The Silliest Thing Ever Manufactured?

Meet the "Cartoon Telephone Car"

Oh, to glimpse a transcript of the corporate decision-making process that leads to a product like this. Alas, one can only speculate.

My wife and I purchased this unique toy from a street vendor in Manhattan in the 1980's. It was described, on the box, as a "cartoon telephone car" — as if that explained everything.

This ambitious object blends three themes — telephones, automobiles, and dogs — in a cluttered, haphazard symphony of molded plastic, comical sounds, and canine illustration.

The central framework, which a car mechanic would recognize as the "body", doubles as a classic dial telephone (on wheels). The handset and coil cable, though clearly toy-grade, are more or less authentic to telephone specifications. The same cannot, however, be said of the tomato-red puppy head (complete with early-20th-century little boy's sailor hat, in contrasting white) that sits where our mechanic would normally expect to find the hood. I need hardly mention that the headlights are cute cartoon eyes, which means that the vehicle/phone/dog boasts a total of four up front.

More . . . .

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