If there’s one thing the 70s taught us about toys, it’s that anything with an “ick” factor is likely to sell very well. This is perhaps best demonstrated by a viscous green matter packaged into plastic garbage cans called Slime. Introduced by Mattel Toys in 1976, Slime proved immediately popular, a must-have on many a kid’s Christmas list that year.

Slime was, for lack of a better description, a snot-like green substance that poured slowly out of the can into your hands. Cold and clammy, it oozed through your fingers, creating an unforgettable sensory sensation. It practically begged you to be used to torment younger siblings and unsuspecting parents, who probably wondered whatever possessed them to buy such an unsettling product for their kids.

For those that still ponder what planet Slime was discovered on, it was actually made from pretty common ingredients, notably guar gum and borax. Wet to the touch, it had to be kept sealed in its garbage can home when not in use, otherwise (as many young ‘uns eventually found out) it would dry up and harden, making it much less fun to play with. A reasonably similar version can be made in your own kitchen, with only a few common ingredients. For those wishing to explore for themselves, here are various ways to make the substance.

The original product opened the floodgates for numerous Slime-based toys that followed. Soon after, you could buy Slime that also contained rubber worms, eyeballs or insects. Mattel also released the Slime Monster board game, featuring a reptilian creature that drooled Slime all over the place. The product’s popularity continued into the 80s, sold by Kenner as “Ecto-Plazm” as part of their Ghostbusters toy line. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Masters of the Universe jumped on board with their own versions of Slime.

And, of course, the kid’s station, Nickelodeon, took Slime popularity to a new level, dumping buckets of the substance on the heads of the cast of You Cant Do That on Television, as well as on the game show, Double Dare. They marketed the product as Gak, and sold many varieties, including a glow-in-the-dark version, a scented version, and one that changed colors when exposed to light.

Gross toys have come and gone over the years, but none quite as memorable as Slime. If you remember the sensation of feeling it in your hands for the first time, or begging Santa to bring some for Christmas, we’d love to hear your thoughts and recollections in our comments section, as we tip our hats to the sublime substance forever known as Slime.

8 Responses to “Slime”

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  1. jennifer harris says:

    My brother had slime with a toy called manglord.

  2. Jolie says:

    I loved Slime! I had the plain green and the fuchsia one with the purple worms… I would play with it for hours! I used to have Gak as well, I bought it because I was missing the Slime I used to play with back in elementary school…

  3. Ray says:

    I got a can when it first came out in 1976. I loved using it as the blob and attacking my plastic army

  4. Alex Tozzi says:

    A friend has offered to sell me a can of He-Man slime, and I am thinking of taking him up on the offer. But does anyone know how to properly care for this awesome toy? It would suck if it molded or solidified shortly after purchasing. :(

  5. Chris says:

    Actually, Nickelodeon sold Gak, and Slime. They were two different products. Gak had a firmer consistency, and you could make fart noises by quickly pushing it in and out of it’s container, it also came in a variety of colors. Nickelodeon Slime was pretty much the same thing as Ghostbusters Ecto-Plasm, and TMNT’s Ooze, it was colored green and came in a more slime shaped container.

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  7. Beeti says:

    I can remember clearly how it smelled.

  8. Greg says:

    Slime was a hot item and was flying off the shelves in 1976! I convinced my dad to drive me around to locate a toy store that still had Slime in stock.

    It was fun until a friend convinced me to pitch it to him softball style while he swing the bat. Pow! It was gone… Other than a tiny blob scattered here or there, the Slime appeared to vaporize.

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