Baby Boomer Alert: Happy 58th Birthday to Wooly Willy!
Wooly Willy was born in Smethport, Pennsylvania in 1955 by James Reese Herzog.
He got the idea when thinking what could be done "for fun" with all of the tiny metal dust made when magnets were shaved. An artist named Leonard Mackowski first came up with Willy the "now he's bald, now he's not" fellow on the game card. Nobody thought kids would enjoy making beards and eyebrows for Willy.
The first buyer, C.G. Murphy in McKeesport, Pennsylvania finally made a buy of six dozen Willys just to show the manufacturer that they would never sell. WRONG!! The first six dozen sold out in a few days and the next order was for 12,000 sets and history was made.
Wooly Willy was one of the most successful toys made in America between 1950 and 1980. It is still made today. It is estimated that Wolly Willy, the toy nobody thought would sell, has sold more than 75 million units in the last half century
The first selling price was twenty-nine cents!
Did you have a Wooly Willy? Click here for Willy's story.