Friday, July 29, 2005

The Ups And Downs Of The Novelty Industry

SALT LAKE CITY (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Gene Rose has been in the business of selling novelty joke items like whoopee cushions for more than 66 years, but he still can’t predict which gags will stand the test of time.

Take men’s pantyhose. The owner of Loftus International Novelty Supply says the company’s “mantyhose” were “such a big hit at one time, we couldn’t make them fast enough. Now people just look at them and shrug their shoulders.”

He says he hopes people will like some of the company’s newer items, including a shocking stapler, a stick-on fake broken windshield with a rock attached, or his finger-shaped pen that farts when you pull it.

Rose says he recently tried a new product – a remote control farting machine – on his wife, but instead of laughing, he says she screamed, “You son of a bitch!”

One product Rose knows will always be popular is the rubber chicken, which he calls a “tremendous long-running item.” He says he still doesn’t know what people do with a latex bird, and adds, “Maybe I don’t want to.”

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