August 5 1977- Slime is not a B film playing second bill to "Sheba, the Slug Queen" at the local drive-in. It is, rather, a moist, sticky, six-ounce gob of gelatinous goo. It looks like something extremely rude.The novelty item also sticks to drapes, carpets, furniture and hair. And it sells. "We can't keep it in the store," said Jack Sweetland, manager of Toys R Us in Hayward.
"We sold out our last batch in two weeks,and we've sold 24 dozen cases in four weeks" said Guy Luiz, assistant manager of Woolworth's in the Fremont Hub shopping center. A case has 24 containers. Both the Newark and Hayward K-Marts
were out of the stuff, which sells for about $1.30 and comes in a chartreuse garbage can. "There's no comparison of it to anything else" agreed Rick Kuhle, manager of King Norman's Kingdom of Toys in the Fremont Hub.
"The surprising thing is that there's been no advertising. It's all been word of mouth. Or " he said, poking an oozing ball of the stuff, "word of feel." Word of feel, indeed. It looks like the unholy tryst of lime Jello and rubber cement. But it has its drawbacks, too. George Coble, manager of Toy World in Hayward, said his store didn't stock it for a month because of the things it could do to furniture. "I always have them read the label" added clerk Anna MacWilliams.
The label reads: "Slime: You can squeeze it, stretch it, squish it, snap it and drip it, but keep it in its own container. "
Slime sticks to rugs, furniture and fabrics and hair. If it stains, wash with water and vinegar or soap. Dry cleaning will not remove Slime."
A Mattel spokeswoman defended Slime. "We haven't really had any complaints. I've talked to our customer relations department and they said the only complaints were that it dissolves when the cover is left off, but the label warns about that," said Beverly Stin.
Water stains are a problem because Slime is 95 per cent water, she said. Slime is non-toxic. Parents seem to take a dim view of Slime. "Yes, we've seen it. It's icky" said Genore Shaw. "I like it!", interjected son Jeff, 7, with glee. "I like the way it looks!"
"My daughter wants it for her birthday. I guess it depends on how much pressure she puts on me" said Pat Marble. Delores Uineke, another parent, said, "I
took it away from my daughter and now it's sitting on top of the refrigerator. I heard it stains rugs."
Like the hula hoop of the '50s and the skateboard of last year, Slime is a fad item said Kuhle. But the demand is leveling off. "When school was in session, a kid would bring it to school and then everyone would want it," he said.
But what do kids actually do with the oozing mess?
"You stretch it and catch it in the cup. You pull it apart and sometimes you can mold things with it" said Tom Benepe, age 9.
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***For the record, I was totally denied Slime, we had flocked wallpaper, so I understood. I got revenge however when they gave you a small sample for a quarter in a vending machine at the local Miracle Mart.