Play doh was a firm favourite when I was a young 'un.
Firm maybe stretching it. It was really quite soft and pliable. In fact Play doh had a consistency all of its own really.
It was both squishy and squashy but also powdery and stringy all at once. The stuff had a curious grainy surface - like sandy meat - when cut, usually with one of those plastic knives like the ones in sealed bags of disposable cutlery at motorway restaurants.
You couldn't just cut it though. You could push it through tight holes to your heart's content. I adored the pushing machine, a sort of sausage mill for kids. You slid various templates into the front to change the shape of the play sausages being squeezed out - stars, half-moons, squares, circles and loads more.
It was just brill!
The best bit though was cutting the links from the template. I say cutting, it was more like severing or amputating really. The doh gave just that little bit of resistance before the blade sliced clean through and you had a string of red star rope.
I suppose it was a bit like marzipan in texture although it couldn't be eaten or put round a Battenburg cake. Saying that I never actually tried to eat Play Doh although I bet some kids have.
The thing I recall the most though is the smell of the stuff. A unique bouquet of icing and putty with a hint of trapped rubber which hit you as soon as you lifted the flexible lid off the plastic pot. I am amazed how we remember smells but I can clearly visualise or 'nasalise' Play doh. I read recently that we have over 20 human senses so its no wonder really.
The plastic pots themselves were a thing of beauty in their own right I reckon. I'm surprised they never caught on as general containers in the home, office or school.
I don't recall mixing colours when I was dohing like I did with the more muscular plasticene so I can't say what happened when play-red was kneaded together with say play-blue. Play-purple?
I miss my Play Doh and look forward to buying my Grandson his first tub, which I will nasally savour for all its worth!
Whether Play Doh is collectable I don't know. I imagine the doh itself dries up over time or hardens like the unfortunate rigor suffered by Stretch Armstrong, although he can be re-softened on a radiator or hot water bottle.
Does anyone know the fate of aging Play Doh? Did you like it too?