When did stationery get so boring? Back in the 70's and 80's (before the advent of Microsoft Office) we all carried around the standard implements in our pencil case - pencil, rubber, sharpener and biro (if you were lucky a Parker pen).
Although most of these instruments were functional and provided a purpose, their designs filled pencil cases with splashes of colour and amusement that leapt out at us in the classroom and were used for negotiation tactics n the playground.
Erasers, although useless in their job (they generally smudged rather than erased) were colourful and comical, taking classic characters from teen culture and portraying them for eternity in rubber. Indeed the sharpeners weren't just dull silver razor blades but in most cases semi-transparent boxes in the shape of furniture and fast food items; which you would happily tip down your friend's collar.
However our favourite item and one which we just received a delivery on was the humble pencil topper. With no use other than amusement these classic 'toys' had little round holes (amusingly in their bottoms) where one would stuff an HB pencil up into. Although it made the pencils slightly top heavy and could ruin your attempt at an isosceles triangle they were great for mini-battles performed with your mate or between your hands.
As you can see from the image the ones we received span various decades. There are some classic 70's pieces in the form of Popeye and pals (Olive Oil, Wimpy and Bruto), The Muppets as well as an iconic spring-loaded woodpecker. There are also some great 80's pieces including Beast man from He-man, the SMASH robot and Fraggle Rock.
We say, stash those phones, hide those ipads and bring these little pieces of joy back into classrooms.