Spencer Gifts! Mainstay of malls. After 70 years, Spencer’s still offers the frivolous and the faddish, whereever shopping malls still draw visitors. God, how I loved Spencer Gifts stores and catalogs when I was a certain age. The Mood Rings! The Day-Glow Posters! The Black Lights! The Fiber Optic …thingees! You couldn’t call them sculptures… I’m not sure who gave this stuff as gifts…but to a kid, they were cool, really cool.
Spencer Gifts started as a mail-order only business. This 1959 catalog is full of items which, for all I know, are still being sold in their stores – although Spencer Gift stores themselves didn’t show up until 1963, as shopping malls started advancing across the country.
For Halloween, or really any time of year (“Hey, sure, Christmas, why not put it next to Christmas items!”) there’s the hand that comes out of the box when you switch it on, only to turn itself off again. S-l-o-w-l-y a pale hand emerges to astonish your friends, “many of who will immediately take the pledge” to stop imbibing so much. No one ever accused a Spencer gifts copywriter of underselling.
And remember, it’s “great for the office, bar, desk, den – wherever guests will congregate.” Says so right there. Cool, really cool.