Monday, November 19, 2012

#0065: Koosh Lings

I find my lack of progress disturbing...

Gotta be honest, clearing away a minuscule toy once every thirty days is simply not going to cut it - and now that I've moved out of home, progress will be slowed even more, because I'm literally having to take toys to my new place in order to get rid of them. So when I'm going to such effort, I want to create more space than that which was left by a tiny finger puppet. What kind of entertainment system can I fit into that vacated area? A comically small one?

So basically, I'm going to ramp up my efforts, and create more multi-toy entries, a la the Cocky's Circle books. Which, in actuality, turned out to be one of my favourite entries. Might have had something to do with the constant references to fapping.

Here for your consideration, lie the Koosh's best chance at returning to relevance in the mid 90s - the Koosh Lings! If in case you've forgotten who they are (my last Koosh Ling article was written more than a year ago), they're effectively a group of fun-loving Kooshes who go on zany adventures. They're a tight-knit group, and as such, you must buy all of them. Otherwise you run the risk of completely alienating their circle of friends.

If this commercial featuring the Mowry twins didn't get you excited about owning a Koosh Ling, then I don't know what would. After all, as they so creepily state, Koosh Lings can make you feel good. Physically? Emotionally? Fiscally? I don't know. I guess they made me feel okay.

They also make a rather audacious statement that the enigmatic 'Cool Scenes' Koosh Lings (which I had never even heard of before) do the same stuff that we do. How many young children were jamming on guitars? If they really wanted to make Koosh Lings we could associate with, they'd have been eating cereals in long johns and watching Garfield.

The first fun fella at top left, his name is T.K.

It's never established what T.K. is short for, it was just cool in the 90s to be called by your initials, but I like to think his name was something stupid like Todd Krautz.

He's the leader of the group, and as such, he's brave, adventurous, compassionate and vanilla as fuck. He has an intense wide-eyed stare that borders on menacing, and his favourite colour is probably purple.

To his right is Skye, and like most women, her hair is really, really fun to play with. Whether it was based on factuality, or just a notion I came up with for no apparent reason, she seems to be the sporty tomboy. She can kick around a football with the best of them, she won't back down from a fight, and she digs Caster Semenya's style.

Front and centre is Teeter, and as evidenced by his untamed mane, great big grin, and simply scandalous lack of footwear, he's the crazy party animal. He probably would have been my favourite based on personality and appearance alone, but took second place to the almighty fiery hue of...

Tugs. Tugs was the best, because he was red. I know, it's starting to become redundant, but when you're an idiot kid, you pick favourites for idiotic reasons. Tragically, my collection of the original quartet was slightly incomplete, because as you may have noticed, Tugs is randomly riding a skateboard. No, he wasn't just different in an effort to be an attention-seeking prick, this just happened to be one of the spin-off series: I never could find the original Tugs.

As you can see, he's borderline safety-conscious: he's adorned with flamboyant elbow and knee-pads, but is defiantly absent a helmet. It's funny, actually, how the helmet is the most important protection, and yet the part most commonly missing from children's toys. Look at that big ol' smile, he's pretty fucking ecstatic to be without a helmet.

Once I completed my little motley crew, I think that was pretty much it for me. Despite their advertising scheme, they were much more fun and practical to play with individually. I took Teeter to the beach one day, that was excellent. I pretended Skye got turned into a frog during one adventure, that was quite epic. You put them all together, and you've simply got too many Kooshes for your mortal hands to handle, and in the end, the only recurring storyline becomes how they keep relying on Tugs as the designated driver, since he was the only one with a mode of transportation. He'd love to decline, but unfortunately, his hand is permanently moulded into an affirmative thumbs-up.

Afterwards, they just kept adding more and more friends, and more and more variations of the same characters. Completionists no doubt scrambled to collect such exciting things as a Koosh Ling engaging in gymnastics, but my interest began to waver, until finally, the Lings were toy chest fodder like so many other fads.

They may be forgotten curios from a bygone era, but they're not without their charm, I think. They'll go down as one of the good points of 1996. Good like Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong Country 3 and No Diggity by Blackstreet. Maybe someday soon I'll explore the bad things that happened in 1996. fact, here's a preview...

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