Wooly Willy


Wooly Willy Reimagined for the iPad

As a child of the 70’s I will never forget this game hanging in store checkouts as an impulse buy. This my friends was the poor mans iPad back in the day. The ever so portable toy that parents could grab on the cheap to entertain the kids in the car on the ride home after a grueling day of shopping. I had several of these, now considered “vintage” toys,  through out my childhood but I was surprised to learn this toy didn’t just appear in the 70’s it actually was born in Smethport, Pennsylvania back in 1955. Constructed of metal shavings housed under a clear plastic covering, one could create silly faces atop the printed face of Willy with the use of a magnetic wand. A total classic. It’s also worth noting that in 2003 Wooly Willy was added to the “Century of Toys List” coming in at #81 based on sales, historical significance and longevity.

Deemed aclassic and reading about Wooly Willy got me to thinking back on my childhood and my own experiences with this iconic toy. I remember being rather peeved that the slightest bump would mess up my masterpieces but that only added to the lure.  Plus, being an overachiever it was always fun trying to match the examples displayed on the packaging. And always without fail after a day or so the little red magnetic pen or “magic wand” as they called it, would become lost which usually spelled an end to the fun. Until it got tangled in the beater bar of the vacuum, which in-turn pissed of the parentals and normally ended in a long winded talk about putting things back where they belong. Yada yada yada, you get the gist. Come on! I can’t be the only one who lived this. 

Having had one of these, I wanted to share this classic of a toy with my now 14 year old. After I excitedly explained the toy concept she looked at me stone faced and replied, “That sounds so boring Mom.” Me: Ok, I get it’s not Fortnite but can I at least get a shred of interest here? So I decided Wooly Willy needed to be #reimaginedforipad and brought into the world my daughters know best, the digital world. 

It was a ton of fun to reimagine Willy and even more fun to let my imagination run wild with ideas to try on him. Best of all there’s no fear of the metal pieces moving if your iPad gets bumped. As for my teen, she’s still logging hours with her friends chasing the ever so coveted Fortnite Victory Royale. And that’s ok. I’m just happy I was able to expose her to a simpler, non digital world toy that I was able to reimagine and share with her in a format we can enjoy together.

Did you have one of these growing up?

FREE download in the shop.



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