Purple People Eater

Submitted by David Wahl November 30th, 2011
Certifikitsch Winner

This is a black market toy designed to capitalize on the popularity of Sheb Wooley’s 1958 hit Purple People Eater in the late 1950s. As you can see, it does indeed have one eye, one horn and wings for flying. It’s made of styrofoam, plastic and very furry pipe cleaners.

Oh, and, howdy! I’m David Wahl. I work for Archie McPhee which puts me in constant contact with kitsch both old and new. I have been reading for a while, so I feel like I know everyone. Big fan of all the posts!

3 Responses to “Purple People Eater”

  1. Allee Willis

    I was so obsessed with that record as a kid I can’t tell you. My sister bought it but I was stealing it all the time. The record sounds so goofy now but I remember thinking it was the hippest thing ever way back in the day.

    Do you know where these things were made? I love things that are so handmade looking, not to mention stupid looking. Seriously excellent.

    Is this from your own private stash or did by any chance Archie McPhee come into a load of them?

    And as far as you introducing yourself to us here at AWMOK, I would just like to say if it weren’t for David Wahl there would be no mustache on the mustach van, and many people would have gone home treasureless from my Soup to Nuts extravaganza last month (https://www.alleewillis.com/souptonuts/) as David put together the Bingo prizes. And, of course, aKitchionado Rusty did her thing at Archie McPhee a few months back. So WELCOME, DAVID!! I hope we see a lot more of you here.

    • David Wahl

      Thanks, Allee!

      There is something so hypnotic about the lyrics!

      These were made in the late 1950s in someone’s basement. Basically a craft project that they tried to market to a couple of novelty companies. (I imagine their kids being forced to labor over these for hours and hours in a wood-panelled basement) Our owner got a few gross of them on closeout back in the 1970s, this is from his private collection.