Betty James, who named the Slinky toy and rescued it from falling into oblivion after her husband abandoned his toy company, died at age 90.
Her determination to save the company and the toy paid off with Slinky becoming a household word.
It didn’t hurt either that Saturday Night Live and the combined brilliant comedic talents of Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray entertained us with their long-running version of coiled wire toy.
Curtin played the widow of “Poor Mr. Lupner,” the human Slinky, “He was born without a spine.”
Radner was their hapless daughter Lisa, who constantly suffered from “nooggies” dished out by her dufuss boyfriend, Todd, played by Murray.
Slinky soared into the hearts of American children by walking down stairs after Gimbel’s department store in Philadelphia gave the couple the opportunity to demonstrate the unique toy for its customers.
On that cold, snowy day 63 years ago, the James’ sold 400 Slinkys at $1 each. Considering how much the cost of everything has gone up since 1945, the toy is still a bargain that brings hours of entertainment to kids at $4.99.