanche Devereauxes?

3. Gramma's Lap Rocking Chair


"Gramma" merchandise was a hot commodity, with a complete page of dolls and furniture. The anthropomorphic chair came with a "foam-filled cotton apron that Mom can take off to wash." At least actual grandma was not expected to wash it.

4. Space Walkers


The recent hoverboard craze has sent many to emergency rooms. These spring-loaded sandals undoubtedly sent children flying towards the pavement, too.

5. Visible Dissecting Frog


For just $1.49, squeamish kids could practice anatomy on a plastic amphibian replica. 

6. Dead creatures in jars


…or, for a half dollar more, one could receive three "biological specimens packed in odorless, colorless, harmless, non-toxic fluid." Yep, you could order embalmed animals from Sears.

7. Silk Factory


"Watch silk actually being made!" If it sold out, you could amuse yourself by watching a pot of water come to boil instead.

8. Steam engines


Just a reminder: This is the 1970 Sears catalog, not the 1870 one.

9. Rag Doll Lamps


After seeing Poltergeist, we wanted a nightlight in our room to make clowns less scary in the dark. This would not have done the trick.

10. All Crochet Everything


The crocheting fad was about to blow up in the 1970s. This scene was a taste of things to come, with a crochet jumper, floral crochet blanket and more. 

11. Precision Barograph


Barometers were all over the place back then. People had decorative wooden ones hanging on their walls. Or, for those more meteorologically obsessed, there was this desktop pressure gauge that recorded changes in the atmosphere for seven days. All for about the equivalent of $436 in today's cash. That puts the price of your smartphone into perspective.



It was an era of fondue, fur, velour and bellbottoms. READ MORE

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Mockschnel 66 months ago
Man, you guys are clueless . . .
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