Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that my parents made poor selections. I'm just wondering what thought process took place when they decided that a plastic-headed boy in a pink shirt was best for my brother and I was best suited to own a clown with hair made of red yarn.
Bozo was a little difficult to operate as he was limited to moving his mouth only -- this was done through the use of a string coming out the back of his neck. Simon Sez was operated through a hole in his back which could be used to move not only his mouth, but his neck as well. While Bozo wasn't the most kid-friendly doll on the market, he did come with a floppy instructional record to be used in learning the basics of ventriloquism.
Surprisingly, this record is still a part of my record collection today and I was amazed to find that it plays through in its entirety -- completely free of skips.
Also surviving the test of time are the ventriloquist dolls themselves. Bozo still works as he used to, but Simon's mouth trigger no longer functions properly. Also, there seems to be something lodged inside Simon's heads that rattles when shaken -- maybe an M&M.
Even the orginal boxes are intact -- at least the Bozo box is. The Simon Sez box has seen better days as it was used on multiple occasions as a fighting ground for my brother's He-Man figures.
I never really got much use of out Bozo. For a fourth grade show-and-tell, I actually took my brother's Simon Sez instead of my own doll. For the record, I didn't demonstrate my ventriloquism talents during show-and-tell. Instead, I sat on a stool with Simon on my knee and made my classmates endure Simon's four-minute "lip sync" of The Dream Academy's Life in a Northern Town.
Regardless, as an adult I have learned the value of a dollar. As I look back at the catalog listing for these dolls and realize that my parents dropped over 40 bucks on them, I appreciate this gift more than ever.