Really Big Buttons

Want To Clown Around? The first thing you need is a costume: how about a costume with Really Big Buttons.

These buttons measure 2 inches in diameter. Two Inches is HUGE.
You can choose all one color, or an assortment of eight different colors.
The bold and bright fluorescent colors choices are green, blue, red, purple, white, and pink, yellow, or orange. See them at

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Op-Yop Retro Toy Sales Spanned Two Decades

The Op-Yop Fad Lasted For Years.  Our 1960’s toy the Op-Yop may be a 1970’s toy craze too. The Op-Yop stayed in the stores a lot longer than we originally thought.  We recently received a letter from a young lady who told us that she worked on assembling op-yops in the early 1970’s.  She remembers 1972 and 1973 but was not sure if it continued into 1974.  She was a teenager at the time and her mother worked at the factory that molded the plastic pieces.  Her mother would bring home all the necessary components and after school this young lady and her friends would gather together and hand assemble the op-yops.  Our records told us that the molds were made in 1965.  A Time Magazine article told us they sold over a million toys in 1968.  That article also says that they are on track for another million by Christmas of 1968.  After 1968 we lose track.   We have some of the original paperwork from the advertising agency that scheduled television time and it shows the ads were on every station that carried the Soupy Sales Show. Unfortunately this is the area of the toy’s history that get’s confusing.  We thought the Soupy Sales Show from Detroit was much earlier in the 1960’s than when the commercials were made.  A lot of our genealogy about the toy is based on dates from the paperwork we received with the original molds.  One person who recently bought several for his grand kids, said his father worked at WXYZ-TV in Detroit as a floor director.  One day in the early 1970’s he went to work with his Dad and got to watch Soupy Sales make commercials for the Op-Yop.  (The young man walked away with a couple of toys with Soupy’s signature on them, which he still has today).  The commercials were then shown on stations all over the country, with a heavy concentration on New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and of course Detroit.  Based on this persons time line, the toy was sold well into the 1970’s. We thought it peaked in 1968 and died off by 1970.  Maybe our assumptions are wrong as to the time frame.  It is probable, that because the toy was made in the greater Detroit area, Soupy came to town to make commercials even though his show was based elsewhere.  It is also possible that because Soupy was such a big name in Detroit and that he regularly did a night club act there, making a commercial in Detroit at his former studio home, just made sense.

If you have any op-yop history to share you are invited to leave your comments below.

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Outfitting Your Display Booth For A Craft Show

On the day of the craft show or outdoor market, here is a readiness checklist:

A ten by ten foot folding canopy tent

Two (2) four to five gallon buckets filled halfway with sand or pebble stone. These can be made from old detergent or cat litter containers or substitute a heavy cooler (with handles) full of ice and soda pop for one of the buckets. Several bungee cords for securing the tent to the buckets as well as tent stakes and a hammer will keep the tent secure from gusts of wind. Or purchase a ready made set of weight bags

Four tarps eight feet by ten foot and bungee tie downs for mounting the tarps to the tent sidewalls. Tarps can keep out the rain, protect from the sun or wind and control walk through traffic. Or purchase tent sides at outfitting stores

One to five folding tables; depending on the size of the venue, bring four or five tables, six to eight folding chairs and brightly colored table covers and spring clips for securing table covers to the tables

Two easels for displaying products for sale; One easel supports a picture framed pegboard, so carry a variety of pegboard hooks

Lunch kit including all picnicking supplies, wet washcloth, mosquito, and/or bug spray

A portable office setup in a briefcase, which includes a cell phone, scissors, pen, pencil, markers, note paper, sales receipts, calculator, business cards, push pins, stapler, flyers of upcoming events

Bring a box fan and extension cords in case electric outlets are available.

Carry a small tool kit, whichCraft Show Tool Kit includes pliers, screwdrivers, hammer, utility knife, tape, zip ties and an assortment of extra nuts and bolts custom matching what your entire setup uses. Sometimes during setup and tear down, screws, nuts, and bolts become loose, fall off, and can get lost

Bring a clipboard and sign up form for customers to furnish their contact information for updates on upcoming products and events

For special occasions, pack flags, banners, party lights or other decorations appropriate to the event

Do not forget a starting cash drawer; of course, take extra inventory, just in case of a buying spree.

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How To Set Up A Craft Show Display Booth

Our craft display booth and it’s ‘easy one -person setup’ has drawn a lot of questions from other sellers about “how to” choose the right items and erect them on site. It is quick, easy, and simple. Follow these instructions to make it a one-person operation.

Tent tables and chairs
Eastpointe Lions Club Fair

For under $100 I bought (1)”First-Up” brand 10 by 10 canopy tent. Next I bought (24)-6 inch long ‘canopy-ball’ bungy cords for about $20. Then I bought (4) inexpensive 8 by 10 foot tarps, for around $15. I then purchased (1) heavy duty plastic folding table measuring 3 feet by 6 feet long which cost about $35 at Aldi’s. I also bought 2 bags of play sand for $3 and an assortment pack of bungee cords for $10, a cloth tablecloth for $10 and a pack of picnic table clamps. Total cash outlay was under $200.

It is a good idea to do a practice setup at home before setting up elsewhere.

The first thing to set up is the canopy tent. This can be a one person operation if you start by placing it in one corner of your 10 by 10 foot space and anchoring one leg to the ground. You then lift the remaining other three legs up and walk backwards to the kitty corner diagonally from it, extending the sides as you walk. At this point, what you have is a frame pulled out to about a nine to ten foot square space and legs still not extended (about four foot high). I then put the cover on the frame, pull it down snugly over each corner then begin fastening the velcro to the 4 corner posts so it becomes self tightening as I lock the remaining frame into place. You want to remember to put the cover on before stretching the frame into it’s full 10 by 10 foot size so you don’t have to wrestle with it. After the cover is on the frame I then snap each of the four corner pins into place at the top, so it is now tight. I then duck under the tent and fasten the remaining ceiling velcro to the frame. After that is done I raise the legs into a little bit higher position. I release and snap one leg at a time, then another until all four are at about five to six feet high. At this point you can go around the tent adjusting anything into a final position like the velcro strips that anchor the sides to the upper frame. After I double check everything to assure it is fastened in place, the next step is to snap each leg into place as tall as it will go. On my style tent, it is in the tallest position when the bottom hole in the upper part of the leg fits into the top hole of lower or inner part of the leg. I then anchor each leg in place with a ground anchor. Sometimes if I am on blacktop or concrete and I can’t hammer in an anchor, I use large bungy cords to tie down the corner posts of the tent to a bucket of sand. I then attach sides panels with the bungy cords. If it is too sunny and hot I block the sun. If it windy and rainy I block that out too. I then erect the folding table and cover it with an attractive table cloth which is then attached to the table with clop-on clamps.

I bring two folding chairs, a cooler full of ice and water, sandwiches and fruit. If the weather is cold I take along a propane heater and a blanket. If the hours extend into the night I bring a battery operated camping lamp or a trouble light with a long cord for illumination.

Another tip: pay attention to the way other vendors load, unload, set-up, and take down their booths. I learned many time-saving methods from them.

Good Luck…I hope this helps


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Share Your Op-Yop Memories

This post is where opyoppers can share their favorite memories of the Op-Yop toy.  Just leave a comment below and it will be published for all the world to enjoy.  If you experience problems leaving a comment, you can email them to

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Kim Kardashian And The Op-Yop In Clawson

It was exciting to see a movie being shot in Clawson, Michigan, home town of the multimillion selling toy, the Op-Yop.

The George Clooney movie “The Ides Of March” was being filmed here in town and a couple of our neighborhood locations had been chosen for the activity.  Like so many other local residents, I went to the area to see what a movie set looked like.  It looked in some small part like the crowd gathered for Clawson’s famous annual Fourth of July Parade.  I took along a few of our Op-Yops hoping to pass them onto someone who may create some publicity for us.  Believe it or not we easily approached a group of some very Hollywood looking people standing in the parking lot of the still new Nick’s Country Oven Restaurant (formerly home of the Nippon Kai Japanese Restaurant for over 30 years).  We asked if we could give them some of our toys for the cast or crew to play around with.  A very tall good looking gentleman said yes and accepted a handful.  Darcy demonstrated how to start it up and play with it.  She explained that she was the owner and maker of the toy.  He asked “What is it?…A Yo-Yo?” And of course we agreed that it is a sort of side to side Yo-Yo, a good enough description for this truly unique toy.  He then turned to his left and handed one of the toys to a very beautiful woman.  He turned back to us and said that we might recognize her as the A-list Kim Kardashion from television fame.  Upon hearing the celebrity’s’ name, Darcy immediately jumped into her promotional role as the chief publicist for her Op-Yop and exclaimed “Photo-Op”!!!  This surprise to the small group got us invited to leave the immediate area.  Apparently, the star’s privacy is guarded from Clawson’s famous predatory Op-Yop publicity-seeking paparazzi.

I later looked up the star’s (?) name on the internet and yes, that was indeed who it was, Kim Kardashion.  What did I know.  I really should mention that before today, I knew George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and Evan Rachel Wood were movie stars.  After all, I live in Clawson, not under a Gieco rock.



Posted in Evan Rachel Wood Clawson, Evan Rachel Wood Ides Of March, George Clooney Clawson, George Clooney Ides Of March, Kim Kardashian Clawson, Op-Yop, Ryan Gosling Clawson, Ryan Gosling Ides Of March | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment