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Wiz-z-zers "Balances! Teeters! Gyrates! Dangles!" By Euphrates
The good folks at Mattel made some great toys in the '60s and '70s. Don't get
me wrong, I love vintage toys made by Marx, Hasbro, Ideal, Remco, Kenner and
Deluxe Reading, but when I look at my toy collection, I sure see a bunch of Mattel's
creations on my shelves.
In 1969, Mattel decided that little David and Mary America needed an alternative to the old fashioned tin tops from the '50s-'60s. They christened the alternative "Wizzzers".
In the old days, you would spin a top by pumping a handle. You could set off the gyro action of a Wizzzer by reving up the rubber tip against Mom's oak coffee table, watching the teeny little metal tip carve spider-webbed patterns in the glossy lemon-pledged surface.
The line started with just a basic, boxed top that came with a few accessories that would allow you to perform various tricks with the top. Mattel later added a few additional tops and sets like:
Canned Wizzzer - 7-Up
For some odd reason, Wizzzers are one of those vintage toys that can still be found with the original boxes and packaging. Most of the tops have survived time in pretty good shape. The little rubber tip took the most abuse so you should check it out before buying. It's also common for some of the little accessories to be missing.
The line was abandoned in the '70s but it was ressurected in the '80s by Matchbox and then again recently by Duncan, the Yo Yo people.