Archie McPhee and Monkey Goggles
If you have enjoyed Monkey Goggles these last few months, we’d sure appreciate if you would buy some things from Archie McPhee. If you can’t afford it or it’s not your taste, we would love it if you would mention us to your friends or link to us in one of your many social network identities. Your support will help us to make sure that Monkey Goggles continues entertaining you, irritating you and recharging your libido with goat glands implanted just under the skin.
I am lucky enough to have worked for Archie McPhee for almost fifteen years. In that time I’ve been contributed to the creation of many products and been present at the creation of almost all of them. Briefly, I’d like to tell you about the making of some of my favorite McPhee items of the last few years.
We have an interesting relationship with lederhosen. You know them, those short German pants generally seen in America during Oktoberfest celebrations. We find them to be inherently funny. The way they look, the name and pretty much everything about them just strikes a certain comedic chord. But, how do you turn that into a product? It took five years and the persistence of one man to make them real.
One of our designers drew up the plans for the Wind-Up Lederhosen and put them up next his computer monitor. Over the course of those five years, the Lederhosen would come up in discussion every few months, but we couldn’t decide whether to make them or not. Was their hopping action enough to sell them or should we make them glow in the dark? Should they make a noise? Was it too creepy that no one was wearing them? We decided to move forward on them as they stood, so to speak, and they were an immediate hit.
Sensing that we were on the verge of something huge, we set about improving them. We added a remote control, shaped like a wienerschnitzel, and a sound chip that yodelled. To get the yodel we had a contest for our customers where the best yodel sent to us would win a hundred rubber chickens. We got surprisingly few entries, but luckily for us a talented voice actor, Joe J. Thomas, entered and provided us with the perfect yodel.
It was then we found out you had to produce 20,000 audio chips at one time. We knew we wouldn’t sell 20,000 of the Remote Controlled Hopping Yodelling Lederhosen, so we had to find a use for the rest. There was discussion, but we came to what must seem from the outside to be a simple and obvious solution- The Yodelling Pickle.
The Yodelling Pickle sold beyond our wildest dreams. It seemed to connect with people on a nearly-subconscious level. It was as if it had already existed and people were remembering it from childhood. It is possible to have nostalgia for something you’ve never experienced before.
I could go on and tell you how the Handerpants came from seeing someone with Squirrel Underpants on their hands making their fingers tap dance, or explain why there’s a beaver being tazered on our Maple-Flavored Toothpicks, but some things are better left mysteries.
If you have any questions about McPhee products, leave them below and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.
Thank you for reading Monkey Goggles, and thank you for your continued support!
(You can find more behind the scenes stories in our book.)