Strange Change Machine

Strange Change Machine Share your own memories of this toy

This memory was added on: April 18, 2010

This was the greatest toy EVER! I played with this toy for hours as a kid and never got bored with it. I just bought one on Ebay and it works! It's a lot of fun reading everyone's posts about those long forgotten toys. My sister and I also had the "Thing maker" with "creepy crawler" molds and molds for "creeple people", "mini-dragons", "shrunken heads", "giant bugs and snakes" and I had "Incredible Edibles" (which tasted pretty disgusting, except for one flavor that tasted a little like black licorice!) Anyone out there remember those little bottles of glow-in-the-dark liquid that you could paint on your skin? I think it might have been called "Lightnin' Bug Juice".


This memory was added on: January 8, 2010

That was one of my all-time favorite toys!! Boy, does that bring back a lot of memories. At last, someone who knows what I'm talking about when I say how much fun this thing was. I got one for Christmas one year, and my mom told me to be careful not to burn myself. I spent hours and hours in my room making these little creatures, squashing them up and making them again. The box is exactly as I remember it.


This memory was added on: May 18, 2008

I still have several of the "animals" on a shelf in my studio. I have the tyrannosaurus and a couple of space monsters (one that was drawn on the cabinet of the Space Invaders game you used to see in bars).

But for my money, Creepy Crawlers were the best. I can't even guess how many hours I devoted to making them.

Mike S.

This memory was added on: April 12, 2008

For years I've been describing my favorite childhood toy, and what it did, and no one ever knew what I was talking about. But thanks to a video on YouTube (link below), I discovered it was called The Strange Change Time Machine (Mattel 1967)...and now I'm bidding on one I found for sale on eBay. I too loved this toy and have the burns to prove it! Those little neon-colored plastic monsters kept me amused for hours on end, and I'm glad to read I'm not alone!

- Thanks

This memory was added on: April 12, 2008

I can't believe I actually found this. I also had this when I was 9 or 10 and can remember actually opening it up before Christmas. My mother had hidden the presents and I found them like weeks before Christmas and I opened it up and started playing with it. I had told my mom I wanted to make sure that it was working ok!. I too remember the smell of the plastic cubes heating up that's one smell I'll never forget, I can almost smell it now. Back then least kids used their imagination unlike the kids today.


This memory was added on: March 19, 2008

My God! I've been looking for this thing forever... nothing on ebay, youtube... etc...

One Channaka evening I opened a gift and got my dream come true.....the Strange Change Machine!!

I burned myself many times but this is the single most memorable toy I ever owned.

Thanks for posting this on the net!!!


This memory was added on: March 19, 2008

For years I've been describing my favorite childhood toy, and what it did, and no one ever knew what I was talking about. But thanks to a video on YouTube (link below), I discovered it was called The Strange Change Time Machine (Mattel 1967)...and now I'm bidding on one I found for sale on eBay. I too loved this toy and have the burns to prove it! Those little neon-colored plastic monsters kept me amused for hours on end, and I'm glad to read I'm not alone!


This memory was added on: March 10, 2008

I can't find any videos of the commercial for this great toy! Nothing on Youtube! And yes, I got burned, too! I opened that big box on Christmas morning, but had to wait until after we got back from attending Mass to actually play the mad scientist! And, God, yes, did I ever burn myself on that thing! Who cares, it was fun! No lawsuits, just a lesson in heat and one's proximity to it.


This memory was added on: April 24, 2007

I'm sitting on the couch, with my 18 year old daughter, shouting "YES YES YES!" (she occasionally looks up from her work) I am reading all of your wonderful comments to her, KNOWING that I am not crazy (mostly). I freakin' HAD this toy. My parents never once supervised or tended to my burns, I just was allowed to p~l~a~y with it. All day. All night. I got this for Christmas in the late 60's and I too remember the SMELL of the plastic and the JOY of the cubes becoming dinosaurs, and the minor disappointment of the cubes not becoming PERFECT cubes again. I said to my daughter "these are my people" I mean it. Thank you fellow passionate Strange Change Machine lovers. You rock you rule I think you're cool. PS I think that if any of you all are single you should form a dating group with each other, because, you know, Freaks Unite! Match made in heaven, etc...


This memory was added on: April 11, 2007

I must be having a mid-life crisis! While Googlin' the other night I decided to look up some of the toy's that I wish I held onto. I remember this as 'The Incredible Time Machine.' This must be the toy as it seems to operate much the way I remember- heating in the chamber, then crushing only to repeat the whole process. I noticed a post earlier that, indeed, is why you don't see toys like they used to make- by a liability lawyer!

Steve Poppele

This memory was added on: April 8, 2007

Ah, yes. Tucked away in my memory banks are fond recollections of this wonderful 1960s-70s Mattel toy. No way on the planet you could market this thing today with all of the safety regulations. My wife would cringe in horror if I brought one of these home for our six-year-old son.

I loved the crazy-colored dinosaurs the little cubes turned into when you heated them on the burner. You had to be careful not to leave them in too long, though. Many of my guys had black feet and tails from being overcooked! And the smell they produced would drive the babysitter nuts. In addition to the dinos, there were also a few assorted Yeti-looking monsters in this series. Freakish things in day-glo pink and green.

The volcanic landscape that came with the toy was fun for a variety of uses. WWII battles between plastic G.I.s and Jap soldiers were fought here. Captured soldiers were often led to the "Strange Change" torture chamber where they were melted if they didn't fess up. As un-P.C. as this sounds today, we derived an enormous amount of fun doing this back then. Next to Marx’s Fort Apache, this was one of my favorite toys.


This memory was added on: March 20, 2007

"Holy flashback Bateman"! My older brothers had this and played with it for hours. Unsupervised! OMG!. The same with Creepy Crawlers. Just think of the class action suits our parents could have started back then. Maybe kids where more machanicly inclined, and parents where more personally accountable not to mention less greedy! None-the-less, what great memories.


This memory was added on: March 9, 2007

I'll be turning 48 in a few months, and yet I still have vivid memories my Strange Change Machine. It was one of the many toys I received that Christmas morning. I was crazy about that thing. I don't know whatever became of the one I owned, but I wish I had hung on to it. When I saw the picture at this website, it brought back a flood of memories - all very pleasant.


This memory was added on: March 6, 2007

I thought I was the only kid who had this classic toy! Reading the comments sure brought back the great memories of toys from the 60's. Kids today have no idea what they are missing. I was lucky to pick up a working heater on ebay and plan on introducing my daughter to this toy this christmas so hopefully she can share the same fond memories I had of this imaginative toy. Watch that heating element!!!

James Monday

This memory was added on: February 19, 2007

I loved this as a kid, and it is still in its' box in my parent's garage. I was amazed to see it on E bay! I loved creating and squishing. It was a fun toy, but it seems that having anything HOT as part of a toy today is odd and unsafe, but we got by with it ok.


This memory was added on: February 1, 2007



This memory was added on: January 25, 2007

I still have an original package of the creaturelings. Maybe I will heat them up and finally let them rise. I used to play with that toy all the time along with my Fuzzy Wuzzy Soap, my Winky Dink set and listen to my Famous Monsters Speak and Monster Shindig lps. Oh the memories!


This memory was added on: December 23, 2006

I am glad to see that other people still remember the Strange Change Machine! It is probably one of my favotrite all-time toys. In this day and age when video games rule this is one toy that kids could put their hands on and play with using their own creative juices instead of pushing buttons on a controller and experiencing someone else's. Look at how the experience has stayed with all of us! Toy makers...this is opportunity knocking!


This memory was added on: December 21, 2006

I'm so glad that I'm not insane! My brother got one of these for Christmas and we played with it non-stop. He was four years older than me (a girl!) but I held my own and got to spend hours heating and squishing, heating and squishing! Burned and battered (fighting over it) and entertained. We loved that machine.

I've been trying to remember the name of it and no one seemed to even have seen one. Except, of course, my siblings. I can't tell you what a relief it was to finally get lucky on a google search. They don't make toys like that anymore (literally).


This memory was added on: December 20, 2006

This toy has such a special place in my heart. I used to go visit my dad's brother, who lived maybe 30 miles away when I was a kid, and spend the weekend with he and my aunt and two cousins, Nancy and Pam. I was kind of their adopted "son" so to speak. My uncle would always take me to the local toy store and let me pick out something---even though they didn't have a lot of money, he would always say "don't worry about the price", but I always picked out something relatively cheap. This one weekend we went shopping and my uncle is actually the one that spotted this, and he right away said, "here's the toy for you"---because I loved scary things!! I played with this toy FOREVER!!!! When I turned 15 I got a scholarship to do theater in Japan, and during that year my uncle developed cancer and passed away----he was such a positive influence on me, and whenever I see a picture of this toy, I always remember him---such a great man he was. I've been trying to purchase one of these on E-Bay, and there's been quite a few out there, but they go for just too much money. Maybe someday..................

Rex Jacobsen

This memory was added on: December 9, 2006

I was just watching Saturday morning cartoons with my son and one of them reminded me of this toy. It was great. I was trying to describe it and how it worked. I couldn't quite remember how to get the dinosaurs back to squares, but reading here reminded me. I got one for Christmas and had a great time with it. I knew I'd be able to find some info through a quick Google search for 'dinosaurs heat chamber toy vice' and I wasn't disappointed! Thanks for the great website and for the memories.


This memory was added on: November 28,2006

I had this, it was awesome! Hours of play. Love to crush them when done

Hugh Nichols

This memory was added on: November 4, 2006

I remember Christmas 1969... This was by far one of the best Christmas gifts I ever received from my parents. The colors and shapes of the plastic creatures and the never-ending creat'em and crush'em... was just too much to behold for an 8 year old. Yes, I to got burned by the hot creatures, but that was part of the excitement. A small price to pay for such a cool toy. (I once put one of those rubbery reptiles/animals you got out of the 25 cent machines in the heating chamber and for some reason being the tactile person I am, touched it to see if it was getting hot. Well, the hot rubber stuck to my finger and left a hefty blister, ouch! That’s gunna leave a mark! I never did that again) Like a fool I sold mine in a garage sale. I must have needed the money. Much later in life, I too tried to tell others of this wonderful toy. NO ONE had ever heard of or seen one, until one day... A work buddy and I were out at lunch and decided to stop off at this garage sale in Solon, Ohio. He says to me from across the garage "Dave, isn’t this that toy you looking for?" Low and behold, there it was still with it's box and almost all of the contents! I bargained the lady down to a measly $3.00 and in a flash it was mine. I was ecstatic to say the least. I tried it out at my desk at work, but found the heating element would not come to life. Darn! But, it was still quit a rush as the memories came flooding back. Long live the Internet for helping others share their memories of this beloved toy.