Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vintage Surprise Ball

I've been on a shopping hunt for vintage surprise balls for quite sometime now.  I wanted to see how they were originally made and with what kind of toys included.  I finally found the perfect one (on Etsy) to splurge on. It is a Silver Swan Surprise Ball made by Charles Gregor and was sold through a department store in the 1950's.  I thought it was cool that it still has it's original $1.75 price tag on it; but I had to pay ALOT more than $1.75!  Since the Swan was so valuable and rare, I decided that when I got it I would save it for a special day.  When my customers purchase a Surprise Ball for themselves, I usually suggest that they save it and not open it until a rainy day.  A day that they are feeling really down in the dumps and need that quick pick-me-up happy feeling. Opening a surprise ball gives a small amount of energy boost and can restore your mood (if only for a little while).

I thought I would be staring at my unopened Charles Gregor surprise ball for at least a couple of months before I NEEDED to open it but, unfortunately, I only had it for two days when I needed my Surprise Ball fix.  I opened it on December 14th, 2012...the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

When I hear sad news on the radio, I'm sure I re-act like everyone else does - we shake our heads in despair and maybe say a quick prayer for those who are affected.  Then we go about our business as usual; maybe even forgetting about it until we hear about it in the news again.  But the Sandy Hook shooting was just too much for me.  I can't believe how much I cried for those poor babies and teachers.  Maybe it's because I also work in a school and because my children are not much younger than those who passed.  I wish I could send a million surprise balls to the survivors and friends and families of the victims, but I know even that can't heal the pain they are going through.

By removing a small cardboard disc underneath a couple of layers of paper, I was able to open the bottom of the swan without completely destroying it (which is something I intend to implement in some future designs of my own).  So I'm still able to enjoy the artistic effort that went into creating this beautiful swan.

Here are the small prizes that helped lift my spirits that day: a paper parachute jumper, an Italy eraser, a plastic swan, a whistle, a raffia-like lei, an hourglass (with wood shaving filling), a jumping bean, a pipe, a horse, a set of flowers, and a yo-yo.

Let me know if you would like a special surprise ball created just for you and you too can experience "Surprise Ball Therapy" (tee-hee, I just made that up...and I like it!)

1 comment:

  1. Never heard of a surprise ball until your story. Amazing that you would even be able to find a vintage one still intact with all its vintage goodness! The little plastic jumping bean cracks me up. Played with many in my younger days.
    Thanks for the story and introducing me to surprise balls!


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