Posted by:on September 2nd, 2014
I had more than a handful of these “Stylin’ Skateboards” from Topps. The first time I saw them was in ’91 or ’92. I think it was B-Rad who showed it to me first, and it blew my mind. I asked where he found it, expecting it to be something a friend brought back from a trip to Japan or some kitschy novelty shop in New York. Instead, he nodded his head over his shoulder towards the Wall Mart at his back in a semi rural (at the time) Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This sales sheets shows them packaged in little boxes, but the ones I saw came in sealed plastic bags with heat-pressed seams. Each bag came with some crappy candy sugar wads pressed into the vague shape of a skateboard wheel, though more likely just generic pellet molds. Also in the package, a really crappy plastic fingerboard made out of soft plastic. I believe you had to snap the wheels in place yourself. The second generation fingerboards (more on that later) were fun for a few minutes, but the real reason to keep buying these things was for the paper stickers that came with them, each a slightly mutated version of what someone in Topps marketing thought represented skateboarding culture. Lots of “rad dudes” and cow skulls, like Life’s a Beach meets Zorlac, but turned into a Nickelodeon cartoon for kids. I think these things sold for a dollar and change each. A while back I saw an unopened case up for bid, but they wanted something in the neighborhood of $100 for it. Second generation fingerboards? Yes. Slightly more maneuverable than the hard, keychain versions that first appeared in the 80’s, you know, the kind that featured paper graphics in a clear shell. Stylin’ Skateboards were at the opposite end of the brittle spectrum. The loose tolerances of the truck and wheel assemblies combined with the soft plastic made for the first fingerboards that you could more or less turn instead of just sliding. The larger size was more to scale as well, but ultimately the cheap plastic was too soft to get any meaningful use out of a toy version of… well, a larger toy. Somewhere in my basement I have at least one of these unopened. One day I’ll dig it up.
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