Because you know, wrinkles are often associated with sadness.
Hear me out, this isn’t some kind of fetish-esque article asking if you have ever embraced age-related skin conditions in an intimate way.
The Wrinkles I’m actually referring to were for children to cuddle, the “wrinkles” belonging to the subject of a 1980s toyline where cuddly dog puppets were the stars.
You know what Wrinkles are, but you have no idea who Wrinkles are?
I mean, Bea Arthur does…shouldn’t you? (Starts at 2:32)
I’m convinced that on a more minor scale, the declaration of “I WANT WRINKLES!” is right up there with the infamous “Condoms, Rose! CONDOMS CONDOMS CONDOMS!” line from The Golden Girls.
God bless you, Bea, you are a National Treasure. Don’t let Nicolas Cage searching for the Declaration of Independence say otherwise!
And now that I’ve gotten that “way longer than it should have been” introduction out of the way…what the heck are Wrinkles, and why does Bea Arthur want “Nicky” to get some for stocking stuffers?
So…What The Heck Are “Wrinkles,” And Why Does Bea Arthur Want Them?
Allow the commercials (as always, in honor of Flashback Friday) introduce them, and then I’ll tell you all about Wrinkles, and why you want them!
Wrinkles were a litter (get it?) of anthropomorphic plush dogs, first on the market in 1981 by Canadian toy company Ganz Bros. as well as Lakeside, a subsidiary of Coleco.
Wrinkles were identified by the bone-shaped mark on the inside of their ear (it is part of their slogan in later advertising) and characteristic wrinkled face, and is based on the hound breed of dog. The concept of Wrinkles was originally created by Catherine Senitt of Senitt Puppets (based in Carnarvon, Ontario), who made and sold handmade puppets across the United States and Canada for over 20 years.
There were three sizes of “Wrinkles” – a medium 18-inch version that had an opening in the back to be operated as a hand puppet and dressed in overalls, t-shirts, dresses, and jogging suits, a smaller 9-inch version that were dressed in booties and bonnets, and a larger version that were over two feet tall (approximately 28 inches). In addition to the hand puppet version, there was also an electronic talking hand puppet that took batteries and responded to you speaking to them. All versions of Wrinkles came with a fabric bone.
Two other animal “Wrinkles” existed during their lifespan – Moogums “Moogy” Moose and an elephant named Trunkit.
Awww, Moogy is sooooo cute!
The 1980s was never short on cute and cuddly friends. But, like all the cute and cuddly friends Wrinkles were sold alongside, there came a day that they would see their end.
It’s the natural order of life in the toy world.
The Day The Cuddling Stopped…
This qualifies as the most depressing headline ever, which sounds like a documentary about the end of 1980s toylines.
While Wrinkles were initially discontinued in the 1980s (they were still around in 1987, but I’m not sure beyond that), they were brought back as part of Ganz Bros.’ “Heritage Collection,” but were eventually discontinued again. However, I’m happy to report that they’re easy to find on eBay, and even Etsy (searches verified as of Friday, August 5, 2022), and they look amazing in the hands of the secondhand toy market!
Of course, Wrinkles didn’t get away with existing only as cute and cuddly plushies during their lifespan. Their merchandise line also included metal dinner trays, posable dolls, PVC figures (the kind Bea Arthur dreams of at Christmastime!), and even their own live action direct-to-video special starring that blonde girl who played Punky Brewster’s snobby friend Margaux Kramer.
(Her is name is Ami Foster, and she definitely wasn’t playing Margaux here.)
Yeah, everything had a direct-to-video association in the 1980s. Blame the other natural order of things, the natural order of the evolving 1980s home video market.
Did Allison Cuddle Wrinkles?
In short…no. I did not cuddle Wrinkles. I’m also 100% certain I will never stand in the middle of a store saying I want them.
I vaguely remember seeing commercials for Wrinkles, but this wouldn’t have really been appealing for me until the mid-1980s, as I wasn’t old enough to really be interested in a hand puppet, especially one so big! The talking Wrinkles, however, would have absolutely been appealing to me. I’ve always had a soft spot for talking dolls.
Looking back through this nostalgia, Wrinkles are actually pretty stinkin’ cute. I absolutely love the clothing and their faces. The ones I’ve seen in the wilds of eBay and Etsy are adorable, and have the cutest clothes. The commercials are fun too, seeing so many different kinds is like watching the 1980s Cabbage Patch Kids commercial, which always showed so many different kinds of CPK dolls, perfect for every kid…provided you could get one.
But of course, the most important question remains…did you cuddle Wrinkles, and did they talk back to you like a bad Wrinkles? Tell me your Wrinkles memories!
But Wait, There’s More Wrinkles To Cuddle!
Remember that little direct-to-video merchandising tie-in starring Punky Brewster’s snobby friend Margaux Kramer I briefly mentioned? Yeah, there will be a part two to this article. I just didn’t want this article to be 10,000 words longer than it needed to be.
That’s my kindness kicking in. I like to spread out my long-windedness as much as I can!
So while Bea Arthur and “Nicky” won’t return, Ami Foster and talking dog puppets will grace Allison’s Written Words one more time.
Until then, have a great day, and a fantastic weekend!