Oh it’s been a while since I’ve struck charity shop gold, but a quick visit to some local charity shops after taking my mother in law out for a birthday lunch was well worth it. Original Fuzzy Felt. From the 1980s. In immaculate condition. Even with the original leaflet inside the box. All for only £1.50 too. Bargain. Fuzzy Felt in Space was ours!
Speed to the stars with Fuzzy-Felt Space Land on far planets. Explore distant worlds with strange Robots and weird Creatures. Fly into Space for Fantastic adventures.
Fuzzy Felt is one of those toys that I remember so vividly from my own childhood and just at Christmas I was looking at the modern versions with an eye to buying some for the four year old as a way of keeping her quiet and amused in a mess-free manner. Whilst it’s wonderful that John Adams here in the UK currently have the rights to the Fuzzy Felt brand and are putting out new kits it just still doesn’t quite have the same nostalgia value as the old sets do. That’s why I was so delighted to find an old set in such good condition at an affordable price. The fact that all of us could then look through the leaflet of all the original sets and discuss which ones we remember having at home or playing with at relatives houses made it even more desirable.
No Scissors. No Glue!
There’s also something rather quaint about the fact that this 1983 box has a note on it explaining the “magic” of Fuzzy Felt.
The felt shapes cling to the board. Put the on… Take the off… Make another picture. No scissors. No Glue!
The history of Fuzzy Felt
I find the history of Fuzzy Felt quite fascinating, and rather empowering too. During the 2nd World War a woman called Lois Allen worked with her husband manufacturing felt gaskets for sealing components in tanks from an outbuilding at their home. It was a line of work where they employed local women and also ran a creche for their children (something that many modern day employers could learn from in my opinion!)
Lois Allen spotted their employee’s children playing with the offcuts and misshapen pieces of felt and sticking them to the back of table mats and the idea for Fuzzy Felt was born.
Variety of Sets
Pretty much everyone of my generation remembers playing with Fuzzy Felt somewhere, and for many of us to seems to be that it was something kept in the cupboard at a grandmother’s house and brought out when we went to visit. In my case along side old sets of dominoes and pick up sticks. Apparently though Fuzzy Felt was also a great hit with Sunday Schools, mainly due to the inclusion of a Bible Stories set in their range.
Looking back it seems that there were two different styles of sets. The original ones where three were plain pieces of felt that were shaped to depict people, animals or objects, and slightly later versions where the felt was printed with pictures, much like this space set.
List of vintage Fuzzy Felt Sets
Taken from the insert leaflet in Fuzzy Felt in Space, dated 1983, and in the order presented there.
- 27. Let’s play house
- 1. Safari
- 2. Fairy Tales
- 5. Farm
- 7. Playschool
- 26. Woodland Story
- 15. Family Pets
- 21. Monsters
- 3. Pictures
- 20. Bunny’s Party
- 24. Horses
- 6. Hospital
- 8. Ballet
- 4. Circus
- 16. Fantasy
- 25. At the shops
- 10. Noddy in Toyland
- 12. Playmates
- 19. Cartoons
- 29. In Space
- 28 Spooks
Modern day appeal
There’s absolutely no doubt that Fuzzy Felt still maintains so much appeal to younger children, and also their parents. After all, it’s a mess free toy and doesn’t involve a screen or batteries! Even this older Space set kept my daughter’s attention for ages and we had a lovely time together setting up space scenes and showing her how you could make it look like some of the aliens were actually sat inside the spaceships.
One of the things that made me most nostalgic as we played together though was actually the box. I remember the insert tray so clearly from the hospital set that I had and there’s just something about boxes with lift off lids that seems so much more practical than the ones with a flap mechanism that so many modern kids toys and games have. In my experience after a decent amount of use the flap just becomes damaged and doesn’t keep everything inside the box. Then part of it tears off, or it all just becomes misshapen and the whole thing looks in far worse condition than it should be.
Want more vintage toys and games?
Disclaimer: My copy of Fuzzy Felt in Space was a charity shop purchase with my own money. This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon for the modern sets. If you click on it and make a purchase it will cost you no more than it would usually but I will receive a small commission. I am extremely grateful for any purchases that you make. Thank you.