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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Vincent Price’s Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kit from Whiting (1975)

sidebarVincent Price would have celebrated his 104th birthday this week. The actor with the distinctive voice was born on May 27, 1911. This makes it a perfect time shine a spotlight on one of the toys he endorsed in the mid-1970s: the Vincent Price Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kit.

Released in 1975 by Whiting, a Milton Bradley Company, the kit commercialized the craft of peeling, drying, and decorating apples to fashion what look like miniature, wrinkly human heads. The marketing built on the Price’s own brand in the horror movie genre. Pictured front and center on the packaging (surrounded by eerie shrunken heads, of course), he implored anyone aged 12 and up to “create your own collection of delightful Shrunken Heads.”

The challenge and fun of apple sculpture has always been mitigated by the time it takes for the apples to actually shrink down in size. Whiting addressed this issue with the ingenious “Shrinker”, a device that clamps onto a standard table lamp (powered by an incandescent bulb) and cuts drying time in half.

In addition to The Shrinker, each kit came equipped with face templates, synthetic hair, white and black beads for teeth and eyes, paint, a jar of gloss finish, and enough aluminum wire and rope to hang up to six completed shrunken heads decoratively.

Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.